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Kindness While I Writhed

My insides churned after devouring a delicious too fast eaten grease dripping burger. Laying on my bed, the pains wouldn’t stop. Whatever position I turned over or onto or under. Pinball gas, the pain got sharp here, then there. “Hey, you OK?” He leaned over on the bed, hand on my back. “Yes, no. I don’t know. It usually goes away. Maybe I should go to the hospital. Maybe it’s appendicitis.”  “Maybe sleep on it and it’ll be better?” “Yea, maybe, maybe, maybe. I’ll go in the morning.”  “I’m working tomorrow so find a friend ok?” I called my friend to go with me. “Go now, I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Into her car, seat tilted back. In the waiting room, sitting on a cold chair, my body twisting, trying to get comfortable on the cojoined blue plastic. “Lay down,” my gut cried, “please lay down!” My friend found a nurse, found a hallway, found a stretcher. I took the pain drugs, slept in the hall. The best horizontal of my life. At 7 am they rolled my body down for x-rays and rayons and readings in the bright lights. The pain had subsided. If I'd waited til morning, I’d never have gone. Waiting in the emergency cubbyhole doctor room, just me, my friend gone now. Dr. opened his chart. “There’s a mass in your abdomen. You need to come back for a CT scan. I’ll put in the requisition. You can go now.” Lumpy lumpy lumpy. I walked myself out into the early day, needed to get my body with the mass in it home. On Queen Street, the red rush hour streetcar came. I stepped inside, found the middle, reached up and held onto the bar. My body exhausted, hungry. “They found a mass in my stomach,” I said into the phone, calling him at work. I cried, held the bar, watched the fruit market, hardware store, my son’s school, roll past the window. 

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash


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