Dusting Myself Off
I went on Wednesday to get my bloodwork done. I did the fasting thing, no coffee or anything, and made sure to drink boatloads of water before I got there.
When they called me in, I was relieved to see my favorite phlebotomist…the only one in the whole medical center, including the hospital it’s affiliated with, who can get blood out of me in one stick. (It’s taken some of them six tries, and even though I’m not particularly afraid of needles, by the sixth time of them digging around in there, I can get a little queasy).
So, when she gave me a dirty look and said, “You need to drink more water. Your blood is really dark, and coming out really slow,” not only was I reminded she wasn’t my favorite because of her warm, fuzzy personality, I was really confused. According to my calculations (even in my coffee-deprived state it wasn’t complicated), I’d had at least 50 ounces…before 9 AM!
And, naturally, because I am who I am, my confusion turned to worry. What does that mean? Will I fail my tests? Is my cholesterol back up? Doesn’t dark red blood mean not enough oxygen?…. until I finally realized it could just mean exactly what she said, that I need more water. I really haven’t increased my water consumption to make up for all the sweating I’ve been doing this summer.
And, again the voice of reason, which seems to be much quieter than the voice of worry, reminded me that even if my cholesterol/A1C/thyroid numbers suck, chances are really good that I can fix them fairly easily. Either way, I won’t find out the results until next Wednesday, so there’s no point in stewing over it.
Which is why the panic attack that afternoon came as a complete shock. My first in a while. For a couple hours I couldn’t catch my breath, and in the back of my mind, I kept picturing my sludge-like blood.
But, I woke up yesterday feeling positive and productive…
until I got an email from my friend at work, another special ed. teacher, telling me our supervisor was proposing a completely different schedule than the one we worked out in the spring. Her classes had changed, and mine would likely as well.
Two weeks until school starts and the plan is changing? What about the work I’ve done this summer? Why can’t I access the proposed schedule? I’m trying to work here, and now I don’t know what to work on?
So I hit the Request Access button and waited. Breathing, breathing, breathing.
Just five minutes later I had access, and do you know what? None of my planning time was wasted, and, if approved by my principal, this schedule will be even better than the other one. The class I was dreading, 9th grade physical science, will no longer be mine to teach! Phew!
And then, just to make things interesting, my dryer took a dump.
In the scheme of things, none of that is a big deal. I’m human, and programmed to worry. But, little by little, I’m improving. I may still panic, but I snap out of it much sooner than I used to.
But, I noticed I’m not breathing properly again, and I came up with a foolproof plan. I promised myself a long, slow, deep breath every time I spot a butterfly…good for the breathing, and to snap me back to the present moment if I’m too…in my head.
Anyway, here are some friends of ours doing a song that I listen to when I need some perspective. It’s simple, but effective. It’s been going through my head since yesterday…