Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 9th October

Today’s the day I start feeling like a fraud. My kids have set up such a lovely ‘recovery corner’ for me in the lounge – with, literally, everything to hand. Here I sit, (at least, lounge), everything basically within arm’s reach – and I find myself thinking, Why am I contemplating lounging around all day?”

Okay, I came out of hospital yesterday and I did have quite a big op – and I can’t exactly go and run a marathon or play a game of polo, but I’m also not exactly ill. I’m a bit sore and can’t move quite as I may want to , but everything else seems to be okay.

It’s a funny thing, pain. When we have it, we feel incapable and even incapacitated at times. When we are in a position in which it’s not so obvious, we can feel quite fine and even ignore it.

Most of the time, I don’t feel pain, but a kind of taughtness. Then I move and it’s quite a reminder of where I’ve just been 🙂

Then there’s my ‘handbag’ – the drain that is still emptying who-knows-what (I certainly don’t want to) from inside me. It’s a round, concertina-type container that is attached to me via a longish tube. Paul and David reckon they should come with a clip, or handle, or something. I must say, I agree. I’ve already forgotten about it a couple of times, only to have something kind of snag, or fall when I get up. Right now I’m wearing a dressing gown, which has a pocket and that makes carrying around the ‘bag’ a little easier.

It’s funny how the end of something can be the beginning, or the continuation of something else. All the angst over the operation is, obviously, over. I’m no longer in hospital, so even that worry is gone.

And, yet, in some ways, that makes it worse.

Now that the immediate ‘threat’ is over, the pent-up emotion of the last 3 / 4 days can be allowed to run riot, causing upset and distress. To watch such a reaction – to see someone who loves me suffering because of something that has happened to me, is still one of the hardest things to bear.

And to know I can’t make it completely better – to know, also,  that the emotions associated with this journey are not over by a long chalk – that is what makes it hard.

I am in this, every step of the way.  I have no choice. But, so are those around me. And I wish, fervently, that they did not have that burden to bear.

I wish I could spare them from it.

The only thing I can do is to make sure that every step I take is positive, so that I can spare them at least something.



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