I had a hectic time at SF General Hospital today. I had to go here, there, and wait endlessly. Because they couldn’t get any confirmation that my heart had been checked lately, I almost had to reschedule the surgery. But it is still on, for Wed April 18 two days away. I’m ready. I am in my bald faced fact mode, characterized by my bald head. I got my hair cut off this afternoon after my chaotic hospital visit. I feel better bald. I feel younger, and tough. Able to endure. Even though for most people cataract surgery is no big deal, it is to me because I am more prone to have a retinal detachment and I am blind in my left eye. But I am not as freaked out as I was last Wednesday. I have come to accept that this is my decision, and it will go well. If not, I’ll deal with it. But I really think it will go extraordinarily well. I expect my vision to be much better. I expect to do much better at my job as a result, and enjoy life more as well. My eye feels tender from all the ‘pushing’ as they call it. I imagined my eye popping like a grape from the pressure. Nice. Why do I insist on making my doctor’s visits horror stories? I can imagine the stuff I will imagine during the operation. Probably that aliens are conducting a probe, and I will receive a nifty x-ray, infrared heat ray capability like Superman. Cool. Worth an hour of extreme discomfort? You betcha! When I had my truly horrific operation on my primary artery to the heart, implanting seven stints, I imagined I was on my bed at home, and my cat was there. I was having a nightmare, tossing and turning. That nightmare was a real life heart attack, albeit a mild one, which occurred during the operation. It hurt like bloody hell, that is considered a mild heart attack, because with a severe heart attack you usually don’t make it, or you are rendered unconscious. The body can only take so much pain before it shuts down. I got through that so I can get through this. I am a tough cookie, I tell myself. But there is a little boy inside that wishes it weren’t so scary and so real. Thankfully the adult is in charge.
I have always had a stoic side that accepts facts, as awful as they may be. I have a tough time accepting death, but I do. I understand tough situations and have lived through many. I prefer the facts, the bald faced facts to any well meaning consolation. I know better. I know it’s a gamble. This time the odds are in my favor, however. But life is uncertain. Underneath that uncertainty is a strange, seemingly irrational certainty that everything will ultimately be alright. I have no idea where that comes from. My parents? I don’t think so. I think it is a part of me that understands what my conscious mind does not. It reassures me. It has gotten me through some very tough times. Some things that I have read have referred to this aspect of the self as the ‘witness’, a part of yourself that calmly observes what is happening without becoming embedded in the event. Surgery is definitely not an event I would want to embed myself in, but afterward it is very important that I attend to every little nuance. Not to the point that I drive myself nuts with worry, but enough to notice when things go awry. I have designated the next two weeks as an awry-free zone. Only a smooth recovery is acceptable.
This upcoming surgery isn’t the only time I turn to the bald faced fact to get me through. I prefer the bald faced fact when I examine the most basic parts of life. In my relationships, at work and at play, I prefer the bald faced facts to any kind of pretension. You never need to sugar coat anything for me, unless we are talking about actual candy. The purpose of this blog is to express the bald faced fact. Sometimes that can be disturbing, or crass. Sometimes it is hilarious, at other times just annoying. So there will likely be a bit of a delay in my posts. If I feel up to it, I may do a bit of writing after my surgery. Of course, on Wednesday, I will be as blind as a bat and unable to blog. It was annoying this afternoon as I waited for my eye to return to normal after being dilated. You cannot read, or write. I get antsy. Wednesday is going to be the longest day of my life. Absolutely nothing to do, lying there with a patch over my one good eye. But that too will pass. Sunny skies ahead. No go tornado! Stay away from my head!