Sunday, May 12, 2013

10 years ago!

I couldn't let this anniversary pass without a mention!

I'm sure other people can make post-kidney surgery look good, but not me (BTW, if you saw an earlier version of this post, I hope you weren't too grossed out - I have now cropped out all the gory drainage tubes... blech).

Although there were many physical challenges with recovery (injured abdominal muscle and nerves is not the most fun thing), I also remember this time as being an important turning point. The start of a new personal era.

The 6 weeks recovery time was a gift. A gift of space and time to think about my direction and myself (my 'self'). Being helpless like that delivered some much needed perspective to my enormous ego.  I went through some crazy emotional stuff around being a patient, having people care for me (including some people I'd judged as "useless" in the past) and wondering why my previously reliable body had bailed on me so dramatically. I felt the sensation of living underneath a fat cloud that rained empathy for people with health issues, hammering me with the realisation that not everyone has brought these things on themselves. It struck me that what I really wanted to do is help, somehow, relieve the suffering in the world.

While recovering, I changed my course of study from linguistics to health psychology then took off to clear my head and solidify my lofty new goals with some therapeutic backpacking around Europe. Returning to NZ I walked into a job in the health industry, kept up my studies, eventually gained entry to postgrad nutrition and ... here we are.  Not quite there yet, but at least still heading in the right direction.

All because of a faulty kidney.  As the taoists say:

"Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Can Say?"

Of course, there is someone to thank for the success of the surgery and the impeccable, cool scar.  Cheers, Dr Mark, (now not just my knight in Armani*, but also an earthquake hero); as far as I know, your designer kidney still works.  Good Job!

*Mother's Day 2003, he did the hospital rounds in a very expensive suit. Every woman present either swooned into unconsciousness or was inspired to historical deeds.


  1. Not a fun thing to go through, but I get how a health or other personal crisis can be the catalyst for some really big, really good things in your life.

    It certainly beats descending into an orgy of self-pity and becoming one of those people who spend the rest of their lives blaming their bad luck for everything that makes them unhappy.

  2. Kek said it all so well! :) It really did sound like a tough event becoming a catalyst for awesome. you're a champ! :)

  3. Inspiring post. Dismembered pyeloplasty: hmmm...sounds serious. Interesting to read the story about the pocket knife and pain relief. A pal of mine anesthetised one trapped person for the female urologist's amputation. He had the full kit of anesthetic drugs on hand. He'd done similar in an Edinburgh bus crash and is very modest about the whole thing.


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