Ladies (and perhaps some men?).
Do you ever play the weight game when you go to the doctor’s office? You know, when the inevitable moment comes and they make you step on the scale so they can record just how many reasons society tells us we have to hate ourselves. For me, I always mentally go through to try and find pounds that I feel justified in subtracting from my total.
For example, today I allowed myself to knock off at least ten pounds. I took off a few because I didn’t even remove my shoes; surely those are very heavy, I thought to myself, ignoring the fact that I was wearing fake Keds that are just a bit of canvas and plastic slapped together. I took away a few more pounds because I had on a very heavy sweater, and also for the big metal heart necklace I was wearing. I subtracted a little more because I had eaten lunch barely thirty minutes prior, and my stomach was stuffed full of delicious, unhealthy, heavy (probably) things. Finally, I deducted a few imaginary ounces because my phone was still in my pocket, and it’s really big and it has a thick, sturdy case.
Now, I have absolutely no desire to check the actual math behind these calculations because, 1) I am terrible at math and I hate it, and 2) I recognize, in my hearts of hearts, that I’m probably just a little heavier than I’d like to think I am. However, I’m healthy, fairly active, and finally coming to a place where I’m getting more comfortable with my body image. So I’ll happily incorrectly estimate weights in my head to soothe that ever nagging voice of society that says I should weigh approximately one hundred pounds, heedless of all factors such as height, body type, and BMI index.
As you all know if you’ve read my last two posts, I was essentially certain I was sick. I went by the local clinic today to confirm, and optimistically procure some medicines that would help end my coughing/nose running misery. The nice nurse ran through a list of symptoms to see if I had them, and when she asked me if I’d had any nausea, I was very quick and vehement to answer that I had not. I wanted to be very clear on that point. Let me explain why.
Last semester, Friday, December 7th to be exact, I had exactly one final standing between myself and Christmas Break. Unfortunately, in the wee hours of the morning, I became violently, excessively nauseated/ill. I will generously spare you the gory details, but from about five in the morning until two that afternoon, I was helpless to move more than five feet from a trash can/toilet. My mother had to drive all the way up to my college town, approximately forty-five minutes away, to get me and take me to the doctor.
As anyone who has had a stomach bug will know, your looks tend to be the very last thing on your mind at the time. That’s why I unashamedly stumbled into the doctor’s wearing a leopard bath robe with a bright red lining, sweat pants, and an extremely over-sized t-shirt. I’m not sure if my hair even qualified as being in a bun or not, because it was in such a transitional state between up and down that I find it hard to judge in retrospect.
The doctor came in and asked me some of my symptoms, and when I told him it was basically just intense, violent nausea and some dizziness, he got a certain look and began questioning me about delicate lady things (I’ll attempt to bury my meaning behind euphemisms here for you all). When he detected some irregularity within them, he asked me whether I might want to take a pregnancy test. I quickly reassured him that the irregularity was completely normal, actually, and there was absolutely no need for me to take a pregnancy test. He kept glancing at my mom, and he asked me repeatedly if I was sure. When I promised there was not even the slightest chance at all that I could be pregnant, he subsided, but I could see it in his skeptical eyes that he did not believe me.
On one hand, I can see how the circumstances would support his theory. On the other, I ROLLED UP WEARING A LEOPARD BATHROBE ACCOMPANIED BY MY MOTHER. I wanted to assure him that the only men interested in me were my cats and dogs (in a related note, the status I made over that was one of my most popular on Facebook, receiving an uplifting total of 68 likes and 21 comments. Perhaps some small recompense for being wrenchingly ill and subsequently embarrassed).
Thankfully, when I saw the doctor this time, and in the absence of my mother no less, he made no mention of pregnancy and seemed to have no memory of my previous visit. I attend an urgent care clinic right by my house instead of a regular doctor, so I think that helps blur my patient history in his mind. The whole consultation didn’t take more than five minutes, and he simply prescribed me some routine medicine for the sinus infection I had, the most common and repeated diagnosis that plagues the Rowe family.
This evening, we went to my Nana’s house, an easy task as she lives next door to us. My Nana is one of the most wonderful and loving people I have ever met; she’s also one of the hardest-working, stubborn people I know, and she’s spoiled my sister and I shamelessly for our whole lives. It’s been very hard lately, because my Papa, her husband of fifty-two years, died last July. To say she was devastated is an understatement. But, in a way I know my ornery Papa would approve of, it has helped bring us even closer to her and allowed us to spend more time together and finally, finally allowed us to make her let us spoil her back. Tonight, I ate a large, tasty dinner and two pieces of dessert pizza, and let me tell you I don’t even care and I was not the slightest bit ashamed. Do yourself a favor, if you have never had Papa Murphy’s cinnamon dessert pizza, go out right now and buy one and devour it because OHMYSWEETDELICIOUS.
Sitting on the couch by my Nana, I was feeling that food coma euphoria and, combined with the slightly drugging effects of my freshly prescribed medicines, I was getting very drowsy. It seemed only natural to lay my head down on my Nana’s lap while we watched the OKC Thunder (THUNDER UP WOOOOOO WE BEAT THE MAVS TONIGHT!!!!) game. She just brushed one hand over my hair and held my hand with the other; she was sitting in the seat on the couch that my Papa always used to sit in. I was warm and full, and she was wearing the robe she’s had since longer than I can remember, navy blue with red stitching, that I used to put on and promenade around in when I was a little girl, with the bottom dragging behind me like a wedding train because I was so small and she has always been very tall.
In that moment, I was reminded of something very important. I’ve admittedly been very stressed lately, wondering what I’m going to do with my life, both right after graduation and in the long run. I’ve experienced this sense of aimlessness and doubt that writing and the world it entails is really what I’m meant to be doing, and I’ve desperately been trying to make sense of what I’m supposed to accomplish with my life. Lying there, head in her lap, I was reminded of the plain fact that every single moment I experience is my life. There’s not some great objective or goal I have to accomplish for my life to have meaning; no particular moment in my life will last any longer or shorter than another, even if it feels like it, and I can appreciate each one for simply being what it is: my life. Maybe I don’t know for sure what every aspect of my future will look like, but I do know what right now looks like. And at that particular “right now,” my cheek registering the familiar feel of my Nana’s robe and the clasp of her soft, work-worn hand in mine, my life was a few moments of peace.
It was an important moment in the crazy commotion of my last semester of college, but also for the entirety of my life. It’s such a simple concept, but it’s easy to lose sight of. But I am trying to remember that every moment is one to be grateful for, just as I’m grateful to you for reading my blog!
PS Tonight I go with the German words for “Good evening,” a tribute to my Nana, whose maiden name was Pankratz and whose grandfather spoke German!