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  • Writer's pictureA. Murphy

"They've stolen my filter!"

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

I woke up in the ICU. Couldn't move and completely doped up on anaesthetic. Apparently it was very funny, according to my mother at least. I don't drink so my parents have seen me drunk or tipsy or anything. She asked if she could film me, but they said no.

My strongest memory is of me repeating "They've stolen my filter!" occasionally swearing when I said it. Everyone has a verbal filter (nearly everyone) that helps you not to let things slip, like swearing. Mine had gone. I was very aware of this, I work with children so I'm very conscious of my verbal filter. I was mightily offended that they had taken mine from me.

It was strange, I couldn't think properly and I thought time was passing faster than it was. I believed it was a completely different day to my surgery. It wasn't, it was the evening and night of the very same day. There were these things, I don't know what they were, that tightened and released on my legs (to stop blood clots apparently). There was an awful tube in my nose that went all the way down to my stomach. I hated it so much and I kept asking to have it out. They did eventually. It was horrible. I knew how long it was it just kept going and going. Very uncomfortable. I had a catheter too. It didn't bother me at all but I couldn't actually control when I went to the toilet, so I wanted that gone too.

I like to be in control. So the catheter really bothered me, and the fact that I couldn't walk. All thanks to my brain tumour. It was situated in an incredibly annoying place and had even attached itself to my brain stem. The brain stem, if you don't know, is responsible for motor controls so it was no wonder my walking was off. Completely off. I had to use a wheelchair for quite a while.

That night I spent in the ICU, very confused. It felt so much longer than a single evening. In the morning I was moved to a different ward, where they could still keep a close eye on me but I didn't have a personal nurse. I distinctly remember my mum being with me for breakfast one time. Now, I've always been a big fan of orange juice so she was insisting I have some with my breakfast. I knew it wouldn't be a good idea, orange juice is incredibly acidic and I knew, I just knew, that it was going to make me sick. Lo and behold, that is exactly what happened. That incident put me off orange juice for a good long while, which was a shame. But if you're going through something similar, then don't worry about going off some foods. It happens and you can always try it again when you feel up to it. I am once again drinking orange juice.

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Jan 12, 2020

gooddness! The more you share the details about your ‘incredible journey’ , the more amazed , inspired and yes occasionally terrified I feel. Brain stem, wheelchairs aargh no wonder your sense of time went crazy! good job your fabulous mum and dad did it go crazy on you... though insisting on the orange juice did lose them a point or two ! Enjoyed your explaining of the ‘verbal filter’ . Can I borrow one?

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