28 FEBRUARY 2010
Thurday, 28 January 2010
When we move house, Frank and I tend to leave packing quite late; it’s never intentional, but that’s how we end up.
We began packing in earnest a couple of days before we were due to move this time. The removal van was due to arrive at 8:30am on the Thursday. The night before, it was clear we wouldn’t be finished in time, and we’d run out of boxes. I was too busy to think about my lump or my doctor’s appointment the morning of the move.
Come 3:30am I decided to go to bed. The bed was dusty from boxes we’d earlier put there. Distracted by the dusty smell, the light in the hall and the noise from Frank continuing to pack – albeit quietly – I tried to get some sleep.
I did fall asleep but not for long and was awake before the alarm went off, just before 7am. I dressed and walked to the doctor’s surgery – just 5 mins away – in the cold darkness.
It was strange going into the building before sunrise – it felt like it could have been the middle of the night and I commented on this to the receptionist. She agreed it wasn’t nice to be sat there, alone, knowing that normal people were cosy and warm in their beds. I wasn’t in the empty waiting room for long before my name was called.
I hadn’t seen this female GP before. My official GP works part-time and so I often just see whomever is available when I want an appointment, if my GP isn’t free.
I let myself into the doctor’s room and got to the point immediately. Her expression changed to serious. She examined me and, after a few moments, we talked. I wasn’t sure that she’d finished examining me and so I found myself, talking with her while pretending I wasn’t half-naked, lying on the examination couch.
She said that it didn’t feel like anything to worry about, likely a cyst. She said we don’t need to face the “C-word” just yet (I bristled at that phrase). I asked why she thought that and she said that it didn’t move like a cancer. I told her that I’d guessed the same, that it was nothing to worry about.
I admitted that lots of thoughts had come into my head since finding the lump. She asked what I’d been thinking about and I explained that I felt I’d just jumped onto a conveyor belt. That I’d be sent for appointments, told to do things and things would happen; that I was now on an established journey in which people would tell me what to do and I’d do them.
She nodded, saying that, yes, this is how it would be. She said that I would have to start my journey now (and I immediately wished I hadn’t used that woo-woo word) and would still have to have the lump checked out.
I got dressed and sat back at her desk. I’d given my new address to the receptionist but the doctor asked me for it too so that she could fill in the referral form, there and then. I was told that it’s now the law that people are seen at a clinic in not more than two weeks in these circumstances. I was pleased that it was happening quickly.
Before I left, I mentioned that the removal people were due to arrive in an hour as I was moving.
“And you still made time to make this appointment?!”
It’s not often that I can say that I was speechless.
I went home to get Frank up, who’d grabbed an hour in bed. The removal van came about 8am and then the day was all about moving.
At around 3pm, as the guys were carrying our things into our new apartment, Frank and were propping ourselves up against the kitchen counters, both desperate for some sleep. We made the bed and went to bed at 8pm that night.
The next three days were concentrated on cleaning the house we’d just moved out of – we rent, you see. It took as long to clean the kitchen as it did the lounge, dining room and four bedrooms. We’d bought a carpet washer a few months before and Frank spent a day and a half washing the carpets.
Our old house looked really good by the time the owner arrived on Sunday for the handover. And once that was over, the next task was to turn our new apartment + a gazillion boxes and crates into a home.