Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Précis of a Difficult Week

Firstly, a heartfelt thanks to those who have contacted me through comments or email. All the kind words have been very much appreciated by both of us.

It's been a week since we got the news, and I'm steeling myself for a return to work tomorrow. Assuming yet another cold bug has cleared up a little by the morning.

Having got over the initial shock of receiving such terrible news, we've been trying to maintain as much normality as possible for the sake of E.

She did get her first ever overnight stay at the grandparents on Monday, as K needed to undergo a surgical procedure known as a D&C to remove what remained of our baby from her womb.

That was an emotionally difficult day for us both, with the added factor that she had never undergone a general anaesthetic and was understandably nervous.

It's worth saying the doctors and midwives at the hospital have all been great. The medical profession is often criticised for lack of patient empathy, but the staff we encountered were universally sympathetic and caring.

The procedure went well, and has at least allowed us to draw a line under the pregnancy.

That said, I think it will be quite some time before our emotions are entirely settled.

We've both resigned ourselves to the fact we were victims of one of nature's quirks, and understand and accept what happened.

Which means we can rationalise it, but not ignore the sadness and despair that continues to linger within us.

Christmas shopping this week seemed to bring a never ending procession of newborns in prams, with parents beaming proudly at their offspring. I feel nothing but delight for them, but couldn't help wondering about what might have been for us.

I'm sure that will fade. Time being a great healer, as the saying goes.

My only overnight stay in hospital came about six years ago, when I had my tonsils removed. That's usually a childhood operation, but I was one of the unlucky adults.

I can still vividly recall coming round from the anaesthetic in a darkened room, whilst traces of (I presume) morphine still circulated in my veins.

My giddy, dreamlike state soon to be replaced by one of absolute bloody agony, as the effects subsided and only co-codamol was on offer for further pain relief.

I spent a week off work, mostly alone at home immersed in computer games as a distraction from the pain I was enduring. Whole days passed with me subsisting on a diet of soggy cornflakes and warm soup, whilst I razed cities to the ground and launched wave after wave of armoured assaults.

This week my distractions from the emotional pain have been football and poker.

The visit of Celtic to Ibrox being a real throwback in terms of passion, commitment, and scything acts of brutality - most of which went unpunished. I was nowhere near as deeply engaged in proceedings as I would usually have been, but the distraction was welcome and the result acceptable.

Much as I yearned to divert myself further through poker, I didn't trust myself to engage in any big bet cash games. So I ground out enough limit hands to work off the monthly Interpoker reload bonus, and played in a few of the daily freerolls.

Coincidentally, my rakeback provider had also laid on a couple of big freerolls. I got nowhere in the $10,000 at Interpoker, but squeaked into the top 30 of the $12,000 at Full Tilt.

Making the top 30 from 1600+ entrants is pretty commendable, even if maybe 35% didn't actually turn up, but it's still frustrating to make a mere $40 when $2500 is on offer to the winner.

In part I was a victim of timings, as the hand I went out on, in a battle of the blinds, was easily foldable, but it was getting late and K was going to the hospital the next day. So external factors were at work.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign this week was my eruption last night when I got AK cracked on an ace high flop - by a buffoon who paid three bets to see a flop with K2s and went runner-runner for the backdoor flush.

The shouting, cursing, and general outrage that such an idiotic play should be rewarded was an encouraging indicator that my emotions are returning to their normal levels.

There's still a long way to go, but I'm already looking forward to putting this year behind us, and making plans for a rosier future.

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