It may get hairy…


I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this post. There is so much I want to say, so much I shouldn’t say and so much that could spark a riot. I wrote this long, condemning post yesterday, which amounted to merely puking out all my thoughts and would’ve frightened even the hardiest reader away – hence, it has been deleted. So, hopefully this summary will achieve my goals and not frighten away my Constant Readers (stolen from S. King).

The Low Down:

My mum had brain surgery twelve days ago. Prior to surgery, she had the highest pain the world (on average, there is a 70% suicide rate in Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers), which after surgery revealed itself to be double what other sufferers feel. Instead of merely a blood vessel touching a nerve in her brain, it was a blood vessel and an artery. The surgery was unbelievably successful. Instead of being a 5 hour operation, as expected, it was 3.5hours. My mum’s recovery has been remarkable. Twelves days later, she’s walking and talking. She gets dizzy, nauseous and gets severe headaches (akin to a migraine) when she does too much and often can’t stay awake more than two hours, but this is all par for the course. Doctors have told her that with brain surgery, Day 10 is the equivalent of only Day 2 after a Tonsillectomy. It takes awhile, but Mum’s doing better than most and with her hair down, you can’t even see the scar.

However, it’s brain surgery, it’s a mother-f*cking big deal.

*Which is why I fail to understand the total lack of common sense that people have adopted after and during the operation.

Side note, before I get all fumey and mad: Some people, mostly totally unexpected, have been amazing. My mum’s biokinetist has lent his support, her best friends, people she’s met briefly at organisation meetings actually came to visit her in hospital. A close friend of my mum’s and her daughter, who I barely knew before this, have been incredibly supportive and understanding. My best friends. My best friend’s fiancé. Family friends who understood enough to lend their care and support, without expecting anything or smothering my mother or my father and I. The support has been incredible and, for the most part, unexpected.

**Which brings me back to my vent: a lot of the support that was expected, failed to show up. In fact, in some cases, severely hindered my mother’s recuperation…and my sanity. We have had some wonderful cases. Starting weeks before my mother went in, with messages from her friends telling me that they didn’t know how they would cope if something went wrong and she didn’t survive. People, who are merely friends, expecting me, the daughter, to provide them with comfort. Here I was, merely completing task, by task. Trying my hardest not to think about what’s coming. Blocking it out almost entirely and SUCCEEDING, until I receive messages like this, which left me crumbling two days before Mum went in. A close friend of mine recently lost her mother and I was astounded when she told me that people who weren’t family, expected her to comfort them. I’ve now seen this first hand, albeit on a much less extreme basis.

Before I bore the hell out of you, I’ll sum it up. We’ve had people who’ve expected us to run errands for them, so they could visit my mother. One particular fool is still lucky to be alive, after hurting my mother and nearly setting her back, with too much physical affection…in the Neurosurgical ward. Seriously? What fucking planet do you live on? You don’t hurt someone fresh out of brain surgery, and…when they tell you it hurts, you STOP! For the most part, people just haven’t thought and weren’t malicious. We’ve had one person start a fight the day my mum went into hospital, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve been called a nag for fussing, but you watch your mother puke (okay, I didn’t actually see that, but they told me) after taking her first steps, or see her in pain and so nauseous she can’t sleep (regardless how tired and weak she felt) after having a few visitors – you’d be a nag too.

So, after all this, my father and I learnt something in what was probably the most terrifying moment of our lives (waiting for 3.5hours in the Neurosurgical waiting room, whilst my mum had her skull drilled open and her brain fiddled with):

Sometimes, it’s okay for it to be about you. Sometimes, it’s about you and your family and no one else matters.

This was and still is (until the day she is fully recovered) about Mum. Now that she’s recuperating, we can allow ourselves to feel the anger we have towards these people for imposing their silly nonsense on our lives. After all, it was the most difficult moment of our lives. So now, it’s alright for it to be about us just a little and about Mum a lot.

So, with this in mind, we have started a new religion. A new way to dealing with problems and people:

Fuck ’em!

*Apologies for starting with a conjunction – Poetic License.

**As above

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Comments on: "A new religion: F*ck ’em!" (6)

  1. Jacqui said:

    I hear you. When my daughter died and I had horrific injuries I too expended far too much physical and emotional energy comforting other people ( including other non immediate family members). I would phone needing comfort and end up hearing them sobbing about how devastated THEY were!!! I was forced to assure them that I was fine and they should not upset themselves on my behalf. In the end I became more and more isolated and had to pay someone (read shrink) to actually put me first!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter, Jacqui. It’s scary that people can be so self-centered in situations that horrific. I was watching a program yesterday on how friends respond to a crisis in their friends’ lives, and how some ‘implode.’ I think it takes only a modicum of common sense to realise that at times like those, you don’t implode. It just makes things worse for your friend. How can someone break down when talking to a person who has recently lost a child? That makes no sense to me. Utterly inconsiderate.

    It’s horrible that at the worst times, you find out who your friends really are.

  3. […] decided to tick me off exponentially.  So much so that I was shaking. In an effort to remember the ‘F*ck ‘em!’ post, I tried to calm myself down. Naturally, that did nothing. So out comes the vodka. After two […]

  4. Thank you so much for your post. I have a friend going in for surgery this morning and am encouraged by your Mom’s progress. Hoping that my friend’s surgery is as successful. It is such a horrible condition to have. Also, I am sorry people are being stupid and self centered. You do what you have to do. If they dont like it, well….you get where I am going.

    Best of luck to you and your Mom. Thanks again for the post.

    • Hi Liz,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I wish your friend all the best. Mum’s surgery did go well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t 100% successful, but she had special circumstances (touching in two places instead of one – a vein and an artery, which is highly unusual).

      She has had respite from the most severe pain though and is currently experiencing next to nothing due to tablets she’s on, plus the result of the surgery. I’m sure your friend will come out of the surgery 100% pain free, as 85% of people do. It’s supposed to be the best solution you can get, so I’m positive your friend will be fine.

      A good side note to add is that, although there was some pain recurrence, there were absolutely no side affects from the surgery. Apart from the partially shaved hair, which they did so well (they shaved the hair in a way that the shaved part didn’t show) and a total lack of energy for a few weeks, as expected, she is fine.

      It is a terrible condition, but if your friend is lucky enough to be within the majority, she’ll come out of this op with no pain whatsoever. Everyone else who had the op that I know has recovered from TN completely.

      Good luck to you both and wishing you all the best.

    • Hi Liz,

      Just a quick reply to see how your friend is doing? I hope the surgery went well. My mum has started new drugs, actually a form of tranquillizer that calms the nerve. It’s working wonders. She has no pain at the moment.

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