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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm so glad I'm not stupid.

I have had so many experiences, extraordinary ones, that I sometimes forget some of them, even though they may be so incredible that for many people they would be THE topic of conversation, THE dinner party tale, for me some of them have slithered so far back in the realms of 'I'll think about that later' that I only remember them when something triggers a memory.
I have had surgery, major surgery twice, both operations have resulted in massive complications, abscesses, open wounds, gaping, weeping holes and so many minor surgeries that I forget the number.
When Sophie was born, immediately she was born, I was stricken with the most excruciating pain I have ever known. In fact it began when I had Jordan and I remember crawling on his bedroom floor, when he was a few weeks old, feeling sure that whatever this pain was, it was killing me. It was horrific. Under my right ribs, in between my shoulder blades and it came in waves, like contractions, without the sweet baby at the end. Eventually it was decided that it was a gall bladder full of stones and surgery was the answer.
Suddenly the pain went....completely, how bizarre! Actually I was pregnant with Sophie and for the whole pregnancy I didn't have that pain once, hoorah!
SO when she was born it slammed back without warning and it didn't give me a break, it was so bad! The doctor came out to my house every night and injected me with Morphine, sweet, sweet friend for 10 weeks.
I had the operation and came home, I went to have the stitches out 10 days later and we lived a miles or 3 from the Drs, the first one borrowed a car and dropped me at the Drs and said he would be back in 10 minutes. 2 hours later there was no sign of him so I tried ( and failed ) to walk home. A neighbour rescued me and took me home, the first one turned up another 2 hours later, seems the girlfriend I didn't know about yet was more important than me. Oh well.
I asked him if he would change the bedding for me, I had been in that bed for days and I hate stale bedding, I longed for fresh sheets and lovely clean pillowcases.
He said no.
So, I did it myself.
Now, when I had my gall bladder out there wasn't the option of keyhole surgery, I got me a 10 inch wound from my ribs in the right to the other side of my body. Ouch.
I changed the sheets, I changed the pillow cases and then I changed the duvet cover I picked it up to 'shake' the duvet down, I felt my insides 'pop' Uh oh.....the wound was closed and I climbed into bed, wept about how sad and uncared for the first one had made me feel and then I slept.
I woke at 10.30 that night and I felt ill, really really ill and when I looked at my poor wound, it was vivid red, swollen to the size of a grapefruit on the right side and it was very, very hot.
I called the first one and eventually he agreed to call the doctor even though it was a terrible inconvenience to him. ( shame)
The result was a very fast ambulance ride to the hospital and an operation, just after midnight, with NO anaesthetic. I had a nurse hold my feet, another one hold my shoulders and a doctor open the wound, scrape it out, pack it with 2 metres of gauze and someone stroking my face and telling me I was brave. I hummed really loudly as he did what he did because I truly felt that if I was quiet, I would die. Such was the pain and the fear.
I went home the next morning, with a hole that was 4 inches long and 10 cms deep ( how weird that it was inches long and cms deep! Funny the things that stick in your mind) It stayed open for 5 months, wept for 5 months and healed one week after I moved away from the first one and back to my family. Funny that.
In those months, the first one left, the boys were abducted, I moved house, gave Sophie to my mum for 5 months, got her back, cried more than any human being should ever cry and I learned a lot.
When Sophie was 3 or 4, I had a breast reduction, glorious wonderful reduction. Bye bye 38GG /HH boobs, hello little tiny ski slope bosoms, how I love you.
I came home from that operation and Dan came home, the kids had stayed with family and friends and Dan missed me, he was my shadow and always felt he should look after me so he came home so he could look after me, bless his heart, he was 8..what could he do?
My family all turned up, with friends and they brought a boob cake and drinks, they celebrated my beautiful new bazookers with me and all the while, I sat thinking how sick I felt, how hot and shaky and please go home people, I don't want a party!
Everyone went home, I put Dan to bed and I went to the I sat down my left boob exploded...quickly followed by the right one. Through the layers of padding and elastoplast came more ooze and pus and blood than a boob should ever admit to. Oh dear.
Back to the hospital I went, and this time, thankfully under anaesthesia, the wounds were reopened, packed and left open.
There followed days or having 2 mini surgeries everyday, I became really great at the whole morphine, gas and air and getting through that torture every day. I learned exactly when it was OK for the Dr to start cutting and scraping, the nurses would fight for the chance to assist because, apparently, I was better than a circus act, when I hit a certain point, where I had the gas and air just right and the morphine had kicked in, I would raise my hand ( the sign for Dr
Mc Scrapeitout to begin) and then, I am told, I would start laughing, a loud, infectious, belly rocking guffaw that would last as long as I had that mask in my grip and the mouthpiece in between my teeth. They could do what the liked and I laughed, they cut and poked, packed and irrigated and I would laugh.
All the Drs and every one of the nurses knew that I knew what I was doing, they waited for that hand in the air before they began and I almost looked forward to our twice daily drug induced raves.
One day, a week after the wounds had popped, I was told that the dressing would be changed by the registrar because the consultant was on his way and he wanted to see the wound, check it's progress.
