Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Twisted Paths Of Life

After this morning's news of one of my friends having become the victim of a road-side shooting and robbery, it feels weird for me to just continue with my own things. I know that he would want me to continue with my life, but it is clear to me that it will take some time for me to get over his death. It's definitely changed something inside of me.

Things are all a matter of perspective, and even the weather is very much predictable compared to the lives of some human beings, my own included. Yesterday I suddenly got a phone call from the surgeon who I thought had dismissed my case. He told me about the work he does, including for African women who have become the victim of female circumcision, and in the latter's case the pleasure he derives from them being capable of enjoying sex for possibly the first time in their lives. I'm not sure whether he really is the surgeon who will finally help me with resolving the medical issue of my closed-off vagina, but I am feeling strangely hopeful.

On Thursday I'll be heading off to meet this surgeon, with only a general idea of what to expect. I'm hopeful, sure, but also anxious beyond belief. Memories of eight years of previous experiences with physicians keep surfacing, along with the accompanying traumas. This joined by the fear that even if he does want to and can help me, he'll find that there's little or nothing to work with. I do not really know how well the vagina developed. The German radiologists mentioned that it looked pretty intact to them, but I couldn't get a clear answer out of the German surgeon who did the surgery on me in 2011, mostly due to the language barrier.

This all leaves me with not just a double, but more like twenty different conflicting feelings. Just throw in every name for every emotion possible and it's got to be in there somewhere. Hopeful, anxious, afraid, terrified, joyful, contemplating, glad, petrified, disturbed, and so on. In the background I'm feeling totally wrecked at this morning's news. I still can not think about it or talk about it without breaking down in tears. It's odd to really cry about another person, even if I do know why. It's an overwhelming sense of sadness. Different from the raw pain I felt and still feel about my own situation, but very bitter-sweet. On one hand the awesome memories of a wonderful person, on the other hand the knowledge of his gruesome death and the images my imagination adds to the descriptions provided.

It makes me more than ever convinced that the idea I first got as a teenager that we should have the technology to back up brains is the right one. It'd make a death just a major inconvenience. Unfortunately this is not a popular opinion I have. Even my own family has always ridiculed me for considering such a thing. To most people they seem to believe in the mantra of life and death being the same and inseparable. I vehemently disagree with this assertion. To me death is the anti-thesis of life, as it directly opposes it. Where there is light there is generally shadow, but shadow doesn't end light. Death ends life. Permanently. This is a major distinction.

Death is organ failure. Death is the cessation of cellular activity. Death is irreparable damage to a biological system. Death is the termination of brain activity. Death is one back-up away from being a setback, much like how a computer's hard drive crash means a temporary setback if a proper back-up has been made. It's a technological issue, not one of a philosophical or theological nature. Ironically having such an opinion can get you killed. Not that the threat of this will ever keep me from continuing my research on such technology.

On days like these I realize just how little I have changed in terms of convictions and goals even before I became a teenager. I have always held life and happiness dear, with the conviction that science and technology is there to make everyone's lives better. Maybe that is what has kept me going all these difficult decades, through an impossible puberty and the insanity and madness of the medical and political systems around the world. In the end a body is just a body; a machine which can be tweaked and tinkered with. Invaluable to the brain occupying it.

Here is to hoping that this will be the first surgeon who can make the medical madness stop for me, ending over two decades of emotional suffering, conflict and agony. No more uncertainty and despair.


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