I cogitated over my appalling showing on Hot Seat a couple of weeks ago, but a remarkable thing happened after the episode aired.
On my episode, Eddie talked me through surviving an aneurysm (which was a bit awks, but anyhoo) and after the episode aired, someone reached out to me through my blog, which also got a plug (guess I should have answered a question correctly before mentioning it). Without going into detail (because it’s not my story to tell), this person was eager to hear my story as someone near to them was going through something similar to what I did.
For me, there was the inevitable soul search involved and acknowledgement of my incredible fortune to have not only survived, but thrived. My brain works on a more abstract level now (this may or may not be a gift) and although shit got very real back then, it didn’t stay real.
But there are people out there who are not so lucky. People who have to relearn how to walk, talk, see, all depending on where their aneurysm was, how bad it was and how quickly surgeons got to it. People who die instantly, people who hang in there for a while, and then succumb to the damage. People who lose loved ones from nothing more than a cerebral freak of nature.
All I can do is tell my story. It is my motivation for blogging and for writing; being able to reach out to people, hoping they might find some inspiration in it, but I’m also aware that my story had a happily ever after and many people don’t have that luxury. I don’t want to give people false hope, unrealistic hope, but isn’t hope all we have?
All these feelings were brought home on recently rediscovering a song I had forgotten about—”White Foxes” by Susanne Sundfør. I love the power of music, the way the seduction of harmony and lyrics and surprising musical movement can transport you to another place and time. I am a huge fan of emotion (my husband laughed at me on Sunday night because I was in tears an hour after the big, beautiful Bastille concert) and in a way, this song is bad for me. It takes me back to that place I was when I had the aneurysm, both the physical pain and the distress of not knowing whether my kids were going to lose their mum, but it also reminds me of epiphany, good fortune and how incredible the human body is at kickstarting itself. But it’s luck, at the end of the day it’s total random, horrible luck.
[WARNING: there is graphic footage of a craniotomy in this video and some of the themes may be disturbing to some of you, but the song and video will take your breath away. I may mean that literally.]
There’s nothing wrong with remembering pain, because it’s how we reference the incredible things that happen to us.