Did anyone else out there have a really crappy Christmas? To be quite honest, I did. We didn’t have very big plans this year, just a small, simple Christmas at home. I was extremely fatigued the week leading up to Christmas, and a lot of my gift projects (which I’ll share in a later post), didn’t get completed until the last minute. My dad came for a visit and we got into an argument, the girls were so restless during our Christmas eve service that we had to leave in the middle, then on Christmas morning, I awoke with the worst case of strep throat I’ve ever had. I literally blacked-out trying to get out of bed. It was just terrific.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but we have international students living with us – one from South Korea, and one from Saudi Arabia – and they were to be spending Christmas with us (as well as another Saudi student who had lived with us & gotten his own apartment).
Aren’t they cute? I love our students. For our Saudi students, it was to be their first Christmas ever, and I really wanted it to be special for them. But by the time I was able to drag my faint and dizzy body out of bed on Christmas morning at the crack of 11, all we managed to do was open a few presents, then it was off to bed for me, and everyone went their separate ways. I felt so bad for our students, who were probably left wondering what the big frickin’ deal is about Christmas.
To make matters, well, not any better at all, the next day I had to go in for an MRI to check on some pain in my right side. The morning after that, I got a scary freaking phone call saying that my doctor wanted me to come in right away to get several CT scans done. No explanation, just a receptionist telling me that the MRI showed something and I needed to come in THAT day and they would find a way to squeeze me in. Great. Urgent CT scans needed. I was officially freaked out. I was already feeling sick as a dog with strep, and now I had to go get inside some big scary machine that I’d only ever seen on Grey’s Anatomy. Let me tell you, they are bigger and scarier in person.
After urgent attempts by me and Lukus to get a hold of my doctor to see what was going on, he finally called back. The MRI had showed a spot on my lung, and he wanted to check it out. Shouldn’t be a big deal, and he was sorry he hadn’t gotten back to me sooner. Yeah, thanks doc. I was just planning my will is all.
I wasn’t allowed to eat all day (which is just wonderful for someone who’s also hypoglycemic), but they did let me drink a chalky “berry” concoction to illuminate my insides for the scans. I was disappointed that I couldn’t see my veins glow in the dark like I’d hoped. And I love how the hospital staff just assumes that you already know you’re going to have an I.V. put in too.
As I got onto the table to get the scans done, with a machine telling me when to inhale and when to exhale, I couldn’t help but think how ridiculous it all was; that I’m too young for this crap, and I should only know what a CT machine looks like from Grey’s Anatomy and not from experience; that it was the week of Christmas and New Year’s, and I was already sick, and couldn’t I catch a break?
But Life doesn’t work that way does it? Life isn’t on the same schedule you are. Life doesn’t take holidays, and Life doesn’t feel sorry for you and cut you a break because you’d already had a bad day. Life doesn’t care that you’re scared because you’ve already buried your mom too young, which has brought you to the realization that you have no control over pretty much anything. Sometimes Life is beautiful and generous, and sometimes she hits you with a powerful right hook, and as you lie there, you just have to follow instructions from a machine telling you: “inhale”, “exhale”.
That night, after the tests were over with, Lukus and I got dressed up and went to a wedding. The bride was beautiful, as brides always are in their own unique way when they’re full of hope and love. We had some laughs with family members, and I danced with my husband, who had to hold me extra tight since I still wasn’t feeling my best. I have yet to hear back from my doctor, which I’m assuming is good news. But I’m learning that this is how it goes: weddings follow CT scans, a bright new year follows a crappy Christmas, hope follows fear, and as soon as you’ve got your strength back, it feels pretty damn good to plant your feet on the ground, clench your fist, and swing back at Life with everything you’ve got. So to everyone else who may have had a lousy, no-good, sorry little Christmas, I wish you a bright and merry ordinary Tuesday, full of wonder, beauty, happiness and hope!