Repeat after me:
I’m doing well.
Yeah, I AM DOING good.
Okay, I am NOT convinced. Is this why I was fighting back the tears as I tried to complete the stupid health questionnaire at today’s appointment?
Well, I *was* doing well – until I was given their list of questions.
It began with the marital status question. Married or Single? Which am I? Lucky for me, they provided a line. I wrote down widowed. I turned the paper over and began circling the Yes or No responses. I was only half way through the questions when my name was called. Awkwardly, I followed the aide – holding a nearly full latte and trying to finish the questions before she asked for the paper.
Do you often feel sad or depressed? This is a stupid question. I mumbled, Of course I’m sad; my husband died. Luckily, the aide didn’t quite hear me. I stared at the Yes or No boxes and remembered how Tom said it was bad to have “depression” on your medical record. I skipped to the next question. Do you sometimes lose interest in things that previously brought you pleasure? Another *stupid* question. I thought of my running and triumphantly circled No.
I felt like I was on a roll when I was asked to step on the scale. *ugh* I stepped off and had my blood pressure checked next. *sigh* I wasn’t surprised when the aide noted that my blood pressure was elevated. No kidding. Next question. If you are sexually active, do you use a form protection to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases? This was also a stupid question. I lined through the Yes or No responses and wrote N/A. *sigh*
Inside the exam room, I returned to my self-talk exercises.
I AM doing well.
Okay, I am doing GOOD.
As the tears broke through, I decided that I still wasn’t convinced. As my doctor knocked on the door, I took a deep breath. I am okay. That was all of the convincing that I could generate. It was now up to her to valid that I was indeed okay.
But she wasn’t totally convinced either. So I return for a mammogram tomorrow, and see a surgeon for a biopsy on August 24th. I am also starting on a medication to lower my blood pressure.
Please GOD, let me be okay.