Where to Start?
Imagine that one day you have been kidnapped by aliens from a distant part of the galaxy. You end up on a new planet, far away from Earth, and have been adopted by your new extra-terrestrial family. You end up living an interesting life in a completely different environment from what you were used to.
Then, one day, you are shipped back to Earth, only to find that only one week has elapsed, after your having lived a lifetime elsewhere. Imagine how strange the Earth must look, the normal and quotidian are seen with your eyes as very strange and odd.
This is a little how I felt yesterday, following my discharge after a week’s stay in a Montreal hospital. The fact that I was quite drugged up helped to magnify the strangeness of it all as I looked outside my car window. What I was looking at – the slush-covered streets of Montreal – was it only one week ago that I was being driven to the Montreal Heart Institute to be admitted for a heart operation?
No, surely not. Impossible.
A little over seven days, and I can sincerely say that, looking back, it feels that I was at the world-renowned facility for at least a good month. What an eventful seven days!
At two different times during my stay there, both my sister and my wife commented that I might have a lot to talk about afterwards. They had already gotten the impression from me that I had a lot of stories to share. I said, “Yes.”
But, there was also a reticence to sound like so many other bloggers out there: their fight against cancer, their battle against depression, that person’s personal odyssey to the depths of hell. I didn’t want to sound too cliché.
There’s nothing I can do about that. If my story sounds like many others, there’s nothing wrong with that. No one is forced to read what I write but hopefully does so because it’s entertaining at worst and enlightening at best.
So, just like many others in the world today, I am using my blog to share this four-weeks-in-one experience. I do have many, many stories to share: about the people I met in the hospital, whether they be staff in the form of doctors, nurses or orderlies; about the many things that went through my mind during the darkest moments on my hospital bed of which there were too many; about the objective facts of my case – how my treatment went and what I learned about the heart itself as well as health care in Quebec and in comparison to France, for example; and many other subjects, too.
I was a most curious patient, always asking questions of my nurses and sometimes orderlies (not so much of my doctors, who I didn’t see too often anyway). I learned a ton.
I only hope that I will remember everything that I wanted to remember when, at three in the morning and awake and in pain on my hospital bed in Intensive Care, I was writing these chapters in my head.
I will be slowly sending out these chapters as my convalescence continues; I might have more than one blog entry a day, or at least, I think, a minimum of one entry a day.
Oh, I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. I do know that there are some very special people out there whose stories are going to be told by me as I set some time every day, resting and taking time off in Dunham, Quebec, to fulfilling this particular personal project.