Thursday, September 06, 2012

A Road Map Out Of Here

I'm standing at the window looking down on traffic and at the office buildings surrounding us. If I press the side of my face to the glass I can see my car parked on the street over to my right. It's a different perspective  from the one at my previous appointment.

I'm looking out the window trying to occupy my mind while I wait for the surgeon to come in. I can only do it for so long before I turn around and sit back down on my chair. Dearest One's early morning commute has caught up to him and he's fallen asleep in his chair. I study the room and get up to look at a chart on the back of the door. It's hard to pace in a ten by ten room but I'm trying. I've been vibrating with anger since I walked into his office and I'm trying to shake it out of my body.

Eventually I give up and go sit back down. I shake my head a little, as if to clear my vision, because I notice for the first time, a chair right beside the doctor's desk. I gauge the distance from where I am to it and then from it over to the doctor's chair. I decide it's too close to him and with how angry I'm feeling today I'd rather keep my distance. The best I can concede is to uncross my legs when he enters the room. It's a trick I've been doing for years when I am uptight. Doing so reminds me to breathe deeply and relax.

I no sooner decide this when I hear the doctor just outside the door. I place both feet flat on the floor in anticipation, hoping that a more open body language will translate into a more open attitude. I swear anger is coming off me like heat waves. I don't even know why I'm angry, I just know that I am. I have felt this way in nearly every conversation with a doctor in the past few weeks. I feel it every time I go for blood work or enter a hospital.

I pray for my defensiveness to lessen. I pray the serenity prayer. As I pray it I realize that accepting what I cannot change means accepting that what has happened has happened and there's not a darn thing I can do about it. I stick that nugget in the back of my mind to think on later.

The doctor comes in and extends his hand to me. I shake it firmly. I've always liked how taken aback a man can get when they feel the strong grip of my hand. Dearest One wakes up just as the doctor motions to the chair next to his desk and says to me, "Come sit over here." I get up and go sit in the chair and cross my legs. Body language be damned.

He doesn't need me to open my mouth to know I'm angry. We talk about the anger, the numbness, the tears. He reassures me it's normal under the circumstances. I want a road map out of here, out of this part of the process. I want to be through it already. Not around it. But through it. I'm not sure I can handle being in this space mentally much longer. Not that I have a choice. Wishing has never helped further myself down the path.

When I try to explain to him where I've been emotionally in the past month both my hands claw at the air as if I'm trying to gather oxygen. As my hands come together I feel myself wanting to bring my legs up onto the chair, hug my knees and curl up in a ball. Shit. No hope for both feet on the floor now.

Dearest One asks me to tell the doctor about this day. I start to and then I clap my hands over my face because the tears rise up from deep within and I can't talk. I don't want to be this vulnerable. Not here. Not now. I take a few breaths and finish my story. And he gets it. He gets that I was triggered in that moment. That I keep getting triggered. I uncurl my legs and put both feet on the floor.

We move on to the options in front of me. I  have very definite ideas about what I want to come next medically in the whole scheme of things. I have a hard time listening to him lay out my options. I keep interrupting him and then remembering my manners. I had my mind made up before he ever came in the room and am determined to not let anyone change it. He initially wants me to make the decision another day.

I don't need another day.

In short order he sees that. I just want the breast lump gone. I don't ever want it to show up on another mammogram again. He takes a paper out of his desk drawer and fills it out. I sign it and then fill out the pre-op paperwork. The waiting time before surgery is longer than I'd like but it is going to happen.

As I stand to leave his office he asks me to call him if anything comes up between now and surgery. I reassure him that I won't; that after all this is done I don't give a shit if I ever see another doctor. Spouting off knee jerk reactionary statements like that makes me feel like I'm a two year old having a temper tantrum. I can't excuse my behaviour and I can't make sense of it.

I wonder to myself what I will make of it when I review my day.


Mary Christine said...

Hope, you are in my prayers. Please take care, and breathe deeply. And keep us posted on when your surgery is.

Peter said...

All that said, your reaction is completely understandable. You are a very alive person.

Unknown said...

Hopefully you will make of it that you are human. That you are a jumble of emotions that range from 2yr old to adult. And every one of them is valid and for the health of your body and mind you need to give yourself permission to express them, because otherwise they become poison to carry. Praying for release. Praying for strength. Praying for the moment when peace can enter and reside once again.