Photo Credit: Korean War Veteran-georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2006/07/
Going to the doctor is never my idea of fun, but I go. I sit in the crowded reception room with other bodies ravaged by war. But who remembers my war? The Korean War is a short paragraph in my granddaughter’s history book. My teenage granddaughter shrugs when I ask her, “Where is Korea?” On a map spread beneath glass she points an uncertain finger at the Asian continent as though that were a sufficient answer. “Have you been there Granddad?” she asks. I consider her innocence before answering.
In the waiting room I flip through outdated magazines or yesterday’s newspapers. A television high on the wall babbles. I wait my turn. I am weighed. A nurse, overly cheery, takes my blood pressure. I watch the mercury pulse on the gauge catching the beat of my heart. The sound of my blood surges in my ears; the reading is too high. The nurse ushers me into an office with a view of gray windows. The buildings are only inches apart, and through four panes of glass I see shapes of darkness.
The doc is new, a young man freshly minted from medical school with a tight look about him. Shadows fill the hollows of his eyes and cheeks, a new father battling sleepless nights ignorant that the war has just begun. I spot a small, framed photograph on his desk. A young, beautiful wife holding a brand new baby. I smile and ask, “How’s it going young man?” He shakes his head and shuffles the pages of my chart.
Words betray him the way my body betrays me, and the diagnosis tumbles out of his mouth indelicate, and I wonder if he speaks to his wife with these cool words. “I assure you Mr. Fredrickson, cancer is no longer a death sentence.” His reassurance is hardly reassuring. The diagnosis, the elephant in the room, trumpets otherwise, and we talk gingerly around the topic. Our visit ends. New appointments for scans and surgeons begins.
The Trifecta Challenge–Your response must be between 33 and 333 words. New 3: having been in a relationship or condition but a short time <new to the job> <a new wife>