I DON'T THINK THAT WORD MEANS
What you think it means. A list for all the doctors I've talked to in the past two months
- •PositiveMaybe I should get you a dictionary. I mean, why would you take a word like positive and have it mean something so terrible? Positive meaning the least positive news you could ever get. Positive here being a word that makes your life feel anything except positive.
- •ZeroDoesn't zero mean nothing? But now the word zero means that I don't, actually, have nothing to worry about. It means I don't have "zero" cause to be concerned, it means I now have to monitor my health very carefully because this "zero" is not so "nothing" as you would like to make it sound.
- •MinorJust a minor procedure you say. A procedure that can be done in office, a small, light hearted thing. But what You mean is, minor in comparison. And I get that. It could be way worse. But it doesn't feel minor as I lie there being cut into. It doesn't feel minor as I dread the days leading up to it or attempt to forget about it.
- •Limit your drinkingCombined with words like "positive" and "minimal procedure" and "zero". None of this limits my drinking at all. Since the first time you frowned during my exam I've done everything except limit my drinking.
- •AbnormalThis, sadly, has also changed in meaning. You see, every lab test I've had recently comes back "abnormal". To me, positive is the new normal. "Abnormal" is what I expect to hear. If I hear the words "normal results" again, I'll have to process that because it won't feel "normal".
- •ConfidentWhich really doesn't mean anything other than "probably". "Confident" that we got it all. "Confident" that we caught it in time. Confident meaning, confident for the time being. Confident but not entirely sure...
- •GoodThis is what you learn to say when people ask how you're doing. It was "good news", you say, but what you really mean is "it wasn't the worst news I could have gotten" it's "good they caught it in time" but what you really mean is "I'm so aware that you're concerned so I'm going to use words like good". "I'm good" you say. Because saying fine or okay is too revealing. And you can't be that transparent when you're trying to be strong.
- •YoungJust last year you were feeling old. I'm getting old, you thought. And you even had some self pity and told yourself you wished you were younger. Now you are told how young you are to be going through this. You feel too young to have the possibility of your life coming to an end. You feel much too young to spend the rest of your life in and out of doctor appointments.
- •SoonPerhaps the most comical of all. The doctor will be with you soon, they say. And almost an hour later, you still sit, waiting. Dressed in a thin paper gown. Hoping you'll hear words that have now become foreign to you. Words you long for. Words like negative. Words you'd never thought you'd want to hear. We will get you into an appointment "soon". Results should be back "soon". This will all be over soon. And who are you to argue? After all, what is soon?