“We’re all broken in one way or another, some just hold the pieces together better.” ~ Anonymous
The older I get, the more I’m willing to let my brokenness surface. Today Ernie and I are going to the medical clinic for tests. He is going to the Hematologist for testing of his white blood cell count, which is higher than normal. I am going for a diagnostic mammogram to determine what, exactly, is causing tenderness in my right breast.
On Saturday, we went to a gathering of Ernie’s siblings and spouses. We visited, played games, shared a meal, and looked through old photographs. In general, I had a good time. It was hot outside and I don’t do heat very well. The gathering was outdoors and I don’t do nature too well. It was a tad disorganized and willy-nilly gives me facial tics. We have 22 in our small section of the clan: 10 adults and 12 grandchildren. I anticipate a bit of chaos we our wee group gathers. There were only 21 of us for the gathering: 21 adults, no kids. It shouldn’t have overwhelmed the hosts or the guests, but it did — here and there.
I had a moment. I wanted to take my standard high road. I wanted to do the ol’ “Suck it up, Buttercup!” I wanted to cry. Instead, I became slightly bitchy — with a little “b” — because I did so it private with Ernie. Just a few “get it off my chest” words and back to the gathering. (Teapot steam, short whistle, remove from burner.)
This morning I dragged myself out of bed, showered, and went to work. Easy-peasy, right? Work a few hours and then zip over to the medical clinic to meet Ernie and get our tests. Take a book in case I have to stay longer to consult with the Radiologist.
I’ve read that mammograms aren’t as painful if you go sans caffeine beforehand. So I skipped the morning coffee. When I arrived at work, I realized that I forgot my office door keys. Using an alternate route through the building, I entered the office, sat at my desk, and started working. Then it hit me. All of a sudden I felt alone. Very alone. I felt nauseated. I felt tired. I felt like I just wanted to go home. So when my boss arrived, I asked to leave. Once I was in my car, I began crying. I’m scared. Scared for me and scared for my husband. I don’t want either one of us to be ill. We still have so much living to do — for our family, but for ourselves, too.
Being scared doesn’t mean I have no faith in God and His healing power. I do. I’m scared because I’m human. I’m scared because, quite frankly, I have a right to be. A need to be. It’s a quiet “cry in the car home,” or “hold my hand, please” scared. No hysterics. No blubbering in public. And I’m scared because I know that my husband is, too. And we shouldn’t both have to “man up.”
Chances are that our tests will show that everything is fine. But chances are just that — chance — not guarantees.
I’m home now and waiting for Ernie to awake. He’ll be surprised to see me, I’m sure. I’m not looking forward to the mammogram, especially since I just had one last October. Even without caffeine they hurt. A lot. I am, however, looking forward to an afternoon cup of coffee.
Thankful, too, that the medical clinic has a coffee bar.