When I was a freshman in college through a complicated set of social relationships, I met a little girl who was deaf and blind and her mother. She was not profoundly either deaf or blind and especially enjoyed music. I was still playing a lot of viola back then and was in the pit for a couple of musicals in the community. I always gave my comp tickets to KC and her mom who enjoyed them. I didn't have any family in the area and none of my college friends were really that interested in hearing local community groups put on The Sound of Music so they were the only people in the audience for me. For Christmas, KC's mom gave me a photo of some trees framing a meadow with lots of mist all around. It said, "Of magic doors, there is this: we do not see them even as we pass through." KC's mom, whose name is completely lost to me, said she thought it was particularly appropriate for me. Freshman year of college was almost thirty years ago and I still have the picture. In fact, I used to display it in exam room #9 to let patients know that I thought transformative experiences were a possibility for any of us at any moment.
For work in the next couple of weeks, I have two powerpoints: an informal one for our provider meeting with a review of a medication and a more formal one for the primary care doctors about palliative care: what it is and why they care, essentially. Because it is important to me to sound like a person with a clue, I have been working hard on them and various web searches and reviews were the main activity for this afternoon.
The day's other activities were an early morning trip to Starbuck's with Terry, a mid morning trip to Starbuck's and the feed store with Emily and a NYT crossword puzzle. As I downloaded the puzzle, I heard my internal brain voice say, "Hey! This is the first one of these I've done alone since I was sick." Meaning, evidently that some part of my brain has arbitrarily decided that I am no longer a sick person. The last crossword puzzle I did by myself was probably mid-December. I guess somehow in the past four weeks I have slipped through a magic door into the healthy room. It is always fascinating to me to find out what is going on in my own brain. On the other hand, you know what they say? Don't believe everything you think.
So, we know what the unhinged narrator in my skull thinks, but how do I feel about the possibility of (ha!) self-identifying as a healthy person again? It seems a little scary and presumptuous, in a way. If I say I'm healthy is that like tempting fate? I can get my port out now and I've been afraid to do it because I worry that removing it will cause me to need it again. On the other hand, there is a way in which I miss being the sick person. Overall, the expectations were quite straight forward; there were not so many things to keep track of and any tactless thing I said could be written off to a fever or chemo.
I am not sure what I will be doing tomorrow, but I hope I will be feeling healthier and more comfortable as a healthy person. For you, I hope you feel comfortable in whatever role you are assuming these days.