In a daze, I made my way to the elevator; all I could do was stare. “First floor, Em, just push the button” My body was moving as if it had a mind of it’s own — I was no longer part of it. An empty elevator seemed to appear out of nowhere, announcing it’s arrival with a ding that had me jump out of my skin. I watched the hallway disappear as the doors closed me in; it was in that instance that I became part of my body again. My heart dropped right out of my chest — I swear it hit the first floor before I did.
“One more stop, pull it together”
Counting floor tiles to avoid eye contact and a white knuckle grip on my lab orders, I made my way there. “The last stop, I got this”. A hand reached for my papers, I didn’t notice who it belonged to, and waited; the hand returned with a list of labels that never seemed to end. “Date of birth?” I stumbled over the answer; “Ready? Room 3”. Again, I stumbled and hesitantly took my place; my hands shook as I rolled up my sleeve for the last needle stick of the day. I watched the sun dip below the horizon, counted my breaths and listened to the suction of each tube being drawn, removed, drawn, removed… eight in total, “not too bad”, I thought “and I didn’t even pass out”. My heart sank as I heard the last tube thunk into the tray; I was sweating, shaking.
I was drowning,
yet before I knew it I was running — up the stairs; second floor, third floor, fourth floor, fifth floor; onto the roof of the car garage. It was nearly empty by now. I took a seat atop the hood of the Jeep, watched the clouds turn to cotton candy as I caught my breath.
A range of emotions has flooded my heart as today’s appointment marathon approached; a false sense of excitement has masked the very real fear and uncertainty. I prepared as best I could, but this is just something you can’t prepare for. As glad as I am that it has come, and now gone, I am left in the wake not knowing how to move forward.