Alana and OceanBurning have been accompanying me to clinic all week, and I didn’t realize until yesterday how valuable a role they played. Yesterday I was by myself and had two consultations(!!) back to back at the clinic. I hadn’t asked anyone to come with me, so I took Molly with me instead. At first, I was a bit self-conscious about it, but then I figured that anything beat crying on the floor in the bathroom while throwing my cell phone at the wall because Aaron lost his phone and I don’t have any way of calling him (which is my typical recourse for crying on the floor in the bathroom.)

faithful MollySo I brought a bag big enough to fit Molly into, and then I brought Molly with me to the Clinic of St. Jude. I got some strange looks from people, but no one said anything. Most of the strange looks were people thinking, oh, that’s different rather than there goes the weirdo (fortunately.)

And it turned out that Molly was a great friend to have yesterday. I spent over one hour waiting for my PMR consult. During that time period, I would have paced the waiting room floor except that I was really exhausted, and I didn’t want everyone else in the waiting room to have to endure my nerves. Molly and I worked on browsing the internet, reading books, eavesdropping on conversations, skyping my sister who lives in Europe, and periodically bothering the receptionist and asking her random questions. We learned (from eavesdropping) that retired truckers who enjoy driving to Alaska can also be really loud and that grown men who are separated from their wives (but not yet divorced because they’re too lazy to get around to it) tend to also have mothers who are very loud and nosy and accompany them in the waiting room. We would have been more sympathetic if they had not fed our growing insecurity about being in the clinic for (seemingly) pointless consultations. Oh, and by “we”, I suppose that I actually mean “I”. Molly is pretty chill about everything and everyone.

Molly did enjoy the fact that every consultation room at this clinic has a private sofa. (Seriously, some doctors’ offices (like the XXXXL exam rooms!) should pick up on this feature. Anyhow, during the actual consultations, she just sat on the sofa, patiently waiting for everything to be over until I needed her again. The PMR doctor did ask me at the end of the consult if I bring my pink teddy bear with me everywhere. I said, Only when I’ve been in clinic for far too many days in the row and I just can’t handle it any more. He was cool with that, and we were cool with him!

We learned some interesting things in our visit to the clinic. Pieces of the puzzle started falling together yesterday. It seems like we had all the pieces already (or most of them). But we just needed the right people to all put their heads together sequentially to notice that some things actually went together. Dr. Leo was a big help with that, as St. Jude’s coordinating physician kept going back to him to review things and ask more questions about my previous care. I’m really, really grateful for his help with that.

More details in the coming days as I continue to process and think about long-term implications of new ideas. I’m driving back home on Monday, but I’ll still be on leave so I’ll have some time to think, some time to rest, some time to be on vacation, and some time to have wifi without driving around town trying to track it down! (Abigail vacationing without wifi does not a good combination make.)

Until next time,
Abigail

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5 thoughts on “In Which Molly Goes to the Clinic… and We Learn Some New Vocabulary

  1. Abigail-
    I’m so happy to hear that your pieces are falling together! I’m sure that a great weight has been lifted and that you can finally move forward with treatment and your life. Just the waiting and wondering makes you hold your breath and now you can breathe deeply and exhale again. I’m so happy for you!
    When you get home next week, rest up then go do something that you were holding back on doing. Go and have fun and celebrate that the time at the clinic was a success. Be with your friends and share it with them because they worry about you too. I say this because these are things that I should have done when I was diagnosed and didn’t do, and I regret that I didn’t. I went home and curled up in a ball and felt sorry for myself and it just made things worse because I ended up shutting people out that loved me.
    I think it’s great that you had Molly to take along with you when there wasn’t a human available. I have a little friend that went throught everything with me too. He’s a small Art Deco Scottie Dog I call Angus, that is made of Bakelite. He’s and antique about 3″ tall and long and he was in my hand the entire time. He had MRI’s, PET scans, X-rays, you name it. I squeezed him so tight that he should have snapped in half, but he didn’t. Everyone asked about him and I just said that he stays with me no matter what and they never said a thing. You do what you have to do to get yourself through, and I’m sure they have seen others with their “buddys”, talismans, Molly’s or Angus’ because we all need some comfort when we’re alone.
    Anyway, I’m glad that things are coming together for you and enjoy your extra holiday time!

    Sending you hugs,
    Lisa

  2. It was so great to see you. Really wanted to come by Friday also but ended up dealing with the dog situation — and fortunately found a solution! Glad to hear this update, and looking forward to hearing more about it whenever we can talk. Hope you had a safe trip back! Praying for you…

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