I was supposed to go to clinic last Thursday… I didn’t go!
It was my first appointment after a gap of four weeks, but I didn’t go.
On Wednesday, I received a call from the hospital. My first reaction was a sharp intake of breath, fear and anxiety rising in preparation for bad news…
I’ve never really been a worrier and even now I don’t think I am in general, but when I get a call saying, “Hello, this is the hospital”, my fright, flight, fight mechanism comes sharply into play.
Why is someone calling me from the hospital? What’s wrong? The last time I had an unexpected call like that, it was Sarah, the myeloma specialist nurse calling last January to tell me about the relapse…
It’s not only been four weeks since I was at clinic, but also four weeks since my last blood test. The main blood count and kidney function results are available the same day, usually in about 30 minutes, but some take a week or two. So if there was an urgent concern, I’d find out about it by a phone call, rather than waiting till I’m at clinic.
It’s not something I think about day-to-day, but I guess this is how it’s going to be… I guess I will always be living with an underlying element of anxiety that I never had before and that most of the time I’m not aware of. It only takes an out-of-the-blue phone call to set me off.
The actual reason for the call was quite the opposite of my fears… There would be two consultants away on holiday and one off sick for clinic the next day, so they were trying to move some patients’ appointments to make the load a bit lighter for those consultants who would be in.
Clearly, they are so unworried about me, that I not only didn’t need to be seen for four weeks, but they were happy to stretch it out to five weeks. Very reassuring!
So, I am due to go to clinic tomorrow, where apart from feeling a little overdue, I’m also pleased to get back in sync with the schedules of one or two of my clinic buddies. In fact Janette has promised to bring cake tomorrow. I’m not sure what we’re celebrating – maybe just being alive… or perhaps her excellent baking skills? Either way, it will be good to see her and Sam. And the thought of cake helps to alleviate any slight anxiety that might crop up now that my appointments are less frequent.