I’m currently sat in the pyjamas I’ve been wearing for 24 hours, smelling of sweat and blood with every pore crying out for a shower, hunched over like an old crone, with the distended belly of a woman significantly more pregnant than myself. (Not that I’m pregnant at all, don’t panic.)
I had my first foray into the world of surgery yesterday. Nothing especially major, but tell that to my whole body now. It feels a like a very small expert in the art of escaping prisons has been inserted into my tummy just for the challenge of sawing his way back out.
I rather foolishly hadn’t been too concerned about the pain beforehand. I’d accepted it as an evil but unavoidable aspect of something which in the long run would be good for me. I was worried about being scared, worried about waking up in a pool of my own blood, and worried about ending up with unsymmetrical scars. (Most distressed about the reality of the latter – hello control freak.)
But what really concerned me was the potential to make an absolute idiot of myself at some stage during the cocktail of anaesthetic, morphine, fentanyl, paracetamol, and god knows what else they gave me. And, as I stood throwing up into a hospital sink with my bum hanging out for all to see, it occurred to me that I was wrong to be concerned. While I struggled to pull my clothes over my spectacularly speckled red, yellow, and purple body, it didn’t particularly bother me who was looking. And as I finally dragged one foot after the other out of the joint, more than twelve hours after being admitted, wearing a woolly bobble hat, giant stripy scarf, fluffy dressing gown, ill-fitting trackies and sheep slippers several sizes too big for me, I discovered that when you feel truly crappy your ability to register humiliation vanishes entirely.
There was something almost cleansing about the whole experience, like it had been a baptism of blood and fire (literally) and I emerged innocent and naked but for a paper hospital gown, and pure albeit pumped full of opiates.
So as well as having the ol’ endometriosis fixed, my visit to hospital also cured me of all vanity and ego. Three for the price of one! And I’d quite like to remember how zero vanity feels, because apart from anything else the amount of time I saved in the morning by not doing my hair, putting on makeup, and finding a nice outfit was absolutely extraordinary.
So to summarise, next time I’m being precious about the antics of my fringe (I swear it has a will of its own), just punch me in the stomach and I promise I’ll stop caring.