Like many devoted Talk of the Nation listeners, I was distraught to hear that the show is going to be ending this year. (Okay, distraught is probably a little too strong. Devastated? No? How about perplexed? Anyway…) I love Talk of the Nation. I love it so much that when Michigan Radio switches to local programming when they should be playing the second hour, I turn of the radio and open the NPR app on my phone so that I can stream it from one of the many stations that plays both hours of the show. (For those of you who are curious, I usually load Interlochen’s stream. It’s fun to hear the arts calendar from Up North.) The only problem that I have is that I leave work at 3:30. TOTN runs until 4. Yes, I have lost track of time on more than one occasion.

And, yes, I realize that by listening on my phone, I could keep listening, but it seems a little weird to carry it with me down the hall as I leave work for the day.

Today I almost stayed at work until 4 just to hear the entire discussion. They were talking about genetic testing. Prenatal genetic testing. The guests were two women who’d had genetic testing done. One had opted to carry her pregnancy to term; the other had not. The questions for callers were: How did you decide whether or not to undergo the screening? How did you decide what to do with the results?

By the time I left work, all of the callers were people with stories similar to the guests. I should have emailed in to broaden the discussion.

Me? I thought about it. I thought about it a lot. When I first saw Lydia, I was only 11 weeks pregnant. I had more than a month to decide what I wanted to do. And I realized that it didn’t matter to me what the test said. I worked too hard to conceive. Even if the test showed that my child had a high likelihood of having a very short life, I still want to have that time. And if I’m not going to do anything with the results, then why spend the money on the test?

I may have to go back and listen to the rest of the discussion. Perhaps someone who opted against testing did call in. I frequently have the best of intentions about listening to the 30 minutes that I miss each day, but I rarely get around to it. But even if I don’t get around to it, it was nice to hear 2/3 of a calm, measured discussion about an issue that can be very fraught.

TOTN, I’m really going to miss you when you’re gone!


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