Turmeric and Honey

Earlier this year I developed quite a severe pain in quite an uncomfortable area. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I immediately went to the medical centre where my worst fear was realised. I needed surgery. Immediately. And I was in Mexico.

This news was devastating! I had only just joined my new beautiful ship and had barely been onboard a month with my ever so handsome and caring Russian boyfriend, D. “Your health needs to come first” is what I kept being told. So despite my protests, that very same night I packed up my cabin and had to break the news to D that I would be disembarked in the morning and sent to the hospital. Needless to say this was not easy for us, just having gone 3 months apart from each other.

Early the next morning I went through immigration screening and was disembarked from the ship. The Port agent was a friendly Mexican named Gilberto who drove me to the hospital. He was the last person I saw who was fluent in english.

I was examined and taken to the operating room-which wasn’t the most sterile looking, and only closed with a curtain. But I didn’t have any options.A nurse came in and started speaking to me in Mexican, I tried to explain I only speak english. She pulled my arm and showed me a needle. She needed to insert an IV for the anesthesia. I have terrible veins which are difficult to locate and continually collapse, so I showed her my hand, which is where IV’s are normally able to take. She didn’t seem to understand this and proceeded to try find a vein in my arm. After 3 different nurses and six tries later the IV was finally inserted into my hand, my arm left black and blue.

Later that day I woke up in a hospital bed in sheer agony. The room was hella bright and cold. I looked over and saw another woman in a bed with her leg propped up with several silver pins sticking out her calf. The hospital experience was worse than the surgery and pain. No one could tell me much information about how my surgery went, my veins kept collapsing and my ward mate never turned off her light. In addition to her bright light she loved singing at 1am and pooping into a bedpan and leaving it bedside for hours. I was in hell.

On my third day in the ward I received a call from my father. It was 3 am at home. Something wasn’t right, I knew it before I even answered. “Ky my darling I have some bad news. Your brother has been in a car accident and has broken his neck.” My whole heart stopped. My lungs deflated and fear set in. He had several surgeries over the next coming days, and by some short miracle he was saved with no nerve damage.

Being far away from your family when you are ill and all alone is hard, but having a loved one in the hospital and close to death at the same time is uncomprehendable. Needless to say I couldnt wait to get out of Mexico.

My entire hospital stay was 7 days and then I was in a hotel for another 3 days before I flew to Florida to rejoin my ship and D. Joy Joy Joy! I was so happy to be going back and to have this experience behind me. Little did I know then that this was hardly the end and only the beginning to my life falling apart.

Three weeks back onboard. It was a sea day, I had terrible flu and I had 4 weddings to shoot. By the end of the last wedding I could barely walk and the pain coming from my surgical site was crippling. Back to the medical centre. My condition had returned and I would be disembarked again three days later in Florida. Packed up my cabin and said goodbye to D again.

Arrived at the hospital and taken into the ER, examined and told a dose of antibiotics should clear everything up. However it was discovered that my flu was in fact not flu but Metapneumovirus (a respiratory virus closely related to avian flu). Marvalous! So I was isolated and left alone, beside nurses coming in maybe once a day dressed in hazmat suit resemblance. After a few days I was released and sent to a hotel. This time though I was not returning to the ship. And as devastated as I was at the time, it was the best thing.

Arriving home was surreal, like I had just left-which i had. A couple weeks passed and though my virus had cleared up my surgical wound had still not healed and was still causing me pain and discomfort. I decided to go see a specialist. My condition had in fact worsened and I needed another surgery, with another one in the later future. The distress I felt, I cannot explain.

Whilst dealing with pain and sadness, D and I broke up and I was having battles with my insurance and the hospital. Surgery had to be postponed 3 times due to legal issues, as my insurer is an overseas insurer.

Today I am one week post op. The surgery went well, my surgeon was very nice and seemingly competent. I was in and out of the hospital within a day and lying in my bed at home waited on by my loving mother. The road ahead of me is very long. Huge lifestyle changes need to be made in order to ensure recovery and I am looking at my fridge full of fruit and veg and just wishing I could stuff my face with pizza, steak and chocolate. Instead I have a turmeric, honey, ghee and milk concoction to enjoy everyday. I am so depressed.

This condition has literally taken away my whole life. My boyfriend left me, I currently cannot work and have another surgery in a few months to look forward to. How did this happen? I wasn’t in bad health. But now my health is the only thought I have each day. I want my life back and in order to do that I have to get healthy.

Throughout all of this I do have something to be grateful for. The people in my life have been incredible. The handful of friends I have check in with me daily and keep things light hearted with their jokes and snap chats 🙂 My momma has been very helpful and my granna has been very concerned. I am also eternally thankful to see my brother up and walking and back to work already. This entire experience has taught me that people and health in your life, that’s what matters. Its what makes everything else happen and work. It gives happiness and opportunities. I promise myself to take better care of my health, for no one else but myself. With seemingly no drive within me, fingers crossed I can pull it together.

 

Healthy

 

Who are you?

