Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What If...

Another one of those nights I've been having over the past several weeks. Ever since the phone call came that confirmed an uneasy feeling I'd had, I can only seem to sleep in maybe two-hour segments, waking and then lying there trying to shut my mind off.  What if.... what if... what if....

After my doctor found something I'd been aware of for several months and categorically stated I needed to get it checked, I made the appointment and got the tests he recommended. These were more than the usual one they tell you to get every year or two, this one was more x-rays, more manipulation, more and different testing. I left there, glad to have that over but with it came the uncertainty. What if... what if... what if...

The test results came back and it indicated that there was more testing, more invasive and painful testing, to be done. Maybe that's where the nightly disruption began, wondering what if... what if... what if...

I could ignore it for most of the time, but the worry always seemed to come in the form of those 2 o'clock devils that can strike at 10:30, 1:30, maybe 3:30 in the morning. I would be asleep, sometimes dreaming, sometimes dreaming interesting things, when I would awaken, dream forgotten and the mind whirling like a hamster on a wheel.  What if... what if... what if...

The test results came back and it was not totally unexpected (my mind had already explored that possibility) but still, when that word hits a conversation, things just seem to stop for a heartbeat or two and it is hard to really absorb much of anything after that.  Make an appointment, get a referral, make an appointment, then see another doctor. I had an idea what to expect, but once there, the information I was presented (and, I may say, presented with tact, honesty, empathy and practicality) suddenly made my options much more limited. What if... what if... what if...

Night after night, I've faced and tried to overcome that semi-insomnia, turning on the TV (which usually puts me to sleep in minutes) only to find I'm still awake at the end of a program I really wasn't all that interested in and couldn't really remember much about. I tried reading a very (to me) dull book on the Augsburg Confession (an attempt to understand more of the Lutheran path a dear friend had taken), but although it made me sleepy, once I turned off the light the wakefulness returned. What if... what if... what if...

I have made some decisions about how I am going to handle this. Much will depend on something about six weeks in the future -- whether anything further is found than they have already noted, the extent and the like. I'm 99% comfortable with the decision my doctor, a friend and I had discussed and I had made although I know there are going to be times when I second-guess myself and see-saw back and forth about using this treatment vs using another, less invasive, less disfiguring, less intense. What about afterwards? Even though I don't have to make any decision right now and can change my mind about the one I've already made, I still am left with the inevitable.  What if... what if... what if...

One thing that I have in my corner is a group of people, dearer to me than they can know, who support me in a hundred ways. One of the gifts of this journey is that I think I may finally have learned that I can ask and the requests will be honored. I do not have to go through this all alone as I often thought I might have to. With them, I don't have the what if... syndrome. I am who I am with them, I am where I am, and they understand and walk with me. If anything blessed can come out of this it is that I recognize that I'm not alone, even when I feel most detached from things.

Still, in the wee sma' hours, the mind keeps whirling, having, it seems, a mind of its own, following a warren of rabbits each diving down a different burrow and each just out of reach.  Prayer helps a bit, especially remembering people I sometimes forget to pray for, but most of the time the effort of trying to retain coherent thoughts is much more difficult than what passes for "sighs too deep for words."  I try putting my what ifs... in the hands of God but my mind keeps wanting to take them back, to hang on to them obsessively, compulsively, with an iron grip. What if... what if... what if...

The next hurdle is six weeks off. Meanwhile I have lots to do, things to prepare for like EfM training and the beginning of the next term, a house to clean, cats to feed and care for, a job to go to, bills to pay, meals to fix, laundry requiring attention, all thousand and one things that make up normal everyday life. But there's always that twist at the odd moment, the squeak in the wheel that won't go away but only in temporary abeyance.

What if... what if... what if.....

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. Prayers continue.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Ann. I'm holding on to those prayers.

    ReplyDelete