It’s very rare that a medical specialist will get back to you about your test results within 48 hours… unless of course those test results indicate that there’s something seriously wrong. It’s even rarer that a specialist will need to speak with you about your results while they’re on vacation… unless of course your results indicate that you’re in mortal danger.
So when the cardiology office called the day after my test and informed me that the cardiologist (who is currently out of the office on vacation) needed to speak to me, my immediate response was similar to what you’d experience when faced with impending doom and guaranteed demise.
It’s over, I thought.
No…wait… it’s not just over… it’s ALL over.
You got that?
The rest of the day was a tad surreal… kind of like the come down from an Acid trip, I guess… only without the bro-talk and the desire to climb trees and chase after butterflies.
I’ll be the first to admit, maybe I overreacted. Maybe I let my emotions get the best of me. Maybe my fears took over and the whole thing turned into a bigger drama than was necessary. Because, yeah… I blow things out of proportion and jump to catastrophic conclusions all the time. It’s what the kids these days would call, “my thang,” or “my Modus Operandi.” There have been countless times when I’ve jumped the gun and assumed the absolute worst.
And the “worst” in almost every instance boils down to this:
Or the slightly more desperate and certainly more dramatic version,
It’s ALL over.
Which was my first thought as I sat on my couch yesterday, frantically Googling and Web MD-ing all the possible complications and worst-case outcomes that could arise given what I knew about my current state of cardiac health. In my defense, I do have a congenital heart defect which can lead to severe complications… so it wasn’t totally out of the ballpark that some kind of serious issue could have arisen.
Long story short… after speaking with the doctor this morning, I learned my test results weren’t bad. In fact, the results were good, overall.
Then came the relief after the phone call. The post-consult exhale. I must have been holding my breath the entire time I was on the phone with the doctor, because it was a BIG exhale. Like a gust of air expelled from a whale’s blowhole.
So I just sat there… on my couch. Kinda like I had the day before… only the mood was very different.
The day before, I had made promises to whatever God was out there listening.
God… if I survive this, I’ll never eat another piece of red meat for the rest of my life.
God… if you let me live, I promise I’ll always give up my seat on the bus to the disabled and/or elderly.
God… if you spare me, I’ll never blame an elevator fart on “the other guy” ever again.
And sure enough – the sky didn’t end up falling. At least not today.
There was no “it’s over,” or even “It’s ALL over.”
Instead it was… “Okay… what now?”
And there’s only ever one answer to that question.
Go back to living your life.
But not the exact same way. At least not so soon. There’s something different about it when you feel you’ve kind of dodged a bullet, so to speak.
Life goes on… sure. It absolutely does. It goes on whether you dodge the bullet or not.
You appreciate it a bit more. At least in the short term. Today I didn’t complain about the heat, or the traffic or the irritatingly bright fluorescent ceiling lights at Superstore.
I didn’t complain about anything.
Because, to my great appreciation…
Today… life went on…