I arrived for my nerve conduction test early; I figured the sooner we get it over with the better. I could feel a nervousness building in my chest, and tried to find humor in the irony but I couldn't quite shake it.
When the elevator doors opened and I saw the chaos, I remembered why I was feeling afraid. Not a lot of happy things find their way to the neurology floor. In pediatrics, there's a flood of ear aches and rashes. Here, the mood is more serious.
There was a woman being wheeled in on a stretcher, accompanied by her family. The lady after her was clearly upset and terse with the receptionist.
I started to wonder if this is what a panic attack feels like. Either that or I had new symptoms to report: namely, sudden weakness in my legs.
I told myself to get a grip, to stop worrying that this test would beget more tests. That I was making it worse, this fleshing out of possible outcomes. I started reading, drowning out the woman clutching her head and moaning. I was taking deep breaths. I was feeling better.
Then one of Marge Simpson's long lost chain-smoking sisters started reading the newspaper, aloud. I am sure she was just trying to pass the time - it was clear by now that we were all in it for the long haul as the doctors were running behind - but after 15, 30, 45 minutes passed, it was all I could do to stay seated.
Must you read about the massacre? In that voice?
Let's just say she was not a cup of chamomile tea.
I finished my book and read the posters on the wall. I was down to Field & Stream.
The doctor and I chatted about books and writing. It really wasn't all that bad. Turns out I don't have carpal tunnel - I got better. I credit my unemployment. Slinging books can't be good on the wrists, sjogren's or no sjogren's and I am pretty kind to my joints these days.
So I commented that I feel a little whiny, complaining when there has been an improvement. (Read: Am I crazy?) He reminded me that it was important to eliminate one possible cause for my discomfort; he spoke highly of my rheumatologist. And he encouraged me to write more, join a writer's workshop.
Told you they are superheroes.
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