Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Andrea's Knew Knees

Interested to find this in an article by Andrea Dworkin- the last one she wrote apparently:

"I had both knees replaced at once, a normal practice now but unusual even a few years ago. My surgeon would later tell me that if I had had one done, I would never have returned for the second. He got that right.
I still don't know what he did to me but I came to the conclusion that the operation was barbaric, involving as it did the sawing out of the arthritis, which meant sawing through bones. It was like being kneecapped, twice, or having one's knees and bones hammered and broken into bits. After the operation I was in a nightmare of narcotics and untouchable pain. There were morphine shots. I asked for them and got them often. Even morphine shots in the upper arm hurt.
I had a hallucination but it is still real as rain to me. I was in Virginia Woolf's house and I was happy. But "they" wanted me to go down the stairs. I can't, I begged, I can't. My hospital bed was at the top of the stairs and I was afraid that they were going to push me down. I saw the steep decline of the steps. I couldn't get over my visceral fear of falling or being pushed or being turned over from the bed down the flight of steps. I kept experiencing my bed as being on the edge of a precipice."

No, it was not a happy experience.  I was awake so I could have told her that yes, there was a lot of hammering, banging and drilling. Plus the smell of burning bone every so often.   At one point I wanted to send a message down to my young surgeon via the anaethetist to ask if he would finish demolishing that house and get on with my knees.

I was only allowed morphine 4 hourly after the first op  And it was not enough.  I was allowed it hourly after the second op. And it still wasn't enough.

And I was interested that she too had these hallucinogenic dreams afterwards.   So did my sister Hazel and so did I - I think I have blogged them.  I suppose its a profound shock to the body.  Even though I knew what to expect during the second operation and thought I was perfectly calm when the banging and crashing started, the anaethetist suddenly interrupted the conversation we were having about the beauty of The Cape, leapt up and injected something into me.  Apparently my blood pressure went haywire. And then a bit later two people were shaking me and shouting "Breath, breath", and they put me on the oxygen.

Today - little achievement - though I had a sunshine session on the balcony while I did my studying. The light on the Channel and the Green was so lovely, so numinous.    And I sorted some books, and made a banana bread as we have some ripening bananas to use up.  I used the Jack Monroe recipe from The Guardian. Captain Butterfly approves and most of the loaf is now cut and frozen in the deep freeze for his packed lunches.  Got a card from Turkey from Kathryn - a call from Audrey - and was able to join in an internet discussion about why Jesus has come to be regarded as God and worshipped as such.   Why indeed, when the Bible tells us, clearly and simply, that he is the Messiah - the one sent forth by God - and the only-begotten Son of God?

A clue:  Think "father of the lie".

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