“Have a seat and he will be in with you shortly.” She closes the door while I sit gingerly in the chair on the far side of the table. Pictures adorn the walls – pictures of families, framed with notes and signatures on the matting. Fathers, mothers, children at various ages. All thanking this person for what he did for each of these families.
The glass-topped table is strewn with random papers and pictures from various surgeries that he has performed. I can’t figure out what exactly the pictures are of, but I can narrow the choices down to a small number of internal organs.
I lean back in the chair and attempt to get as comfortable as possible. My most recent procedure has left me in a most uncomfortable state that I’m hoping will be gone by tomorrow.
The door opens and the doctor enters, his usual large smile adorning his face. He shakes my hand, his large hand making mine look smaller than it really is. I don’t stand up to shake his hand, partly because I am lazy, and partly because I have no desire to move, knowing it will be uncomfortable.
“Well, we have the results of your ultrasound and it looks like our options are limited.”I can only think, wow, that was quick. I just had the ultrasound. Although it was a good 15 – 20 minutes before I was ready to get up and leave the exam room.
“…we would need to perform an open procedure and there will be quite a bit of reconstruction needed.” I tune in partway through his explanation. Somehow I know this would be the verdict. At this point I still have a huge decision to make.
“I also have the results from your blood work.” He puts a chart of sorts on the table in front of me. “Based on your age and the blood work that we did, you can see here,” he traces the line linking my age and the levels from my blood work, “that you only have really about a 10% chance…..”
This changes things. My decision is basically made without me having to make it. Why bother trying to save something if I don’t NEED it and I’m not going to use it? At least I had never planned to intentionally use it. If it happened, it happened. I just never thought I would have to face the loss of it at this age. I thank the doctor, rise slowly from my chair, shake his hand and walk gingerly out of the office and to my car where I give my husband, Sparky, a call. The conversation starts off fine, but within 2 minutes I’m crying. “It’ll be okay,” he tells me. “At least we know what’s wrong and we know what has to be done. I still love you.”
I hang up, start the car and drive back to work, trying to control the tears by the time I get back to my office. I still have 6 hours before I can go home, lay in bed with my cat and watch period dramas.