Marjorie found biting her nails was very tempting. Instead she held the tot bag close to her chest, as she sat in the waiting room. There was another patient waiting; hopefully their appointment was after hers. But she wasn’t sure.
She’d been waiting for half an hour; the doctor was late. Nothing particularly surprising but she’d been expecting this appointment for 2 months. Sure what were 30 minutes compared to that? Well the truth? A lot. Just because she was tired of waiting. No not tired; she was terrified.
Not one of the doctors she’d seen had given her answers: they didn’t know. The tests weren’t conclusive. One specialist said this, the other said that. This appointment; it was her last shot. And she came by herself. Something stupid in hindsight.
She’d told her parents she was going with her husband, and then proceeded to convince him not to take a day off. But now. She felt stupid. Biting her nails really was tempting. Maybe she should call her mom; but she would be upset. She would come of course even though she probably wouldn’t be here before Marjorie was summoned.
It was a summoning right? When the doctor came in the waiting room and called your name. You were summoned to their office. Not like a patient but like a subject; and weren’t you a subject too? A case study. In her case, a complicated one. Did they see the person or the subject? The patient or the sickness? Her mind was spinning. She had to stop.
But what if they couldn’t figure out the sickness? What did it mean? Did one become a cold case of sort? You know like unsolved murders? Were there unsolved medical subjects? Were there people who died because one couldn’t figure out their problem? Or could there be those who just fell through the cracks and just had to live in fear of something else happening?
She felt like one of those right now. Sure, the risks of her having another attack were low; but they weren’t inexistent. Her GP kept extending her sick leave, not because she was still weak and tired and sick, but because there were no answers. No. Don’t bite your nails Marjorie.
But she was a person of answers: she’d always asked why. Ever since she was a kid. Why can’t I read this? Why can’t I do that? Why is the sky blue? And now whenever she asked why this happened, the answer was a head shake or a ‘we don’t know, the tests are inconclusive’. She’d lose her job if she were to make such answer to her boss.
Wait, she might still lose it if she didn’t go back soon. She’d been on sick leave for almost 3 months with no end of that sick leave in sight. Since nobody knew what happened… She really had to stop her mind from spinning but…
She shot up. Yes, a subject answering a summoning. That’s what it was.
Siting in the doctor’s office, she took a deep breath. Everything was going to be fine. Waiting would finally be over. Or not. Was it hot in here? She was trying to keep her hands folded in her lap while the doctor looked over at the reports and tests and images. But really she was twisting her fingers, just like she did during oral presentations in high school.
She was biting her lips; she was dying to ask what he was making of the documents he had in front of him, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t interrupt his perusing. Well there; she was biting her nails.
“There’s no need to be nervous Mrs. Granger.” Dr. Smith said with a smile.
Easy for you to say moron. Wait! Did she say that out loud? No. She hadn’t. She was getting nervous and anxious and angry. Platitudes weren’t going to help. She was at the end of her rope; she’d been waiting for answers for 3 months.
She forced herself to say: she sounded sceptic and desperate. He appeared to consider the question.
“I know it’s easy for me to say. You’ve been going from one specialist to the next for the past 3 months. It must be frustrating and exhausting.”
“Yes. Terrifying too. Not knowing.”
“Well unfortunately there still are 30% of cases like yours where we can’t identify the root cause of the problem. It just means you have to be more careful.”
30%?!?! And not one of the others told her that. It wasn’t reassuring; the rest of her life not knowing whether she could have another accident. And yet… it was oddly soothing. For one, it was an answer of sort. For second, she actually wasn’t alone in the dark.