The other day I had a doctor’s appointment. You know one of those well visits no female ever wants to go to. I had been putting it off because I was busy taking care of Todd. But they required me to come in if they were to refill a routine medication. So I couldn’t put it off any longer.
I showed up on time and checked in with the receptionist. She took my insurance card and handed me a paper to “verify everything is still correct.” I scanned the form noting my name, address, phone, etc is all correct. But then something jumps out at me and I felt like it knocked the wind out of me because it had changed.
My marital status.
I am no longer “married,” I think to myself. And I have to change the word – married – to…. widowed. I don’t want to but I do. I *know* I am a widow but something about writing it on that form was really, really hard.
The tears began to fall but I kept reading and then the 2nd thing hit me.
My emergency contact.
Todd could no longer be my emergency contact. Something that had not yet occurred to me. So through tears I changed that as well.
I signed several more forms and found a seat to wait and try and regain my composure before I had to see the doctor. I got called back to do my weight (ugh!) and height (yep I’m still short). My doctor was very kind and made several recommendations for me based on my new status as widow. She declared me healthy but does want to see me back in August just to check on me and see how I’m doing.
From there I went to do blood work and then to check out. The receptionist sees that my doctor would like to have me come back in August and asks me why. I think she is trying to figure out what to put in the computer or maybe she is just nosey. Either way I tell her that she just wants to check up on me. But I guess there isn’t a medical code for “just to check up on me” so she persisted. She asks, “do you have blood pressure issues or diabetes, or…” I shook my head and said, “No, I have no medical issues. My husband just passed away and she just wants to check up on me.” The poor lady was mortified and apologized up and down (which leads me to believe she was just being nosey). Finally I can leave.
By the time I am outside, I am in full blown ugly cry mode. Once I finally feel like I am ok to drive, I set out looking for a place to have lunch. As I drive away from my doctor’s office, I notice I am right by the Cancer Center where Todd received all of his chemotherapy. I begin crying again. But I still need to find a place to eat as I haven’t eaten since about 7pm the night before and it is now almost 1pm. I go to one our of favorite sandwich shops because: 1) It is close and 2) It’s National Pie day and they have REALLY good pie. I am convinced that will make me feel better. After I order and as I am getting my drink, it hits me….
This is where we came immediately after it was confirmed he had colon cancer and the cancer had spread. We did not know much at this point, but we did know it was really, really bad.
I think to myself, why did I choose this place?? I almost want to slap myself upside the head. But instead I take a deep breath and choose a seat at the far end of the restaurant away from where we sat that day almost 2 1/2 years ago.
This is the way it has been. Unexpected waves of grief descend upon me and I’m so caught off guard, it is almost suffocating. But I breathe through it as best I can and continue to put one foot in front of the other, while at the same time allowing myself to cry as much as I need to.
PS – that pie was REALLY good!