An ‘X’ was drawn on my back to mark the spot where the biopsy needle was to be plunged. That’s when the nephrologist executed the bait and switch.
“Ok, how about you do it?”
“The biopsy? Me?”
Hovering over me — face down, backside up— the attending nephrologist discussed the procedure with the resident, who’d been at his side since I met them the previous afternoon. (It was a teaching hospital).
“Yes, you’ve watched enough of these. You’re ready.”
“It’s a straight shot?”
“More or less.”
One of them touched my shoulder. “How are you feeling?”
I lifted my head, twisted my neck to look them both in the eyes. I’d read somewhere that you’re supposed to make eye contact with specialists so they see you as a person instead of a procedure.
On Easter Sunday, when I was 19, I awoke from panicky dreams of missed j-school deadlines and failed foul shots to find that I was encased in a body bag of pain.
Before I consciously understood that I couldn’t move, my first thoughts were of a feature story due the next day, an air ball I doinked in the last basketball game of an inauspicious season for Carleton University, and a gnawing hunger for carbs.
I imagined crumpets, discounted and day-old, from the thrift bakery around the corner. My roommates and I survived on its discards.
It was like having a beer store on the block if we were a house of 18-year-old guys with new fake ID, instead we were… Continue reading →