the incurable dreamer

my dreams are my disease, chasing them my only option

the right side of possible

For those who don’t know – you’re welcome.

One day last week, my friend sent me a text to see how I was doing. I sent her a text back telling her what was going on, and her response was super appropriate, and hilarious, ‘You must have been a giant asshole in a past life or something.’  My reply to her, ‘Was I ever!!’  I suspect that during one of those lives I was downright abhorred and had no friends whatsoever. Though I am currently dealing with the fallout of the choices I made lifetimes before this one, it comforts me to know that I am now only an accidental asshole (I ALWAYS SAY SORRY YOU GUYS) and am surrounded by totally kick-ass friends. Thank goodness that, in this life, I am doing something right.  I am not going to lie, though, it has been tough the past 14 days dealing with the consequences of the assholery that was practiced a lifetime or two before me.

The morning of my surgery, I was dehydrated upon arrival and accompanied by low blood pressure, meaning that my veins decided that they need not show themselves.  So, after four failed attempts, by two different people, to get an adequate IV in my arm, the third person rammed the needle into my arm like it was a pin cushion with no feelings.  He was introduced rather swiftly to my potty mouth.  I was, however, thankful that he took an aggressive approach to avoid the next person getting punched in the throat.  He did someone a solid, I suppose.  Anyway, once the IV was finally in, they rolled me into the OR and hooked me up to a drip.  When the drugs hit my system, I said, ‘Ohhhh wow. AM I ON DRUGS NOW?’ and a nurse gleefully exclaimed ‘YES YOU ARE’ and then I started laughing hysterically.  It was the most fun OR, EVER!  I then proceeded to give them all a pep talk and fist pump into the air while screaming, ‘GO, TEAM!’ The last thing I remember before it was lights out, was that they were not going to be able to get me to sleep.  Duh, I totally fell asleep.

Things were great immediately after my surgery.  The beach ball that had been lodged inside me for a year and a half was gone, and the back pain that made me reconsider the benefits of continuing to breathe was gone.  Like, completely gone.  To say that I was relieved, grateful, happy, blessed and profoundly overwhelmed is a tremendous understatement.  I was all those things times a million.  As I lay there in my hospital bed, I realized that the chains were off and I was finally free from the hell that had been tormenting and testing me.  Tears of happiness fell down my cheeks and, at that moment, life was really, really good.

But then at 2 am, a magnet made its way inside my head and began sucking my eyeballs into the back of my head and then spinning them out of control.  It felt like I was in a battle with a black hole, one that I was about to be violently sucked into, and when things started to go dark, I prepared to meet my new leader.  But, then it stopped, and I found myself still lying in my hospital bed, all my limbs and brain intact.  ‘What in the almighty fuck was that?’ I whispered to myself.  Calling the nurse was a consideration, but I felt I was too high to adequately explain the black hole that came to get me, and based on the type of surgery I had, I thought things might get slightly awkward if I failed at communicating, you know, properly. The black hole came to get me over and over again throughout the night, but each time I managed to win the battle.  In the morning, and after coming down from my morphine high, I explained the dizziness to my nurse (I selectively left out the black hole part).  She was certain that it was just the aftereffects of my anesthetic and was comfortable discharging me since I was not going to be at home alone.  When I left the hospital that morning, it was with a sense of hope and excitement.

Seven days later, I went to the walk-in clinic.  Since leaving the hospital, my eyeballs had continued spinning, and I needed help.  It turns out it wasn’t a black hole at all (so weird), it’s called Vertigo.  The physician gave me a prescription to drain the fluid from my ears and was confident that the dizziness would be short-lived.

Three days after that, I developed excruciating pain in my abdomen and another body part that made the usual pleasure of pooping feel like I was birthing a semi-truck out my ass.  Dink threatened to drag me to the ER if I didn’t call the nurses hotline for some medical advice.  So, when the nurse said that the information I provided required that she call me an ambulance, Dink didn’t need to drag me – I voluntarily went with her to the ER.

Twelve hours, a sunset and sunrise, an IV (first try!) and a CT Scan later, I was diagnosed with an infection and was sent on my way with a prescription and lots and lots of instructions.  This time when I left the hospital, it was with frustration and hopelessness.  I was beginning to lose faith.

