Except for the weekend when I was fairly well wiped out from all the “work” I had done in the hospital the previous three days (and so it had seemed to be), I have had at least one medical appointment a day and there are more booked.
Okay, I lied. Monday there were no visits but there might as well have been: there were five telephone conversations with doctors and other medical professionals, some lengthy, and a lot of new information to absorb.
During the calls, I was a crazed note taker, scribbling as fast as I could. Most of this is new information about which I have no previous useful knowledge and therefore no past references to call on to make the information my own.
So after the calls I spent a lot of time rereading and organizing the notes to be sure they will make sense later.
All this does not account for phone tag and then the wait time on return calls – sometimes up to 30 minutes. I understand there are a lot of other patients whose conditions are at least as serious as mine and I don't begrudge that kind of wait. I just get tired from it.
And now, thanks to those health care people, I have checkups and followups, appointments, tests, etc. scheduled well into August. And they haven't even done anything to me yet. Whatever the outcome of treatment, this kind of busy-ness isn't going away soon.
Then there are the household chores. Enough kitty litter and cat food to last through a long hospital and, possibly, rehab stay so the helpers have what they need. A list of what to take to the hospital: The internet is fabulous for this kind of minutiae but it can't find the small travel hair brush I KNOW is here somewhere.
There are banking issues to arrange, usually in person, automatic bill pays to set up for my absence because god knows credit card companies and utilities don't care if you're sick when the payment is late.
Meanwhile, the electricity in half the kitchen outlets is suddenly dead – that's annoying - but no way to have the electrician here until I know my upcoming schedule. Plus, unrelatedly, my bedroom clock broke.
When I complained about some of that to a friend via email (hopefully with some self-mocking in my “voice”), it was a surprise to be told that I should lay those chores off on helpers, and that I am not doing “this” well.
Maybe so but I'm a beginner at "this" and here is the thing: I have just a few days before treatment begins, probably with surgery, and then my life changes to something completely new. It is a long surgery, a long hospital stay, a long rehab. And, I assume, chemo after that.
Maybe it will be successful. Wouldn't that be wonderful? But maybe it won't.
Either way, during these frightfully few days I have left before signing on to be a patient for god knows how long – maybe forever in terms of my personal life span – I am relishing the mundane errand.
While I can still do them - the chat with the bank manager, making the lists I need, buying a new clock and all the rest of the things I have been doing every day for my whole life and not appreciating until now - they feel important and comfortable and real and even almost miraculous in the current circumstance.
How wonderful it is to have just an ordinary day. How deeply I want more of them. And more after that. For as long as I can.
Today is a big day. After months of my “mystery malady”, what seems like a gallon of blood given for tests during that time, more different kinds of scans than I can recall, while some of you read this I am meeting with the surgeon and will learn about my immediate future and, maybe, beyond.
Thank you for all your kind wishes. I am enjoying them and appreciate every one of you so much.