Yesterday started out quasi normal. I woke up at 3 am, tossed and turned until I pulled a muscle in my right calf and finally just gave in and got up. For the day.
The house was quiet. Naturally, no one else in their right mind wakes up at 3 a.m. Not even my Twitter friends from Australia.
In truth, I love the solitude of the morning – even if it’s really the middle of the night. My only complaint yesterday was my eye. It was irritated – and irritating – like when you get an eyelash in it. Except that it felt more like a jagged shard of glass. I did everything to try to get it out, including turning my eyelid inside out. No luck.
So after I got the kids off to school I decided to stop in at the clinic on my way to work. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve needed medical attention because I forgot to bring a cooler full of food and water for my SEVEN HOUR STAY.
Yup. A full day of sitting in the clinic’s office, waiting for them to call my name.
It even got to the point where every time I heard the buzz of the intercom (the ONLY sign that they hadn’t completely forgotten about the waiting room full of people) I would hold my breath and pray that the universe would have pity on me and that I’d be next.
Even if it wasn’t really my turn, I was hoping that a window was open somewhere and that a gust of wind had blown the charts off the secretary’s desk so that the patient order got messed up and my chart would end up on top of the pile.
I know. I’m going to hell for that one. Confession: it gets worse.
I was even starting to look at all the other “patients” as though they were the enemy competition. Seven hours of sitting in a clinic on the day that you get up at 3 a.m. will do that to a person.
And I know what you’re thinking. Why did I wait it out? Why didn’t I just leave?
But you know how it is. You consider leaving every 20 minutes but every time the thought crosses your mind, you consider how much time you’ve already invested and think, “What if I leave now and they call my name next?”
That’s how you get sucked into believing that they will call your name, “any minute now.”
THAT’S how the Quebec medical system gets you to take up space in their waiting rooms for days at a time.
And while you’re waiting, whatever is wrong with you gets worse. Because what else can you do for seven hours except think about how you may be dying and waiting is the only way that they can catch the disease before it becomes terminal.
So while my morning may have started with an invisible piece of glass in my eye, yesterday at around noon I was convinced that I had eyeball cancer.
Thank goodness for texting because while I was sitting there, outwardly cool, calm and “patient”, I was texting Greg about how one of my biggest fears had come true:
“I have eyeball cancer! This is probably God’s way of punishing me for not finishing my novel.”
Of course (and maybe I’m even a little grateful for this), Greg never believes me when I get “one of my cancers”.
But you get it right? You KNOW what it’s like to have something wrong with you and not know what it is AND have seven hours on your hands with nothing else to do but think about all the things that it could be. Right?
I do not have eyeball cancer. Admittedly, I didn’t even know eyeball cancer existed until yesterday when I had all this time on my hands – enough time to look it up on my iPhone.