Day 449: Variations on “I Don’t Want to Go”

I don’t want to go.

That’s something I’ve been hearing people say a lot, lately.

I don’t want to go …

  • to work
  • to school
  • to the hospital
  • to this appointment
  • outside
  • anywhere.

I don’t want to go to this place (or event) that I should (want to) go to.

“I Don’t Want to Go” Variations

Variation #1:

When I was 13 years old, I was in the hospital to have my cardiac pacemaker replaced.  I can’t remember exactly why the pacemaker needed to be replaced, that time. It could have been:

  • the battery wearing out
  • the wires breaking
  • the casing of the battery being permeated by body fluids
  • or something else.

I needed to go to the hospital many times between the ages of 10 and 13, because

  • cardiac pacemaker technology was very new, back then, and
  • things break.

During this particular hospital visit, after the operation, before I was sent home, I felt some irregular heartbeats, which signaled to me, “SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG.”

Should I tell anybody, or keep that a secret?

If I told an adult, I knew what could happen: Another operation, before I could begin to heal from this last one. And, based on everything I knew, at age 13, that next operation would be:

  • big
  • painful
  • hard to heal from.

Should I keep it a secret?

I couldn’t.  I told one doctor, whom I trusted above all.

I said, “Doctor, my heart is skipping.”

He looked at me carefully.

He replied, It’s probably nothing, Ann.

You can go home.

I went home.

My heart was still skipping.

A few days later, I was sitting in the car with my mother, knowing that I had to go back to face the Worst Thing I Could Imagine.

Another heart surgery.

I sat there, in the passenger seat of the car, with my mother next to me, in the driver’s seat.

I was sobbing.

“I don’t want to go.”

My mother replied, What else can you do?

You have to go, Ann.

I had to go.

I went.

That was the worst.

Variation #2:

When I take animals to the vet, I imagine they’re telling me:

I don’t want to go.

I can’t tell them why they’re going, or that they’ll be home soon.

That’s the worst, too.

Variation #3:

I have seen the “I don’t want to go” look, on this animal


when he’s had to go to the vet.  I’ve also seen that “I don’t want to go” look on the face of this animal


when we were bringing him home, from the shelter.

What are both those animals sitting on?

A bag I’m bringing to the hospital with me, tomorrow, for my sleep study.

Maybe they don’t want me to go, either.


Thanks to anybody who has ever had to go (or bring somebody else) somewhere they didn’t want to go. And many thanks to you, for going with me* today.

* Echoing, in my head, as I wrote that last line,

the title of my favorite Pat Metheny tune, ever.

“Are You Going With Me?”

Which YouTube version to choose?

How about the first one there?**

** Thanks to ff0000

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Day 449: Variations on “I Don’t Want to Go”

  1. beautiful cats. hope everything works out okay

  2. As I read your post, I felt this wave of gratitude, and awe, wash over me. 1 — for the science that has ensured you are alive today. 2 — for your spirit. so shiny and bright and so very engaging and inspiring.

    as to ‘I don’t want to go’ — that question — what’s the worst thing that could happen? — always helps me get to where I don’t want to go but chose to for the sake of….

    Have a beautiful day my friend.

  3. Wow. What a severe instance of “I don’t want to go” you experienced in your young life, Ann. It sounds absolutely terrifying. Thank God you came through it, every time. That’s a good lesson. I suppose. Good luck at the sleep study, my friend.

  4. Ann, I think God must’ve installed a very good heart full of tenderness and compassion in you at that young age. It shines every time you write (your cats know it too!). You can certainly know that our thoughts and prayers ARE going with you. 🙂

    • I know it now, Mel, and that helps a lot. Thank you for seeing tenderness and compassion in me because, as I like to say, it takes one to know one.

  5. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes there is a place that we do not want to a go and yet we need to go there anyway, because it is the way to something better for our long-term well-being.

  6. Many places I have not wanted to go to, but dragged myself there nonetheless. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. Glad you went and glad science is there for all of us. Good luck with your sleep study.

  7. Well, I’m not sure if you wrote all of this just to avoid saying you don’t want to go, or if you are okay going… You’ve been hearing “I don’t want to go” out of others, and you shared some of your own experiences – but since you didn’t say you didn’t want to, then I just have to go with your written words and wish you well! I would imagine that it won’t be pleasant, but I bet you get a lot of good information out of it and that information can only help as you go forward!
    Plus, you have a concert to look forward to! 🙂

    • Thank you for the well wishes and for all you noticed, Kate. Your comment helps me to look forward to the two days ahead!

  8. Thank you for this post, Ann. Millie and Pearl have to go to the doggy dentist tomorrow and I’m sure if they knew where they’re going – and what’s going to happen when they get there – they would not want to go!

    • I can relate to Millie and Pearl, Annabelle. I hope things go well for everybody!

      • Millie and Pearl safely home now – minus a few teeth! I don’t blame you, not wanting to spend any more time in the hospital, you seem to have had more than your fair share. I hope everything went well this time.

  9. Michele Seminara

    No wonder you are so pragmatic, Ann, your very life depended on it as a youngster! I have always felt that going when you don’t want to go is character building, despite the outcome. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Who are You?

  11. This is beautiful. A beautiful piece of writing and a beautiful glimpse of what it is to be human and fragile and 13 or any age at all.

  12. Pingback: Day 450: ABC’s (and an F). | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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