After arriving home, I thanked Dink for not only encouraging me to go to the hospital but for sitting with me half the night.  Then I went to my room, stripped off my clothes and crawled into bed.  Once the room stopped spinning, I drifted off to sleep.

A few hours later I woke up and meandered about in a stupor for the rest of the day.  It wouldn’t be accurate to say I was feeling sorry for myself; I wasn’t, but I was definitely in a funk.  The recovery I had pictured for myself wasn’t happening and having a peaceful poop was now only a foolish pipe dream.

When I woke up the next morning, I dressed and walked up the street to buy myself a coffee. On my way back, I was overcome by a powerful urge to see the ocean.  For a few seconds, I pondered the risk involved if I were to drive my car, but based on the fact that my vertigo only seemed to be happening when I was lying down, the decision was an easy one.  As if I am going to drive my car lying down – pfff.  A few minutes later I was seated on my favourite piece of fence, sipping coffee, listening to music and looking out at the wonder before me.  For the first time in two weeks, I felt connected to something greater – and I felt alive.

The sky was gloomy, but it was beautiful, and I was in awe.  Thoughts of everything I am dealing with began swirling in my mind, and the sudden realization that I was going to get better restored my vision.  This really is temporary.  I remembered that beyond the clouds is the sun, and it shines ever so brightly.

As I sat there looking towards the horizon, I thought of my dad and my stepmom, and the opportunities they have lost because of the disease they are both carrying – one that will never leave their bodies.  And I thought of my co-worker Mick, and what he would have given to be able to sit and see, for even one minute, what my eyes were seeing.  Everything then became crystal clear, and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling.

Over the course of the last year, pain and physical challenges have impeded my ability to chase my dreams as relentlessly as I had planned to, and my resolve has been put to the test.  So often I have wanted to throw in the towel and surrender to a time that wasn’t so goddamned hard.  But, I didn’t.  Somehow, through it all, I found a way to keep moving forward.

Beyond the horizon are possibilities and they are all mine if I want them.  I just have to reach out and grab hold.  And the moment is now, because one day, I won’t be so lucky.  This time, though, my body will heal, and I will once again have the opportunity to live without inhibition or constraints.  In a few weeks, I will have defeated the Dark Lord of Vertigo and will be able to poop without having one leg propped up on a wall.  And when that happens, I will be where I have longed to be for so long – the right side of possible.

The chains are off.  And I am free.

Every moment from now on belongs to me.  And I believe that anything is possible.


pour me another


not so stupid after all


  1. Wow, that was quite a ride. Hope the recovery is short and swift.

  2. You’d better believe you’re going to get there! You and me both Chicka! But if I ever find the guy that decided to take us the long way around, I’m going to introduce him to your potty mouth and my left hook (I actually have no idea if I even have a left hook but I’ll give it a whirl because the long way around kind of sucks sometimes). Big hugs and all sorts of healing vibes!

    • the incurable dreamer

      Hahaha! That’s a deal – I bet that you have one hell of a left hook! The long way around totally sucks sometimes, but, like you, I know we are both going to get there and will be much stronger than when we began. Thanks for the hugs and healing vibes, I will take all I can get! Big hug to you. xo

  3. Di

    Hello dear dear Tanya!
    I’ve been looking forward to your ‘post surgery’ post.
    What an enormous ordeal for you. All reinacted with your ever present humour…. and positivity. There’s certainly time to feel that things suck and you just want to wallow in your pain.
    What a beautifully visual way you described of pulling yourself out of that feeling to remember ‘the right side of possible’.. I love that!
    Wishing you every happiness in moving forward to grab hold of the life with dreams waiting to be hugged close to you…
    Thank you for sharing such depths of emotion here.
    Much love from Di ????

    • the incurable dreamer

      Thanks so much, Di. It certainly has been an ordeal, but thank goodness it will soon be over! And when it finally is, I will feel better than ever and be so much stronger for having gone through it. There’s always a silver lining and something to learn from every situation, good or bad. Thanks for all your support, Di! I very much appreciate you. xo

      • Di

        You are very welcome Tanya.
        Thank you for your uplifting reply…and your kind words.
        I appreciate our connection and friendship from afar too. One day, I’ll see you in person ???

