I hate waiting! Waiting is the worst. I know that everyone hates to wait, we all want instant gratification, but being sick has taught me that patience is a virtue in so many ways (not to mention, it’s really my only option!). Before chronic illness my longest wait might have been for my paycheck to clear the bank, maybe waiting for the line to die down at the garden center I worked at, or waiting to get my coffee at my favorite coffee shack. I had to be patient for some things, but my life certainly didn’t revolve around the process of not being able to get what I want and need in a convenient or expedient amount of time.
Waiting for doctor’s appointments, waiting for pills to kick in, waiting for the pain to recede for a second, waiting for test results, waiting in line at the pharmacy, waiting for my heating pad to get warm, waiting for providers to call me back, waiting for a good day, waiting for my insurance to authorize my procedures, treatments, tests, and medications, waiting for the hospital staff to answer my emails, waiting for the weather to not hurt me so much, waiting for my boyfriend to get home from school, waiting for the fatigue to lift, waiting for it to be the right time to talk about the important things that need to be talked about, waiting for the doctor to come into the room, waiting to fall asleep, waiting on hold with my clinic, waiting for the withdrawal effects to stop, waiting to be checked in at the hospital, waiting to schedule appointments, waiting through painful nausea and dry heaving in the morning, waiting out the times when I just want to go the Emergency Room, waiting out the judgmental comments, stares and snickering of nurses in the doctor’s office, waiting out my rage at the idiots who think I have it so easy because I don’t have a “job”, waiting for Karma to decide she’s done testing me.
I have gotten so good at waiting now that it is half my waking life. Not that it doesn’t bother me, nothing is worse than waiting a week for a prescription you really need. How would anyone be able to get anything done while they were stuck waiting all the time, and not even for things that are exciting or good? There is a lot of extra waiting for those of us who are chronically ill, and I believe that’s part of the reason why spoonie time is so very different from healthy people time. What takes me a whole week might take someone else an hour. And in turn, what I accomplish in one hour can make me useless for a whole week.
I do not think healthy people realize how much energy it takes to be patient, to hurry up and wait, to stay quiet when you want to scream. It is so draining, so life-suckingly, mind-numbingly boring that your brain seems to be melting. The awful background music plays over and over again in your head, even when you aren’t on the phone. It takes all your spoons to keep sane while you sit there, just passing time, in pain, exhausted, and in limbo because once again you don’t know the results of your latest CT scan, you haven’t heard back from the insurance company as to if they approved or denied your claim, plus your are currently waiting to have the energy you will need in order to wait some more later on. It’s difficult to be fully engaged when life requires that you be so finely skilled at patience, and patience seems to require that you embrace the part of you that is more apathetic than worried, at least for now.