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Think about yourself. Think about what you look like. Think about the sound of your voice. Think about the way you walk. Think about inside. Think about your knowledge. Think about your preferences. Your hopes, your likes and dislikes. Think about each aspect that makes you who you are, good and bad. And throw them away. This is not who you are. Who you are is an idea. An idea of who and what people think you are. An idea, a thought or suggestion, an opinion or belief. The way others perceive you is who you are.

Think about a friend, a loved one, who are they? In the same way you think about yourself you can think about them. You can take the way they look, think and move, their likes and dislikes and build an idea of who you think they are. This is how you perceive them, and in your world, this is who they are. And this is the same way you become who you are in the eyes of others.

Sure you can share your inner most thoughts and hopes with a loved one to identify yourself. Yet still the words you use to portray this identity will be perceived by the other. And their perception will always be an extension of their identity and how they identify you in their world. Comparably the way you perceive yourself is also an extension and influence of those in your world, whether it be a loved one, a scholar or luminary. Whoever and whatever has entered your world and influenced you in any way, whether aware of it or not, has helped you build the idea of who you are.

Why does it matter who we are? Because it is all we know. On a daily basis we are stuck within our own minds. Our bodies, actions and words portray that inner mind. Even if we say to ourselves and others that it doesn’t matter who we are, this is a disbelief because even by proclaiming this, that is who we are. We are the person who doesn’t think it matters who we are. And of course, I can hear them coming, there will be people swinging religion up high saying that their god, his god, her god and your god think it matters who you are. Religion and gods have always been something to answer to. When you’ve reached the point of not being able to answer a profound question or reality, what do you turn to? Gods. Gods and society. Because it’s easy, its easy to lay responsibility on yet another idea, suggestion or belief. But I would like to put religion and gods to the side. For now. Let us simply think about ourselves.

Take the thing that you think is most important about yourself in defining who you are. Was your first thought about something someone had once said about you? Perhaps something you had identified in someone else and decided to incorporate into yourself? Is it an ideal that was set for you from birth, an ideal that has driven every moment and choice in the leading of the character you have become? Are you kind despite your selfishness? Are you a good listener despite your inability to hear? Are you family orientated despite your individuality? Are you driven despite your circumstance? What is important about you? Why does who you are matter?

Lets think about what has influenced you and driven you to be who you are. Could it be society? The idea of who your parents would like you to be? Who religion has told you you should be? From birth all these constructs have been in place, and you have in fact had little choice in who you are. Of course you are thinking to yourself that you have chosen who you are by your thoughts, actions and decisions. But what you must realize is that every thought, action and decision is influenced. From the first book you read, the first film you watched, the first time your parents said they were proud of you. The undenying human need to please and be accepted has driven all of who you are. Why is there this undenying need? The meaning of life. The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. The meaning of life for many can be achieving certain goals, standards, possessions, really anything. But at the essence of the meaning of life, people are striving towards ultimate happiness. This is where the undenying need of pleasing and acceptance comes in. in order to be happy and be loved, one feels the need for acceptance. Social acceptance, financial acceptance, educational acceptance. And how do we achieve this acceptance? By building our identity to be an acceptable perception by others. Even perhaps an acceptable perception of our own. We all hold ourselves to a certain standard of being, some higher than others. And if we don’t achieve this perception, its failure. But why do we want our work to stand out, our humanity to be recognized, for our looks to be noticed? Acceptance, happiness, love.

Basic needs, everyone has them. What are they, and what do they have to do with who we are? lets refer to Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslows first model, humans have 5 basic needs. These being biological and physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self actualization needs. It was later expanded on to include cognitive needs, aesthetic needs and transcendence needs. A very interesting evaluation of human behavior was observed developing this model. At the top of this hierarchy is self actualization needs. What is self actualization? Maslow stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. Self actualized people are those who were fulfilled and doing all they were capable of. In self actualization a person comes to find a meaning to life that is important to them.

So taking the hierarchy into account, basic needs as well as where we lie in the hierachy may help us determine who we are. We cant reach self actualization, which is happiness,  without already achieving love and esteem. according to Maslow.

Why does it matter who you are? It doesn’t. It doesnt matter what “type” of personality you have, it doesnt matter what you look like, it doesnt matter what you do or say. People, and you, are totally dispensable. If you aren’t here, someone else can fill your space. Why? Because who we are is built by what is around us, and what is around us is built by people who have ideas about who we should be, who in turn have an idea about who they are. You are not individual, you are not special. There is someone else who has the same perceived idea of who they are as who you are.

Needs can make us who we are, traits, actions and words can make us who we are. Every thought, movement and decision makes us who we are. But always and only the idea of who we are, whether it be our idea, someone elses idea or societies idea. Only an idea.

With this all said, it’s human nature to continue. We thrive off the chemical reactions within us, the feelings we have. We continue in order to find that feeling of peace and fulfillment. At the end of the day i feel there really is no point in us, the human race, in everything. It’s just a bunch of days strung together in a construct that we are all trying to fit into for no reason at all. Who are you? Who cares.

First blog post

IMG_4901Discovering who you want to be begins at a young age when you think that you have endless choices. What did I want to do before I made countless opposing decisions? I wanted to be a writer, a journalist. Here you can read all about why that didn’t happen and how I feel about it. As well as insights to my limited knowledge and endless opinions on all things nothing. Welcome.