The dog and I watched the dawn come up from the doorstep. We had seen the stars sparkle in the moonlight and watched the mistwraiths dance in the fields as the first pre-dawn light crept over the horizon. It was a lovely moment, but not one we had been expecting to share. We should both have been a long way from home.
I had just loaded the last of the bags into the car yesterday when the phone rang. The dog was ready to go and another five minutes would have seen us on our way north, all calls blocked until I stopped driving.
For the life of me, I couldn’t see why the surgery was calling. Maybe they were getting the flu jabs lined up early? I wasn’t worried. I’d only had the X-ray a couple of hours earlier and the results would take at least a week, so it didn’t even occur to me that the proverbial rug was about to be pulled from under my feet.
Except, the health system can move fast when it feels a need.
Within the next few minutes, it became apparent that, if I had any sense, I was going nowhere except back in the scanner. Could it not wait till I came back? No, it really could not, apparently. Not quite the holiday I had in mind… and that upset me more than anything else. I really need a break and I hate letting people down. And I don’t much fancy spending my birthday as the jam in the middle of the CT doughnut.
For the rest, it was more of a relief than anything. There actually is a reason for the pain and fatigue that has been bugging me all year. It is not just a stressed body and mind… or an ageing carer seeking attention, as one never-to-be-forgiven doctor suggested. The dark mass in my lung is real. We just need to find out now what it is. So, with a five minute margin, the journey north was cancelled.
There is a cruel irony to that, when we were, once again, planning on meeting Mary Smith at Cairn Holy. And let us not forget the darker irony of Covid, which has made seeing a doctor at all both difficult and guilt-ridden. I wonder just how many, like me, have felt it unfair to ‘bother’ the doctor about ‘minor’ health problems until they got out of hand? As this has been going on for so long already, I also wonder if waiting till after the Scotland trip would really have made a great deal of difference…
Be that as it may, we did not go, the confused dog may not forgive me… and Scotland will still be beautiful whether we are there to see it or not.