It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. The reason? My appendix burst. Strangely, my condition didn’t feel very serious to me as I waited to go into surgery (though intellectually, I knew otherwise). This may have been because of the pain meds. Or maybe it was just a healthy dose of denial.
After the surgery, my surgeon described my insides as “nasty.” Worse, he told me that my appendix had burst a long time before the surgery (and before I had experienced any pain). So, basically, I was walking around, living my life and working, oblivious of this time bomb ticking away inside me. This was disturbing as all Hell, but my denial was still pretty strong.
Beginning the day of the surgery, friends were telling me how lucky I was - and that I could have died. I agreed, but it didn’t really hit me until I was home for a few days and getting off the pain meds. And then it hit me hard. I could have died! The what-ifs ran through my mind. What if I had waited longer to call for an ambulance? What if the pain hadn’t been so excruciating? What if I ended up in the closer, and much shittier, hospital? There seemed to be an unlimited amount of what-if scenarios that would have left me dead.
Eventually, I began to feel grateful. I was spared. Why was I spared? Dumb luck, divine intervention, the fact that I’m in good health for a man my age? I may never know and I don’t need to.
Today, more than six weeks after the surgery, I’m still not back to normal, physically speaking. My digestive system isn’t quite right and I don’t have the energy I had, but I’m getting better ever day. Emotionally, I’m different. The annoying stuff doesn’t bother me as much. I’m more focused on the things I want out of life, which is leading to approaching my screenwriter career in a slightly different way. But more importantly, being aware of how temporary life is has helped me not waste time. And it’s led me to do something I’ve always had trouble doing: living in the present.
So was going through this a good thing or bad? I don’t know. Maybe both. Maybe I’ll know more later . . .