We land in Chicago with 9 1/2” of snow on the ground. It’s 1:00 am and Wallace is here to pick us up.
We are the third flight to land all day because of the snow storm.
We are lucky to be here.
We are lucky Wallace is here because there are no cabs in sight.
Tomorrow are labs and Dr. Burt. Thursday is “shock the monkey”
The test that will determine if I’m better. That test holds the answer.
Friday we will hear the results.
But, first we have tomorrow and Dr. Burt is kind.
On Thursday I see Dr. Alan outside the testing room. He is in scrubs which is unusual. He glances at me and in that instant, I just know something is different. He is in some way different.
I get into my gown and into the bed, palms and pits sweaty.
Dr. Alan comes in and tells me this one is going to be as quick and as painless as possible. He says “he knows the past few have been difficult”. He is gentle.
So, on the seventh day of the month, on the seventh floor, I have my seventh “shock the monkey”. And it wasn’t terrible. I feel relief. I feel hopeful for tomorrow.
On our way out we follow the exit signs.
We come out into the hallway right where I was left on the gurney.
We stand at the spot. I steady myself. I feel rage gurgling. My mouth goes dry.
My face flushes and my ears hear a roar. I see the lady that told me no.
I want to lean over and smash her face in with the phone she’s holding that she didn’t use to help me. I shake with anger.
Michael pulls me toward him, toward the elevator.
Michael says “lets go.” Michael walks away.
I know in this instant I must decide. I have a choice.
I can lose myself into this rage or I can release it right here, right now.
I swallow hard, breathe, disbelief at even seeing this spot again.
I know I must turn and go.
I know it in my bones that this is a gift if I choose correctly.
So I looked up one more time and then look over, then down. No tears.
I walked out to Michael and into a beautiful, cold Chicago afternoon.
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