This last week managed to finagle me of one of my most basic rights, being me. The surgeon unfortunately removed more than just the degenerated discs in my spine. The surgery consumed my personality, my energy, my ability to converse and even my capacity to engage. Until today, I was not a human. My body was a bruised and painful shell that had lost its core. I was empty. My parents would spend hours sitting by my bed, with no guarantee that I would recollect any of it. During these endless days of nothingness I lived between my symptoms of pain, nausea, muscle spasms, weakness, fainting. The simplest routine that defines every human’s life is eating and going to the toilet and yet even of this I was dispossessed. Tubes of blood, saline, morphine etc. completed these tasks, as I lay discombobulated, fearing the next symptom I would have to endure.
Today is the first day I have had the faintest ability to think. Still weak, still tired, still relatively immobile but I have regained my mind. I was strong enough to write this probably dire, grammatically appalling and completely incomprehensible post. I was strong enough to see my aunt, uncle and brother. I was also, most impressively, strong enough to stand up and sit for fifteen minutes in the chair next to my bed. These are small achievements on what will be a very slow and arduous journey, but perhaps I am at least at the base camp of this journey. The emotions of the previous days caught up with me, and the lyrics to the Leonard Cohen’s magnificent song “So Long, Marianne” kept replaying in my head,
“Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began
To laugh and cry and laugh about it all again”
I have not yet reached the stage where I can laugh about it but today I have certainly cried and cried and cried about it all again.