Apprehension

Image by SeveIV at www.seveiv.deviantart.com

Image ‘Train Tracks’ by SeveIV at www.seveiv.deviantart.com

“You should have seen this coming,’ they said. I did see it coming. I saw it coming the way you see a train coming when you’re tied to the tracks.”
~ Margaret Andrews

 

I’ve been awake since I don’t know when.

No, that’s not true.

2.36am.

I lay awake in the dark for a long while, willing myself to turn over and go back to sleep. But I was wide awake.

 

I thought about the doctor I will see today. I’ve seen him several times over the past twenty or so years. I thought about him sleeping, and hoped that he was sleeping well and deeply, untroubled by anything.

I wondered if he realised how many of his patients lay awake at night, apprehensive and counting the hours until their appointment. Then I hoped he never thought about it at all. How difficult it would be to labour under such thoughts.

My mind wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t steer it off topic for more than a few minutes. Slowly, dawn approached. My appointment is still hours away. No more sleep for me.

I got up early. I meditated. I sat down to write this blog.

Still, my thoughts are a jumble of worries.

 

Pointless, really.

I will see my doctor. I will get my test results. We will chart a path. I will walk the path.

The part of me that is the wise and coping part tells me I am okay, and that I’ll be okay.

The worried part of me snaps back, “Shut up!”

Which makes me laugh. Eventually.

I am okay, and I will be okay.

Worry never solved anything, nor made time pass more easily.

I’ll have a cup of tea instead. I’ll tidy something. I’ll wait for Ben and Cafe Dog to wake up so that we can have a lovely distracting outing.

And even so, I’ll keep on quietly worrying.

Nx

 

Lessons on Waiting and Being Delayed

Image from ASCRS Eyeworld

Image from ASCRS Eyeworld

“How did it get so late so soon?” 
~ Dr. Seuss

“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”
~ Goldie Hawn

I spent a lot of time waiting in doctors’ rooms yesterday. In fact, over the last thirty years I’ve spent an enormous amount of time waiting. Waiting for doctors, waiting for tests, waiting for results, waiting for second opinions.

In the beginning waiting used to frustrate me. Doctors always seem to run late. There’s inevitably a big queue at the pathologist’s early in the morning when you’re on fasting bloods. Simple procedures often take far more time than you’d expected. Have you noticed that?

Back when I lived a very measured and time-poor life, scheduled down to the last-minute, this kind of waiting nearly drove me crazy. Why couldn’t these people be more efficient?

I’ll tell you why.

People and bodies are complex by design, and things don’t always run to plan.

Yesterday I was up early to be one of the first through the door for blood tests at 6am…

My first doctors meeting is at 9am and I have a string of appointments after that, all scheduled a few hours apart. I plan to get quite a lot done during the ‘in-between’ appointments time.

After breakfast I arrive at the surgery early to fill in paperwork. And then I wait. So early in the day I’m not expecting much of a delay. It’s a busy practice with several doctors, and the waiting room is already full.

One by one each person’s name is called. New people arrive. Others come and go. 9am rolls by, then 9.15 then 9.30. I still haven’t been called. After a while a woman sits near me, and she and I stay sitting as more names are called. I’ve been waiting over an hour now, and the woman beside me half that time. She begins looking pointedly at her watch, sighing and making it apparent that she’s not happy. I keep reading my book.

After an hour the woman loses it. “What’s the delay?” she shouts angrily. “My appointment was an hour ago.” She lets it rip at the receptionist. Still yelling abuse she storms out of the practice as an elderly couple emerge from a consulting room, red-eyed and obviously upset. They look lost as they stand at the front desk.

A minute later my doctor calls my name.

He’s reserved today, not his usual self. “Sorry about the delay,” he says. He seems quite sad.

I can’t help myself. “Are you okay?” I ask, placing my hand on his arm.

My lovely doctor is taken aback. Tears prick his eyes. “Yes,” he says in the softest of voices. “Yes, I’m fine.” With great professionalism he brings the focus back to me, the weight of whatever happened earlier sitting heavy in the air between us.

Things go well for me, and I’m out the door in under fifteen minutes.

Luckily I’d made my medical appointments with plenty of time in between them. I can deal with the delay with a little juggling. I cancel some plans. And my day works out just fine. Better than fine in fact. For some reason we end up getting ‘rock-star’ car parks right out front everywhere else we go. The day slides by so smoothly. Nothing at all is a hassle. It’s like being late early in the day somehow saves us all this time later on.

