In college, I went on a date with the son of my mother’s coworker. I couldn’t remember if his name was Jason or Justin, so I spent the entire night maneuvering my way out of saying his name. He... [+]
But everyone is so nice.
They tell me what is happening at every moment, introduce themselves as members of my team, give me reclining chairs, temperature controlled gowns, hands-on shoulders, and hands-on hands and diet Pepsi. They help me tie my gown, put my hair up in a cap, pull on underwear and itch my nose when my arms are strapped down.
They do safety checks nonstop. You are? “Amy Bowers.” Date of birth? “6-16”. Who is here with you? “David.” Do you understand what procedure you are here for? “to get a polyp removed.”
In the OR people swirl around me and I flashback to my three c-sections. One easy, two a little unhinged due to the extreme size of my children and their heads. Masked faces pop up close to mine.
“I am (fill in a proper noun)”
“I am here to (fill in a verb that relates to someone doing something to your body)”
My blood pressure is high although I don't feel scared, just unbelievably sad. I want to cry for bodies’ fragility. For the fact that I am not here to have a baby and in fact, my children are swiftly becoming adults. I want to cry because I am having pieces of my body cut off. I want to cry because I, and not all, have the means to this level of medical self-care.
A few years ago, I had a small bump on my nose cut off. (There is a theme of my body growing more than it needs, a biological affluence if you will). On its way to the lab, it was lost. I spent a melancholy week wondering what happened to that little slice of me in its rheumy specimen jar. It was sent out to the world never to be heard from again.
Maybe I am too sentimental. I feel the itch of nostalgia like a drag on a cigarette after a decade of not smoking.
Even when I a writing this recollection, the nurse calls to make sure I am doing OK. She reviews again, the warning signs of potential problems and tells me who to call if I find myself in trouble. She wishes me a speedy recovery and we both go on with our days.