An odd thing happened to me at my latest blood test (apart from being compelled to buy chocolate…). I have blood tests every month, so no news there. But this time, I had a new nurse.
She must have been reading my notes before she called me, as she came through to the waiting room, gently tapped me on the shoulder and gestured for me to follow.
Puzzled, I put away my book and went with her. In her room, she pulled out a chair and almost helped me to sit down. I was starting to get a bit worried. Did she know something I didn’t?
She sat down, clicked through her computer screen, then turned to me with big, sad eyes and said, ‘you poor, poor thing. You’re what (looking back to screen), only ten years younger than me, but you’re so, so brave, so strong’. Huh? ‘Oh, we don’t see many people with MS here’. She asked me how I was coping with the diagnosis, what my fears for the future were and whether I had to make any…adjustments. Wheelchairs, catheters and walking sticks flashed through my mind, none of which I need. Yet?
This got me thinking. I’ve been through a horrendous year and the diagnostic process isn’t easy. There’s no single test, there’s a set of criteria you have to tick before you move from a ‘single’ attack to ‘multiple’ sclerosis. It’s incredible what you can come to think of as your new normals and you just shift your life around them. I think I’m doing pretty well and I don’t live my life as an MS victim/sufferer, I just happen to have MS. But things like this pull you up short, and the fear rises again. I really am ill?
Finally, she took my blood pressure. ‘Mm, it’s awfully high. Are you anxious about anything?’ Not before I came in here, I wasn’t….