Curtains | #2

by Elouise

Curtains closing, 1280px-Radio_City_Music_Hall_Stage_Curtain_1

It’s Wednesday morning, about 7:15am. I’ve just walked into the prep room where I’m shown to my bed. I see several other beds in this busy room, each with so-called privacy curtains.

Curtains close around Act One
I’m alone with my heart and one large plastic bag
The beginning of Act Two

My body has had a considerable history on this earth.

  • I was born; difficult childhood and teenage experiences changed my body.
  • I married D; my body changed again.
  • Twice I gave birth the ‘natural’ way and breastfed our babies; more change.
  • I became a professional educator, developed IBS and an atrial flutter; things went downhill in my sleep-deprived, overworked body.
  • I became depressed and began working with a psychotherapist; more bodily changes as I began unraveling childhood-related PTSD.

As life-changing as that was, it was still Act One.

The difference between then and now looms large. Before last week, no doctor has ever opened me up, inserted foreign objects into my heart and chest, and then stitched me back together.

It’s the morning of my pacemaker procedure. The attendant hands me a plastic bag and a sanitized hospital gown, tells me to put my clothes into the plastic bag, and put on the hospital gown, open down the back. Lovely. So much for privacy.

Then she closes the curtain around my bed and leaves me alone to remove my comfortable, comforting clothes. Bits of my identity.

No one will burn them or throw them away. I’ll get them back. Yet when I put them on I won’t be the person I was before this procedure.

Today I’m still not sure what to make of all this. So I’m feeling my happy way as I go, relieved to be on this side of Act One, lurching into Act Two, grateful for the grand company I’m finding along the way!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 April 2016
Photo of Radio City Music Hall found at