I lie awake. It’s not all about geology and physics and forces and atoms and clever stuff you know Mr Professor Brian Cox. It’s not all about charge and attraction you know. And you, Mr, sorry, Professor Hawkins, or Dawkins, whichever one it is, you may be right about a lot of stuff, but it’s not all about String Theory and cyberspace and Big Bangs and gravitational pull you know. The most important thing about the world being round is that when we have the sun shining on us, half the planet doesn’t have it and when they have it, we don’t. The ying and yang of light and dark, night into day, day into night. The significance of that is quite profound: Global friendships are key, perhaps vital or critical in a 24-hour recovery support.
My global friends are a heterogeneous bunch, a mish-mash of rugby teammates and opposition and coaches, work colleagues and former colleagues, lab colleagues from my student days at University, family, family of friends, and friends of family.
Someone is always awake for their day when I can’t sleep at night. I get a reply or a message from a friend on the sunny side of the planet letting me know I’m in their thoughts, prayers, mind or head. Letting me know, that however alone and lonely a neurosurgical ward, or a big bed may feel, that I am not really alone, ever.
So in the small hours, as I lay with wound drain and catheter attached, “woken” every few hours to have my routine observations done, I would silently correspond with my global friends. My Blackberry was my lifeline. Lovely emails and messages telling me I had gone to extraordinary lengths to “prove that props had brains”, telling me that I had “taken my passion for oncology one step too far by becoming a patient”, telling me that I was in their thoughts, in their prayers, blessings were coming my way, candles were being lit for me, people who’d not been inside a religious building for some years had been moved to give it a go, just in case it might help with my recovery.
I would correspond with those who were also in darkness and could not sleep, and those who were on the sunny-side of the world, setting off to work, at work and coming home from work, living their normal lives. They made me feel close, not alone, and loved, albeit remotely. So if you struggle to sleep, and don’t want to listen to music that makes you cry, or if counting sheep gets too tiresome, think of your global friends. Get in touch, keep in touch. Let them know that know that they are in your thoughts, and you will be in theirs.
The Power of global friends can be felt at times of need: my request for a Global Positive Vibe Transfer (GPVT) ahead of my first off treatment follow-up MRI scan, was met by a woosh of wishes, a pulse of positivity and barrage of blessings that was truly palpable. There may have even been some global warming caused by the candle lighting. Basic physics and psychology really. Facebook, that sometimes gets termed “Facelessbook” may be no substitute for seeing and chatting to your friends, but it certainly means that those who are your Facebook Friends can speedily let you know that they are thinking of you. I like it for that. I like blackberries. I like Blackberry’s too, for their real-time-ness of me being able to communicate with my freinds. Technology comes with its up-sides, and overcomes the challenges of the World being round.
Written at home on 04/01/12