Fear

There’s been a lot going on in my life lately.  Some things have been ironed out – yay! – and are back on track.  But some medical issues are just going on… and on… and on…

I’m a good patient usually.  I come in with all the needed information; I am always on time for my appointments; I follow up appropriately; and I’m really, really, really nice to the staff.  But recently, the colossal incompetence of a particular radiology department has sent me over the edge.  Back story:  after a check-up, my doctor advised me to see a neurologist.  In order to rule out some very scary things – like, oh, cancer or a brain tumor – I then had an MRI.  So far, so good.  No cancer.  No brain tumor.  But not normal.   Okay…time for further MRIs.  Sure, I’ll go.  To make this long story short, I never had the tests.  I tried.  Twice.

So now what?  Well, it took several years for me to get a correct diagnosis for my Sjogren’s, given poor diagnostic skills at the major teaching hospital where I went to grad school.  It took a full year and every test known (it seemed) for the best gastroenterologist in New York to diagnose the cause of a severe abdominal pain.  Clearly, I’m stubborn enough to do the work that it will apparently take to find out what is going on now.1044343-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Scared-Woman-Curled-Up-In-A-Fetal-Position

But in the meantime…I’m scared.  I don’t like uncertainty.  I am not bothered so much by change, but not knowing makes me crazy.  I just want to curl up under the covers with the cats and not come out until I have answers.  But we all know life is not like that.  There’s work to be done, cats to be entertained, yoga classes to attend, and drinks to drink.  Plus I’m just far too stubborn (yes, I said it again) to allow fear to immobilize me.  And stubborn will beat incompetent every. damn. time.

Small Cages Of Joy

I’m lucky.   Despite the whining and complaining I sometimes let spill out about my kennels of irritation, I actually do know I’m really, really lucky.

So this morning during my Bikram class, a random thought floated through my brain (as often happens):  “What’s the opposite of ‘kennels of irritation’?”  And the phrase “small cages of joy” drifted to the surface… 

Okay, okay, it’s weird.  But somehow, it works.  It works perfectly. 

What exactly are “small cages of joy”, you ask?  Well, “it’s the little things”… a few examples: 

1)  My friend who thought to send flowers to my apartment the day I had a biopsy (yes, it was benign!  And that’s a big cage of joy!).  And on that note, the genuine pleasure about those results I felt from the small number of my friends who knew.

2) My Bikram breakthroughs of late…no drinking during class, for one.  For two, seeing my right foot over my head in Standing Bow – finally – for the first time in almost seven years.  (The left foot has always been the more cooperative one.  Hmph.)  For three – wait, can you say “for three”?  should I be saying “too” or “also”? – oh, the hell with it – for three, the minute movement my foot is making toward my calf in Eagle.  And I do mean minute.  But I saw it.  It happened.

3) The text I got thanking me for my help on something – when I had been convinced my help had been taken for granted.

4) The unabashedly excited welcome my cats give me every time I come home.   Even if I just went to take out the garbage.

5)  The silly, yet utterly necessary, emails that my sisters and I send back and forth all day while we’re all at our separate jobs, in separate states. 

6) Wine. 

7) Bourbon.

8)  And especially…rye.

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