Lest I’ve left you with the impression that I handle my health challenges with grace and humour, I must acknowledge that I was an utter basket case throughout my medical mayhem last week. Let’s review these events more honestly. No laughing, okay?
As I sat waiting for Dr. Woman, I had my first full-blown and most certainly stress-related migraine in months. Although I held it together with the doctor, as soon as I left the office, I started crying. It was a little embarrassing, although I doubt I’m the first one who’s cried in a hospital. I even called J., asking her to leave work and drive me to my next appointment. I never do that, do I, J.?
No wonder Dr. Eye then questioned my assertion that I suffer from dry eyes. Maybe she wants to follow me not because of my health but because she thinks I’m a malingerer. I’m fearing a referral to Dr. Shrink at our next meeting.
After my long day, I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up Dr. Eye’s prescription, only to be displaced in line by an angry fellow berating staff because there were no chairs for people with impaired mobility. Although Mad Man walked up to the window with ease, he made a point of limping off, bemoaning his arthritic pain and protesting that I, a younger, able-bodied person, would be served before him. My inner churlish child, who was long overdue for a nap, blurted: “Yes, I just have leukemia.” Not my finest moment, but you know I’m a bag already.
I thought I was doing a bit better on Friday, but no visit to the Cancer Centre is easy. Thank goodness for the hug and another “I love you!” from Radiator Salima upon arriving. With my heart a-twitter, J. and I headed to a cramped waiting area, where my beating heart was quickly stilled. Six people, 8 chairs, and a patient’s wife loudly bemoaning the tardiness of the doctor–15 minutes late is early for any specialist in my books–the fact that doctor visits are so brief, and the high cost of hospital parking. Everyone but J. and I was engaged in this festive discussion. I almost fled the building screaming, but just in time, the nurse called this patient in, thereby ending the conversation. My blubbering restarted, which J. managed to soothe while responding to urgent work emails. Now that’s multitasking!
That day, I realized how hard I work not to let others’ negativity affect me. Sometimes I fail. Why was I surprised by all the tears? They were fairly predictable now that I look back on it. Lots to process over a short time, with a few extra stressors thrown in.
What turned things around? A lovely young pharmacist we’ve met before walked by, saw that I was upset–bet she too wouldn’t believe I suffer from dry eyes–and turned back to ask if I was okay. Then the Cookie Ladies arrived. I didn’t cry when there were no Fudgee-Os, thank God. Soon after, I was discharged by the kindly Dr. Radi-O, and I went home.
I can’t say I was chipper for the rest of the day; I was exhausted and trying to make sense of all my news. But my eyes are dry again. Maybe I’ll be able to circumvent that Dr. Shrink referral after all when I see Dr. Eye later this week.