Looking back to look forwards

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When I found out that my surgeon recommended I have my latest surgery I was just about to turn 16.

He explained the procedure to me and I remember the first and only thing I asked him at the appointment was ‘will I need an epidural?’ I asked him this because I knew that if I needed one that signified this surgery would be a major.

He told me yes, I would need one – and I processed that internally. When we got in the car after the appointment my mother said to me, “Grace we can do it later?” Meaning that we could do the surgery when I was older.


I knew I didn’t want to do that, because if the surgery was as major as we were led to believe, I knew I wanted to get it over with. I didn’t want it hanging over me, but there was also another reason I wanted to do it now. You see, although a part of me had processed that the surgery was major I had repressed or shut out a lot of the memories from my previous surgeries, and as a result, I didn’t really realise all the things I would have to go through if and when this surgery came to pass. 




A part of me didn’t really comprehend the massive undertaking that the surgery would be, until I was on the operating table; don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean I regret the surgery at all – it is one of the best choices I have made, but when I had come out of the surgery and had to wade my way back to normality [which took me a good few months] that was when I realised just how massive this was going to be for me.

Going back through those memories now is a hazy job at best; lots of therapy sessions, visits from my long time friends Ciara and Molly, longing that I could go out with that boy from Takapuna Grammar instead of being in two casts; however at no point did I ever think, “I shouldn’t have done this” instead at every hard and difficult cross road I thought, “this can’t be the end of me” and it wasn’t.

The reason why I am telling you this is because I think that we as people sometimes fall into this ideal of wanting to know how something is going to turn out, or wanting to know that it’s all going to work out, but a part of adult life is knowing that none of these things are a given. It’s human nature to think about the good bits and leave the bad in the back draw, but sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to admit that it’s going to be hard – and go forth anyway.

The surgery that I had set me up to have the best shot at a future by my design; with friends and a career,  one I would probably not have had if I didn’t go forward with the surgery. This surgery gave me a foundation to build from.

Sometimes it is hard to find time to balance everything because even though I’m out of rehab I am always spending time trying to up keep my body; and if you are struggling with balance, whether it be with work and school or in your home life. I’d give you the advice that we get once chance to live or to be young and all the things that matter to you, you will get a chance to do. Don’t worry or stress, you’ll get there.



But at the end of the day, what my this time in my life taught me is…Don’t be afraid of difficulty, because you can and will come out on the other side.


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