Two and a half years ago, Julie had an operation, one that has changed her life in so many ways. It's a common operation these days, but the really nice thing is that the team behind the procedure like to hold an annual get-together for all their patients, past and present, and their respective partners. It's a wonderful little do, supremely English, in that it's a garden party and serving little bite-sized nibbles instead of laying on the carbohydrates and drowning them in beer.
For everyone involved, it's a chance to put on a little finery and allow it to see sunlight instead of the sickly glow of a pub or nightclub....
...sorry, I think I need to disengage my cynicism circuits...
Joking apart, I have enjoyed it on both of the occasions we have gone, and I know Julie has too. It's a chance to meet up with people who have been in a similar position. More importantly though, people can get to meet once more the surgeons who have effectively saved their lives.
Admittedly, it is something of a PR stunt, in that there are photographers from a newspaper or a magazine there each time, but that only adds to the experience. Especially in view of the fact that the photographers allow people to grab hold of any photos they may be in and use them for themselves. Saves cramming yourselves into a photo booth, doesn't it?
Julie isn't the only one with a health problem. I have suffered from severe headaches and migraines since I was a wee lad of seven. Over the years, I have been from doctor to doctor and tried the gods know how many different types of medication and/or painkiller. I have tried Herbal remedies and a Chinese herbalist, neither of which achieved anything apart from a substantially lighter wallet. Of course, there can be and are many different triggers, all of which I try to avoid.
One such trigger, however, is light. My eyes are particularly weak and so, like U2's Bono (and for the same reason), I need to wear sunglasses of varying tints pretty much all of the time, regardless of whether I am outdoors or in.
It causes a few odd looks and jeers now and then, but sod 'em; I've avoided a headache. On the other hand, it can be a bone of contention between me and Julie on occasion.
Um. Thanks, love.