A Gaggle of Doctors
Around the foot of the bed a gaggle of white coats has congregated. The situation is urgent, critical. They’ve decided to operate tomorrow, Father’s Day.
The evening before yesterday, we were in the hot-tub, afterwork unwinding. He looked in my eyes and saw yellow.
All day, I was in bed, my body expanding… the swelling, which started on one foot a year ago has spread. I’m putting on several pounds a day in water weight. If you saw me, you’d think I was just another overweight person, but no. I’m dying.
Decisive and wise, informed and on point, my husband took me immediately to the Emergency Room. I saw the sunset from inside the car. We arrived and were admitted into the hospital.
My roommate is in pain. She screams, yells, hollers for morphine. “Junkie,” I snap judge her. She is pretty, like me. Plump and sexy. She has a Puerto-Rican accent, but I bet she doesn’t speak Spanish. She is from New York. She is visiting family… she ate something, she was on a hike… whatever. “Ghetto bitch.” I think, listening in on her telephone conversation(s).
The room is divided in two with curtains suspended from the ceiling. Her bed controls the door and the flow of traffic and noise.
My bed is wheeled to the other side of the room, by the window. Here, I will sleep.
Sleep is impossible with people streaming in and out of the room, all night. They take your “vitals,” they give you pills. The two IV “trees,” machines which monitor the flow of drugs and saline into the blood, beep, if our intravenous drips are tangled. All night, the two trees took turns beeping. Nurses, rush in the room to stop the beeping.
After a few hours, I feel that the hospital is making me sick. I want to go home and sleep, recover, from this ordeal. Morning arrives and I’m ready to die. The room is still, for a second, before…
They come in, one by one, and then a team, I’m overwhelmed, too tired to lift my head, they tell me what will happen, what might happen, and what happened—according to them. I don’t listen. I don’t care. I’m busy. Dying.
So… this is what it looks like, THE END. Soon, I will be back in my father’s arms, we will go for strolls, and wait, in bliss, until my husband and children join us! Finally, I will get to know my grand parents and ancestors… all the Africans, they wait for me to join them. Clearly, they won’t be waiting long.
Father, Daddy, the black and beautiful man that trained me to be me, to thrive, has visited me, us my husband and I, yesterday and today. He assures us. Yet… I’m not ready. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a lot of living to do. I’m not going, don’t make me! I want to raise my own kids. Forty years is not enough.
En masse, the Doctors leave and Eileen, Irish and fierce, open and alarmed, Best friend, arrives. Just seeing her cheers me up! We start to talk and I forget where I am, a nurse (on her rounds) joins us, and it feels like a party. NO WAY AM I DYING! No way.
This is just the beginning. I’m at the start of my adult life. Maturity is around the corner! I’m going to be fifty, sixty, and so on. I’m going to be a grandmother. That is the plan, the vision, The Dream.
Husband arrives as best friend leaves, says “Goodnight,” and I’m left with my roommate. She has decided to vomit, all night. “Why don’t you call a nurse?” I ask her. “I’m waiting till the morning,” She tells me. I put on my Bose speakers, the noise cancellation ones, another death bed gift from Hartmuth and I shut out my roommate’s hacking and spewing until morning.
Morning comes and the day speeds by. I don’t remember much, but they say, “The Operation was successful.”