With less than a week to go I am trying my best, but finding it increasingly difficult to hold it together. I wonder if this is what death row inmates feel like. This counting down the days, hours and at some point probably minutes bares resemblance to waiting for an execution. What must these inmates be thinking about? Do they think about their situation at all? Are they indifferent to it? Is it treading the fine line between sanity, numbness and despair? Yes this is a drastic comparison though I don’t know quite how to get into the ‘third time lucky‘ thinking. I know what awaits me and that’s the trouble. I know I am not going to an execution, I am just having my throat slashed – thankfully in very controlled conditions. And I am in good faith that the surgeon will avoid my carotis.
It’s interesting how people prefer dealing with it. I met up with a fellow ISS-buddy again today, who seems to be becoming somewhat of a friend. She had had her reconstruction done in July (where I paid a visit) and was in hospital for her follow up. And as I had a day off we took the opportunity to meet up and chat. Well, whisper that is. We must have been some sight to passers-by, constantly leaning into one another and just whispering. She told me how frustrated she was not being able to use her voice at the moment and I am not sure if I was any comfort, but I can understand to the fullest how she feels. My voice has been husky and damaged for nearly 10 years now due to this.
She said something interesting to me, namely that she would have preferred knowing exactly how horrific this whole procedure was going to be. That it would have made things easier for her. Funny, that is exactly what is making this so hard for me. I have said this many times, because I know what is coming I am so terribly scared of it. Thinking of that initial waking up after surgery, with that trach in place, it brings tears to my eyes. I can just about compose myself and it is getting more difficult with every single time. Being in public helps somewhat. But alone, where I can let my emotions run freely without feeling embarrassed…. I have had the odd very tearful night recently.
I can’t even say why exactly it scares me. It’s not painful nor is it this huge lump of equipment hooked up to you. It is a simple plastic tubing extending into the thrachea allowing you to breath. Nothing more. But it is such a different way to breath. Without it, you can clear your throat if you have to. With it, it is more challenging to do that. I guess a big issue is this ‘near choking/suffocating’ experience when I had it last time. I can’t shake those memories no matter how hard I try.
Thankfully work is proving to be a major distraction. And it helps speaking with co-sufferers and friends. As co-sufferers we share our experiences and friends, well all I can say is, a hug feels good. And I have been lucky enough to get plenty of those recently. But still, the anguish remains if yet somewhat less in those moments.
I went shopping two weekends ago, buying some cozy things for my stay in this 5-star all-inclusive luxury joint. I have heard that it was best to stay in hospital gowns but in all honesty, it is going to be shit enough, I at least want to try and feel half-way human. Would you believe, it was the first shopping spree I did not enjoy and that is saying something. But I guess that is only natural? Sighing deeply my last thoughts for today are these: Just over four days…… and counting.