Friday, October 19, 2018

Going Under The Knife

by Elliot K (writer), New York, January 07, 2008

Things we forget to do before having surgery.

What is the reason that hospitals always have people arrive at ungodly hours of the morning for an operation that isn't until noon or later? I've always wondered this until recently when I had to arrive at 5:30am for an operation that wasn't scheduled until 11:00am. There is no reason whatsoever, but it gave me time to call people that I had forgotten to call to let them know where I would be should the world suddenly come to an end, god forbid.

Then I started to think morbid thoughts, like what if this was the last time we spoke to each other and had I forgotten to tell them something really important or something that I had to get off my chest. There exists a quandry. If I say too much and piss off someone and then live, no doubt that person will no longer be my friend. However, if I say something good especially to someone I care about and then I die, will I regret never taking a chance to find out if they feel the same. What do I do?

I did call someone very close to me and apologized for all the hardships I had caused her in our friendship, but didn't let her off the hook, she did bad things as well. When I was done telling her things that I usually would have kept to myself, she asked me if I was telling her these things because I was moving away, or am I dying. It was funny to me that she went there, but not outlandish. I made sure to tell her that I wasn't moving away, but that I was about to have surgery and just in case I didn't make it I wanted her to know how much I valued her friendship even though at times we both had taken advantage of each others good nature along the way.

She was appreciative that it meant that much to me to clear the air and she wished me luck with the surgery. So after baring my soul to one of my best friends I remembered to call my grandmother, but didn't let on that I was having surgery, just told her I loved her and wished her a happy new year. She is 90 and the shock would have killed her for sure. We don't tell grandma anything like that until it's over and we recovered for a few months. Then she gets mad that we didn't tell her but we move on. To this day my grandmother doesn't know that I had my tonsils taken out when I was 12. We told her I was having a sleepover at a friends house. A friend that likes knives and has good drugs, and ice cream. Just what every grandmother needs to know.

I emailed a few close friends so that if I wasn't on line for a couple of days they wouldn't over react and I called my ex and yelled at her until she cried and told me that she still loved me. Just in case I lived I needed to know. I also sent a bulk email to my on line aquiantances and got a lot of good luck wishes in response, which was nice to see.

The most important thing I did was write out a will. I left my brother my CD's, DVD's, watch collection and some clothes. My sister got my camera, stereo, TV, and DVD player. I left my mother my computer, jewelry, and my vast shot glass collection. I set aside money for charity and the rest of it along with my bills I left to my father. I donated my shoes to the poor so be on the look out for homeless men in Cole Haan, and whatever clothes my brother doesn't want will be sold at the next Beth El rummage sale in February, bring singles. The rest of my things would be up for grabs among the members of my family, except for my car which I left to my nieces and nephew to share when they get to be drivers.

This whole process was cathartic, and it got me thinking about my life and a poem I had read recently about the line in between my birth year and death year. Did I do all of the things I wanted to do? Did I go everywhere I wanted to go? Was my life meaningful and did it touch other people? So many things to think about the night before being up at 4 am to get ready for surgery, that would happen in 7 hours. So, who would you leave your things to? Who would you call? Would you call anyone or would you forget?

About the Writer

Elliot K is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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