I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. I had been putting it off for weeks, but it was finally the day to see my doctor for a long-overdue physical exam.
For all of my frustration with my mother about her excuses why she doesn't see a doctor and her anger at the suggestion that she might have to take medicine and her cavalier attitude about the medications she's been prescribed, the dirty truth is that I am far worse than she is. I just don't let anybody know that I think all the things that she actually says.
I've been putting off lab tests for months now because I know that they are going to be bad. But I finally bit the bullet and had the tests done a couple of weeks ago. Kaiser e-mails you the results and they were, as I knew they would be, bad.
The doctor's office had been calling me periodically for weeks. Despite the fact that I stay at home most of the time, somehow I was never here when they called (and if I was here, if I saw it was the doctor's office calling, I let it go to voice mail). Then somehow I never got around to returning the call. (That's actually easy to do because the call-back number you get is for the appointment office, not for the doctor's office.)
But finally I just couldn't put it off any more. I had postponed because of my mother's health (when actually it was only that I was going to the doctor with her ONE day...but that bought me a month). I postponed because of the trip to Europe, which actually gave me TWO months, since I didn't tell the doctor that I was only going to be gone for two weeks. And then there were those calls I never returned.
See, the thing is that I never outgrew my childish fear of disapproval. The very worst thing I can envision is not physical pain, it's fearing someone will be upset with me. It's bad enough when it's because of something that I can't do anything about, but when it's because of my own actions, that's even worse.
My mother always gets glowing doctor reports and has a witty reparte with her health care providers. Mine are always pointing out things that I had done wrong or things that I should be doing...that I know I should be doing.
Heck, I stopped going to the dentist for more than twenty years because I knew I wasn't flossing and I couldn't bear to hear my dentist tell me I should floss. He didn't even have to yell at me; all he had to do was look over his glasses with me, look exasperated, and point out that I should be flossing and would lose my teeth if I didn't.
(Fortunately, Cindy came into my life and cured me of dental fear--and I even floss now.)
But after I had the blood tests done, I finally went to the web site and made an appointment. The week before the appointment, I went back to the web site and changed it to a couple of weeks later. This has been going on, now, for several appointments.
Finally, finally, I had to face the music.
I got up this morning, took my shower, got the puppies fed, and, resisting the urge to reschedule the appointment yet again, I girded my loins, took a deep breath and drove to the doctor's office. The appointment was for 10:20 and I arrived at 10:20 on the dot. I hadn't had any breakfast because, you know, a bowl of cereal would add so much weight and I wanted to be as light as possible. (bwahahahaha)
"You're quite a bit early," the receptionist said. "Your appointment isn't until 11:20."
I told her that was OK because I'd brought a book with me. I had also planned on getting a mammogram today too, so I could do that to kill time (no appointment needed for a mammogram).
Then the receptionist checked her computer again. "Actually," she said, "you're very early. Your appointment is not until tomorrow!"
I don't have a clue where I got the idea that it was today at 10:20. But it's not until tomorrow.
I did stop and get a mammogram (oh, how I long for the day when they decide that men need to have penograms yearly!!!). And then I stopped at a nearby restaurant to have a breakfast that I really shouldn't have had--but it gave me an opportunity to sit and read another couple of chapters of Dan Brown's book (I will have finished it by the time I post this entry).
And now I have to do the damn thing all over again. Go through the tortures of the damned about what the doctor will say, and get to the office on time. And I still don't know why I had the idea the appointment was for today because it very clearly says, on my desk calendar that it's for tomorrow at 11:20.Gee...d'ya think that I can claim that all the "bad" things about my health are because I'm losing it mentally?