« Good Night, Captain | Main | On Names and Innovation »

Eric: Six Days

It's six days before the surgery. Six days.

I have a GPS system. I played with it last night. It was fun. It led me to my destinations and came up with new ones. That's what GPS does.

Six days.

I drink only liquids right now, just like I will after the surgery. It helps clear the system, helps prepare me for what happens next. Instant breakfasts, Cream of Wheat, soy milk, powdered milk.

Six days.

There is a current of excitement as I push to get everything done and tied up at work. Things are tense here anyhow, but this adds a rush.

Six days.

I am elated.

Six days.

I am terrified.

Six days.

Seriously. Terrified. I alternate between excitement and terror. This is insanity. That it turns out it is the best possible thing I can do doesn't change the mind-numbing weirdness of the prospect. They are going in, and they are disabling healthy tissues and altering healthy organs, to make me healthy. Astounding.

Six days.

I drink a lot of water right now too. 48-64 ounces a day, accomplished by drinking a couple of quart jugs of water, plus a good amount of crystal light and sugar free kool aid. I feel odd, like maybe I'll drain away. Well, that is the idea, isn't it?

Six days.

I have waited for this for so long.

Six days.

One out of two hundred. That doesn't sound as comforting as half of one percent, does it? One out of two hundred. There were three hundred people in the information meetings I attended. One and a half of the people there, by the odds, wouldn't make it. One out of two hundred. I play the lottery on a regular basis, with absolute certainty that I'll win. Those odds of winning Powerball, statistically, are 1 in 120,526,770. One out of two hundred.

Six days.

I met a woman when I went for my preadmission physical. I also learned that Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital uses a pneumatic tube delivery system. Isn't that the coolest thing? It's like I'm getting my surgery performed in 1930's New York. The woman's last name was Burns, just like mine, so she struck up a conversation with me. She was an attractive woman, with a nice figure. She was having some skin removed -- she'd had the gastric bypass in 2001, and was doing some followup. She lost 260 lbs. She looked fantastic and was cheerful.

Six days.

260 pounds would put me very close to goal weight. Very close. Astounding to consider. In the meantime, my legs and knees hurt a great deal. I can't take ibuprofin for a week before and six weeks after the surgery. It's a blood thinner. Very dangerous. And tylenol... look, Tylenol means well, and always offers to participate and helps clean up after class, but it's just not knuckling down and performing, y'know?

Six days.

This is going to change my life. No matter what happens next, no one can ever claim I didn't try. I am making my leap of faith. I am stepping through today into tomorrow. I will walk. I will run. I will climb. I will learn to dance.

Six days.

I will learn to dance.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at February 26, 2004 11:17 AM


Comment from: piranha posted at February 26, 2004 12:55 PM

i'll be thinking of you for those six days. and the seventh. :)

Comment from: Andrea Lyon posted at February 26, 2004 3:51 PM

Go get `em, tiger.

Comment from: Beth posted at February 26, 2004 4:42 PM

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a Very Cool Place.

I know what you mean about Tylenol. No advil for pregnant wimmen, and Tylenol hardly touches my headaches.

You will learn how to dance.

Comment from: Siadea posted at February 26, 2004 5:45 PM

*HUGS* I'll be thinking of you!! Be well!

Comment from: Karen posted at February 26, 2004 6:16 PM

Hey, Have you set up a system whereby your parental units can keep us posted while you are unable to access the computer?????

And of course you're going to learn to dance, I expect a dance at my wedding...you've got 7 months, bucko!

Blessings, Half-Elf

Comment from: Lisa posted at February 27, 2004 3:32 AM

We love you, sweetie, and we KNOW you'll get through this! We need you to join Frank (aka Uncle Knuckles) for Molly's League of Over-Protective Male Relatives.

*big hugs* baby. This is gonna rock.

Comment from: Gary posted at February 27, 2004 11:11 AM

Lambada! (The forbidden dance!)

Hope everything goes superbly! We'll be waiting to hear...

Comment from: Tony M posted at June 16, 2004 11:31 AM

Good luck Eric! Will keep you in our prayers.
Tony M (Puck) from FK

Comment from: Wednesday posted at February 26, 2005 7:09 PM


You might recall, or not, a bit of the Sandman where Astare (she might have been Inanna in that incarnation) demonstrates a butterfly dance to her fellow strippers.

It employs the hands. It's a perfect place to start and you only learn it through practice.

I swear to god, you'll learn dancing long before I do.

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?