Who knew that the recovery would be the painful part? I can barely swallow or speak, my tongue is all messed up. On the other hand, I still HAVE a tongue, and assumedly will improve over time. In hospital, home tomorrow. I will survive!
Added note: so I'm home. My girl has set up a whole second bed for me in the living room - it's a long story - and that's where I am going to sleep, because sleep is fitful. I tend to zonk then wake up after three hours, usually because I've got something going on in my throat - stray fluids I'm choking on, or need to painfully swallow, something I can't really do in my sleep.
Those of you who do not follow me there can get lots of stories about the experience of being in hospital in Surrey on my Facebook page. Meantime, I just want to recount how happy I was to watch The Fly with my girl tonight.
Alas, while Cronenberg has observed that the genre elements of the film make a very sad story more watchable, by giving audiences a way out of being too directly confronted by the trajectory of its characters - it's basically a tragedy about two people who meet, fall in love, and then one slowly dies of a disease - the genre elements were quite distracting for my love, who, having been spared a lot of body horror cinema, was going "ewwww!" and looking away from the screen at times when she could have been taking in the emotions more. It's unfortunate - and I can't really blame her, because it IS gross - but the parallels between Brundle and myself were thankfully not lost: my geeky enthusiasm, my occasionally excessive, absurd, declamatory temper, and so many recent physical developments: like Brundle, I produce great quantities of saliva with my mouth like this, and can't take in solid foods. Like Brundle in the bathroom mirror - the site of so much disease introspection - I worry that the tongue will only be the start of the transformations happening. And now, like Brundle, I have taken to twitching my head to bug Erika, as she comes in to hug me. She even came up with parallels herself, asking me not to try to make her fuse with me. I promise, babe, I won't.
My surgical oncologist, it turned out, has never seen The Fly. He was asking me about people I'd interviewed, during a tiny bit of get-to-know-you chit chat during our first interview. I mentioned Cronenberg, he didn't recognize the name - he's not a movie guy - and, when I illustrated with The Fly, he didn't know it. I suspect, though, that his sense of humour will make him appreciate Cronenberg a little. He has cracked two jokes, of a sort, in my presence now that make me think so, anyhow. The first was when he stuck a camera on a tube down my nose, to survey my throat. "Could you see anything there?" He said, "yes I could." And then as my heart was pounding and fear rising, added, "I saw a perfectly healthy throat."
You bastard, I said, or words to that effect - you made me think you saw something bad!
Mildly, smirking to himself: "just for a second."
So I liked him for that. Then as he was about to perform surgery, he offered this, telling me before I was anaesthetized that he had removed "the entire left side" of a man the other day. Then he added, "he's all right now."
And surely the fact that he's removed WHOLE TONGUES - he showed me a photo of an entire tongue he'd cut out, which he appears to carry around on his cellphone - means that the film's gore won't be too distracting for him. I think I'm going to get him Cronenberg's The Fly as a thank-you gift. I will snag it on DVD and Blu both, since I don't know which format he prefers (presumably he has SOME sort of movie player?).
Anyhow, I'm back home, I feel all right, and it's bedtime. I might not fall asleep right away but I shouldn't keep clacking these keys. Thanks for the support and rude jokes and whatever else people have been sending my way. I will be all right eventually, hopefully without any more of my left having to get cut off. I am looking forward to a couple weeks of resting up, healing, and getting better day by day. I sure do hope I do.