Last night as I sat in meditation I thought of that elderly couple, and said a little prayer for them, and for my doctors, nurses and all those who work in the health care industries. It’s a big job, at times a very hard and thankless job. People and bodies are complex by design. Things don’t always go to plan.

I spent a lot of time waiting yesterday because someone needed more of my doctor’s time. And whenever you need more time it’s not a good thing. Positive news is always fast. The other kind usually takes longer.

How could I mind someone needing more time? How can a doctor or other medical professional possibly determine in advance who might need that extra attention?

I have been on the other side of this too. A few years ago a young technician was performing an ultrasound on my abdomen. She took forever, and went from being chatty to very, very quiet. Eventually she left me there, and after a fraught ten minutes brought back a colleague. They both huddled over the screen and then the senior technician repeated my procedure. Neither would tell me what was going on. My fifteen minute procedure took ninety minutes, interspersed with phone calls back to my doctor. I was the person emerging into a waiting room of cranky patients being held up because of me.

I have been given my share of bad news. I have cried in car parks or sat stunned and silent afterwards in coffee shops near medical specialists’ rooms. I have been the reason for everyone else being delayed and inconvenienced.

Yesterday I was thankful that it was not me needing more time. And I was also grateful that others could have the time they needed.

It might not be a doctor’s surgery.You might end up waiting in the office of a counsellor, a tax accountant, a veterinarian, a dentist, a skin cancer specialist. The thing is, you’ll be waiting because someone needed more time.

If that was you, if you needed more time, you’d want the person helping you to care enough to be very present for you. To do all that they could to explain and work on your problems. You’d want to feel supported. You wouldn’t want to be just a number being churned through the mill.

So, if you find yourself waiting, know that it might be inconvenient, but it’s not the worst of things. It shows that whomever you’re waiting for cares about doing their job well. They care about looking after their clients or patients. And that means they’ll extend that same care to you.

Go well in the world today. I’m thinking of you and sending love.

Nicole xx

slide.074

Just a little bit tired…

2013-10-24 19.17.19

“I must be overtired’, Buttercup managed. ‘The excitement and all.’
‘Rest then’, her mother cautioned. ‘Terrible things can happen when you’re overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed.” 
~ William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Harry and I are a little bit tired today, so we’ll keep this post short. We both had medical appointments in the city yesterday. Harry for an anaesthetic and an x-ray for his mouth to make sure it was healing well and me for bloods, brain and heart scans to see how my Lyme treatments are progressing.

Harry’s vet is very happy with his progress, and I’ll get my own results in a couple of days. Compared to this time last year I’m travelling well, so fingers crossed for good news.

This morning we’re finally heading home to the farm. Hooray. The ute is nearly packed, and all we have to do is climb aboard. Our plan is to nap while Ben drives and Bert barks at everything. We’re tired enough that we should sleep through all the excitement just fine! We’ll have much more interesting things to write about tomorrow, I’m sure. 🙂

2013-10-24 19.16.53

Brave young Harry!

2013-03-22 14.40.34

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
~ Will Rogers

 

Harry, our not quite six-month-old Blue Heeler puppy had the next of his surgeries yesterday to help accommodate his severe overbite.

His newly emerged adult lower canines were shaved down to stop them impacting his soft palate, but it’s only a temporary fix, while his teeth grow in.  He’ll need more extensive dental surgery in a month or so, and then perhaps another corrective operation after that.

We brought him home last night and then he kept us up most of the night, worrying at his leg where the drip had been, taking endless trips out to the grass to empty out all the extra fluid the vets pumped into him, and generally crying and being fretful – still dopey from the remnants of his anesthetic, and hungry but not yet allowed to eat.

It reminded me of when he first came home to us, an unweaned pup, all fidgets and hunger and a two-hour bladder.

2012-12-20 06.50.11

This morning he is bright-eyed and brimful of life. He kept leaping off the couch onto my head as I tried to meditate, and he’s checked his breakfast bowl at least twenty times…

We’re heading back to the farm soon.  Harry and I have both seen our doctors, had our shots, gotten our take-home meds and now we’re in need of some fresh air, space to run around and the healing energy of home. We’re wishing you all a wonderful weekend too. Much love to you ♥ ✿ ♥ xx

2013-03-11 17.27.14