Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Don't Fear the Reaper"

I will admit to having been somewhat cavalier in my attitude concerning the whole death/dying thing. Most of my older relatives have taken the "Glory Train," and I am generally dismissive about my connection with the possibilities. Blue Oyster Cult lyrics always seem to come unbidden into my head, reminding me that there is nothing to fear since the season don't;  many see death as a natural occurrence...a long time big deal, I'll be senile then anyway...on and on.
However, I have recently come to the conclusion that, while death itself may not be so bad, the thought of dying is terrifying. That last second before we head "beyond the pale" is probably one spent in an unconscious or at least an unaware state. The days, hours and minutes leading up to that state? Horrible.
In an attempt to make a long story somewhat more brief, I was lying on the physical therapist's table three weeks after knee surgery, and he was stretching, prodding, pulling and twisting as he had been doing for the better part of four sessions. He instructed me to turn slightly on my side, then said, "Oh, there's blood dripping out. Your incision has opened up."
Now, the incision itself wasn't large...about 5 inches or so, and it didn't particularly hurt...but the knowledge that I had been taking a blood thinner for an unrelated condition (discovered during surgery)  sent me into something akin to a panic attack: I began to sweat profusely, my breathing became shallow and somewhat labored, and my heart had to be beating  at four times its normal rate. In short, I freaked. I looked up, and Tony was dabbing my leg with a towel...the blood spot was hand-sized...I almost fainted. He continued to say that the blood loss was minimal as he applied steri-stips to close the incision, but I just knew I was going to bleed like a hog in a butcher shop. I remember gasping, "I don't want to die."
Does this sound like an overreaction? I'm sure it was, and as I focused on controlling my breathing, I listened to what the gathered-round folks were saying, and none of them used the word "stat," so I figured Tony's assessment was more accurate than my own fear-induced fantasy about dying.
Later that day, the assistant to my orthopedist looked at my leg and refused to even stitch it up, opting for more steri-strips and a constricting sleeve. Did I feel stupid? NO. Was I relieved? NO.
The thought of dying stayed with me the rest of the day.
It's not that I have unfinished dreams and goals.
I just don't want to go, and thought of it being a real possibility paralyzes me.


Post a Comment

<< Home