I have known many people over the years who have had major illnesses, injuries, addictions, and so on. I have lost many good friends. Some passed as a result of self inflected harm be that drugs, drink driving, or over-exuberant use of a motorbike. Others through bad luck or bad choices.
The worst of circumstances for most of us will be in major disasters or situations of violence. In my younger days, I have been in places I should not have been and ended up wiping the blood and remains of friends off of my body whilst running for cover and wondering "why them and not me".
One of the great things about the kind of job I have is that one is constantly moving between teams, from client to client and meeting new and interesting people (as well as some boring and/or annoying people of course).
I slowly became aware that one new colleague (one of the interesting examples) had a hearing problem on one side. The other side she set to be protected from the noise of the office by sitting next to the window on the last seat in a row. When I finally "officially" became aware of this I was asked if I knew why she had a hearing problem and whether or not I had seen the pictures.
Well, I am not shy about asking directly about such things and have found through the years that the vast majority of people are very matter-of-fact about injuries, illnesses and operations they have experienced and often keen to share something of their experiences. In this case, my colleague had suffered a life-threatening brain tumour fairly recently and had the photographs and a video or two of the operation. She was unusual in the experience of the surgeon in requesting photos/video of her operation.
I was fascinated, as were, it turned out, my children – one of whom had had some surgery on her head herself not so long ago.
The photos showed that surgery had been done through one side of her head resulting in the ear concerned becoming useless. The loss of hearing on one side, and balance problems when pressure changes, she had colds, etc. seems to have been accepted as a small price to pay for surviving.
She had given me permission to publish any of the photos on this blog. So I am. You have been warned.
These look kind of odd to me. At first, you think that you are looking at teeth.
Here we see a scan showing the tumour.
That is one big growth. It is no wonder that my colleague was suffering balance problems and fainting spells. She is lucky not to have died before the problem was diagnosed.
Finally, we see the ear stitched back in place.
I am delighted that she has shared this material. It is really interesting. I am glad I am getting to know her and hope to know her more over time. She has my respect for fighting back to health and dealing with the pain and difficulties I have no doubt her illness, operation and recovery caused (and probably continue to cause).
[By the way, you can click on any of the photos to get to a slightly bigger version.]