I sat in my doctor’s white-box office in Rutland yesterday morning, ready to hear the diagnosis: I was anemic.
Or: I had thyroid disease.
Or: I had lyme disease.
I wasn’t entirely ready to hear a diagnosis of diabetes, another ailment which has been suggested to me, in large part because the sheer irony of that would’ve been unbearable. (Headline: “Woman Stops Eating Sugar: Instantly Becomes Diabetic!”) After more than two months, I felt it was at last time to discover the truth behind why I have been having recurring exhaustion attacks which shut me down for between one and three days at a time and render me so helpless that I lack the ability to do even the most basic, low energy activities: reading, knitting, smiling. Basically I stare vacantly into space, feeling like Oscar the Grouch on valium, and feeling annoyed at all that isn’t getting done. Wait- scratch that. I feel too crappy to care about all that isn’t getting done; I feel annoyed because sitting on the couch feeling crappy isn’t living.
But now was the moment of truth. Maybe I’d even find out the reason why virtually every time I’ve been to the doctor in the last fourteen or so years that we’ve lived here I’ve complained of “fatigue” of one sort or another, as he pointed out when I originally went in two weeks ago.
So I was prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was for him to come in and tell me how ridiculously healthy I apparently am. He went through all the results with me line by line: white blood cells, urine sample, Lyme titer, the good cholesterol, the bad cholesterol, the ugly cholesterol… all the while using words like “excellent,” “exactly what we’d like to see,” and “very terrific.” (I swear, at one point he really did say: “Very terrific.” Mrs. Boersma, my twelfth-grade English teacher, clearly has never met my doctor.) He even said I drink enough water! I mean, who drinks enough water? Nobody!
I like my doctor, incidentally: he doesn’t rush me. He answers all my questions. He doesn’t tell me I’m crazy. And, every single visit he manages to refer to me as “young” at one point or another, a fact which endears him to me increasingly with each passing year.
But I don’t honestly know whether to be happy or sad at this news. I mean, where does it leave me? The last, most recent episode was so profound that I found myself morbidly depressed, thinking “I can’t go on like this.” Lying around and sleeping much of the day away on the living room couch might sound wonderful to many in our sleep-deprived, overworked society, but it’s not. Sleeping all the time, only to wake up wanting to sleep more isn’t luxurious or relaxing… it just feels like death.
So on that cheery and completely unmelodramatic note I will mention the fact that since last weekend I have fully recovered once again. With my regained energy I’ve been back to my old tricks, baking homemade hamburger rolls, making no-sugar waffles for breakfast and homemade mayo for the kid’s school-lunch tuna fish. I ‘m probably just a little too excited about opening the Andre-the-Giant-sized container of dextrose which arrived the other day, to use the sweetening ingredient in some of David Gillespie’s no-fructose dessert recipes. Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake here we come! Ah, enthusiasm, how I missed you.
After my appointment and a few requisite Rutland-area errands I decided to celebrate my straight-A blood-work report-card by enjoying a very special treat: lunch at my favorite new restaurant, “Roots,” which specializes in local-fresh-organic food. (If you live around here, right about now you are saying “In Rutland?” Yes. You can have a lunch in Rutland that does not offer you “chips with that” or free refills.)
My beef, cabbage and rice dish arrived and was the perfect accompaniment to the blustery, brisk day outside, the kind of early June day before summer has completely made up its mind whether to come or not.
I sighed with contentment. I cracked open a new knitting magazine. I took a bite of cabbage and rice.
Oh my. That is so good.
Hmmm. So, there’s nothing “wrong” with me, I thought. Well, things could be worse.