Don’t Panic! The answer is 42

I look around me, but it still doesn’t make any sense. I am ok. Am I ok?
So far so good, don’t count your chickens we’ve done what we can. This man, this amazing educated man stood with a tiny wire and guided it through my arterial system like a galaxy discoverer for 6 hours and saved my life. The word Thank You is redundant and not significant enough for this amazing human being. The nursing staff adore him, he is polite, a gentleman and very nice. I do not detect a single trace of arrogance or elitism. This calm, serious man conjures a confidence in those around him. I am told by several female nurses and a doc they want to marry him. It appears he holds hero status amongst his peers and he is just SO NICE.

Everything still feels dream like, as though i haven’t quite woken from the General Anaesthesia, and am floating and watching everyone. All my faculties are firing so I don’t believe there is any damage, but something definitely feels different, some how. But how? How so?

Its 5.00 am and I have woken up with shocking back pain, the third night in a row. Waves of muscle spasm keep waking me and whilst I’m waiting for the pain meds to kick in I shall type for a bit. My brain hurts. My skin feels hospital greasy, why is that? Why does ones skin feel so revolting in hospital? I look like a punch drunk boxer, all swollen and puffy, yellowy skin and bad hair. I was laughing with my girlfriends yesterday about this hair of mine, I am going for the Bohemian loosely pinned looked however i have managed to be a conduit for the spirit of Kramer after sticking his finger in an electricity socket.

My husband keeps pinching me. Yesterday he pinched the tip of my nose (mean feat, have you seen the size of my snozz?- when God was giving out —-dorsum nasi——– I was being a greedy one. Then he pinched my arm gently,
“Why are you pinching me? Cut it out!”
“To see if you are real” was his reply.

The night before the surgery was wonderful. Surrounded by my amazing football team family, aunts, uncles, brothers, sister, parents , besties…a crazy dinner and silly goings-on that had me tired and smiling.

The morning of the surgery was calm and quiet. After saying goodbye to ‘Blue eyes’, the surgery prepping work was done I had about 25 minutes by myself lying on a gurney waiting. I can truthfully tell you it was the longest 25 minutes of my life. The Big Bang Boys would have my ear, the quantum dynamics of time space and momentum variable theory were playing havoc with my sensory input, in other words according to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle I was 2 steps off shitting my pants. It was fight or flight in its most beautiful abundance. I wondered as I lay there if this is what cavemen felt like with a Tyrannosaurus Rex breathing down their back. This is not something you feel everyday. Mortality. I am either going to wake up or I am not going to wake up. If I do wake up there are all of these things they have told me could very well be wrong and damaged. In 20 minutes I might just be going to sleep forever or waking up not knowing who I am or being able to walk again or feed myself. So my friends you could understand my reluctance to a) close my eyes b) relax c) allow anyone to do anything to me other than let me the hell off that gurney and give me a set of car keys. Facing your own mortality, knowing nothing after that injection goes in your arm as you count backwards what the (*(^)(*&&%## is going to happen is totally life stuttering, mind blowing, frightening stuff. So what did i do? I did the only thing I could do, I prayed. I thought of all the beautiful humans out there praying for me, I thought of it being like a big net lifting me up. I begged God to fill my heart with calm and peace. And it happened. I still fought the anaesthetic but I drifted off calmly. Theres a little more to that bit, but I am not yet brave enough to discuss that here, maybe next week?

I woke up in recovery with nurses in their blue surg gear singing songs from Ferris Bueller (best movie ever) to which i started laughing, that was my first baby step in consciousness that hinted to me that I was ok. I looked at this gorgeous nurse (they seriously all look angelic ) and asked her what time it was.

I had gone in at 7.00am. “Its 4.00pm” she replied. My response? “OH! SHIT!” which got her laughing. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I’ve done it again, has anyone rung my family to let them know I am ok?” You see the last surgery was meant to be 3 hours and I made my family wait a yucky 7 hours under the knife whilst none of them knew what was going on. It was very torturous for them. This op was only meant to be an hour and a half. I had indeed done it again…
She grabbed a phone, “Would you like to call him?” and winked at me.
Well, I cant tell you how much that made me smile. Would i like to call him? And she pulled out her mobile phone and entered his number, putting it to my ear. This was attractive to every cheeky part of my being, that would take the cake and he would know for sure I was ok.

