Thursday, November 29, 2007
messages - submission nov 29
I sit in the doctor’s office and listen quietly as he explains thoroughly, making sure I understand. When he’s finished he looks at me expectantly, but when I answer, he is visibly startled. This is not the response he’s anticipated. Again, he tries to make me comprehend the gravity of the situation.
“I’m sorry, I’m not having the surgery,” I state calmly.
“You’ll die.” He answers.
“I’ll die anyway, someday. I’ve seen what this surgery does to people. They’re not the same when it is over. Personalities have changed; they are dependent and cannot do the simplest tasks. I won’t live like that.” I answer again.
“Perhaps you would like to discuss this with your husband…”
“No, I will not discuss this with my husband or anyone else. I have made my decision. I need your assistance in living the rest of this out as best as I can. I do not want my family informed. I know I can rely on doctor patient confidentiality, correct?“
That evening while he was watching television and I was cooking dinner he asked what the doctor had said. I mentioned menopause and blood pressure and new medication to help me sleep.
“Let’s go away this weekend, maybe up to the mountains.” I said. He wasn’t really listening but I had already started planning.
I woke up early the morning and went for a walk. Did some writing, and then called a friend for lunch. At lunch I ordered what I really wanted and then dessert besides. When I walked outside I could smell fall in the air and already there was the changing colors starting to appear on tips of the leaves. The sky was azure blue.
I was going to die and I knew it, but first I was going to live.