You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
I knew what I had to do. I made the appointment for an endoscopy so that I could get a definitive answer. Although it would have made me happy to skip over that whole thing—it would not have made me happy to not have answers. I’m not so good at living in the gray areas of the unknown. Black and white are more my colors of the wind..
By now I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m not a big fan of anything medically related. Even a simple teeth cleaning requires an extra push. The sights, the sounds..I’m just not cut out for any of it. I trace it back to a summer when I was a mere 6 or 7 years old. My family was packing up to go to Northern Michigan for our annual vacation but I was laid out in bed with some sort of virus. When I wasn’t snapping back to my usual self within a day of our departure, my mom took me to the doctor. They decided to take some blood and just had me sit in a regular chair. As soon as they were done I wasn’t hanging around for another second. No way were they getting my other arm. I jumped up and beelined for the door and bounced between the two walls of that narrow hallway like a ping-pong ball. I didn’t know what they had done to me. Never again did you find “doctor” or “nurse” on any of my elementary “What I Want to be When I Grow Up” papers.
My appointment was set for a Monday so I enjoyed a rather gluttonous and gluten-filled weekend. I was advised not to stop eating gluten prior to the test as we didn’t want a false negative. My oldest brother didn’t have to work that day so I put him in charge of getting me to and from since you’re not allowed to drive after sedation. Somewhere in my chart there must be a big old red flag waving “flight risk” because I no sooner sat down in the waiting area that they called me in to the back. The nurse did a great job of keeping me out of my own head which is usually where all the trouble starts in the first place. She was a master at getting the IV in and told me to get ready for the best nap of my life. I wasn’t buying it, but I smiled and glanced at the clock wondering if it was time to go home yet. When they finally rolled me in to the little room where the doctor was waiting, they made polite small talk with me. My heart rate must have been elevated because I then heard the nurse say “Dr. Joe can I get her started? She’s pretty anxious.” When he answered in the affirmative, I heard her open the IV bag. Well. I don’t know what that stuff was, but I now refer to it as truth serum. I was so relaxed that I started telling them my life story, and I’m not exactly an extrovert…
The next thing I know I’m being wheeled back down the hall and there was my brother standing there waiting for me. I was never so happy to see his face. My memory is probably jaded from the meds they gave me but I swear I said to him: I’m getting to be a ninja at all this.