aka The Frazzled Mom
The mind is a terrible thing to waste. We’ve all heard that. But what about the mind just being flat out terrible?
Every year, I have an annual physical. This is something strongly encouraged and rewarded by my employer. Normally I wouldn’t bother, but since I gain wellness dollars to go towards gyms and such, I figure ‘why not?’. Last year, my doctor had palpated some fullness in my thyroid, but we both opted to wait until the next physical. Well, I just went through my yearly physical and asked her to recheck my thyroid. It’s still enlarged.
Here’s the thing…
I think most would be slightly concerned. But my brain? Let’s just say that being a cancer registrar is a blessing and a curse. Because the more years in this field, and the more cancers abstracted, the more I learn. Ever heard of the saying that ‘a little knowledge can be dangerous’? I’m honestly surprised I haven’t heard of more registrars, doctors or nurses being hypochondriacs because of our knowledge. Am I the only one in the health profession that’s trying to anticipate my diagnosis even before the workup?
Like I said, the mind can be a terrible thing…
I had my ultrasound. During the procedure, I stared at the upside-down clock, watching the minutes tick backwards as the tech moved the wand back and forth over my thyroid. I could see the images in my mind, my brain telling me what parts she was looking over. As I laid there, face to the ceiling,
I began to think of all of the patient’s that had come and gone through that very same room. Patient’s who may have had close calls, and those that unfortunately didn’t. I wondered what was going through their minds, the fears, the anxieties, the questions…all unanswered, unable to be answered by the tech, who went through the procedure in silence. It wasn’t her fault. She was doing her job. But I felt a coldness, a clinical distance between myself and the tech. What of those that went in distraught? I know everyone has a story, a worry, but it just seemed so cold in that moment and the thought of others going through something similar or worse, just heartbreaking.
I read the preliminary report. The radiologist has yet to confirm it, but from what I read, compared with what I’ve seen in the past, it’s worrisome to me. And now the waiting game. I wait for the official report. Then I schedule an appointment with the endocrinologist and I wait. Then I see the endocrinologist and he recommends XYZ and I wait.
All of this reminded me of what one nurse would always say. When a patient had completed the workup and was diagnosis with cancer, she’d call them a survivor. Puzzled, they’d ask why, because they hadn’t had treatment or surgery. Her response was, “If you survived being told the diagnosis of cancer, you are a survivor!”
The waiting is what nearly kills all of us. It’s my mind’s fault! The fear of the unknown, of the unexpected, and not knowing how you’ll react to it. My brain churns with “what ifs” that can make me claustrophobic. It can paralyze me, as it did last night when I attempted to continue writing my novel. It’s bad enough having writer’s block!!
I thank God I have the ability to chide myself, to get myself back on track. And if I don’t, I have the friends I need to “smack” me back in place. I wish this for everyone, because living before that line, living in depression and despair sucks. And it isn’t easy getting out of it, no matter who says to “snap out of it”. It isn’t like the movies. A slap to the face won’t suddenly make the pain and anxiety go away. But for me, God and lots of prayer from my friends and family will give me enough peace to get through.
I believe God can heal me, but I also believe that He can use this trial in my life to make me a better person for the benefit of the those around me. 🙂