I like to think of life as a series of battles. There’s the battle to support your beliefs. The battle to be the person you want to be. The battle to live the life you want to live. Sometimes even the battle against yourself. And I like it that way. Life would be pretty boring if we got everything we wished for without lifting a finger, without putting all our passion and sweat into it, wouldn’t it? Those are good fights because they lead to something, they make us a better person. But then there are the bad fights that just wait for us behind a corner on a bright, sunny day and when they attack, the sky suddenly turns cloudy and the temperature drops. We don’t need these kind of battles. They’re unnecessary, yet they are there and they need to be faced.
I entered into such a battle 8 months ago when I was diagnosed with a minor condition that however required at least 2 surgeries. Of course, it didn’t come as a total surprise to me. I had been putting off the visit to the doctor for quite a while which is kind of typical for people working in the healthcare industry, I guess. And maybe I should have just been relieved that my condition was in no way life-threatening, that I was lucky that it could be fixed with just 2 surgeries. But then again, who gets excited about the prospect of hospitals, pain and the likes? I didn’t. I hate hospitals. I can always feel the presence of death around and it scares me a little. Yet, when I checked in for surgery number one I turned on my battle mode. I didn’t really know what was awaiting me after. I knew the theory, but when reality hit, it hit hard. The first week was horrible. I believe that I can take a fair amount of pain and I am no whiner, but it did hurt as hell. And the fact that my wound was in a spot where it had to be touched and cleaned all the time didn’t help that much. I was grumpy (sorry, Mum!) and the fact that I couldn’t jump right back into life didn’t help much either. I’m the queen of self-annoyance when I have to be ;).
But after a week the pain got less, after 6 weeks I had my life back like nothing had happened before, it seemed. Yet, I had changed. I think that was exactly the time when I started to rethink my life. That (and my 29th birthday) was the trigger that started that weird journey of finding myself and my purpose in life I’m somehow trying to document here in this blog. I probably would have gotten there anyway, sooner or later. But hey, all the pain and crap I endured must have been good for something, right? Plus, I found that singing actually makes for a good pain killer. Something else that’s become a passion over the last couple of months.
Anyway, the battle wasn’t over yet. Just before Christmas I learned that surgery number 2 which was scheduled for January wouldn’t be the last. Bummer! But I was acting like a big girl. I swallowed the tears and entered the OR for round 2. I expected the worst, but guess what: it wasn’t as bad as the first time. Maybe they had already damaged all the nerves, maybe it was just because I knew now what I had to expect. Who knows. All I know is that I was stronger that time. It was easier to take the pain and all the precautions I had to take. Because I knew I could do it. Then came surgery number 3 last week which was supposed to be different from the first 2. That’s all I knew. So the day before I had to go to the hospital to learn what exactly the doctors wanted to do with me, I found myself at a really low point. I felt like someone had put a rope around my chest and was pulling on it as hard as possible. I was in panic! And people who know me well know that this never ever happens to me. I’m not a panicky kind of person. But the panic went away after my talk with the surgeon and when I went to the hospital for the final battle I was calm. I handed my life into the hands of the doctors and they did a great job. Surprisingly, I was in almost no pain at all this time – apart from the pain the constant chatting of my ‘room mates’ gave my ears ;).
When I left the hospital on Tuesday after 5 annoyingly boring days that involved horrible liquid food for the most part of my stay, I could feel tears coming up in my eyes. I had been waiting for this day for 8 freaking months! So much has happened during that time. I feel I’ve grown in many ways, connected to this experience and not. But I guess it all comes down to me trying to enjoy life more than I did before. I want everyday to be a step closer to what I want my life to be like. And even if life throws rocks on my path, I will find a way to remove them and continue. So yeah, I do love a good fight. Because that feeling you get when you’ve won is just unbeatable.
I know that this post probably sounds more dramatic than it all was. I like a good drama, so sorry for being all Shonda Rhimes today. I know that there are people out there fighting far worse fights than I will ever have to face in my entire life, disease-related or not. What I want them to know is that I believe in them and their ability to win these battles. Just switch on that battle mode and beat the hell out of whatever is blocking your way. There’s no other choice!