She flipped through the booklet, looking up and around, it seemed, after almost every word. The letters blurring, blending, and incomprehensible as she struggled to hang onto composure. The plastic numbers fly off the hook as the white coat pops in and out of the hallway executing the daily count. Today, it felt like everyone was speaking in numbers, non-sensical sounds accompanied by papers with checked off tests and endless paragraphs about things she never thought she would have to know. There were so many, too many, these alien words that now, somehow, factor into her life. She closed the booklet. She didn’t want to know.
The passage above could easily be about the woman sitting next to me as I was waiting to do my blood tests at the rheumatology clinic this week. She had the booklet that’s given to new lupus patients in her hand and seemed to have trouble reading it, but I could never presume what she was thinking beyond that. The description above is how I felt on a similar day almost 13 years ago. The memory of it made me lean in and offer my email address. Once you’ve had a chance to process or at some point in the future if you should ever need someone to talk to, I said. Who knows if she will ever email me and I was probably presumptuous in thinking that she would even want my contact info. I hope I can help in easing some of the panic that comes with a fresh diagnosis, but I suppose in the end, my past self was my motivation. She, who would have given anything to have had someone to talk to in those early years.
I was so lost in thought that when I sat down to do my urine test, my sample went in the toilet because I forgot to use the container that was ready in my hand. I shook my head in disbelief and thought, “seriously, Elena? Even for you, this is ridiculous!” After drinking all of my tea and in time, feeling resigned with the fact that my bodily functions run on their own time and not at my will, I gave up and laughed at myself. Just another nudge from life reminding me not to take everything so seriously!
Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year!! I thought I would share some wintry memories of the last couple months and a picture of my most recent recipe attempt (vegan chia kheer – Indian pudding dessert). I’m hoping to be more present on “Face Forward” in 2014 and connecting much more often with you!