I had to go to a mandatory teaching session before I start chemo. We went through my medical history, medicines, etc. for the 15 hundredth kajillionth time in the last month. Every time I meet a new medical person, we have to go through this. Even if I just went through all the questions 10 minutes ago with someone else.
About halfway through the spiel, she asked if I was scared, anxious or nervous. I said no. She looked up at me with a touch of skepticism. She said, in a way that sounded to me as if I should change my answer, that they had a social worker I could talk to. I shook my head and said no. She looked down and continued with the other information.
After she talked for a bit longer, she said, “You claim not to be scared…”
Now, I’m sure she’s a lovely lady and it was probably just me because I’ve been through a lot this past month, but I heard a smidge more than a hint of condescension in her voice. “You claim”...
[*&%!] right I claim.
Her condescension could have been my imagination so I coolly answered, “I’ve got a couple of years of dialysis under my belt. This doesn’t scare me.”
My thoughts talking with her that morning were more along the lines of I’m tired. I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated.
I have had to go to so many appointments recently… I’ve had two pregnancy tests in the last three weeks. I’m not pregnant for heaven’s sake… If not in outright pain, I am still in a good deal of discomfort… My left arm is on the weak side still and not quite as useful as I’d like it to be… I haven’t been able to exercise much. Exercise is a mental lifesaver for me… I just had my port put in and am not in a particularly sunny disposition this fine day… I have to wear a compression thingy around my chest… I have to answer the same dang questions about my medical history over and over and over and over and over and over. And it’s not like it’s just three or four questions — it’s the same long list of unending questions… You are giving me way too much information right now and so very early in the morning. How do you expect me to remember even a tick of this when I walk out the door?
So yes, tired, annoyed, frustrated. But no, so far fear has not taken hold.
If you’ll allow me to be perfectly honest, I’ll tell you what’s on my mind. Please don’t try to explain away my thoughts. Right or wrong, just let me be who I am for a moment.
I am so very tired of others expecting me to react a certain way, to meet their expectations of what I should be like in a situation like this. It’s been a lifelong battle in different scenarios. I am me, not you or any other person. Me. I’m sorry, not sorry, I can’t give you what you are obviously looking for. I am so tired of being the one who needs to be prayed for. I’m glad for the pray-ers and prayers, I simply wish they were never necessary. I am so tired of not being able to hang with or help others because I just can’t. I am so tired of people worrying or being concerned about me, continually hoping and praying for my best in trying circumstances. I understand that it’s not a burden to them — again, I just wish it wasn’t necessary. I am so tired of being the one who needs help.
Yet here I am. Fiercely independent, learning again to lean on others to help me through.
I hate this. I hate that you have to be here in the battle with me once again.
I am not resentful.
I simply. just. hate. this.
I am actually mostly on the ok side most of the time and I feel confident that this will turn out well in the end. I know some how, some way, at some point I will, because of this, be able to help someone else — just as all the crap with my kidney stuff has helped others. At some point I will be exuberantly glad it’s in the past. But I don’t have to like any of it now. That would be silly right?
Ok, well, that’s enough whining. I think I hear my dance partner calling me back out onto the water.