I have spent a big proportion of my time waiting. Ninety five percent of medical treatment is waiting and the biggest thing you do when you’re really unwell is wait to get better enough to be able to do something more than waiting. I have become quite good at waiting. I used to fidget and pace and then came the activity bag filled with puzzles and books and music and games and a phone that does neat things. For some reason, one can sit in a bar and talk for hours effectively doing nothing but talk, but one cannot do the same in hospitals. Conversation dries up and anxiety levels run high and nobody really feel like interesting conversation. Now, I simply wait. I may read or turn up my iPod but really, whatever I do, I am simply there, in the moment, waiting for it to pass. My favourite thing to do, and sometimes the only thing I can do, is think.
I have a few options. I can think about the past. I can think about the present. I can think about the future. I can worry. I can dream. In places like hospitals or when you’re constantly in severe pain, its much easier to succumb to the dark and dreary. I worry about Chris, I worry about the cat, I worry whether Chris will remember to feed the cat and water the plants if I have to stay overnight. I worry about doctors and their perceptions, about test results and about overdue library books. I worry about the future and I worry about the people I care about. When the worrying stops the memories begin. I remember people that I have lost, opportunities that passed me by, I remember all the pain and then I catch my breath and realize that I am turning my life into my very own dark cell.
So I regroup. I think about the moment in time that mattered most. Insignificant moments in the greater scheme of things, but when you’re crying and curled up in a bundle of pain, its the acts of kindness that makes it possible to make it through the waiting. I think of Chris coming home with belgian chocolate ice-cream when I had a sore throat, of watching my favourite movie, getting a new nickname, talking about roosters, big bears and baby bears and the reassurance that dislocating my wrist when targeted by Kologarn’s laser beams does not wipe the raid. It’s funny how reassuring it can be to realize one’s own insignificance. It’s the little things that make the difference and its my choice whether I choose to invite the dark or dreary or the warm and fuzzy to keep me company when the world turns upside down and inside out.
I cannot stop bad things from happening. I cannot prevent myself from getting hurt, but I know from experience that pain is tolerable as long as I tolerate it. I am not powerless and there is more power in letting go. I can do my part to take care of myself, but past a certain point, I need help. Life just happens and the best I can do is to simply let things be the way they are rather than wish it wasn’t so. Life is unpredictable and bad things will happen, but there is no need to make it happen or live in fear of it happening. I may dislocate my wrist moving my mouse, I may not. I’d rather not live in fear and ancitipation. Life is just random like that. And I’m not alone. People who care will be there whether I hold on to them or not. They’ll just be there to wait with me.