I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but a while ago I came down with a bad kidney infection. After a round of antibiotics, my kidneys were still bothering me, my ovaries had started to hurt and I felt totally exhausted all the time. The urologist had me come back for some tests. She had me do a urine culture and after the nurse handed her the results, she looked at them for a while.
"Natalie, I think we need to do a CT scan. Today."
"Why? What's wrong?"
"I just think we need to take a look as soon as possible."
I had to go pick Lydia up from Preschool, and I had no way to get a babysitter on such sort notice, but I told her I could get in the next day.
I decided to enjoy my little hospital vacation, even if it was just for a couple hours. I was given a pair of blue scrubs to wear, and I imagined I was part of the "Grey's Anatomy" cast and McDreamy Shane was going to drag me into a nearby supply closet.
Then I was moved to a different waiting room and my mood changed a bit. I was surrounded by sick people. Really really sick people. People with shiny heads from chemo and wheezing with oxygen tanks. I started to think about the one thing I had refused to consider. What if I was really sick.
I immediately banished that thought.
A nice attending called my name and helped me on to the CT scan table. "Now you are sure you're not pregnant?"
"Yes, very sure."
"Ok then. Try to lay as still as you can. Closing your eyes might help."
I did just that and the whirling of the machine erased any other noise.
I don't know where it came from, but suddenly I was engulfed in fear. Like the dam holding back every horrible possibility broke way.
What if there is something really wrong?
What if I couldn't have another baby?
What if I wasn't here for my family?
What if I had to say goodbye to them?
I left the hospital with dark sunglasses on a rainy day to cover up my bloodshot eyes.
Shane and I started a fast the next day. A fast is like a special focused prayer. We fasted that my body would be healed.
I tried during the weekend to ignore the overwhelming fear that seemed to follow me. It was hard to see through it. Every pain I felt brought it to a new peak.
When the urologist called, she was very happy.
"I have great news! There was no mass on the scan. Your culture is still off, so we will keep monitoring you. But for now, just drink lots of water and keep the stress level down."
I don't know if I have ever been so relieved.
I'm sure it's been obvious, but I haven't been the most chipper me since moving to Boise. I've never really dealt with long term sadness, but just couldn't shake it. I did everything I could to cheer myself up. Boise is a perfectly nice place, but it just isn't very "me". Not that it matters. It was a great opportunity that brought us here and was the best decision for our family. Still, I haven't felt at home. That on top of insomnia and leaving my friends was just a recipe for melancholy. I wondered if I would ever break free of it.
Something snapped on that scan table. It was as if all the superfluous worries were erased in my mind, and everything of importance went into high relief. The fear of losing time with my family shattered the inconsequential issues that have been clouding my days for the last 6 months. Once I knew that my body was well, I feel like smiling again. I am starting to enjoy the newness of this adventure. Whenever I start to feel the sadness encroaching, I can easily push it away. I just have to say to myself the truth that has become so evident in the last couple weeks. With my darling children, a wonderful husband, a comfortable home, a healthy body, a healthy family and a strong faith. The possibilities are endless.
I have everything.