Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 346: A Message

Very early yesterday morning, I made my way to the hospital to get all the electrodes removed from my head. It’s a pretty funny set-up they have in the EEG department, it sort of looks like a hair salon. They have salon chairs and sinks, and blow-dryers. Since I was there at the crack of dawn to bring the equipment back, it was just me and the technician. He was a soft spoken Indian man, with the loveliest Punjabi accent. He directed me to my chair and got all his equipment together to start the removal process.

Him: So this is the good part, where we remove the torture device.
Me: Yeah. It wasn’t so bad, just awkward. And the glue made my head really itchy.
Him: Yes, that’s very, very common. OK, Tanya, I’m going to need you to close your eyes and keep this towel against them. The product I am using is acetone and dangerous to get in your eyes.
Me: Acetone? Like nail polish remover?!
Him: Yes.
Me: Is my hair going to change colour?
Him: Not supposed to.
Me (eyebrows raised): Oh. OK.

Then he began the ungluing process and I was pretty close to passing out from the fumes. I could taste the acetone in my mouth. After all that heavy scrubbing on my head, he sprayed some oily thing and started combing through my hair.

Him: Keep your eyes closed, Tanya, until I tell you to open them.
Me: Don’t be alarmed by my hair falling out. It seems to be falling in bunches these days.
Him: Ahhh, you’re thinking too much.
Me: I always think too much. Lost a lot of weight too.
Him: You know what I think, Tanya? There are some things that we can change, and some things we cannot. The only thing we can control is our attitude. Correct?
Me: Yep. I’m trying.
Him: We are lucky to live here in Canada. And to have our medical system. There are people dying with famines in Africa or from radiation complications in Japan. We are lucky. We need to remember we are lucky.

I nodded.

(still combing through my hair): I want to tell you a short story.
Me (smiling): Sure.
Him: There was a man in the world who was very down and depressed. He was upset because he had no shoes. And all day long he would be embarrassed, sad and worried about it. Until he met a man with no legs. (He tapped my shoulders gently and then gave them a little squeeze). OK, Tanya, we are done. You can open your eyes now.

And I did.


  1. What a nice man with a great view on life. It doesn't seem to happen very often these days to find a such a friendly person working in the hospitals. They are all so busy, and rushed, no one seems nice anymore.

    Will you keep posting after your 365 days are up?

  2. I will certainly tag along. I love your work.

  3. I'm stuck between being thankful for what I've got, to trying to amass a much as possible. You see, the more I amass, the more people there are that have less than I do, and the more thankful I can be for what I've got.

  4. Covering your eyes really is the best way to see sometimes. Listening to a wise stranger helps too, and he was certainly that.

    Love this story dear. And I hope your electrodes tell a good story too and that you are feeling okay.