I woke from the surgery groggy and the first thing I recall was a blur of greens and blues that challenged my eyes and mind to focus. I watched the disturbance outside the window for a moment, a robust wind unsettled the leaves on a large, study tree against a backdrop of incredibly blue sky. The vibrant sky promised a sunny day was in store but the wind, which I was now conscious of hearing, seemed to angrily declare otherwise. I would recall this all later as a foreboding of what was to come, the conflict of a storming spirit, but in that moment I was distracted by thirst and a dull ache in my stomach reminded me where I was.
The nurse checked on me, we indulged in idle chatter and then she summoned my mother and the surgeon. In that order. If you have ever met my mother you would know that she is always the priority. It is not spoken, she does not request it, it is simply understood. Such is her presence.
Mum burst through the room equal parts of relief and worry. I could feel it as if it were a tangible thing. More idle chatter. It is amazing what the mind choses to remember or forget. And then entered the surgeon, stage left, beaming in such a manner I was immediately relived and assured all had gone well. I had forgotten that such was the man, ever jovial, ever comforting. His bed-side manner was wonderful. His bill was outrageous. I believe the two are somehow connected.
I have good news and bad news he declared. The good news is, you didn’t have a hernia but the bad news is, you didn’t have a hernia. He didn’t pause long enough for me to digest this odd bit of information and yet my mind had erupted.
No hernia? Are you insane? The persistent crippling pain, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t rest, headaches, heavy bleeding, the pain, the nausea, the dizziness, the pain, my Lord the pain. You fools rushed me into an emergency surgery with such assurance and now you’re going to stand there and tell me there’s no hernia? What? Wait. What did you say? Say that again.
Endometriosis. I had never heard the word. I had no clue what this thing was, this thing that would in an instant give all that came before clarity and all that would follow purpose. The surgeon explained. Idle chatter. I could barely hear him. Mother wept. The nurse soothed. Idle chatter.
It is amazing that for someone who others describe as surrounded by music and seemingly never ceasing to speak, many of the pivotal moments in my life are punctuated by silence.
Pause. Exhale. Prepare for battle.
The diagnosis would not be the finale, it would be the beginning of everything. Gear up sisters, the journey begins.
Ready, set, survive.