birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

All about the numbers

 I like to put off being diagnosed as long as possible.

Part of my reluctance is the judgmental nature of arriving at a diagnosis. The interesting part of the process is the investigation, when nothing is settled yet.

Where does it hurt? What does it feel like? When did it start? How did this happen? It is the story which matters.

Once all the pieces are put together, all the numbers are measured, and a diagnosis is made, the most dramatic challenges have been met. Then it is just a matter of treatment and recovery.

After we have a diagnosis we are labeled, marked. We know what is wrong and you have this.

I also think diagnosis has become less interesting than it used to be.

When I was growing up, seeing the doctor was almost like magic. You described what you experienced, what was wrong, and the doctor gave you the solution. There might be some checking of references or looking at x-rays, but it was like everything was stored in the doctor’s head waiting to be needed. How did the doctor know all that stuff?

Now seeing the doctor is like going to math class. You do all these blood tests beforehand so we have all the numbers. It is all about the numbers.

Our experience, how we feel, is almost unrelated to getting a diagnosis. It is not a time for listening to our story, but for reading the numbers.

If people are going to diagnose me, put a label on me, they should at least listen to my story.


Times, Roamin'