The blankness, emptiness and just plain white of this paper as I write, takes me to another place. It’s not the awe inducing white of seeing heaven in a dream or the shimmer of freshly fallen snow, but it’s white and it’s bright.
If there were pictures on the wall or colors on the chairs, I can’t recall. And just as the words start to color this once new, clean paper – the weight of decision would start coloring my life story that day.
Maybe if I act as though this is a routine doctor’s visit, I will be ok…..I remember my sister always hated shots and the idea of doctor visits, but I never really minded it. After all, shots only sting for a second.
Would I have that kind of willpower now? To finish this day with just a small sting?
Vaccines are for the better; they protect us. Doctors have our best interest at heart, right? Surely, someone would sit me down and guide me through this….a pros and cons list. Something.
If they did, my memory has tied that conversation up tight – double bagged it even – and thrown it out with the daily trash, hopefully lost in some unending pile of forgottens in the local landfill.
Good thing the landfill is local because I’m not from here. I currently live 5 hours down the road in a tiny Kansas town that loves it’s people. Where I jumped on hay bales as a kid and drove tractors down to see the sunset. One good thing about living in the flat land, is having nothing to block the view.
But this building blocked every memory of warm colors – at least in this moment. Did this place even have windows?
“Sign here, ma’am, and we’ll be right with you.” …..Ma’am. Is it ok to call a 17 year old girl, ma’am? Young lady might have been more fitting. But adult decisions call for adult names, I suppose.
It could have been 10 minutes…or it could have been 110 minutes, I’m not sure how long we waited. I’ll never know if he remembers, either.
Our minds and hearts sometimes play this odd game of hide-and-seek with painful memories. Maybe, bury the treasure and burn the map is more like it. Or – as I attempt to recall this painful experience for the first time in 13 years, the most accurate description seems closest to that of a soldier. Having been trained to be tough, yet hyper aware.
I’ve heard of it happening….stepping on a land mine and being so thrown back by the explosion, the only sensation is that of a painful ringing in the ears and utter confusion.
I’ve never been a soldier, but I have been in battle….with my past. The uniform slightly different…blue….with buttons down the back.
I had to google it. Today, I had to. How long does the operation take? Is it painful? How do you feel after the procedure? Did this really happen? Was I really there? Google can’t answer that….and I’m afraid, some days, I can’t either.
The nurse was pleasant, commenting on our unique names and how cute they sounded together. Using the word cute just then about made me drop my pen. Cute? As in what most people use to describe a child? Which I still technically was….one used to describe the chubby, yet flawless cheeks of a newborn – begging to be pinched by the nearest well meaning admirer.
What happened to ma’am? Small talk. I mean what else would you do in her position? Again, plain white room. There could have been pink walls with yellow stripes for all I know…….but white is how my memory will forever paint them.
“There’s the bathroom, go ahead and change into this gown – buttons facing the back, then we will be all set.” All set. Google says “all set” means ready. Then I’d be ready.
Some will want to know the details, some won’t – and to be honest, I can’t recall much. They do a pretty “good” job of making it fast. One day I may seek out stories from medical professionals who may have lived the other side – but for now, I’ll continue by telling you I was “awake.” By medical standards anyway. Awake and fully grasping the situation? I don’t think so.
I’ve been put to sleep for many other surgeries including minor procedures like getting teeth pulled, but for this – I was awake. The truth of the matter is – even if I had been put to sleep, the memory and sobering reality will remain awake in me forever.
Do they make Anbesol for emotions? Google (more specifically WebMD) describes the medication as “…a local anesthetic that works by numbing the painful area.” I would spend years spreading on generous coats.
Not much makes sense after that. Chilies….loaded mashed potatoes…a visit to the bathrooom. It was too soon for food. Hotel bed…..I need Gatorade….do they have a vending machine? How did we drive 5 hours home and I have no memory of it?…
Senior year of high school…I guess I’ll join cross country and take on yearbook editor…..my class really voted me secretary? Do they know I’m a mother? Of a decreased baby? No. Deceased has flowers on the casket….murders comes with chains.
I’ll pause there. Because I’m a Christian, I’m forgiven, but please don’t take a way the chance for me to name the sin and then fall to my knees as I praise a God who shed his own blood to clean up mine. To make this paper and that doctor’s office white again.