Youchy. I am a little sore, yes. And I didn’t sleep well because my left side especially is quite tender. The Comfarol Forte I took did squat for making me drowsy (at 3 am, I was perfectly capable of operating heavy machinery), although it was fine for pain relief. I have four entry points, one in my belly button, and then three in a little white plaster smiley face across my abdomen. Some stitches. And some answers. It turns out that I have endometriosis. Huh. How about that? And that’s about all I can tell you for now, because while I apparently had a lively post-operative chat with Dr F in which (according to the theatre nurse) I peppered the man with questions, I have zero recollection of that. Like, none. Nope. Not even a faint shadow of memory. I called his surgery earlier to let them know this, and when his receptionist said, “Yeah, you’re sort of half there, half not there after a general,” I said “How about not there at all?”
It’s eerie and disconcerting knowing I yammered away while still totally off my trolley – awake, by all accounts, but not remotely returned from wherever I’d been. Odd stuff, anaesthetic. Oh, and I did mention my untimely awakening to the anaesthetist, and he nodded and said that for the procedure in question (colonoscopy), it was not uncommon because they use the general more to induce sedation and therefore I guess the levels are different. So there you go – he didn’t bat an eyelid. No such trouble this time – this time I was gone longer than I was out… wacky.
It was a long day. Llew and I made merry on Tuesday night because we live life like unsupervised children and saw the impending surgery as a good excuse for fun the night before, but of course then I didn’t sleep, lying awake going over and over just about every aspect of my life, including branching off into the lives of friends and family and their health and happiness. It was all happening in there. Cast of thousands. Llew woke up at some point and asked me what I was thinking about, and after I rattled off at least a dozen topics of current interest, he paused and said “Right. You really do have stuff on your mind.” How do you turn it off?? Maybe I need to investigate meditation. I’ve heard it’s helpful. Last night I turned my insomnia to good effect, coming up with at least half a dozen new scenes for manuscript #2, which is great because just quietly I’ve been feeling really stalled. That almost makes the sleeplessness worthwhile – or at least it might buy me some sleep stamps on those nights I may otherwise have been awake worrying about writer’s block. Ah, the tangled webs we dreamless weave.
Got to the hospital at 6:45 am and proceeded to wait for well over four hours. I’d been fasting since midnight and was NIL BY MOUTH this entire time, and as someone who drinks water camel-style and starts eating the moment I open my eyes, it was torture. I started feeling wildly off-base around about 10 o’clock. That’s when I started annoying Llew. And audibly swearing in the waiting room. Like, under my breath but still really volubly because I didn’t care who heard me. Not even all the uniformly elderly people we were sharing the room with. At that point they all just looked like obstacles to me. Obstacles in the way of my next meal. Worse, there were all these food ads on the endlessly droning TV for which there were no controls. And then cooking segments on the appalling morning programs. And trolleys groaning with food passing by en route to the recovery room next door. I started feeling pretty crazy, and I was reading the same page over and over and over in my book because T.S. was short on food in the scene I was reading, and so I became fixated by his predicament as well as my own.
Then Llew said, “Look up. This will cheer you up.”
And he was right.
Onscreen were two grown women wearing fleece tents with sleeves. One was bright blue in that highly-flammable fabric kind of way, and the other was deep maroon, ironically just like the blanket they throw over you as you’re being led from a towering inferno. Their heads looked like tiny little balls atop synthetic mountains. I cocked my head.
“Didn’t Homer wear one of those on a Simpsons episode?”
Llew started laughing. These things are called something like the ‘snuggler’ and they’re new to Australia from the home of the brave and criminally insane.
“Why would you wear one of those?” Llew wanted to know.
It was a good question for which there was no answer.
“Can you imagine shuffling around the house in…what is that thing? A blanket with a head hole and gospel sleeves? Or a blanket suit? How would you like to wear one of those to work during winter? I just can’t imagine the world in which wearing one of these would seem like a good idea. Why don’t they just turn the heater on?”
I loved these women for maintaining straight faces throughout their entirely ludicrous infomercial. I admired their comic level of composure, as though these snuggler blanket onesies were not the last word in stupidity, and as though being forced to don them for an extended sales pitch – with their immaculately groomed hair and make-up hovering just above the blanket line – was not one long exercise in ritual humiliation. It was awesome. Cheered me right up. I completely forgot about the lack of food and water the entire time they were on. Thanks, ladies. Thanks, snuggler.
Not long after that, I sent Llew to the driving range, and it was time for me to go under. The second they got me down to recovery, I ate a sandwich [five quarters – go figure], two packets of biscuits, two cups of tea, a bottle of ginger beer and a cheesy spinach scroll. My blood pressure and heartbeat post-op? Worryingly low. My blood pressure and heartbeat post face-stuffing? Totally normal.
Llew arrived soon after I got down there (bringing the scroll and ginger beer, in fact, because he knows my hungry crazies well), and had beautiful orchids waiting for me in the car. He was the supremo carer last night, too. And it was really, really nice to be home.
POSTSCRIPT: my friend J just sent me this link to an amusing Snuggie parody.