What Sustains

The furnace kicks on and I listen for the igniter to catch, sending warm air up through the floor vent just to my left.

This sound is drowned by the low rumble and back-and-forth tug on the ball caught between my two-year-old pups just the other side of the laminate floor of my office.

I reach up to turn off the bill-paying screen to my right. The click of one button reveals the brightness that shines into my space through the window above the heat vent. The light pouring in turns a buttery yellow with the setting of the sun.

Movement from my right catches my eye every now and then, flashing from the screen that hangs on the wall, casting her silhouette in front of the virtual world set to relax the mind and pass the time.

My banking tab interrupts and the chill from my glass sets in.

This is not the slice I sat down to write, but it is the warm-up that my fingers needed, that my mind craved, that this writer required to be able to get to the part that has been waiting since who knows when:

Did you know that doctors compete for our business? That even though the doctor who was–at one point–part of our daily lives was in the hospital that day, the doctor who wanted our business failed to call him. Told us he’d likely be unavailable, in his limited, near-retirement status. And our doctor, to be fair, would have known we were in the hospital had he answered his messages from the night before. But within twenty minutes of discovering that we were being courted by another, our doctor snagged the results that had evaded us for the better part of 24 hours.

No, it wasn’t a recurrence of the tumor. We knew that already.

Yes, it was abnormal activity on the EEG. Inconclusive activity.

And from what I could Google, it is pretty common, though this far out from surgery, likely puts this in the “unprovoked” category. New connections were formed during the growth of the tumor, developed during healing and regeneration, and are still forming. Like in any brain. But this man’s brain is extraordinary. And the year-and-a-day-ago connections, they simply ran aground. Shorted out. Misfired. Faulty wired.

So we set our feet to the ground and we face this like we have everything else even as the furnace kicks on, the dogs crave attention, our girl relaxes and unwinds, and the light from the sun fades at the end of another day.

What a difference a year-and-a-day makes. And at the same time, what sustains.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. agriffinwa says:

    Wow- this is one packed punch of a slice. I was seduced by the lights, the pups, the tabs. When the gears changed I was wondering why your doctor became the focus…
    Then by the end I was feeling that twinge of fight in my gut, the one that sounds the alarm that it’s time to get back in the ring.
    I’m the reader in your corner!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. eddiehren says:

    I am a fan of your writing. Personal and packed with perfect imagery. The content has so much heart and the style and form is so clever and gripping. Excellent writing here. Such a small yet epic journey it took me on. Blown away. Seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your slice is very impactful with so much content! Who knew that doctors act like merchants, not carers? So sad. Hope everything works out for you with the right doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Erin Vogler says:

    I’m adding that final line to my own notebook. I have a backlog of emotion and experience that I need to write about, but have been so focused on the pain of it rather than what has sustained me throughout all of it that I’ve been avoiding…for years. Thank you for reminding me.

    Liked by 1 person

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