Okay, this might sound morbid to some but this was one of the “highlights” of my recent illness that is worth writing about. Nothing medical, nothing gory. This is about being prepared, being practical and being one step ahead as much as possible.
My father died from stomach-related problems. He had surgery, was on the way to recovery — was actually up on his feet and on a soft diet — when he suddenly choked and it was Code Blue. He never regained consciousness.
When I was taken ill last week, I sent a text message to my brother. After his initial angry reaction at not having been told earlier (like I knew much earlier), he called up and remarked how these stomach ailments seem to run in the family. He and his wife came later that day and the day after that and he was really the noisiest visitor I had in all those five days that I was in the hospital.
Now, I’m not a morbid person. I’m no hypochondriac either. I don’t dwell on thoughts about death or play out death scenarios inside my head. BUT. But in case something went wrong with my surgery, I didn’t want to leave loose ends.
Between clenched teeth and gasps of breath (I was in so much pain), I asked Speedy to get a piece of paper and pen. I told him that if anything happened to me, I wanted him to know whom to get in touch with so that checks due to me could be issued in his name instead. Poor Speedy really looked bad. I knew he would rather not have talked about those things. But it had to be done. I started enumerating names, login information, e-mail addresses… everything.
My online work had always been all mine. Speedy and I swap stories about our day’s work but the intricacies of life on the internet have never really been his thing so I always skipped those parts. Until that moment when I started telling him about whom to get in touch with, how to change the payee’s name and make sure that checks don’t get lost and forgotten, well, you know…
Speedy paused, choked, and said, “Stop it.” I didn’t. I couldn’t. It had to be done. It was hard, I knew, but it was the smart thing to do.
I am an optimistic person. I never seriously entertained the thought that something could have gone wrong. But there is still that chance, as infinitesimal as it may be, that something could have gone wrong and I could have died. If we were a clairvoyant race, it would be easy. We’d know what needs to be done now and what can be done later. But we’re not Miss Trelawneys, are we?