When the time came, they pulled the curtains around the bed ( rather than wheel me to the treatment room) the registrar came and he gave me a shot of morphine....I told him that I needed 10 minutes for that to start working, he said we didn't have 10 minutes. The nurse brought the canister of gas and air and explained that I was a pro, that all he had to do was watch my hand, when I lifted it, he could begin and all would be well, in fact I even heard her say " you'll enjoy it..she is extremely funny, it's the highlight of our day"
He replied that HE was the expert and HE knew what he was doing and didn't need anyone to show him how to do it, or tell him when to do it. I heard all this because the silver film hadn't descended yet, I was still very awake, I was breathing and gulping and was round about the stage where I felt sick and was totally aware of what was happening but not able to make any sense.
And then he began.
Dear Lord and that was what I prayed for 40 minutes, while I gasped for breath, trying to gulp enough of that magical gas to take this pain away. I SCREAMED at the top of my lungs...and I am told what came out was a pathetic whimper and the occasional " oh dear God" I felt sure I was kicking out and trying to punch that sadistic barsteward. I felt every single second of red hot agony as he stuck scalpels in my poor wounds, the terror was indescribable and it seemed as though it would never end. Suddenly, just as the pain was so intense I prayed to die, I was somewhere else. I was at the beach and it was so peaceful, I rode waves, I went out on the wave and came back on the wave, I took such deep breaths of cool air and I was so relieve to be away from that pain but what was that noise? Who IS that screaming? Who is shattering this blissful silence...someone shut her UP!
It was over, at last, someone took the mouthpiece away and whispered ( I am so sorry, he wouldn't listen) I came out of the fog to see that smarmy faced git of a man, I grabbed his arm and hissed with every ounce of menace I could manage " you hurt ever touch me again and I will hurt you back...don't you ever come near me again!"
When the curtains opened I saw the other 3 women in my little room of 4 beds, wiping tears away and taking deep breaths. They said they could hear my pathetic whimpers and hear that man telling me to be quiet and let him get on with his work. I told them I had been screaming and swearing at him, that I thought I Was punching him and kicking him, the nurse said I hadn't moved but the whimpering was heart rending and everyone knew that he was hurting because he had literally ripped the wound open with his hands and dug around with his fingers and then the scalpel.
It is his luck I suppose that everything that was going on at the time took precedence over suing his mean self for everything I could take. I was so beaten down by the first one at the time, who had spent 3 years by this time telling me I deserved everything I got and was wasting my time because no amount of surgery was ever going to make me worth looking at...I was rotten to the core, how's a bit of plastic surgery going to help that? I believed him then and the fact that everything had gone so horribly wrong proved it..didn't it?
Of all the things I have learned in my life, learning that he is a stupid, nothing of a man who will die stupid, is the best thing ever.
I learned, though it took me years, that he is so insignificant as to not make a mark on anything or anyone no matter how he tries, everything he does fizzles out, everything he tries leaves him feeling dissatisfied. He has 4 children and none of them have an ounce of respect for him. He still has nothing, still enjoys the fruits of other's labours, is still searching frantically for what I have had all along.
I learned all that one night, I woke up, who knows why and one thing after another came back to me, every mean thing he ever did, every twisted thing he ever said I remembered and after every recollection, I puked the misery away. All those things I had listened to, believed, felt, cried over came back in that one night and I have never vomited so much in one day in my life....and when I was done. I was done.
I woke up the next day feeling the way I do now. With a complete and utter surety that it is HE who has the problems and that everything he had done and said was an effort to make himself feel better, bigger, more important.
How sad that there are people in this life that never learn that the only way to feel good, is to BE good, the only way to feel important is to do important things, the only way to be truly happy is to make others happy, to love and serve each other. Do unto others etc etc.
I am so glad I'm not stupid.

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Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

Every time I learn something new about you I am utterly astounded at your patience, your outlook and your strength. I am sitting here bawling wondering how I ever, EVER was blessed enough to earn your friendship. I love you, Helen, and if I were there with you, I'd be hugging & kissing you like mad.

9:25 pm  
Blogger sarah said...

you are definitaly not stupid.You are patient,kind and worthy of all the love and blessings you recieve. I am glad you blog. When i learn something new about you I see the strength you carry with you. You are an amazing woman. thankyou for letting me read :)

10:02 pm  
Blogger sarah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:02 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

one of the very smartest people I know in fact!

4:02 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

I read it and felt the phantom pains you where feeling. You are such an amazingly strong person!

Your core is pure, sweet, strong, giving and important so no matter what the first one said, you proved him wrong because of what your core is!

I love you!

2:31 am  
Blogger Jenn said...

I love you Helen. You are funny and smart and have such a quiet grace about you, that surrounds a pillar of strength. I am so grateful to have you as a friend.


1:40 am  

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