Hopefully this will be a short one after last week’s long technical, medical, science-y blog.
It struck me after I published last week’s blog that, writing that blog and doing that research, was the first time EVER that I had looked into my CHD….. And that, if you think about it, is pretty strange….
I think I’ve said in several blog posts that I’ve never really ‘engaged’ with my CHD, more often than not it was a pain in the arse to share, to think about it fully, to open myself up to a dialogue with it. It was the late 80/90’s I was too busy running around, going to parties, getting drunk, sharing spliffs, dancing madly to obscure 70’s music (remember GONG anyone??), having sex, throwing up (possibly all at the same time – I was such a classy bird in my late teens/early 20’s) holding down a full time job, having hobbies and working hard at being just like everybody else around me. I went through phases – Goth, Hippy, Party Girl, Grunge…. my clothes spoke for my social standing within my world and I was just like my friends, moving in and out of my different social circles.
Anyway that’s another story – trying finding a home, which is what I tend to think of my behaviour back then, maybe I’ll write about that another day. As I was saying after publishing lasts week’s blog, looking at it, I had the realisation that what I was reading, had happened and is happening to me. Yes that’s right, TO ME.
And this is where I pause, where if I could control my heart, it would skip a beat in the realisation that actually, I’ve been through an awful lot and that’s without looking into the emotional and psychological effects of what 3 OHS and all it’s repercussions have.
In print alone it marvels me. When I look at the two year old little boys I know, I am amazed to think that I had already had been through one OHS at the age they are now. When I see my 7year old niece I am shocked that at that sweet and funny little girl, if she were me, had already been through two OHS and noticing the 16year old girls in the city, on a Saturday shopping spree, giggling at a some secret between them, trying to be cool, I had got through my third OHS, and though I did my fair share of giggling in the street on a Saturday afternoon shopping spree (I was never cool though), I was already aware of holding something different within me. I don’t want to say a loss of innocence, because that is the wrong word, more an awareness that the world judged and judged harshly, aware that my independence was already even from 7years old extremely important to me, already aware of those who had power, an awareness that from when I went through the double doors of the operating theatre in 1976 (4 days before my 7th birthday), that I was on my own and I had to deal with it.
But more than that, I think researching and writing about my CHS has given me a sense of ownership over them, much more than I had before. I think about it in terms of taking back, from what, I have no idea. But I have more understanding of what exactly medically happened and that somehow helps, even if I am still learning about all the psychological/messy/emotive stuff of what that brings.
Now I flip the coin over and see that I am and I say it again, lucky, I’ve had good sense – eventually (!) – To ask for help when I’ve needed it. I am absolutely aware that there are children out there who have had more operations in their few years of life than I have had in my 40 odd years. But for me I think it was important to recognise what I’ve been through, count my blessings and look to the future.