13 November, 2013

surgery for dummies

looking at yourself critically or engaging in any sort of deeper self-analysis is akin to performing surgery on yourself; it's messy, bloody, filled with various pitfalls and liable to end with a wristwatch lodged permanently somewhere west of your pancreas. the difference between the process then* and now** is the anaesthetic, which, as any medical professional will tell you, is rather essential.

the presence of anaesthetic now is, let me tell you, a thing of beauty. sure, i still feel the twinge of an unexamined thought or idea (thanks to k, again, for bringing some up in recent days), somewhere around the small intestine, but now, when i open myself up and get bloody up to the elbows poking around in the giblets, well, now it doesn't elicit howls of pain. now, i just sort of gently move the heart (and its corollary, the ego***) out of the way, dig around the liver, and finally find the offending nugget between the shiny coils of my viscera. now i can just take it, lift it up to the light and think upon its significance before throwing it into the kidney basin by the operating table, without having to contend with the screams of the patient, which can be very distracting.

why all the work, you say? why continue to muck around my bloody innards when the inflamed appendix seems to have either settled down or been removed by that most eminent of surgeons, time? well, this seems to have become a habit. that, and the same reason you take a rock out of your shoe. i've become adept, over the last couple of months, at finding the problems lodged inside my innards and working on them until, at the very least, they're understood. now that things seem to have calmed down, i find is the perfect moment to go back and finish the surgeries that were too painful at the time, or to remove that wristwatch, or to rummage around and put the spleen back in its place from whence it was taken in the heat of the moment. let's just say that i don't feel quite ready for the rib retractors to be removed and for the patient to be closed up. in fact, i may never be ready. for all i know, i may spend the rest of my life on the operating table, poking around in my insides, forever removing bits and pieces that have no right to be there but that life (and my own damn choices) keeps throwing in there.

and in case you really needed more visuals, here is a wee film. my process was simultaneously far more creepy and not nearly as cute (WARNING: disturbing content):

* any time in the last two months when my typed words were illegible because of the number of bitter tears i'd shed on the keyboard whilst typing

**post-amsterdam, evidently

*** remember, as always, that this is entirely unscientific street vernacular. when i say "ego" i mean the thing that basks in the glow of admiration and curls up in a fetal position when poked with the sharp stick of indifference. dr. freud has not only left the building, he likely never even darkened its doorway, except for those couple of articles i read back in my undergrad days.


Tom said...

Agnieszka; Perhaps you might - it's entirely up to you of course - but you might like to define what you mean by "cute", particularly for your adoring fans who might have turned on the little video straight after they'd eaten dinner. :)

Now to your thoroughly enjoyable script, and one which I found quite fascinating. In my experience, although you may choose to spend the rest of your life in surgery, the bits and pieces have a tendency to find their own way back to their proper positions. Any large-scale equipment may just lose their grip and slip away of their own accord.
And that I feel is something to be welcomed.

I was interested in your remarks about anaesthetic. I would have related that pain-numbing stuff to "denial". In which case, rather than removing denial (anaesthetic) in order to deal with a problem, perhaps at a sub/unconscious level, problems are dealt with when the will and intent are present, thus subsequently making the anaesthetic no longer necessary. But if that were a valid comment, why is spiritual recovery so damned painful? Is it to remind us that we're still alive?

Again, I enjoyed reading your approach to psycho-spiritual healing, using surgery as an analogy. A thought-provoking approach. Thank you.

polish chick said...

tom, "cute" as in "teddy bears are generally cute" and that's that, i suppose. in my defence, i did also say "creepy."

as far as the anaesthetic goes - i know it's here my analogy breaks down, but all i can say is i was hurting like hell before, and now i'm not. i don't know what's changed, other than maybe time, that great healer. but the process continues, and yeah, it'll be nice to go into post-op at some point, but i'm not there yet.

Zhoen said...

I've had dreams where I have to assist in my own surgery, holding retractors. But for me, it just means I've had a very long week.

polish chick said...

ah, yes, for you, zhoen, dreaming about surgery would be like dreaming about teeth for the old me. last semester my nightmares featured autocad, but this year (touch wood) i seem to be nightmare free. perhaps there's nothing out there focusing my nighttime weirdness.