That is John’s descriptive term for what I do. When there is an uncertain situation, when I don’t have all the facts about something and it could go one way or the other, my glass-half-empty mind wanders to the dark side, and I imagine the worst-case scenario. I know I do this, and logically, I know feelings aren’t facts and I needn’t give in to this. But viscerally, the fear and panic come in and threaten to overwhelm me.
I hate being like this. Damn, I hate it. Because life is seldom without some sort of uncertainty going on. But some uncertainties are easier to live with than others.
This past week, when I spoke with John on the phone both Monday and Tuesday evenings, I thought he sounded odd, more tired than usual. He’d had those days off, since he had some administrative time off he had to use up, so I figured he’d be well rested. He said he’d worn himself out doing yardwork, pruning trees, cleaning his house, etc. OK, that made sense.
Wednesday evening, we didn’t speak, because I got home late from the gym and he went to bed early, as he was going back to work on Thursday. So we spoke last night, and he casually dropped some bad news.
I should preface this by saying that John has the best dental hygiene of anyone I’ve ever known in my life. However, everyone in his family has bad teeth, so he is prone to a lot of dental problems. His teeth crack constantly. He has had several crowns and root canals. He had one tooth pulled about 10 years ago, because of an infection that would not clear up no matter what they did. And every time he has any kind of dental work done, he is at risk, because he’s infection-prone. And with his bad heart, infections can be deadly.
Last night, he told me that a tooth had been bothering him, so he went in to have it checked. Things snowballed from there… it could be a lot of things, but they suspect an abscess and possibly a cracked root. If the root is cracked, they’ll have to pull the tooth, but if there’s an infection, then he has to go through a bunch of expensive rigmarole. Not good.
That alone made me nervous, because when he was so violently ill at the end of last year, it was due to a strep infection, from germs that reside in the mouth. But then he dropped another bombshell. He confessed that he’s been feeling lousy all week, and he was going in to his HMO that afternoon to have blood drawn.
Oh NO, not this again!
I never stop worrying about him. Those months nearly did me in, watching him deteriorate before my eyes, and then taking so long to recover. Even though he has gained back his weight, is exercising again and looks great, he’s always tired and it scares me, but we don’t talk about it. Each week, I just hope he’ll be OK and I make sure he gets lots of rest on the weekends.
But now he may be sick again, and if he needs major dental work done, that will up his risk.
It is mid-afternoon, and I know nothing. He went to work today, and I’ve been waiting to hear from him for an update, but haven’t gotten one. I texted him, but he has not replied. He’s seeing the dentist at 4:30 today. I have no idea how long he’ll be there. And all day, I have felt free-floating fear.
I went out, trying to distract myself, and ran errands. It just made me feel worse, as it’s hot as hell outside and that made me edgier. My apartment is very cool, comfortable and quiet, and I’m sitting here, trying to relax and wait. It’s the beginning of the holiday weekend, and everyone is busy doing something or another. I don’t want to bother anyone. It’s not what I do. When I am scared, my loner nature is stronger than ever and I withdraw.
So I’m writing. I have to get it out somehow. Sorry to be a downer, but it really helps me when I get this crap out in the open.
There is good news in all this. Last time, John was sick for a whopping five weeks before going to the doctor, which nearly killed him (and me, too). At least he learned — this time, he went to the doctor after just a couple of days of not feeling well. I’m grateful for that. If he does have a bacterial infection going on, they can give him antibiotics, which will help with the tooth situation too.
Anyway. I will update when I know more. Again, I’m sorry to dump. I do hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and you’re doing something fun!