Thursday, March 23, 2006

Center of the Universe

Some anniversaries become more significant in the absence of observation.

March 9 marked the one-year anniversary of my CI surgery. While I thought about it on the day, I didn't blog about it, or even mention it to anyone. It felt kind of good that it wasn't a big deal - that life has moved on to the point where the rough parts - like the surgery - can play second fiddle to the high points, like the upcoming anniversary of the implant activation on April 7. That's the day my life really changed.

Having said that, the day of the surgery was still a pretty significant event, and for more people than just me, as it happens. We ran into an old friend a few nights ago who I haven't seen in a couple of years. He had been keeping up with Husband and C., however, and knew about the deafness and the implant. He was very keen to hear all the details of the surgery, and Husband and I told him all about it.

"The day of her surgery was one of the worst blizzards to hit Halifax that winter," Husband said.
"What?" I said.

"It was one of the worst blizzards of that whole winter," he said. "The whole city shut down. Power was out everywhere. Streets were closed, all the businesses were shut up tight."

I was astonished. I had absolutely no idea. The storm hadn't hit when I went off to the OR - it was merely grey and windy - and I had been far too preoccupied with the surgery to even think about weather reports once we had safely made the drive from NB to NS. And of course I was quite literally "out of it" for the rest of the day, as the storm hit and got progressively worse. In the focus on recovering from surgery and returning home, Husband and I never talked about the weather the day of the operation, and I was amazed on Tuesday to hear the story of how the whole city shut down around the island of power and warmth and light that was the hospital. The only thoroughfare in Halifax that remained open was the route that led from our hotel to the hospital, which meant Husband could get back and forth as needed. "The power doesn't go out here," the staff assured him, referring to the hospital's own generators. We were in the best place we could possibly be, they said - there was a cafeteria with hot food and a safe place to stay if he needed it.

How odd to realize what big things were happening out there that day while I lay unaware, with everyone in my little world - including me - entirely focused on me. It's quite amazing what you can be completely oblivious to, when you're the center of the universe.



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