It’s an odd feeling, hoping that there is something wrong with you. Really hoping that you’re sick, and that you can use that to explain what’s happening. I’m loathe to book the blood tests though, not only because they’re a nuisance that involves me taking time off of work but because I fully expect them to reveal nothing.
The phlebotomist will take the samples, I like her; she’s a friend of a friend and always asks after him and what he’s been up to. Then the samples will disappear for a couple of weeks. Finally the surgery will send me a letter.
It’ll look something like this:
“We’ve had the results of your blood test. We can confirm that your cholesterol levels are very high, putting you at risk of serious health conditions, including stroke and heart attack. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that we found no other abnormal readings. Please make an appointment as soon as possible so we can discuss the results and your options.”
My symptoms are weight gain, which I don’t mind as I like being heavier, depression, high cholesterol and very high fatigue. It’s the fatigue that’s ruining my life, it feels like every other day I have to ask to work from home because I can barely keep my eyes open.
The cholesterol is also worrying, mostly because I know I’m fat but I’m happy as I am. I’m already a vegetarian, I don’t eat dairy (apart from chocolate and cheese) so that actually cuts out most sources of dietary cholesterol.
In essence, I don’t want a formal confirmation of something that I can already hear in my head (naturally, in my father’s patronising, sanctimonious, calculating voice):
“You’re depressed and have cholesterol problems because you don’t go to the gym and don’t eat like a nutritionist. If you got off your fat backside you would probably feel less tired, too.”
My symptoms have all the hallmarks of an underachieve thyroid, which my maternal grandmother also has. The fact it’s such a perfect fit seems to make it all the more likely that it won’t be the culprit.
I’d love an easy answer, for once. Something that explains why it’s damned hard to even get out of bed. Why my eyes are stingy and dry. Why just housework tires me out. Why I have such acute bouts of depression. Why my cholesterol is high enough to actually make the doctor raise their eyebrows (which is not a fun feeling).
So, I’m on the sofa. I’m remoted in to work. The telephone is nearby. My coffee is slowly going cold. It’s nearly noon. I can’t bring myself to book the blood test. The coffee feels like it’s in another room. I’m too bleary-eyed to start work; I almost expect to be fired for working from home too much. The telephone feels like it’s in another country.
Just like Gwen. I wish she were here. I wish Cloud was here too, my best friend in all the world. My girlfriend is in the Netherlands, and has gone radio-silent again. Cloud is in France visiting his family. It’s okay: Cloud will be back tomorrow, and I’ve learnt that Gwen being quiet doesn’t ‘mean’ anything (much as my neuroses try to twist it into one). She’ll be back soon enough.
Work isn’t going anywhere. Not really. They need me, and my working from home is only just an inconvenience. In my defence, I also remoted in over the weekend and did a load of extra work for them just because I felt like it.
I’ll start small. Coffee first. Everything else in time.