Monday, May 07, 2007

Just as I was about to go and repeat myself at length I remembered that I'd already put up a brief description of my kidney op in the FAQ of my old BFL site. What I haven't mentioned there is that this was a very challenging time of my life, in fact terrifying. At my first specialist appointment the doctor used the word 'tumor' and I spent the weeks between consultation and eventual diagnosis in deep consideration of everything I had not yet achieved in life. When I found out that I was not going to die, but did still need drastic surgery, it was actually a relief and I didn't even fuss too much about having to postpone my flight to England at the very nth hour.

I was in the 5th week of a BFL challenge and the night before surgery I did an UBW and determined that I would be back to full fitness by the end of 2003. Kidney surgery is not fun. Kidneys are a vital organ and they are very sensitive to being knocked or squashed. Mine was cut open and refashioned. It hurt a lot and I was seriously unhappy when they took away my self-administered pethedine drip. Maybe I'd grown too fond of it. I woke up after the op with a little button strapped into my hand and my surgeon told me to just press it if the pain was getting too much. Whenever I hit the knob a buzzer would sound in the hallway so that my nurse would know what I was up to. The hallucinations may or may not have been indicative of my subconscious state at the time. I remember one where I was.. in a desert (as in, an open, hot sandy place - just in case some who know me well might have thought I made a spelling mistake there), and was talking to a teddy bear and he was standing with his bottom half in a santa sock - you know, the red sort of xmas sock. .. I'm sure someone can decipher that one for me.

The highlight of the whole experience had to be Dr Mark. Dr Mark could have stepped right out of any medical drama. Think George Clooney in ER. He is gorgeous, funny and would swoop into my room every day with his entourage of swooning interns and usually he was wearing a very, very expensive suit. Once he came in his green operating gear - perhaps it was a busy day... or he was trying to impress me. Not only that, but he just knew exactly what to say. As I was waking up, he was saying "helloo Sara, guess what, you just lost a kg" (that was fluid he drained out of the swollen kidney). He also made a very big deal about his handiwork, explaining in depth how he planned to make the neatest scar ever constructed by a surgeons hands. I later found out that he is also one of the foremost gender re-assignment surgeons in the Southern Hemisphere. Of COURSE he would know how to make things look good!

What I hadn't really expected was the effect that the surgery would have on me psychologically. Without even thinking twice I can say that I'm glad that I had the experience. I wish there had been another way to get a new perspective and discover my inner strength, not to mention 'gratitude for life' (it sounds a bit woo woo to say it.. you know what I mean?), but surgery and weeks of immobility works just fine. And I DID get my fitness back by the end of the year, in fact that was the year I won my Body for Life challenge. :)

1 comment:

  1. At least your narcotic-induced hallucinations were funny-weird. Mine were just creepy-weird, scared the crap out of me in fact. So much so that I made them take away the little morphine pump thingy, as I decided that the pain was preferable to the nightmares. (Who lets a drugged post-surgery patient make those kind of decisions?)

    Anyway, I'm glad you lived to tell the tale... the world is a better place and all that...



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