I had a doctor's appointment last week with my rheumatologist. It went well - as all of my appointments have for the last few months. I'm healthy, feeling good, and relatively symptom-free, aside from the fatigue and raynaud's that I experience, which I'm learning to deal with.
Because my appointments are so uneventful these days, I no longer have to take time to prepare my questions the night before, nor do I "rehearse" my conversations on the way to the doctor. Nope - these days, I just wake up the day of, double check the time of my appointment, and saunter into the office without much worry at all. What a privilege!
In fact, I was so carefree about last week's appointment, I hadn't noted the exact time of the appointment. I had in my head that it was a 10:45am appointment, but I had it down for 11:45am in my calendar. Stumped, I decided to give a call to the doctor's office to confirm. I casually waited until after 9am when they opened, but upon dialing, I got a busy signal. I tried again, and still a busy signal. Third time - still busy.
As I started to dial a fourth time, I had a bit of a flashback - an anxiety-ridden, panic-stricken flashback - back to the days when calling the doctor meant I was sick, desperate, and in pain. I remember oh-so-well counting down the minutes until the doctor's office opened on a Monday morning - struggling to dial the phone number while praying that they'd have an opening. Back then, to get a busy signal would have been disastrous. I would have panicked that the office was closed, or that my doctor was out of town, or that the phones were ringing off the hook and their morning appointments were filling up. I would have broken down at the thought of having to endure even just a few more hours of immobilizing pain, and tears would have streamed down my face as I realized that any assurances of relief might just be out of reach for the day.
But then I remember that's not today. Today, that busy signal doesn't faze me. It's just another 10 seconds to hit "redial", and I think nothing of it. I'm thankful for this indifference, and appreciate the lack of dependency that currently exists between me and my doctor.
Being well is a wonderful thing, and I feel like I've earned it. There's not one day that I take it for granted, and moments like these remind me how important it is that I continue to choose well, despite lupus.