Last month I turned a year older….eeerrr younger!! There was no fancy dinner. I didn’t dress up for a party. I stayed home like the usual. But in my heart I was the happiest. I didn’t want any material affirmation for my birthday although the love of my life gave me a new Vellum bike frame. I already got what I wanted and that, for me, was the most important gift evaaahhhh!
You see, last July twenty I had a total thyroidectomy. The doctors had to take out my thyroids because the lump grew to a size that no meds could shrink it. I had a biopsy around May and the result was benign. But according to my doctors the recent study showed an increase in thyroid malignancy. Meaning even if it was benign, there was a chance it would grow malignant. I just had to do it.
So, I faked bravery and submitted myself to the hospital a night before the scheduled surgery. I watched a horror movie to calm myself down. I slept late and woke up around four in the morning to shower and wear my outfit for the day — a surgical gown. I waited for the nurse to fetch me. When it was time, scary thoughts came like the rise of the ocean tide. I prayed so fervently. I thought about my boys. The littlest of them all is Fin. He was only seventeen months old then. If he’d loose me, that’d break my heart in the after life. I thought about my clients and my deliverables. How will they know which hard drive I saved their photos? What about my dreams?
It was crazy. It took guts to be aware of my surrounding and speak with the student nurses who were assigned to me pre-op. I told them that I was a nurse too. So they needed to be careful about non verbal cues because I’d know. I listened to the hustle in that place. The white tiled operating room with huge over head lights that I wished were studio lights instead of lights that would make it easier for the surgeons to slice me open and take away a part of my body.
The anaesthesiologist came. He said, “Hi Shutterfairy!” My surgeon friend followed. He asked if I was ready! Who would be? How does one get ready? Then a gas mask was placed over my face. I was asked to breathe. It made my surrounding look like it went slow motion and I was sucked in by a tunnel. No matter how I tried to hold on to being conscious, my being just couldn’t grasp what was happening. I went to sleep. I guess that was how death tasted like. No matter how you want to be awake, you can do nothing about it but succumb.
I woke up in the recovery room four hours after. A nurse called my name and asked me where I was. What my procedure was. Who my surgeon was. I realised that my throat was so sore. I didn’t even sound like a frog when I spoke. I whispered all the time. I felt so tired I just wanted to sleep.
The surgery made me so vulnerable. The defenses I have slowly built all these years went down! My friends know me as that strong girl who goes after what she wants. That girl who likes to be in control of what’s happening in her life. But that trip to the hospital taught me a lot of things — to look closely at things/people that matter the most.
On my birthday, I rejoiced. My second biopsy came out benign. When people and situations get the best out of me, I go back to that time when all I had was hope. Hope that everything will be alright.
I went to a friends farm and played with some macros. Here are some photos. Have a lovely weekend.