I managed to get the first appointment on the Monday morning, a year ago today. I dropped the girls at school, and came back to take Thomas to our family doctor. After a thorough history and examination, he said there was enough vague neurology to warrant a scan. It took a lot of calls, but I hustled his name onto the last Urgent MRI slot in the entire city late that afternoon.
The conversations you have when there’s a lot of worry, but nothing concrete, are quite bizarre. It’s like your brain becomes constipated, because you’re trying very hard to filter out the fear, and act normal. Inane topics suddenly become urgently interesting. As if neither of you notices that which cannot be mentioned.
When the Radiographer walked Thomas out after the scan, I asked her how it looked. She should never play poker. Ever. Not even for matchsticks. Eye avoidance as she said “oh, I didn’t see it, so I couldn’t tell you.” Radiographers always check each slice on a scan, to make sure they don’t have to repeat it. She should give blackjack a miss, too.
Of course, Thomas being a doctor, and me a Critical Care Nurse, we opened the X-Ray packet as soon as we were out in the sun. Of course. Because we have decent skills at reading X-Rays. But, patches on the scan were put down to odd scan angles, or unclear light because of the trees in the carpark, so we decided we should wait until the Report, tomorrow. What did we know – we weren’t experts..
The big white X-Ray packet was a huge presence in our home that night. A very unwelcome house guest that influenced everyone’s behaviour. We were alternately subdued, diligent, tender, and loudly cheerful. Definitely not our normal casual vibe.
We didn’t know that we wouldn’t be returning to our old normality. That we’d never feel casual about anything again.