This doctor had to gently thread a microscopic wire up via my femoral arteries through up into my inner central brain, the aneurysm had distorted the carotid artery so much so he didn’t have a nice round “pipe” to get through, it was like bumpy pea soup. One slight bump either way, a puncture or scrape and I would be most likely dead or wishing I was dead (their words not mine). The Flow Diverter wouldn’t stay in place, attempted coiling went haywire (misbehaving) so that didn’t work, and I lost a lot of blood.
So my family are waiting for what they believe to be tops 2 hours in surgery.
6 hours later….I had worn this poor man out and everything went haywire and wrong. But the absolute genius and skill of this Dr had me alive, well and he has saved my life. The Alfred Hospital and Dr. Madan saved my life and have given three kids their mum for Christmas. Powerful stuff.

Even though I was still fuzzy from the Anaesthetic, as I was laying on my back (I had to lay flat on my back for 24 hours) with the phone to my ear I could hear the joy in ‘Blue eye’s voice and disbelief that it was me on the other end of the line. His laughter and the joy in my ear that moment was magic. I had caused so much non intentional pain for my loved ones, and in that minute I was relieving the torture with a cheeky gesture.

I am told afterward that as I spoke to him over the phone; he was surrounded with all our peeps, and when my brother and sister saw the grinning expression on his face they said “Its Kirst on the phone” and everyone looked at them like they were silly. “Its the doctor, it cant be her?” Their response was that he had his “Kirst -face and voice on.” “He only talks like that and looks like that with HER.” When I was told this afterwards it shocked me, I didn’t know my husband had a “voice” just for me and it delighted me with no end in sight. I do believe I will hold this story to my chest for the rest of my days. Very soppy and heart filling.

So I woke up and there’s not a SINGLE thing wrong with me, other than the stuff that was already wrong with me, like the freaky eccentric nature etc. They can do miracles but have not yet discovered how to change a concave polygon. Hmph.

I got a bit sick afterwards and ended up in hospital again, Ive got horrendous vertigo, migraine and I cant see properly out of my good eye for some weird reason. Ive got two thighs full of magic gel and clips in my legs. The physical pain is almost as bad as last time which surprised me. When it comes to physical pain, what are you like? Me, I am VERBAL. So when I am in a copious amount of pain it sounds like a constipated cat or a koala on heat. If you have ever heard those noises before you will know they are unusual and unforgettable. Then I do this really weird thing where I feel guilty because I am alive, i have all my bits in place and my hair, my vision so “Don’t whinge Kirsten Elizabeth, have a cup of concrete and harden up” which results in me swallowing up the verbal pain emissions, a sound reminiscent of a constipated cat being ejected at high speed into the atmosphere, cranky.

And I have been a bit cranky over the weekend, much to the bemusement of my loved ones. Apparently my flavour of cranky is cute and unimpressive. hmmm. This makes me doubly cranky. They actually laugh at me apologising for the laughter. I am not good at cross. A mild snarl and I am apologising profusely to the lamppost I just bumped into. Has anyone ever told you that you’re cute when you are angry? Its not Joan of Arc stuff I can tell you.

Today is a good day. The pain has lessened a little. I’ve got 6 weeks of rest ahead of me, which is where the cranky comes from, I am not good at rest. I am a do-er not a rester, so this will be interesting…Now I wait for the marvel of this little metal jigger to do its job and redirect the flow of blood without blocking anything or doing any damage. I will have the all clear in about a year, I am banking on 6 months. In the mean time I cant do anything crazy I am told. There goes the reverse backward dive en-bungee in my birthday suit idea… (sorry you knew that line was coming and I couldn’t resist the cliche).
I am alive, I am alive and I am alive. I am not blind, I can walk, I remember where I live, how old I am (26 thank you) and I still love chocolate. All is well.
xx Kirst
PS- to Uncle Kel, I remembered the word- compelling
PPS- To Matt who told me I looked like a supermodel when I didn’t- love u bro from another mo
PPPS- To the two girlfriends who stalked the 2 East ward all hours of the night for 3 days sneaking in and defying my father, my husband and medical staff- I LOVE YOU, this is why we have girlfriends people!!!!
PPPPS_ Dear Dumbledore- thank you I knew you had me covered x

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