Patience is a virtue. One I have in short supply on any given day. I’ve never been very good at waiting, especially for something I want. So it is no surprise that this surgery proves no different. My surgery is a week and a half away (I write/say with palpable glee). I am so excited I can barely contain myself. The kind of exuberant joy that makes you want to skip, sing, hug total strangers. But this bubbling over excitement goes even beyond that. And I can’t really explain it well enough. Though Nick Krieger does a great job in his blog… ninaherenorthere.com under the “bodies” category. (see specifically “welcome to happyland” and “25 dreams about to come true“)
The only lugubrious stain in the sheer joyous excitement is that I won’t be able to play hockey for a while. It was actually the only question I asked the surgeon when I met with him for my pre-op appointment last week… when will I be able to play hockey. He looked at me like I was one of his kids, asking one of those absurd questions that kids ask when they teasingly want to antagonize their parents. I couldn’t have been more serious though. And after his initial look of feigned exasperation, he said, “6 or more weeks”. Is he kidding?! As elated about the surgery as I am, I am equally distressed about missing that much hockey. In this last year, when things have proven difficult, I have relied on hockey to soothe my soul… body, mind, spirit. How can I not play for 6 weeks or more?! Perhaps I can show up to games and run the clock, sit in the stands or pretend to coach? I simply cannot stay away that long.
The other piece of discomfort for me is that I am not ready to tell everyone. And I don’t know that I ever will be (something I will explore in another post I’m sure). But it is already proving challenging. I imagine the freedom of a boobless summer marred only by the poolside awkwardness of my aunt and uncle. I can’t imagine that they’ll ever get it, nor do I wish to engage with them on any of the topics touched by top surgery – my body, breasts, transgender, sexuality, etc. But will they sit poolside in the sun, pretending to not notice that I my uncles moobs (man boobs) are bigger than mine?
Thursday night in the locker room after practice Shauna told everyone she was having wrist surgery June 1st and would be missing several weeks of hockey. She was as inconsolable as I feel about missing games and skills. I looked up and said, “yeah sister, I feel your pain”. I could totally relate. I was quite caught off guard however, when she asked, “what kind of surgery are you having?” Was it my imagination, or did an E.F. Hutton hush come over the room?
I am embarrassed to say, I lied. I don’t even know what I said exactly. Something about chests and lungs peppered with lots of stammering. I can’t imagine how much of an idiot I looked like, not knowing what surgery you’re having?! And then the shame engulfed me, I shut up and went back to putting my gear away and getting dressed. And the shame has hung like a cloud over me since. What was I thinking?! Did I think no one would ask? In my head I’d glibly practiced replying, “I’m having a couple of things removed” and if pressed, “on my chest”. But that answer felt almost as stupid as the one I gave. Yes, I’m having a mole removed on my chest and can’t play hockey for 6 weeks. Must be one hell of a mole.