A few weeks ago I had an MRI scan of my back that identified a couple of issues. I then went on holiday, and last weekend was dominated by my birthday celebrations. During this time the scan and the changes it apparently showed in my spinal cord have been floating about in my mind, occasionally surfacing in conversations or in my own reflections.
A letter arrived last week from my consultant summing up what we’d talked about on the phone. The letter didn’t tell me much more, and somehow seeing it in print made me feel impatient for more information and to understand better what this means for me long term.
My health has been deteriorating for at least the last two years, but right now I’m really struggling – a mixture of constant pain and never-ending exhaustion means it’s hard to keep working, and I often don’t have the stamina to hang out with my friends and family in the way I’d like.
The time in between having a test and seeing someone who can explain what it means feels hard to navigate particularly when I need to make decisions about how much work I can reasonably take on.
I’m frequently awake at night too, and this is a time when my thoughts can wander. Without much information from my doctors I’ve found myself trying to guess at what my MRI results might mean. I know this is unhelpful but it’s hard to stop my mind drifting into this area and trying to fill in the gaps.
I shared my frustrations and questions with Fat Sister yesterday. She’s a doctor and she’s being careful not to speculate with me, and she wouldn’t be drawn on what the results might mean. She did encourage me to write my questions down so we have them ready at future appointments. I’ve started doing this and it already feels helpful.
I’m finding it hard to be in this in between time but while I’ve been writing this post my tics have been suggesting lots of things it would be harder to be in between:
“Between a donkey and baked bean factory”
“Between a rock and a dog’s penis”
“Between Teresa May and the European Union”
“Between a grizzly bear and a rusty bike”
“Between a geranium and a geranium.”
While I wait to see the specialists I’m going to focus on practical solutions – being kind to myself and enjoying the sun. And I count myself lucky not to be stuck between two geraniums.