There are some terrible days when I feel like I am about two hundred years old. This year has been full of them. I had two shoulder surgeries and my surgeon kept saying things to me like, “Well, as we get older…” which made me feel not only elderly, but also that he really mustn’t have a lot of luck with the ladies, frankly. This same man also operated on my knee a few years ago, so for the longest time, in my head his name (I can never remember his real one) was “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Knees and Toes” because he had worked on practically all those parts of me. Only you know what? That is my own nickname for my very self now because I just had—-wait for it-—brain surgery! So all I have left are the toes. NOT THAT I WANT TO EARN THAT BIT OF THE NAME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T COME AT ME AIMING BRICKS AT MY FEET.
Brain surgery is something else. Terrifying beforehand for sure, exhausting but full of entertaining mistakes after. For example, my friend Allen came over to visit me after I got out of the hospital and asked me who had come to visit the day before and I tried so hard to find the words to tell him until I finally screamed, “ME NAME ALICE!” at him and hoped that he would work out what I really meant. I also went for a walk to get milk one day about a week after surgery and felt like the theme song to Chariots of Fire should be cheering me on in the background. I feel this way when I get dishes done, too. I want medals.
But everyone has been lovely and supportive and my neurosurgeon said my risk factors for having had this aneurysm (that was what the surgery was on) were that I was “young and female.” He is now my favorite human, in more ways than one. Take that, shoulder guy.
Thank you so much for everybody who supported me through this, especially the completely understanding people and participants at the Highlights Foundation who suffered through me leading my part of a Whole Novel Revision retreat this past week as a pair of shoulders and a head over Skype! I loved working with all of you and feel privileged that you let me be a part of your writing.
Now I have to go put my money where my mouth is and revise my own book which I think will be less fun than the friend visits but way better than the brain surgery. People show up with a lot of cookies when you’ve had surgery. Not so much when you are crouched on the floor with your out of order and terrible scenes before you. You’re on your own, cookiewise, for that nonsense.