Pleasure and Pain

I wrote the following while in hospital, deciding whether or not to go ahead with major surgery to remove my large intestine.

snowboarder cresting a ridge hiking in the mountains

Details……Pleasure……Pain. What do we remember? How can we forget? I can remember more details from a single powder run on my snowboard from 4 years ago that will be etched in my memory forever. The cold snow hitting my face as I dropped my heal edge into my first turn, disappearing under a cloud of fluffy snow. The crisp cold air as I breathed in. Heart racing with pure joy and exuberance at the weightless feeling as I floated down the run, bottomless powder, disappearing under each turn. I remember the sky being such a clear blue, though I know clouds had rolled in and out through the day. I was nervous as it was my first time being in the backcountry. I was nervous about being the slow guy, holding back my more experienced friends on such a good day. I have rarely, if ever ridden snow so light and deep. I was alive.

underweight male patient with ng tube and 2 iv's

Pain, I can remember no details from my past 4 days laying in a hospital bed other than the feeling of wanting the pain to stop. Time blurs, slows down, speeds up, all I want is to not feel. But how can I not want to feel, with memories of such pure joy? The pain has obliterated it all, there are no details, just pain. How long have I struggled? Have I had a truly good day? Pain free? Fear free? What does it feel like to wake up, and just be able to get up, and go about your day. That would be a pleasure, to not fear leaving the house without shitting myself. Could I go for a walk? Dare I dream of even going for a hike? Can I float down the side of a mountain again without thinking about heading straight to a bathroom? Maybe, just maybe I can stop stealing moments between bathroom rushes and pain and live again.

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