Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Thoughts On My Back

This one is for you my friend.

As a long term survivor of Hodgkin’s Disease, cancer, I have learned alot medically, and about my survival.  I have learned about risks, protocols, and needs.  I have been through much worse in my life with radiation and chemotherapy.

If you have never been a patient before, there are a lot of things that go on in a patient’s mind, at various points of procedures.  The mind races as people hustle around you, roll you, and all of a sudden choose that moment in time to mass introduce everyone to you, which if you are going under anesthesia, will not remember them anyway.  Your mind is consumed with what to expect following your procedure.  Almost as in real life outside of the hospital, inside, I do not take the time to look around, notice my surroundings, relax, enjoy, appreciate.

This story is dedicated to my good friend who takes notice and appreciates her surroundings.  This is more than just a child laying in a grassy field looking up at puffy skies.  This is a grown woman, possibly with things of her own on her mind, but as she travels, she takes photos and speaks about the very details that she notices during her visits.  She slows down.  She enjoys.  She relaxes.  She appreciates.  And then she recalls, in vivid details.  So Cathy made the suggestion to me, as I have seen my share of ceilings, what do I see?  What do I think about?  Interesting that I had never really given it much thought until now.  But with a pair of procedures coming this Wednesday, I started thinking.  Hmmm…

So yesterday, I payed attention to my first ceiling.  I say the first ceiling because once I was rolled into the procedure room, all I noticed were the multiple monstrous digital flatscreens.  If my throat did not hurt right now, I would probably grunt like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.  (All together, I know you are doing that right now.)

But this is the first ceiling I looked at, my holding room.  Wendy looked at me funny because I was staring at the ceiling, and she asked me if I was counting ceiling tiles.  When I told her “no,” for some reason, she referred to the light grate which of course was about one and a half foot wide, and two feet long.  The argument, how many squares total were in the light grate.  If you have Facebook,  then you have seen this puzzle several times where you have to count how many squares actually exist.  Initially, it looks like sixteen or something, but then you look at the squares that are formed by the other squares and so on, the number comes out to be in the twentys.

We never did get to finish calculations because just then the techs came in to roll me to the procedure room where I would undergo my first colonoscopy and second endoscopy.  You would think that would have been on the forefront of my mind.  But thanks to my friend, the techs were now standing there, staring at the ceiling.  Counting.

Okay, seriously, I want to get this done and over with, the colonoscopy, not square counting.  I will do the math at home, or maybe I will not.  Maybe I will give it a shot for my next procedure.

For anyone wondering how many squares there were?  There were six across, and seven long.  So the answer is not 42.  You do the math.

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