I’m gonna go smell the coffee at Dunkin Donuts, I thought as I waited for the next train to NYC. I can’t have any until my procedure is done.
As I got to the line a homeless man approached me.
“Ma’am, could you please buy me a warm tea? I’m cold.”
I nodded my head and obliged him.
I’m worried about what I’m about to face and this man doesn’t even know how he’s going to stay warm today, I thought.
I distracted myself during my commute from thoughts about the torture I’d endure at the Hospital For Special for Special Surgery by responding to birthday messages.
“Hi, Ms. Beamon,” the admitting nurse said. “What are you doing here? Your radiofrequency ablation procedure is tomorrow.”
“No, there’s one today and one on Tuesday.”
Tears welled up in my eyes as I said, “is there anything that can be done? I made no birthday plans other than getting this done. Please.”
An hour an a half later, I got a call telling me I’d go in at 3:40. When I called my fiancé to tell him he said he was to driving in to take me for a doctor approved light lunch.
The two of us walked to a diner and sat in a booth near a little boy with blonde hair and quarter sized blue eyes. When it was time to go his grandmother asked for help. I held his tiny, chubby, dimple covered hand and got him to smile and laugh while she put on his jacket and grabbed the stroller.
Another birthday and I’m still not a mom, I thought.
I was sad when I got back to the hospital. Then a gaggle of nurses suddenly started singing happy birthday.
I tried to thank each of them but I had to go into the operating room.
As I entered I asked my surgeon why he didn’t have a birthday cake waiting for me. He said, “we can’t burn any candles in here because of the oxygen but I can burn your back and release your pain.”
“Touche’,” I responded. “I’ll take that gift.”
(P.S. I set up a promotion to reduce the price of my memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search For Dr. House, hoping this year those who know and support me will buy, gift or read it)
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