I had my gallbladder removed yesterday. Even though I currently feel like I’ve been hit by a medium-sized truck (say one of those Morrisons’ home delivery vans) overall it’s been a really positive process. Because I was feeling rather ill with it, I chose to pay to get it done privately; I was told by the consultant afterwards that my gallbladder was in a sorry state and was a) completely blocked so it was effectively dead and b) quite badly infected*, which means if I’d elected to wait the current six months standard on the NHS then I would have been exceptionally lucky for it not to become septic. Given that the gallbladder is closely connected to the liver and the pancreas, then it’s likely one or both of those might have become FUBAR as those in the army would term it.
Clearly, this is something of a “what if…” and I could have been fine, but I’m feeling exceptionally blessed and even a little tearful today. Maybe it’s the Tramadol speaking but I’m trying to see this as a point to audit all of those incredible things around me and be grateful for every blessing. It’s a beautiful day – my ineffably wonderful wife is coming to pick me up and if I fake that I’m in more pain than I am she’ll probably kiss me and hug me. I get to return to a warm and loving (and messy and loud) home where I can eat ginger biscuits. A place where I can exercise free speech and nonsense speech and joyful speech and put that out into the world for people to enjoy or ignore. I have friends who if I ask really nicely will post photos of themselves making silly faces. I get to watch The Lionesses smash Norway into a weeping pulp on telly later on, holding my Frank’s hand. God is great.
It’s right that there is a current focus on privilege at the moment, of which I am undoubtedly a beneficiary, but in my opinion too much of the discussion is focused on identifying and arguing about the points of privilege in others (gender, race, class, sexuality, etc). This then sets an accusatory tone that others wrongly feel obliged to defend. Look at how politically-charged #metoo became when really it was simply saying that one human being shouldn’t sexually impose on another human being. How is that even a discussion!? There’s simply not enough energy spent on accepting that we all enjoy a truly unlikely privilege simply by existing and that in acknowleding that fact and being grateful for it, we can reach a point where we don’t want to selfishly safeguard the privileges that we enjoy we want to increase rights for all and work together to find equality.
I hope you are feeling well today. If you’re not I hope that you can be supported with that. I hope the sun shines on your face. I hope you have tea and ginger biscuits and kisses.
*Some people like gross stuff. This link is undeniably gross stuff. It’s what an infected gallbladder looks like. TRIGGER WARNING: you’ll possibly never eat olives or avacados again if you click this link and look at this picture.