1. From Stephany "What noise was the worst, MRI or buzzing of tattoos?"
MRI noise was worse, because of the experience tied into it. I'm someone who's physical and emotional response to pain is to try and outrun it..kidney stones make me leap around like a gazelle trying to escape the jaws of a crocodile, emotional pain makes me run away to NYC or Spain or away from the cause..I'm just generally an escape artist, in all senses of the phrase. And being in a small space with lights and sound pounding through me while I wonder what's wrong with my brain..it isn't something you can wriggle free from.
Having multiple MRIs is what led me to decide I wanted to be cremated, and never locked into one space.
Granted, tattoo needle buzzing is annoying, but that one was a reclamation FROM pain, even if some physical was being inflicted.
2. From Stephany- "I floated in blue seas beyond imagination..tell me what that felt like."
Freedom. I didn't know water could be so blue. I still don't know how I managed to go to Belize a month and a half after surgery. I don't know how I got into a swimsuit for the first time since I was 15. I didn't know what white sand felt like under my toes. I couldn't imagine I'd ever be there, and be so still, and be so empty yet so totally full. And for the first time since surgery, I had on no hat, or no scarf, and I put my head in the water waiting for it to sting, but it didn't. And I waited for myself to start sinking, and I didn't. I turned on my back and put my face towards the sun and let my hands and legs dangle underwater and thought that if I died right then, I would just keep floating, and that was okay.
3. From Rachel- " Tell something that makes you laugh loud, free and raucous?"
Girl Pug, on a daily basis. With a stuffed hippo in her mouth, shoving it into my foot, or how she barks at animals and babies and joggers and cell phone rings on TV. How she, at 10 years old and arthritic, still tries to beat up the other pugs. How she sprints away after she's gone to the bathroom. When I clap my hands and yell " Mad dog! Mad Dog!" she still musters enough to scrunch up her fat body, hang her tail down, and do a dash or two around the yard or apartment. The quizzical round eyes and head tilt when she hears me spelling things out loud, wondering if I've spelled B-a-l-l or c-o-o-k-i-e. The way she growls when we play tug of war with her rope bone. How she grumbles at me when I take away the licked out ice cream container.
4. From Lace- "When you woke up from your decompression ~ what was the first thought that came into your mind? and what was the last thing you were thinking of before they knocked you out?"
I thought, I can't see. And I'm alone. Unlike other surgeries this one they didn't try to " talk" me out of my anesthesia afterwards. So I heard something, and my eyes wouldn't yet open. And then I knew I'd had surgery, but I didn't see or hear anyone. And I think I talked, or tried to. In my head I did. I said " Am I done..it hurts." But I still didn't hear anything. And then my eyes were open, but all I saw was my own chest, and the ceiling. And I made some sort of noise, and a hairy arm suddenly came into my view, and reached across me to inject something into my IV. And I tried to bite it, because I was confused, and there was a strange hairy arm near my mouth. And most things after that are flashes. Just bits and pieces from recovery to ICU and the days in ICU.
The last things I was thinking..they injected my IV with Versed and put a surgical cap on my head and I said " bye momma!". And they wheeled me down the hall and I started to pray outloud to Jesus and Allah and Mohammed and Buddha and Jaweh and Ganesh. And then nothing. And then I'm in the operating room and I open my eyes and there's equipment and people everywhere. I hear someone say ' He's gonna be pissed..they don't have it all set up" and I asked " Oh, what isn't set up?" but instead I said " ohhwhasetttttughhhhh". And then nothing. And then I can't breathe, and my eyes won't open, and I put a hand to my mouth and try to push a mask off of my face, but they push it back down. I hear them talking, and my hand goes back up to push again, because I can't breathe. And then, for the next 6 hours, nothing.