Monday, November 5, 2012

The parentheses [Part I]

It's been 5 years now and every time I try writing about this story, I get distracted or I simply give up because I feel that there's too much to say and laziness takes over. I don't even know if I'll finish what I'm writing right now. I don't really know if there's a beginning and an end to this story. I mean, if I knew this would end up like it did, I would've written a diary or filmed the important scenes. But no, it happened and it was totally unexpected and out of control. At the same time, if I knew what was going to happen I would've been into depression. Only hope kept me ok. There's no death in this story, but there's a lot of pain. There's a pain that made me realize things. This story is also full of funny moments. The kind of moments that will make you laugh till your stomach hurts and tears fall from your eyes. If I had Twitter back then, it would've been cool. I only had Facebook and it was more than enough. I was in 3ème and I remember that my best friend Noura created a Facebook group to support me. I felt like a star! I mean, when you're laying in a hospital bed for 60 days, any detail can cheer you up which is really cool but this also means that anything can make you sad. Let me try explaining to you the why/when/who/what of the story. It happened in Paris, I was having my yearly checkup at Garche's hospital that is specialized in handicapped people's health. I never really liked that place because I had to spend a whole day of my vacation there. I used to go with mom and dad, wait eternally in the huge waiting room. Then meet the doctor's assistants who took measurements of my height, weight, breathing, heart beats, and other things. I was always curious to know everything and refused that anything get hidden from me no matter how harsh it is. I was witty and I somehow forced everybody to respect me. Then we used to pass by the radiography center where I had to do radiographies of my spine. It was probably the part I hated most because I had to remove my cloths and get cold while waiting for the doctors to check if they need to repeat the radiographies. After that, we used to go for lunch in the hospital's cafeteria that I used to love because they had ice-cream. We ended our visits with Dr. Baroi, my doctor. Dr. Annie Baroi is an old lady that has grey hair and a hairy chin. I used to love her because she was a bit like a hero to me. She used to look at the tests done in the morning and comment. Then she used to tell us about the scientific progress and how they're testing a cure on rats. I never really believed her and I didn't even care about it. I was happy with my stable life and never asked for more (physically). But doctors are used to create fake hopes because most patients are impatient. In my case, stability was more than perfect. I still don't understand why it is wrong to be happy and satisfied if you are on a wheelchair. Walking is not something I desire. When you've never tried something, you cannot desire it. My physical stability never bothered me so when they told me that I had to do a surgery because I had more than 90° of scoliosis, I was surprised. It wasn't something I saw coming. It's funny, I had a feeling it wasn't the right time. I knew I was gonna escape, it wasn't gonna happen. I never really trusted the doctors in Garche and I always had the feeling that they wanted me to stop living a normal life. That day for example, after they told me about the surgery they looked and noticed I was smiling. So they told me that it was fine if I wanted to cry. What the fuck? They were trying to make me cry in front of them! Sadism much? But I waited till we got outside the hospital to cry. I didn't cry because I was scared, I cried because I was surprised. I was 11 and living a comfortable stable teenage life. Why would I do a surgery if I wasn't feeling any pain? My back wasn't straight but I wore a corset and it was enough. I couldn't understand this decision. I visit Garche every year and this was the first time I hear something about me needing a surgery. When I came back to Lebanon, I decided to continue my life normally. I was strong enough and had the ability to ignore the fact that in less than a year, I'll have to do a surgery. Now that I talk about it, it sounds like something simple and I wonder why I felt it would be something big. I mean, everybody have surgeries so why did I feel like it was going to change my life? I felt that a major change will come in to my life but I decided to live each day by itself. A year passed and in my head, the idea of having to do a surgery got normal. I was even going to do it in Lebanon with a well known doctor. I still hate that doctor and his face will never get out of my head. I remember how after just one visit, he convinced my parents that I had to do the surgery ASAP and he almost made us book a date. So yeah, everything was set and I was totally ready. A couple of days after that visit, mom told me that a German doctor she met through Atef (a family's friend) was in Lebanon and that we will ask him his opinion about the issue. So we went to Atef's and we met the German doctor. We told him the story and he was surprised that I was doing such a surgery at the age of 12. Then he checked my spine and noticed my hyper-flexibility. He concluded that I could wait minimum two years before doing the surgery. That was probably the best news I heard in my life till that day. A month after that we went back to France to see the surgeon that was supposed to do the surgery in case I wanted to do it in Garche. The day started with the usual check ups. Then came the afternoon. They told my mom to remove my clothes and I sat on the bed waiting for the surgeon to come. I couldn't really sit straight without the corset so I used to fold myself (head on feet) because I am extremely flexible. When the surgeon came in and noticed my position, he pointed at me and said "this girl doesn't need a surgery now, get her dressed!". I couldn't help myself but smile. I remember very well that scene. He explained to us very fast that I was at the beginning of my growth so doing the surgery now would stop me from getting taller. He added that my hyper-flexibility allows me to wait a couple of years before doing the surgery. That day, I left Garche happier than ever.

5 comments:

  1. I usually don't comment in public, but you're not following me on twitter so i didn't have a choice =p
    I love your character, your optimism and the way you're kicking life in its huge mo'er fu'in balls !
    You go girl =D

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    1. Tweet me so that I follow you back :]

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  2. The parentheses...a plural name, and maybe you're using it here as a wicked way of saying parent-theses.
    The question I ask myself after reading this is, "what am I reading?" I ask, is it testimonial? confessional? An incident in a life? An event, the event, in a life of a blogger...is it ficiton nonfiction.
    In my field, these are all valid questions, especially the ones concerning fiction and nonfiction. Even the most autobiographical texts have an element of fiction in them, and that may be the fiction of the past, and/or the fiction of the future to come. In any case, and in order not to complicate things too much, I'm reading this as a testimony of triumph over a parental order (not exclusive to parents). And bear in mind that every testimony posit a conviction in both meanings of the term: 1) conviction as a strongly held belief; 2) conviction as a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a crime. In any case, this parental order (let's call it the symbolic order) with all its procedures and its know-how and its supposed science and systematic knowledge almost changed the course of your life in the past (and hence in the unfulfilled future of that past) as well as completely disregarded your own affectivity and subjectivity. You felt fine (perhaps even more than fine), but this paternal order (of doctors and parents alike) took the liberty of feeling for you in an 'objective' scientific way.
    It's terrific how at the end it was the movement of your body that could speak loudly enough to the ears of this symbolic parental scientific order. This is a testimony that it is against our body as well as subjectivity that the symbolic patriarchal order works, and perhaps also that only through the malleability of our body that we can confront it.

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    1. As you will notice while reading my blog, I am only an amateur and everything I post comes straight from my mind. All the stories are nonfiction. By choosing the title "The parentheses", my aim was to point out the fact this is a small phase that happened during my life. I wrote this article in a very spontaneous way, which makes it kind of unorganized. I like the fact that the reader gets a bit confused because that's how I felt during that part of my life. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I don't want to reveal the "end" to you so I'm not going to comment on the rest but I'm going to say that it's not because I felt fine that I was necessarily fine. My 90 degrees of scoliosis weren't fine, it's just that I didn't feel any pain.

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  3. Useful distinction between being painless and feeling fine. Strength.
    And for sure, never give out an end....
    Kudos

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