Tomorrow, at 7 AM I report to Columbia Medical Center for surgery. The Columbia social worker called an hour ago with instructions. No food nor liquid after midnight.
Eleven hours and 56 minutes no food nor drink.
This is my last meal.
Left back row to right:
Pita goes with Spanish eggplant (superb) far right. [Brackets are reserved for price. How much is the eggplant? I do not know. The eggplant is a side that goes with $15.95 Middle Eastern combination platter (which I did not order)].
Behind the coffee [$2.50] is Cole slaw–a side with chopped chicken liver on the deli rye platter [$12.95] last row behind the pickles. [Pickles come with platter.]
Barely visible empty cup Kasha soup [$3.95]
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The Jewish mystical number 18 would make an excellent minimum contribution. Come Sunday morning when I have the hospital stay behind me and ahead of me a Tuesday return to Maryellen Hiran and her removal of the probe ( thus freeing me to return home to State College), an $18 breakfast would be great.
Right now, Iam binging before midnight. I am afraid. I am not afraid of the first step in insertion of the spinal stimulator. When I return, I will discuss my fear and why I should not have it.
Yes, I have spent a lot in this last meal. It is some be-sparing-of-limited-resources compensation that I will not be eating breakfast when I arrive at the hospital at 7 AM. Nor, after Dr. Winfree inserts the test probe (after I am under general anesthesia) will I be hungry for lunch.
The hospital is aware that I will be checking in without an adult [clearly I should be accompanied by an adult at all times]. Consequently, the hospital has made arrangements for me to spend the night.
Fear, pain, pain relief, productivity
My principal fear is something will interfere with the scheduled surgical procedure. For over a year I have been trying to have a spinal stimulator help me in my efforts to reduce debilitating pain.
Last summer, my physicians at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recommended I see Dr. Winfree. Two months later I found myself on a New York City subway getting off at 168th Street for my initial appointment. Sadly, the subway elevator did not work. Several subway and bus rides later, I arrived two hours after the appointment.
Now, after breaking my right ankle and after being hospitalized for weeks because of a near deadly infection, I am back again seeking help for pain afraid of hope unwilling not to persevere for hope–recognizing less pain will make me more productive.
When I am productive, I can earn rather than beg.