  4. Wow Tanya! What an ordeal. Never quite goes the way we plan huh? I am so very glad that you are seeing some benefits and the way you are still able to push through the bad parts is inspiring. Sorry for laughing at your pain, but the mental image of you pooping with a leg propped on the wall… LOL!

    • the incurable dreamer

      Thank you so much, Lee. It NEVER goes as planned, but I suppose that is what makes life so interesting. And don’t you apologize, I am so happy that you found the humour in my poop story and it made you laugh! Honestly, you just can’t make this shit up. It is going to be a glorious day when I can sit on the toilet in peace once again. Woot! Thanks again for checking on me last week, and for being awesome! 🙂

  5. This post is so inspirational! You are so honest and brave and I appreciate every word. I hope you recovery quickly and without any other events! Sending you healing thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing. PS: New life goal is to sit in that spot and look at the ocean, BEAUTIFUL!

    • the incurable dreamer

      Sarah, I wholeheartedly support your new life goal – it is a simply stunning view, and that spot has so often has provided me clarity when I needed it most. And thank you so much for the beautiful comment and healing vibes, it means a whole lot. Finally, I think I am through the worst of it and am on my way to healing. YAY! Thanks again! xoxo

  6. So good!! You had me writhing in pain one minute, and laughing hysterically the next! I made a deal with the Universe a few months ago…”Hi, Universe, this is Brooke. I know, you got me confused with you friend Jobe. I just wanted to clear up any confusion. I AM NOT, nor am I a super hero. Nope, i’ts just lil’ ol’ me, who is about to fucking snap, so I’m just going to request that you leave the whole health thing out of this. Not one shooting pain, no bizaree rash or questionable freckles. Nothing. I will take responsibility for the after effects of too many glasses of wine, but everything else is off the table”.

    …or something to that effect. Point is, girl I feel you. When things feel like they are falling apart, the physical shit needs to be a non-issue…especially the actually ‘shitting’ part…you are amazing, a super hero of sorts. Thanks for starting my day off with a laugh and gratitude for my health!

    • the incurable dreamer

      HAHAHA!! Brooke, why didn’t I think of having that conversation with the universe two years ago. DOAH! I love it! And I am with you; we are all responsible for what happens after too much wine – I have paid the price for that mistake once or twice. And I will proudly wear the ‘Superhero’ badge, thank you SO much! To be in the same category as you, is an incredible honour! I hope that what I write inspires others to see through their pain, and encourages them to keep moving forward. Sometimes it is not possible, but when it is, we all should grab hold and refuse to let go for as long as we can. There is so much to see and feel in this life, and we need to extract every possible ounce of wonder and joy from it before it is too late. And what this experience has also taught me is NEVER take shitting for granted!

      Thanks again, Brooke. I am so glad you are here! xoxo

  7. This might be my favorite post of yours yet, Tanya, and that’s saying something. It seemed kind of weird seeing as how we’ve never actually met and all, but for the past few weeks, I have often thought of the storm before the calm you were going through and impotently wished I could help in some way. That was silly of me. Clearly, you didn’t need my help even if there were some form of help I could have offered. You kick ass, take names and then blog about it. And for the record, your artful employment of vulgarity in this post was sublime!

    • the incurable dreamer

      Paul, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you were thinking of me and wanted to help in some way. You may not feel like you helped, but you did. Connecting with you through your posts and comments helped me in more ways than you know. You made me laugh, and you inspired me to find my connection to words once again. I can’t thank you enough for being the constant beacon of light in my life that you are. Though we are in different countries, it feels like you are here. Your friendship is one I am very grateful for. So, please allow me to take this opportunity to thank you – for everything!

