I am writing this blog from my hospital bed at Fortis Surgical Hospital in Singapore. Once again – a new bionic device awaits me in the operating theatre within the hour. I am really looking forward to receiving my Mark 111 version – apparently smaller and updated and quite the fashion accessory!! Well not really as the device is implanted in my left buttock and attached to 4 tined very intelligent electrodes that are inserted into my lower spinal foramina.
It it is so wonderful to be here in Singapore with the skilful and compassionate surgeons who saved my life last time in January 2009 after the device had stopped suddenly 6 weeks prior. I wanted to write this blog because my experience touches on so many aspects of illness, healing, recovery and the ongoing tenacity it takes to survive the odds.
No one would welcome the experiences I have had since 1997 when after routine surgery I lost use of my colon…in particular my rectal function. Years of diagnostic mayhem followed. The case in most doctors too hard basket – diagnostics took years to identify the problem. Today will be surgical procedure number 22! 10 ft of previously healthy colon removed – 5 ft small intestine + 5 ft large bowel One could wallow in the why me arenas or be begrudging of medicine and routine surgical procedures that don’t go as planned. However….
Life happens to us – but it’s not what happens to us that makes a difference in life quality but what we choose to do when life has dealt us a band hand. It is about how we choose to respond to uninvited change.
I have always been inspired by a quote from the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote:
“Life is like a card game – it’s not about being dealt a good hand – but how you play a bad hand well!”
Today I am filled with gratitude for all those who have helped me navigate this challenging treatment maze so far. Pip – my partner of 7 years has been amazing. My children – and now grandchildren who also give me a raison d’etre. Dr Schouten and Dr Marijke Sleiker ten Hove in The Netherlands must be thanked for giving me back my life in 2002-2003. Dr Francis Seow Choen and Dr Lim Jit Fong have been and remain as amazing doctors and surgeons since 2009. Thanks to all who donated to our appeal to help me get this critically important surgery today- you are all heaven sent! I will let you know how this goes a wee bit later. The team is on their way.
Appreciate your day, your life and loved ones….Life’s good!! Until soon