Life & death


It didn’t feel like I was dying but the nurses had other ideas. “We’re going to push the alarm button now and in a minute this room will be full of people,” one of them told me. “Can’t I just take a nap? I feel fine!” I insisted but no, the button was pushed and doctors and nurses flooded in.

“She’s down to five breaths a minute” the nurse said. “I breathe slowly!” I said, “I can’t use meditation apps because they go too fast!”. “You were doing 14 breaths a minute before,” they reproached me. They talked about taking the morphine pump off me, even though they saw I hadn’t used that much of it, but it had been flooding into my skin instead of my veins. They talked about putting me on more ketamine. “Look, I’d want to take a nap at this time of day even if I hadn’t had surgery yesterday and was full of painkillers,” I pleaded. “But would it make you happier if I sat up and watched some TV for a while?” It did apparently, and that was enough to get them out of my room, leaving behind just the junior nurse to watch me for a while.

three small gallstones in a clinical pottle
So small and yet so painful

I started this story dramatically because that was more fun to talk about than the intense stabbing pains of gallstones, the repeated trips to A&E when they didn’t get around to scanning me, the trips to the GP, the vaginal ultrasound that I should have taken a benzo for beforehand that kicked off my PTSD a bit. Gallbladder surgery is pretty common but not a whole lot of fun, especially when they left a tube in me for an extra half day because the nurse was too busy to take it out. I have vague memories of writhing around in extreme pain in the recovery room trying not to scream while they put me on morphine and ketamine and I felt like a cocktail of boys I used to fancy and their various drugs of choice.


Jo and Joanna
Why is this picture upside down? I don’t know.

Tasmania with Jo again. Post gallbladder my digestion is shot to hell and after we ate a lot of cheese I spent a lot of time pooping. It felt amazing to have someone to take care of me though, to be able to say “can you please buy me some pads and tampons” and have her there to do it. We didn’t do half the things we planned but I spent a lot of time swimming, saunaing and steaming in a cavern under a hotel. We went to Feast as part of Dark Mofo where I found a wine called Hubris and she found a mess called Eaton.

I guess that cunt’s name is Eaton.

and I stared out of cab windows at a city filled with secret red lights and events I felt far too old to participate in.

We ate an amazing meal at Templo. I had to skip the trip to MONA because my heavy period and general exhaustion would not tolerate it, but then because of airline bullshittery i ended up overnighting in Brisbane where I swam in an outside pool and I went to the art gallery there instead. Most importantly I got to have lots and lots of cuddles with my darling.


So I started a clothing label just over a year ago. Yes, random I know. It’s called House of Boom (short for Fatty Boom’s House of Boom Boom) and it’s going pretty well. I still have a full time job as well. Here’s a video of me talking about it.


My beautiful sweet girl died in September. She was deaf and so loud and demanding and so tiny but I loved her so much. I miss her. She was so lovely the way she would headbutt her way under the duvet at night and snuggle up to my butt, the way she would claim anyone’s lap as soon as they sat down, the way she would follow me around always wanting affection. I’m so pleased she found me and spent the last seven years of her life with me. My father helped me plant a magnolia tree on the lawn in her memory and it’s budding now.


Tangles of limbs and feeling like the cat who got the cream. Rollercoasters of emotions. Filthy sex that’s also somehow the most wholesome ever because we use our words and we talk about feelings. I have a new boyfriend for the first time this millennium. I also have a girlfriend. I have finally grown that unicorn horn. I don’t know how I got this lucky and also at the same time I know I absolutely deserve this. It’s a glorious time, providing very welcome distractions from a pile of other badness.

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