Thursday, February 17, 2005

Don't think about a white bear.

When I met with Dr. Parker last week, he told me he was "an optimistic, realistic cynic." That sounds just right, and pretty well aligned with my own general outlook.

Right now, though, I'm an optimistic, terrified, eager, anxious, over-imaginative supplicant.

I got some good news on Tuesday - no skin cancer! I didn't really expect any, but it was good to have an uneventful medical appointment.

My pre-admission testing yesterday was fairly uneventful as well. The testing was a very brief blood draw. The longer part was going over my history with the nurse, spending a couple hours in a context that forced me to think a lot about the surgery, and learning more about what to expect. Most startling, thought it should have been obvious, is that when I come out of surgery with an NG tube and possibly on a respirator, I won't be able to talk.

Loss of the power of speech is probably my deepest fear, and I've had nightmares since I was a kid (not constantly, but from time to time) where I needed to, but could not speak.

I trying to spend as much time distracting myself as possible. We're taking the kids to the circus tomorrow, and playing music at the pub tonight. Judy and I are also planning a last dinner out for my esophagus this weekend with a couple of very close friends.

Optimistically, and realistically, we have every reason to believe that the surgery will turn out great.

We'll just leave the cynicism aside for now.


Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, I wish we could be there to see you & your son playing music and having fun. We hope you can have some peaceful days before the surgery and we pray
that all will go well and you will be back to yourself in no time. We are looking forward to hearing the good news post-op. Keep fighting the good fight!

8:40 AM  
Blogger UisceBaGirl said...


It was a wonderful show last night. Seamus has a lot of talent and charm and poise (no mystery where he gets that when you consider his parents).

The good thing about the blog is that it is one way to use your voice without having to speak. Keep us posted as you are able.

Your family will be in my thoughts over the weekend and beyond.


12:03 PM  
Blogger K.M. and Harriette said...

We have read your entries. We wish you, Judy, and the family the best, and we will be keeping in touch.

Good luck!
K.M. and Harriette

4:37 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Dear Jim,

I randomly asked my boss, Lurraine (who's well-known throughout the Richmond medical scene- she knows all and sees all, and has a very high standard for doctors) about Dr. Parker, and her face lit up, and she said he was the "king of surgery" who was an absolute doll of a man, and was an incredibly patient-oriented skillful and talented surgeon. He really sounds kissable!!!!

You're in great hands, and that made my day hearing that encouraging news about your surgeon, and if it makes you feel as half as good as it made me feel, I figured it was worth passing on!


6:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Wolf said...

Dale has taken to attaching a string of justifications to his prayers for you. In addition to "he's awesome," he now adds, "he's kind, and funny, and a good father, and a good musician, and he's Daddy's friend, and he's my friend." There is no question that in Dale's mind, by far the most important of these virtues is the last one. Friends are family to him. I thought you would want to know that you have been admitted to Dale's inner sanctum.

We went to see "The Diary of Anne Frank" at the Swift Creek Playhouse last night. Dale resisted mightily having to attend this play, which he knew was about a 13-year-old girl having to hide from the Nazis. Not aware of the playfulness, delightful insights, and rich, intelligent life that bursts forth from the pages of the diary (and was well presented in the play), he was aware of the outcome for Anne and her family. After much struggle, Dale admitted his fear: "If I watch this, I won't be a kid any more." Whew! Now that's identifying with others. Fortunately, while not ignoring them, the play did not dwell on the horrors that followed the end of the diary, and Dale is still very much a kid today, a bit wiser for having met Anne.

You are in our thoughts and prayers constantly. God bless you, Jim Guy, you are awesome.

Love, Tom

1:31 PM  

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