I’ve never been a Shakespeare fan, but just before my new friends from the GI Lab (shout-out to Sandy and Jill) wheeled me into the briskly efficient OR room for my colonoscopy last evening, I turned to them and said, “Much Ado About Nothing”. Everyone laughed, including the GI doc who had just proclaimed that he did not anticipate finding internal bleeding, based on my labs.
His prediction held. He identified five polyps (snip, snip and out they came) but found no blood and by 9:00 p.m., I dined on my first food in three days, a lovely hummus wrap which an enterprising nurse had scored by raiding the closed kitchen. Oh my gosh, and coffee! Instant Folgers, but it might as well have been freshly ground Jamaican Blue.
In a sea of lumpy news, being told that you’re not all that sick after all rises like a blushing mermaid and lolls on the rock facing the shimmering sun on a calm morning sea. I might be a lot of unenviable things — alone, unemployed, weary, and plagued with a few random diseases of which Sutter Health Modesto Memorial personnel have never heard. But I’m not bleeding inside and the nasty polyps got caught before (we hope and assume) they morphed into cancer, if destined to do so they had been.
The nurse who had expressed frustration on my Thursday rejection of chicken broth orchestrated the voyage to the wilds of the darkened cafeteria to feed me vegetarian fare after I got back from the OR yesterday. As I ate, she took a moment to tell me about her son’s viral condition, which she apparently passed to him and deeply laments. I told her about the Immunologist at Stanford whom I see. She asked about “my” virus and noted the website which I frequent to learn of advances in virology. By the time she went back to her duties, any discord between us had vanished. “You’re a good advocate for yourself,” she announced. I asked if that meant she thought that I was crabby. “Far from it,” she assured me. “I do the same for my son.”
We had reached the point of understanding. More than that: My resolve has been restored. The curtain rises on Act Three, and I step out from the wings and deliver my first line.
It’s the eleventh day of the fifty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.