Almost ready

Tomorrow we are off to the city for surgery on Tuesday June 3. I have a real sense that this whole process has nothing to do with me. The simple fact is I’m not to intrude and the disassociation I feel is silenced by condescending reassurance. It’s a strange feeling to be not there. Last time I fought it because I was dying and it kept me alive to resist.

This time isn’t so serious (depending on who you trust) so I’m going to try being silent.

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  • Carolyn Jones  On June 2, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    Going through a similar (though much more minor) experience myself today Scott. It’s hard for people like us to keep silent – but it works! Nobody knows how much we are taking in though – te he!!! May your Force go with you tomorrow and good luck.
    Carrie 🙂

    • scottx5  On June 2, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Hi Carrie, got luck with your experience today. Like I mentioned to Vanessa the silence is for a select few, no one can resist talking to the ward nurses:-) It feels powerless to let people talk to you like you aren’t there and since it’s done mostly for THEIR own comfort being quiet seems appropriate. Also I have to think about power relationships in general as I’m developing a small annoyance scheme to drive our local government crazy. It’s my turn to be a problem.

  • VanessaVaile  On June 2, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    I hope I am catching you before you leave. Don’t be totally silent, submissive. Keep some of that do not go quietly quality about you. It’s still your body, not theirs. And there’s the deeply ingrained habit of not telling patients everything unless pressed to.

    Where did that usage come from anyway? Maybe being the object of their attention need a new name and identity.

    French (mid 14th c) “enduring without complaint” comes from Latin patientem, from pati, to suffer. The patient as “suffering or sick person under medical treatment” appears the late 14th c. So underneath it all, there’s an archaic sense of suffering in silence, being an uncomplaining victim as a virtue, undergoing the action of another, not being an agent. Passion comes from the same root.

    I’d like to think of being a patient patient as temporary condition. endured to get through, not permanent. Your characterization of ‘observer’ seems to fit that. Observe to bear witness, report on when you come back. See, I want to trust that that assurance too. The condescending part says more about the person wearing the attitude, a way to feign a patience not felt.

    How are your wife and daughter doing?

    • scottx5  On June 2, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Yes, you caught us Vanessa. We aren’t as quick as we used to be:-) The idea of silence is to stop the endless reassurance. It’s automatic and meaningless. Ward nurses are fine so I can enjoy them.

      Wife and Daughters have heard the goodby speech three times. We have a plan for screwing things up when I get back. More interesting to scheme together than fret.

      Thanks for the message!

      • VanessaVaile  On June 7, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        In case you have a designated blog/email/social media responder or long distance carrier pigeon at hand, I’m ready for an update any time now

      • scottx5  On June 9, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        Looks like I survived. Plan A on the operation had to be changed when things went haywire so I have a whole new set scars and punctures everywhere. Defiantly looks like I was operated on during a plane crash. Then, since my BP dropped like crazy in the recovery room I was taken off pain killers so the first 12 hours moderately intense. They removed about a foot and a half of my lower intestine and mailed it somewhere for biopsy. The tumor didn’t look cancerous so I missed that bullet. On Friday night I went into a physical / mental melt-down leaving me with some things to think over. More in an upcoming blog.

      • VanessaVaile  On June 9, 2014 at 8:42 PM

        I hope they mailed it off in a leak proof envelope. Operation going haywire, scars and punctures does not sound good. You and medical system are having a real brawl. Glad you are still around. Having a melt-down under the circumstances seems appropriate. Not having one would be stranger.


      • scottx5  On June 9, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        Surgeon started out with tiny laparoscopy incisions and the scopes got tangled in the layers of plastic mesh holding my gut together from another operation. So back to an abdominal “reach in” cut from just above my navel, around the left side of the navel down to my Speedo swim trunk line. For some reason my body isn’t bilateral so often the parts are out of place or bent in odd ways. My arteries have their own motor system and are very adept at dodging needles. They need an arterial connection for life support monitoring, one in each wrist I ended up with 10 holes on the right and 3 that still hurt like hell on the left. They finally settled with 8 holes in the left elbow to get one live artery to work with. I still have fewer scars than my nurses have tatoos:-)

      • VanessaVaile  On June 12, 2014 at 7:34 AM

        You’d think wanting your medical records would mean they meant to and would read them ~ and then have had a better idea what to expect, truck parts and all. Even your innards are contrary, perhaps Escher-like

        I keep thinking we are the same age or thereabouts, so never asked. You may be just a tad younger as my high school class mates just missed the draft, but their younger brothers didn’t. Two brothers I was between in age have always been emblematic for me: David two years older went the the AF Academy, shot down, MIA, and Larry, two years younger, went to Canada too, Ontario. We wrote for years, but lost touch in the seventies. If there had been email, we’d probably still be in touch. I think of things like that whenever I hear about how online connection isn’t real. ont to high school there. Her father worked at the university, lab tech staff, and published a sci/fi zine. It would be neat to find out you’d crossed paths. I’ll ask her since I don’t know her maiden name and presume yours would be the same, un-altered by marriage.


      • scottx5  On June 12, 2014 at 10:53 AM

        I was born April 16 1949 and grew up in the Berkeley Hills near the cyclotron. Child of the space race. Graduated a semester early from Berkeley high and went to Taft for the summer to work in the dying oil fields there. Applied for conscious objector status, got it and then became difficult to find for a bit. Met Leslie at night classes in Ornamental Horticulture at Merritt College Oakland. We lived together, then married in in 1974 by the same Unitarian Pastor who married my parents (Dr. Fred Stripp). Moved legally to Canada in 1975 to Comox Valley, East coast Vancouver Island. Raised the two girls there and then moved to Alberta in 2007 for Leslie to take an instructional designer job at Portage college that was just opening an online course building studio. I began working here with a heating / plumbing company. Had a small heart attack while fixing a roof-top heater in a 40 below blizzard over clinic where my doctor worked. Couldn’t go back to work after that and months later found out my aortic valve had been shredded by a bacteria my party-girl apprentice had given me. Her name is Glenda after Glinda the Good Witch of the North from Wizard of OZ which might be why my illnesses don’t kill me, only provide strong lessons?

        Leslie knows a number of people from the AF stationed at Great Falls around ’72. She was originally from South Gate in LA and did a BA at Berkeley. Same age as me.

        I think there’s a bond between people our age based on resistance to authority. We don’t accept “the way things are” though not all of us turned out good:-) I left Berkeley in part to get away from drugs and alcohol abuse. Quit a few of my friends are dead or in prison now from from their bad-ass lives and I’d rather be someone else’s problem rather only to myself:-)

        We are trying to get out of here and move a bit to the south in Edmonton. I’m attracted to the Western rural image and don’t mind the red necks, just the snakes I’ll avoid. So how did you end up in New Mexico?

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