Countdowns and stats

We always have countdowns and stats going around in our head. We countdown until our next day off, or until our next vacation or until we hear back from the doctor on any test results.

We have statistics for sports teams we follow or things we’ve found online from diseases we may have. 1 in 5 have _____.

But what if we get news and there is no end date? Such as a relative dying, we don’t know when we will be “over” their death and move on. An incurable disease that has no end date. The common cold or flu. It’s the uncertain that really challenges us.

I realized yesterday that I’ve been divorced for a year. I told a coworker and he wasn’t sure how to respond to it, and I don’t blame him. I didn’t know how to respond. In a way it’s a great thing. A year later and I am officially done with him and no longer have any connection to him. Or so I thought.

About a week before Christmas I went in for my normal yearly at the woman doctor. I thought All was good. Yes I’ve experimented but someone like me could never have anything wrong with her like that… I found out less than a week later that I wasn’t that lucky. My routine pap came back with some abnormalities and they wanted me back in for testing. Today was that day. I had practiced my breathing techniques all week and have had almost 3 weeks to process everything. You would think that would make today less hard… it didn’t. If any of you have ever had a he follow up to an irregular pap you know the pain I felt today. None of my breathing techniques saved me from the uncomfortable and inevitable prognosis. The doctor did their best to reassure me HPV is the most common disease people have. Trust me in the moment when she was between my legs, looking at my privates amid my panic attack, it was not reassuring to hear that.

Of course in the back of my head with the questions swirling, I began to think of the statistics. The doctor informed me that women can get rid of it but men will always be carriers. The doctor also stated most men don’t know about it because they never go in for yearly checks like women do. So not only am I sitting there looking up at the ceiling thinking who could have given it to me now I am thinking how long will I have it. Will it ever go away?

I was too numb to ask questions and sat there with tears in my eyes and immense pain wondering if I could make it home in one full piece. Many people have the fight or flight instinct I am telling you the truth when mine is fly. So often we want answers but so often we are stuck in the twilight zone where words won’t come out. It’s only after the situation is over, when words start to form and questions start to arise. We too quickly jump on the web to find answers and end up in a sea of information some true and others not. We need to go back to the source and ask the questions. We need to stop looking online for answers that may or may not be true. We need to trust that what we may have done was wrong but there is hope and things could be worse. In the words of Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know which one your gonna get.”

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