The alarm woke me with a start at 4:50 am. I dragged myself over to the window secretly hoping a blizzard had snowed us in. Instead, it was pouring. Could I call a rain delay? Realistically I knew I could call the whole thing off, but my courage was outweighing my cowardice and I needed to get on the road. My dog opened one eye and raised her eyebrow at me. She was having no parts of any of it at this hour.
It was a slow drive in the rain. I had allowed myself a little over 2 hours to get there, but I hadn’t factored in the weather. While I would never consider myself a type A personality, I don’t like to be late. Ever. For anything.
After a few arguments with Siri over the direction she was taking me and many circuitous routes around the building I knew I had to get to, I finally arrived. The Cleveland Clinic is a massive conglomerate of buildings so they refer to it as a “campus”. It was raining like crazy on campus and I was short on time so I opted for the valet service right at the front door. I got inside and cursed my automatic reflex to go weak in the knees upon entering any hospital. I wobbled on over to the information desk and they pointed me in the right direction.
It was a standard doctors office with the routine check-in. By 8:05 I was seated in a comfortable room equipped with normal exam apparatus but with the addition of a nice sized desk where the nurse sat on one side and I sat on the other. She asked me a series of questions then got my vitals. She said Dr. Melissa Young would be in momentarily. And by 8:20, in she came. Would it be an exaggeration to say this woman floated in on a cloud? Perhaps. But her porcelain skin and enormous mane of hair really did give her angelic qualities. I was instantly at ease. The hour and a half we were together was spent reviewing my entire health and life history and we made a plan. I knew I was in the right hands.
At 10:15 I met with Trisha the nutritionist who gave me a road map to navigate. She was insightful and intuitive and she clearly spoke my language. She reassured me that this would be a journey without judgement and that she would be there to support me every step of the way. Trisha then introduced me to the health coach and I set up my follow up visit for July.
By noon I was headed to the lab. The dreaded lab. Fortunately they didn’t make me wait and was soon locked in a chair by the cross arm. Just as I was inhaling to steady my breath I heard: “Wow, she ordered a lot of blood”. If I had been a cartoon character you would have seen my little feet spin leaving nothing behind but a puff of smoke…
Note to phlebotomists of the world: Keep your opinions to yourself.
Earlier I had decided that I would hum Happy Birthday to distract myself during the blood draw. But after that pronouncement, I decided maybe Stairway to Heaven was the better choice. It was when I got thru the first verse and there was still no sign of that tourniquet coming off that beads of sweat started to form on my brow…
Fortunately for me, my headful of quotes are never too far away and I remembered this little diddy by Jack Canfield:
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”
So I focused on the beautiful banana I had stashed in my purse knowing that it would soon be mine.