Windy, stormy, rainy day, but you have this deep motivated and enthusiastic feeling because you are at a point you’re turning your life around. And then a “No Caller ID” vibrates in your pocket. I knew it was the doctor, and was tempted to ignore it. I swallow hard, and answer, knowing they have an earlier date for my surgery. The Admin’s voice was tight and caught in her throat as she asked me, “do you still want your surgery ‘like yesterday’?” She was quoting me, and I knew it. Every time I saw her in the last few months, I badgered her to get me an earlier date, saying I want this surgery done ‘like yesterday.’
Well, my throat dried, “what date?”
It seemed like forever before she replied, “May 10th.”
Well, shit. I have fallen off the bandwagon of eating healthy and exercising. I’ve been tired, not sleeping well, and eating takeout almost every day. It’s been expensive and I feel disgusting for it. I haven’t bought any clothes, everything I own is fitted and would be uncomfortable to wear with an ileostomy (from what I have read). I have also been going out on weekends and having a few drinks, meeting new people to break out of the hermit shell that I have been in.
I was frustrated with myself then, have I undermined my recovery if I take this date? What about my mother and sister’s flight that is booked? What about the hotel that is booked? What about my social life and enjoying the next month like I wanted to? What about the cycling that I wanted to do? What about work? They are completely unprepared for me to be off earlier, even though I have warned them that the date could change. Obviously, my mind was out of control. I thought then, ‘clearly I am not mentally prepared for this at all.’ I asked the Admin for five minutes so I could call home and see about my sister’s flight plans.
One call after another, and it was either an endless ring or voicemail. I call five people closest to me and there is no one answering. Devastated, I sat there, cold, tired, hungry, and drenched. I could feel my socks absorbing the rain that leaked through my shoes. My hands were frozen, my toes felt squishy and my chest was tight. I cried then. Sobbing, on transit, without shame or embarrassment; no napkin, no Kleenex, just my sleeves and countless tears. I am sure those around me were more embarrassed than I was.
It didn’t matter where I was or what I was doing, I just had to release.
I haven’t cried in a long time, and I think that sudden feeling of “being alone” definitely contributed to it. And I know that is a bit melodramatic, because I am not alone. Despite my strained family relationship, they are more than willing to come here for some time to support me. It was just that feeling of being in this technological world unable to get a hold of someone when I really needed to that was most devastating.
I call my friend again and she picks up, apologizing for missing my call and that she missed it by two seconds. She advised me most honestly to consider my health at the forefront of this decision. She then said “you must consider they are giving you this date because you asked for an earlier date, not necessarily because your condition will get worse by then.”
One by one, the other four people I called started calling me back. And at that point, I felt so foolish, wiped my tears, and for lack of a better word, sucked it up.
I called the doctor’s office then and declined her offer. She then said, “well, unfortunately, your original date is no longer available.”
She then proceeded to explain that the doctor is suddenly unavailable for June 6th and 7th. I was appalled that she called me under the pretense that there was a cancellation, when in fact, I am required to pick another date anyway. This flustered me more. All my rambling thoughts occurred again. I asked her for other dates to choose from and she said she could try to schedule me for June 2nd, but that would involve someone else being willing to move.
My emotional torment got even worse then. I had more tears than I had dry sleeves, and I could feel myself almost hyperventilating and the need to pace. My entire body was frozen, and I felt like a wet dog, pacing outside of my transfer point, rain drops striking my face, the torrential downpour soaking through my jacket chilling my skin. Obviously, I was just falling apart at the seams.
I think this was a pivotal moment for me. I say that because 1) I must realize that I am not alone, there are people in my life that do care, and who are supportive, and 2) life just doesn’t go as planned sometimes, and that is fine. I suppose I am just learning to adapt to stressful situations and work through life’s inconveniences, or maybe this is just another “Fuck You” card.
It might seem ridiculous to get so pent up over a date that is a month earlier than the original, but it must be remembered that a month earlier is only 20 days from now. I have thought, if you start it earlier you can get through it earlier too. It’s a nice thought, but it’s a challenging decision. And you don’t know the feeling until you are faced with it yourself.
So, now, I am waiting to find out if I can have my surgery on June 2 (found this date with some negotiation) or May 19 (an alternate date I preferred to May 10). There honestly is no convenient time for such a procedure, it is just how you prepare for it that makes a world of difference (perhaps a third reason this is a pivotal moment?). But, despite how much you prepare for something, there are always surprises.