Floating on a cloud of endorphins. Thinking good thoughts. Knowing there is scary stuff out there, but not willing to live there on the "just-in-case" chance that something bad will happen. Nope, not me. There is no down-payment on suffering. Why take out a loan on pain? Why pay extra interest on something that may never happen?
So what, me worry? No! I refuse.
A little trickle of worry. A thin thread of doubt, a little warning sign sends me reeling in a panic. I breathe, pull out the references and confirm the concern. In an instant, I imagine the worst, the hopes crashing down, the pain and humiliation, the endless days of sorrow. I live that life flashed before me, scenes unreeling like clockwork; I can't close my eyes.
I breathe again and fumble for the number.
Voice shaking, I thread my way through the phone system as calmly as I can and find a person who knows their stuff. Thank god this number worked (not like the last one). Blessedly, no one questions whether I should be talking to them (not like the last time).
The person who knows their stuff is calm and compassionate. She asks all the defining questions, ruling out risks and reasons. And then, the verdict: not yet, no suffering for you (just a little taste).
She gives me a list of symptoms that would indicate a worsening of condition. I scribble a lifeline, ask questions, voice the panic and the not-knowing. Dear woman affirms the scariness of my uncertainty and calms my heart.
I clutch the list and assess sensations. No, not yet. Maybe. It's hard to tell. But I have the list and I am not on it.
The panic subdued but not gone, I rehydrate, lie down, and now that I can wait until morning, sleep.
Scary monsters do not visit me. On the other side, they wait and speculate. Her? Or not? On my side, I speculate, I wait. Me? Or not? On her side, my daughter rolls over and yawns.
Fake the calm so I don't live the panic. It's a plan, anyway. Remember the happy place and say "Yay!" It's still good. Panic can wait.