I have been to a hospital three times in my life before.
At the age of sixteen a minor operation. Fifteen years later our son was born, my “Land”. Less than two years later, our daughter, my “Apricot”. Both have Finnish names but we just found out that they translate also into Japanese! So, the last two visits were joyful.
I had made a doctor’s appointment for September third, 2008. The gall bladder had been acting up for about a year. Not often, but painful enough and always somewhere when I least would expect it: Like the night in Vancouver on the work trip, or the night before my Mother’s funeral. Now in August it made me leave a restaurant just after ordering. I set up the appointment. My sister and brother were operated for the same problem. My Father died of it.
The new walkway was installed for our home. So last day of August I was spreading mulch for the flower banks, I loved being outside and in the garden. I was satisfied and tired once the work was done. Later in the evening my stomach started to ache. I don’t have aches and I don’t have pains, normally. I took two aspirins before going to sleep. Woke up at five, took two more and fell back to sleep. Nine a clock when up again, the pain was still there. You look like shit, my husband said. Watching me for awhile, he decided to take me to the hospital. August thirty first.
Emergency room. An orderly already diagnosed me while wheeling me in. Diverticulitis. Hmm. Testing started. EKG, CT scan, blood test. Another orderly/intern then tells me that I have cancer. I still had not seen a doctor yet. A cancer! I don’t see it being a possibility. No one in my family has had it. It’s not one of our sicknesses.
Other people get it.
Few hours later the surgeon comes to visit. He stands on the end of my bed, far away. He is serious; he talks with clear short sentences. With him there is a beautiful girl, obviously an intern. Both serious, professional. He explains there is a growth in my colon and it needs to be operated. Could it be cancer? He will not call it such yet. He wants to see it first. More testing and waiting. Within 48 hours I’m prepared for an operation.
All the people I met at the hospital were marvelous and caring. It amazes me that so many people get up in the morning and go to work to rescue people. People they don’t know, people with many different ailments, old and young. People like me.
I knew this surgeon by his looks.