Monday, October 22, 2012

Thinking about going under.

I feel like I've pretty much processed everything now except for one thing: the operation itself. And the timing is good as I'm going into hospital tomorrow. Now would be a good time to get this processed.

It's simple, really. I'm very scared. I haven't gone much beyond that in my thinking so I need to work out what I'm scared of so that I can just park it. That worked really well with thinking through the possible side effects and I think it'll work here too.

I am being admitted tomorrow (Tuesday), so they can monitor me overnight and do whatever it is they need to do, but the surgery itself will be on Wednesday (hopefully - there is a chance I will get bumped last minute for an emergency. I'm ignoring this just now as it's just a variable too far).

The anticipation of the operation will be the worst, and so I'm very worried about Tuesday night in hospital.

I don't want to spend the night awake in hospital, terrified, alone, with dark scary thoughts going round my head. I will be alone, and I hate that. Visiting hours must end at some point, and then I'll be alone. I know I'll be ok, it's just I don't want to be alone. But I have to be so... I'll just have to deal with it as there isn't anything else to do. (I fully plan on demanding drugs to knock me out).

What else?

I think once I've made it through Tuesday night, Wednesday will be fine. I'm pretty sure by then I'll be like, bring it on. It'll be daylight, there'll be people there and I'll just want to get it over and done with. Not actually too worried about Wednesday. Wheel me away, give me anaesthetic and then I just do a spot of time travel.

It will be strange to wake up, will I know what's happened? Will it hurt? Will I know if Oliver's there? Will I be able to move? What will it feel like?

Can't answer any of these, and nobody can. It feels like a useless exercise even thinking about it actually. I'm just going to have to wait and see. I don't want to be in lots of pain, but I know they can give me relief and I'll still be very sleepy so I think that's probably not worth getting too worried about.

So that's it. Turns out all I'm really scared about is being alone. It seems simultaneously a bit of an anticlimax, but understandable.

Right, I'll get back to building a drumkit then, that was easy.

Budding Buddhist (for two days only).

Earlier, we talked a bit about Buddhism, which I realised I know absolutely nothing about. The interesting part for me (I still haven't read anything further so this is based on an incredibly narrow sense of Buddhism) was the notion of being just content with the current, and not creating suffering for the human mind by "wanting" something unattainable. Or uncontrollable - like the outcome of impending surgery.

I had been talking about hope, as a concept. Which I think in this context is in fact different - that it's ok to hope for the best (and most likely) outcome to an operation that you know is going to happen, but it's not ok to hope to win the lottery and then pin your future happiness on that (unlikely) event coming to pass.

Anyway, it made me realise something. I have always been a striver and a planner. There are things I want to achieve: work and life goals and measurements, fairly arbitrary it seems now, against which I would judge myself a success. And that has all gone out the window.

I feel no responsibility for my current situation. I know nothing about brain tumours and have no authority to say what is the best course of action for me now. I'm in the hands of the experts and they are telling me what to do. (And they ARE experts, they are incredible). It is comforting and easy to let that happen. Even at home I've not been well enough to care much about what I eat and when, all major decisions are being made by other people and I've totally taken a step back on being responsible for anything. For myself.

This is new, temporary, but really nice. I think I have always felt the burden of responsibility a little too keenly, and this is actually quite refreshing.

I think this is also connected to the feeling of a journey, like I'm on a conveyor belt. People say I'm brave on a daily basis, and I can see what that they mean in a funny kind of way, but I feel like a complete fraud.

I have it brilliant here, I don't see how I could have it better - and I certainly don't feel brave, I just feel... unresponsible, like a passenger, I'm not making any choices to be anything. It's just all happening, it just is. Very zen.

After surgery I am expecting this to change, and I want to definitely get back to talking responsibility for my progress. Recovery progress as well as life progress. So the Buddhism thoughts aren't likely to last, there is no chance I'll just be happy with the current - ha! But for now, it's great.