Do y'all have babyccinos where you live? They are little espresso cups full of milk froth, often with a sprinkling of cappuccino chocolate on top, sometimes - if you go somewhere upscale - with a marshmallow on the side. My children love them - love them - and I thought this will be the ideal way to mark the occasion of me being not-particularly-likely-to-get-cancer. Special treat, kids, special treat! ("Special treat" is our code word for anything more exciting than a plateful of pasta and a handful of frozen peas). I said Let's go out and have babyccinos and you can skip your pasta and just have cake for dinner! It seemed like a really good plan. They love cake, they love babyccinos. They said YAAAAAAAY! because they are highly suggestible and we will remember this day forever! I thought.
|My children loving some babyccinos. Not the day in question.|
With hindsight, it was probably also a mistake to start new asthma medication while waiting for important news. I'm one of those people who gets extremely shaky on asthma medication and this new stuff was a whole grade up from my last prescription. While I was taking it, I could feel my heart beating in a sinister ker-thump-ker-thump way at all hours, and I constantly felt like I was on the verge of a major panic attack. Suddenly, in desperation, I took myself off it in the middle of last week and now I feel like I can function again. That's all to the good, but I wish I had thought of doing it earlier. I don't think the extremely high heart rate and chemically-induced anxiety did much for my coping skills.
With hindsight, I think it was probably also a mistake to assume that my husband would know what to say and how to act once we finally got my results. I had been warned that I would probably feel pretty churned-up either way - good news or bad- and this turned out to be absolutely true. I cried like a baby, actually, after I got the news - I know how stupid that sounds but it was so unexpected and it's strangely hard to reconfigure what you think your life is going to look like, even when what you thought was something that really stunk. Anyway. I was hoping that a meaningful evening of connection with my beloved spouse would help, which was probably pretty dumb.
Like I said, he was really late home, which wasn't a great start. And as for our conversation:
What I was hoping he would say: I have been so worried. Let me embrace you and show you how much I care by showering you with tears of joy, my angel.
What he actually said: Wow, I'm so glad we never bothered to pay up for private health insurance!
Cue me weeping. Cue him getting cranky at me for weeping. Cue me getting cranky at him for getting cranky at me for weeping. Cue a totally out-of-character-for-both-of-us huge argument that got ugly and personal.
Nearly a week later, I realise that he was pretty disappointed too. I think that it went like this for him:
What he was hoping to hear Now that's out of the way, honey, I have used up my quota of emotional crises for the year. Thanks for the support. Why don't you sit on the sofa while I fetch you some beer?
What he actually heard: I don't understand you / how can you say that at a time like this / why don't you love me? / Well why can't you show it? / Why did I have to buy my own champagne? / You don't care about me at all, do you? At ALL?
I don't think either of us came out of that one particularly well. It was like finally getting the news was not so much like an ending to a story, but more like (apologies, particularly gross simile coming up) lancing a boil. Things were better afterwards, of course, but all the toxic stuff that we had been keeping inside had to come out somehow and that was never going to be pretty.
Once we were friends again, I decided that my act of penance would be to do a deep clean and tidy on our bedroom, which was full of electrical cords and a computer and a gigantic box of blankets from our loft (which he is renovating - and all the junk seemed to have ended up in
|About half-way there. Needs some paper mache antlers.|
|Where do I think I live, 1942?|
With hindsight, I think it was probably a mistake to start this blog post without any idea of where I was going. I think I just wanted a place to record that the aftermath of this whole experience was pretty weird, even though everything turned out okay, even though I'm sick of thinking about everything and have no need to think about it any more, even though I know that everybody around me is sick of hearing about it. I'm sitting up in my minimalist bed now, in my newly tidy room, listening to my happy cat purr beside me and writing this when I should be looking for a light for our hallway on the internet. And mistake or not, I think it would be a mistake to apologise for writing it, so I won't- every blogger (at least, those of us who have been doing it for years for no money at all) knows that you have to write from your obsessions, and sometimes your obsessions aren't what you wish they were, or what you had scheduled. However, I think I'm over this detour into medical stuff for the time being. Thanks for sticking around. Coming up next: Why Feeling Teary In Baby Gap Is Not A Good Reason To Start A New Adoption.