Thursday, February 4, 2010


I had a small medical procedure today and went under, as they say, and when I was waking up I heard a man talking and I had the sensation of being very close to him. Not physically close, but emotionally-close. I couldn't see him, we were separated by a curtain hanging down between our beds, but I heard him breathing, coming to, drinking his juice, and eating his peanut-butter and crackers. I heard his banter with the nurse and the anesthesiologist and the doctor who had performed his procedures. Since he had been 'scoped' -- the doctor was showing him pictures, of his own insides, and the man joked that he should put them on facebook. His doppelganger! When the nurse asked who was coming to get him, he answered, "my wonderful, creative and kind father-in-law." Then I started to imagine the band on his finger. Before I heard that I had assumed he was not married. His voice sounded young but also grounded, self-assured. He had a good sense of humor even when he was in some pain, which is a great test. He sounded like "a catch." Something about the whole experience, wearing those uninspired gowns, putting your belongings into a locker, shuffling around in little grippy socks or, even better, being pushed on a bed or a wheelchair, being 'taken care of' by all of the nurses and doctors, and giving over to the sedatives (?) -- it simultaneously made me feel very vulnerable and very safe. It also reminds me of 1984-- is that the one where the characters take 'soma'? There is something futuristic about the anonymity of it.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the first voice I heard when I am came to I believed to be a close friend. Apparently, as the medicine was taking effect I had started complimenting everyone in the room. I remember my doctor's fuchsia cardigan sweater over her scrubs, it really was cute. When I woke up my blood pressure was very low for awhile but maybe it was just because I wanted to stay a little longer in that state, listening to this man 'coming to,' a very private moment. He left first and as he ambled past me he turned his head and gave me a big smile and a thumbs up. We had shared something-- I think he felt it too.

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