  8. There needs to be a “Love” button :). I’m so happy that you’re getting onto the right side of it all!

    • the incurable dreamer

      Marca, you are just the absolute sweetest! Thank you, thank you! Big hug! xo

  9. cathy blahout

    I love how you always find that beautiful moment!!! You are such a sweet soul. So happy you are feeling better each day. Love ya Tan xo

    • the incurable dreamer

      Aww, Cathy. Thanks for saying that, it means so much to me. I always try to find it – sometimes it is harder than other times, but no matter what, I know it’s there. I am on the road to recovery now…I think. Ha! Love you too, Cathy! xoxo

  10. I don’t know how you do it, but you managed to make what would otherwise be a miserable tale of struggle against an unbeatable foe into an immersive journey that is both hilarious AND inspiring.

    Sorry to hear about the post-op infection, and i feel a little bit guilty about laughing through your pooping/birthing problems (but not too much because com’mon, that shit is hilarious 😉 ). But it says so much about who you are that despite ongoing symptoms, you still get out, and you still reach for the other side.

    But even more, you share that hope with us so well that WE believe too.

    Today, you’re my medication.
    But make sure you complete the entire course of antibiotics!

    • the incurable dreamer

      Gabe, I am not sure why your comments are going to spam. I mean dear lord, all my posts should go to spam if cursing or vulgarity is the basis for Spam. I mean, let’s be real. Ha! Thanks for all the comments, I will keep the other two in there for me to peek at when I feel I need a little pep talk. Thank you.

      ‘Today, you’re my medication’ – what an enormous compliment! Things could be so much worse, I know that, but sometimes I need a little reminder that things will, in fact, get better. And I am so glad the ocean gave me the clarity I needed. My hope is that others read about what I am going through, and it helps them find the strength they need to overcome whatever is holding them down and inspires them to keep reaching. We are capable of so much more than we realize. The good news is that today the room is not spinning at all. YAY! It is still Cirque de Soleil all up in my bathroom, though. But I look forward to shitting with ease in the very near future! Thanks again Gabe, for being such a wonderful support and friend. You are the best! 🙂

      • Free at Last. Thank God Almighty we’re free of the Spam folder at last! (Pretty sure Martin Luther king jr. said something surprisingly similar about 50 years ago, but it still feels right)

        You’re also absolutely right about being capable of even more than we realize. I’m excited to see what new horizons you reach this time next year.

        And hopefully, you’ll be able to shit without having to use the parallel bars by then 😉

        • the incurable dreamer

          YOU GOT SPAM BLOCKED AGAIN! Ahhhh. I promise I will figure it out. And thanks, Gabe, a year from now I hope to be somewhere pretty spectacular! Actually no, I WILL be somewhere spectacular! 🙂

  11. Looks like my comments are getting lost in your spam folder.

    • the incurable dreamer

      My spam folder gobbles up so many comments – I must figure it out! I found your wonderful comments, Gabe, and freed one of them and responded. Thank you!! ?

  12. Glad life is finally looking up for you. Onwards and upwards! Good luck 🙂 🙂

  13. Kim

    Gosh, you’ve been through so much! But now you’re on to the good bits. The bits where you get to do all the things your medical issues made impossible. I found your words: “I remembered that beyond the clouds is the sun, and it shines ever so brightly”, very uplifting. Love your strength, determination and humour in the face of ‘shit’. ???

    • the incurable dreamer

      Aww, what a wonderful comment to receive. Thank you so much, Kim. I am grabbing hold of the good bits now, and it feels amazing. I am not going to take one second of my good health for granted, ever again. It means a lot that you read my blog and enjoy the words I write. My goal is to be as honest as possible and hope that what I write helps others get through whatever shit they are going through as well. You are the sweetest, thank you! xo

  14. Good Lord! That is quite an odyssey. You must have cleared at least eight lifetimes of karma in just one week:)>

  15. So I have just read so many more of your posts. You are a gorgeous writer, you know that? I’m just sitting here in awe. You probably can’t accept this compliment, as is typical for ridiculously talented people, but it bears repeating, you are a beautiful beautiful writer.

    • the incurable dreamer

      Tiara. Wow. Thank you. All I know is that I write straight from the heart, with the hope that I will reach someone and possibly give them hope. So, I will indeed take this as a massive compliment, and accept it wholeheartedly. Your words mean so much to me. Thank you.

  16. I know I am coming late to this, but I wanted to thank you for sharing so completely.

  17. You just had me glued to my chair. Great great great post!

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