I planned on writing something much different than the words that seem to be scrawling themselves across this screen. I had it thought out. Half-written and all. It felt much more controlled. I felt in much more control, but after sitting in the vascular surgery clinic– my legs folded and my earbuds softly blaring “Nothing” by Lewis Watson, I heard news that I never expected.
“There is a blood clot in your chest. We find this in around 4-5 out of 105-106 of the patients that come in with similar symptoms You need to start on blood thinners today. You’re going to need surgery or you will continue to acquire complications. You also need a veinogram where we will insert a catheter into your arm and thread it up to expand the vein and break up the remaining pieces of the clot. After you meet with scheduling you need to head downstairs to radiology and to the pharmacy and…”
After that my world proceeded to spin. I could not bring myself to participate in the pills versus injections conversation. Quite honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to ask a question other than, “Do you have to admit me?” It was surreal. I have had very few moments in my life where time stands still and I can do little other than watch as all that I’ve known falls away. But that was that. And I was left among the ruble.
We went over all the crucial information;
“Don’t bleed. Your medication doesn’t have a reversal agent. It’s not recommended that you fly, but if you got here safely it’s probably alright that you go home tonight. The surgery is going to be painful. etc.”
I’m sure we also went over many other things that I didn’t catch because I was too busy mumbling, “I’ve gotta call dad after this. Let me call dad. I’m going to text, E.” And thinking, “Dear God, please let me be well enough for the Dear Jack Benefit. Please let me be okay. I’ve got parties to go to, and beautiful places to see, and people who love me. I don’t have time for this.”
Here I am again, embracing every second of the insanity. Making time for this. Because there really isn’t another choice, is there? So maybe for the next few weeks it’s going to be a bit harder catch my breath. And maybe my legs won’t reap of the progress that I’ve made but rather of subtle instability.
Still, I’ve got to believe that maybe, just maybe, the bruises and scars are nothing compared to the life that they will give me. Compared to the joy that I get for imagining a day in which all of this is merely words on paper. I’ve just got to keep imagining myself when I’m nineteen, in a city that is foreign now but somehow seems like home, holding a cup of coffee with lipstick stains on the lid that are the same shade of red as the Rivaroxaban I clutch between my lips each morning and night. I’ve got to keep imagining being twenty-something and setting a date to commit myself to the person that I love. A date that has nothing to do with lying in a bed of sterile white linens but rather feeling beautiful in a white dress. And finally, I’ve got to imagine dying a long way from now. Dying when it’s my time to go and I look back on my days with utter satisfaction because they may not have all been joyful, but the fight was worth it. Worth it for a few hundred more days where I get to experience the pure miracle of life.