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September 11, 2020

Today is DEXA scan day. I'm heading to Murray Hill, a lovely area of NYC I've rarely been in since my 20's.

I'm trying to follow protocol. The elevator is small. I guess I'm not used to a lot of people, at all, anywhere. Herald Square seemed as busy as ever when I got off the PATH. The waiting room was quite full. Surprisingly, though, I barely had to wait. The doctor was training someone; so here we are, the three of us during Covid in a closet-sized room. OK.

My bones are being scanned. It wasn't uncomfortable and it was relatively quick, but because the doctor was teaching/training, he was talkative about the images of my bones. Normally, as a patient, you are not going to get much information until X-rays and images are reviewed by other doctors. I was uncomfortable, as what I saw looked weird and what I heard in their conversation from my place lying down in the machine didn't seem good.

I met three friends that night for an outdoor drink on the water. It was sweet relief to forget for a moment; I didn't want to think about all of this. I listened to everyone else and what was going on in their lives and did not bring up anything about my life. And then I remembered: It was September 11. There they were; the beaming lights in front of us, right across the river.

I remember the day it happened; it was my first week of school at NYU. I also remember that on this day last year I had been to a pulmonologist, and on this day the year before I had been working on marketing materials for a gallery event in West Chelsea. And the year before that, I took the day off from work because inevitably I would have to stare into the Memorial all day and the crowds of people would be sad. Most people who were here do not want to talk about it, at least not at length, but outsiders do. We didn't get into our stories on this night, September 11, 2020; I was grateful that the topics remained fun and light. It is good to get outside of your head, to gain perspective, when you are flying solo.


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