Today I am exhausted.
I have shonky lungs and winter is not our friend. After a long while (3yrs) of dragging my sweaty consumptive body round (interspersed with a smattering of days stuck to my bed in pain) I finally found a lovely GP who said “let’s get this looked at properly, I think you need a diagnosis”. I cried. How lovely to be looked after. But did I really want a DIAGNOSIS. Yes and no. Mostly no. I don’t like labels and I don’t want to have an actual thing.
I love the NHS and all of its over-worked doctors, nurses and midwives, but the last 8 weeks of suspense has been a killer.
My lungs first protested just after my father died when I was 16 weeks pregnant with gumdrops. We didn’t know she was a girl but apparently ‘they do say girls drain you’. Whoever ‘they’ are could be right. Or maybe I inhaled the grief and it festered in my lungs. My mum used to joke I wouldn’t have survived in the olden days. Ha ha.
Anyway, despite NHS wait lists, a battery of tests and the unfortunate screw-up of them losing my bloods, I saw the top dog (easy on the eye with tight buns, think Idris Elba) who told me at 4.30pm last night that I am not going to die. Now I’m trying to work out how to marry him, or at least marry him to my daughter (is a 35yr age gap ok?).
Luckily I didn’t collect a new label either. I loathe labels and wallowing in misfortune. I place an unhealthy emphasis on courage and I’m not even a war child. Some of the labels I have tried to ignore/flat denied: asthmatic, dyslexic, vegetarian, short-sighted… blah blah… and all-round puny earthling. You see I don’t want to be any of those things, they don’t define me in any outward way. I am totes fine. Let’s choose some new labels for ourselves: ‘bit short (as my 8yr old boyfriend wrote in a love letter), bushy hair, terrible memory, comically clumsy, quite funny’. I’m down with that.
Now I’m off up to Oxford street to let my bushy hair dance in the wind and to live.