Dearest Rachel –
Well, it’s over and done. Hopefully, I’ll not have to do that again for another ten years or so (although they did find one polyp in there, but the doctor acted as if this is a fairly regular occurrence, so I’m not going to worry about it until Monday, if even then). I missed out on the whole procedure – thank heaven for anesthetics – so, with that in mind, what was the worst part about the lead-up to it all?
It’s hard to say.
I mean, having to drink four liters of that… stuff… was pretty awful. Took me from four in the afternoon to well near midnight to get down the last glassful (each glass of which was followed by a shot of two parts water and one part lemon juice). For the record, what they call ‘unflavored’ may not in fact have a flavor, but if it smells like plastic – Daniel hit it on the head when he sniffed it, and amplified that it smelled like burnt plastic – it’s gonna taste like burst plastic. Guess they don’t want to put that on the label, though: “New Burnt Plastic Flavor!”
The, ah… expected consequence of all that liquid – or more to the point, the purpose of the powder – wasn’t as awful as I feared, though. Compared to a bad case of food poisoning, this was more inconvenient than painful. And even then, it wasn’t as if anything came upon me suddenly, where it might be dangerous to cough or sneeze. No, it was actually manageable, if understandably unpleasant.
Why, I even managed to get to bed, and sleep for a good six hours. Honestly, I was worried about that; I thought I’d have to stay awake all night, lest I miss a call of provoked Nature while I slept, but no. So it wasn’t quite as bad as I had feared.
Moreover, Chompers even let me shower and dress before waking and demanding to be fed. Which was fine, too: this way, I could take care of him before Joan stopped by to take me to the hospital. So, that worked out, too.
But then, after I had checked in and changed into my hospital gown, and sat there on the edge of the bed at the two empty chairs – one containing my own clothes in hospital bags, the other… just empty – I was caught unprepared.
In earlier days, you would have been by my side, encouraging me as I waited for this; my first hospital procedure since I got stitches on my head when I was five; my first anesthesia since getting my wisdom teeth pulled in high school.
But now… that chair is empty.
To be sure, it would have been regardless of whether you were alive or not, thanks to the current Covid restrictions, but still… the fact that you simply could not be here. Would never be here for me anymore… well, it caught me by surprise.
I honestly do not know how single people go through these sorts of things alone
And I don’t know how I’m going to get through this.
I mean, the staff was solicitous, and quite helpful throughout. Once that wave of ‘all alone in the world’ washed over me, I was surrounded by nursing, and then doctoral, staff, who walked and talked me through the procedure and kept me at ease. Yes, it actually felt like I was on an assembly line, as others were wheeled in before me while I waited, but even that was reassuring in its way, to understand that they were so accustomed to this procedure that it was routine to such a point. I was going to be okay – well, subject to whatever they might find, which turned out to be very little.
Did I waste a worry? Yeah, probably.
Was it a pleasant experience? No, if I could wait the full ten years, it’ll still be too soon.
But was it manageable? I suppose.
I still wish you were by my side. Although who knows, maybe you were, but I couldn’t sense you. If you were, thank you.
And I’ll see you later. Love you.