In the middle of the night I woke up obsessing about something I do all the time. I just want to get things over with. Mostly bad, unpleasant things, but often simple ordinary ones too that aren’t horrible at all, until I make them dreadful by wishing them away. Like the last two hours of a work shift. The time spent on a plane. A road trip across the country which has me wanting to whine like a little kid – “Are we there yet??” Waiting to do something or be somewhere or be totally finished with something. I’m not always very good at enjoying the journey.
This wasn’t a dream, because I was awake, tossing around, trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. I imagined myself way back before my life began, in another dimension, with a group of old souls about to embark on our next life adventure. There was excitement, anticipation, high hopes, elation. And me, saying, okay, I’m ready, let’s just get this over with.
Well, I don’t think I can be held totally accountable for the all the weird things my brain comes up with at three a.m.
This morning I drove in to the city to the clinic where my needle biopsy was booked. I made a conscious effort to enjoy the drive through Old Strathcona. Rush hour was over, the sun was shining, I hit lots of green lights. Found a parking spot on P3, took the parking lot elevator to the main floor, walked to the patient elevators and zipped up to the second floor of the clinic. Checked myself in and was told the doctor was running behind. Cheerily said, hey, that’s okay, and sat down to wait.
And wait, and wait, and wait. There was a television blatting away behind my head, so I moved to the front of the room to get away from it. Many different nurses called the names of many different patients for many different doctors. None of them were me. They called for Amelia, and got no response. Same thing with Audrey. After that, every five minutes someone called for either Audrey or Amelia. Finally Amelia sauntered in from God Knows Where. And eventually Audrey and her husband showed up too. Amelia didn’t take long to be seen, but Audrey took for flaming ever. I began to blame Audrey for making my doctor get so far behind. I imagined giving Audrey a little lecture on the importance of not leaving the waiting room. I wondered why Audrey was so damned special and didn’t lose her place in line. I wondered if I could get away with leaving the waiting room to grab a coffee. Stupid annoying Audrey did it. I imagined my file had been misplaced and everyone had forgotten all about me. What the hell were they doing to Audrey, anyway? Amputating her legs?
Eventually Audrey returned with a huge cast on her arm. I decided I shouldn’t hate her anymore. Because obviously we weren’t seeing the same guy. Finally, my name was called (two hours and many magazines later) and I was led down a three-mile long corridor to a little room where two medical students and a doctor introduced themselves to me and asked me lots of questions, gave me lots of information and asked me to read and sign a consent form for the procedure. All three of them took turns poking and prodding at my neck. ( Is there any discomfort? Well there is now. )
I’ve had a needle biopsy before, many years ago, for my thyroid. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t horrific either. The doctor had to do it twice to get a sufficient number of cells. So when the first student was wielding the needle with the doctor hovering over her shoulder giving her instructions and they decided it should be done again, I wasn’t really surprised. The second student was more aggressive and less afraid to go deep, so her sample was good. Yay. Are we done yet?
I got a band-aid but no lollipop. I was a good patient and helped in the training of two future medical professionals. So good for me. I got that over with.
Deep breaths. Back through the clinic to the parking elevators, remembered where I left the car, paid twelve dollars to get it out of there, did some shopping in a store close to home and then after a quick lunch, crashed for a two hour nap. All that useless hating on poor Audrey zapped a lot of energy I guess.
Tomorrow I will try yet again not to wish so hard for things to be over and done with. It’s so pointless. Everything ends, whether you wish for it or not. Focus on the journey. That’s probably how Audrey lives her life.
What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination, but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. (Barbara Kingsolver)
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Jazzy Does 100 Days of Happiness 33
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Jazzy Does 100 Days of Happiness 20
Or a little bent, perhaps.. Maybe a LOT bent and cracked and scrambled and ready to shatter with one more shove.
So get out the glue.
A good life isn’t necessarily a big life, or a long life or even an “important” life. Whatever it throws at me, I’m happy to be living mine.
Well, what a lot of blather that was. I’m sure I could go on and on avoiding the point for much longer than this, but here’s the reason I’m currently allowing myself to wallow a bit.
About six weeks ago I noticed some swelling just below my jaw on the left side of my face. I thought it was a swollen gland. I went on holidays and more or less ignored it. Even convinced myself that it was going away. Then I got more swelling up closer to my ear, and on the 12th of June went to see my doctor. She suspected a blocked salivary gland, maybe even a stone, and told me to go home and suck lemons. Really. I love her. She also gave me a lab requisition to book an ultrasound, but the lab told me this type of ultrasound is more specialized and has to be booked at a hospital. I was eventually scheduled at a new clinic across from the University Hospital for June 24th.
I had the ultrasound done around one o’clock and then drove straight to work from there. At four thirty my doctor’s office called to say they had the results back and my doctor would like to see me as soon as possible, could I come in tomorrow morning? Yes I could. And could I bring someone with me? What? Why? Well, for support. Dead silence while I tried to digest this. Really? Is it that bad? I felt sorry for the person who had to make this phone call because they’re not supposed to tell you anything. But sometimes by not telling you anything they tell you a lot more than you want to know.
I’ve already been through a very similar experience with my thyroid investigation, when I was called in to the doctor’s office very quickly to discuss the results. That was over ten years ago. I had to go for a needle biopsy after that. Those results were fine, but because of some pre-cancerous growths I was given the option of having surgery to remove the unhealthy looking bits and ended up with practically all of my thyroid removed.
After this phone call I spent a restless evening (with the help of the internet) imagining every worst case scenario there is, and a few more after that. I wore myself out. So when I went in to talk to my doctor the next morning (on my own) and she told me the radiologist thinks this looks like it could be a cancerous lump, I was kind of numb to it all. Yes, okay. So what’s next? Blood work and urinalysis, which I had done in the same building right away, and arranging for a CT scan to be scheduled. There are two specialists she can refer me to when we have the results, depending on which one is able to see me first.
Then I went home. And now we wait.
I phoned W and he says he will come home. I know I must talk to my kids and my sisters, although I would prefer that they be oblivious to it all for as long as possible. Worry is such a piece of crap thing, ruining your day with no good result because it doesn’t change a thing.
And it might be nothing. IT MIGHT BE NOTHING. I have no other symptoms. I feel perfectly fine. I admit I’m feeling rather sorry for myself and it feels therapeutic just to put it all into words for now.
But here’s some things that boost me up. Maybe this is the glue I was talking about. The morning of the 25th, (which was the day after what would have been my dads 100th birthday) when I got up to make coffee, there were three magnificent magpies strutting about in the backyard. I have always considered magpies to be a very good omen. They remind me of my mom and my family. I haven’t seen any of these birds around here for weeks. Just as I was leaving for the doctor’s office there were FIVE of them out there, on the lawn, on the garage, on the new fence. Flapping and squawking and not flying away. They haven’t been back since, but they were there when I needed to see them.
I pulled out my type-written notes and re-read some of the things the psychic told me last July. Things that didn’t really register at the time, but now seem to make perfect sense. New female GP, some problem with my neck, June 2014, two specialists, some sort of procedure, not life threatening, trust that you will be in very good hands, everything is going to go much better than anticipated.
Am I a superstitious fool to take great comfort in the appearance of some magpies and in these words? I don’t care. I do.
CT scan is now scheduled for the 7th of July. That’s fast. That’s good. There are happy days to be grateful for in the meantime.
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Mom died. My heart broke.
A magpie strutted across our backyard, cocked her proud head and looked me straight in the eye.
Her spirit bird.
Delivered a happy memory, then squawked and flew away.
With every visit since, my sad heart soars.
Yeah Write Gargleblaster # 157 - Do you see her much?