Madison, Wisconsin, United States (Winter 2017)
|Time displayed on clock. Submission by Susan Anderson|
You do not realize you have been holding your breath for weeks, until you see the new email hinting the results are in.
You do not realize the tension you are feeling because you have put all feelings about “The Medical Situation” on hold, waiting for results.
You do not realize you are wasting time on the internet, until you find you do not have any other sites you want to visit—for no particular reason. Avoidance has no real logic, you see: You are in serious denial that you are even waiting for results.
You treasure certain moments you used to pass over, moments with your thirteen-year-old daughter who has started acting particularly goofy for no particular reason—because she is waiting for results, too. But not talking about it.
The It itself is so rare that no one in your circle has ever heard of It—the Out-Of-The-Blue Diagnosis that fell out of the lips of the surprised surgeon who said, “Maybe one in 160,000, maybe… potential cancer, aneurism, risk, later, earlier, this organ, that organ…” Genetics underlies It. A mutation. A rare aberration. My daughter. Perfectly imperfect, bubbly, rambunctious, herself. Someone I would never change. Someone who is being changed and attacked. By her own genetic code.
The genetics are fifty percent known and fifty percent understood. So we have a fifty percent chance of knowing and zero percent chance of understanding.
We are waiting for the next word, which will tell us the next step, which will lead us to another step, which will lead us to….
more waiting for results.
The email that slyly hinted “The results are in”….the email that I clicked with a cold fingertip….tells me my daughter needs her flu shot. Funny. She has already had it. Not the flu, the shot. So now I am back where I started.
Waiting for Results.
SUSAN ANDERSON, Ph.D, is a communication director for an education research project, free-lance writer, and parent. Her educational background and interests include biology, creative writing, environmental studies, K-12 education and family engagement in schools. Currently, she is writing a collection of essays reflecting on beauty, history, memory, and faith.