Wait for it

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #71: Wait

Explore with me, if you will, the concept of waiting.

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Was this the spot? Where it waited for me a couple of days ago? Before the first frost on the horizon could put it on hold…

deep woods

Camera in hand, I had waited until late afternoon to catch the sunlight filtering through the trees. I thought I was dressed appropriately. Jeans. Sneakers. Jacket. It wasn’t really very cold. The woods were deserted. The path well covered with leaves.

However, I needed to go deeper into the woods to catch the best lighting. I carefully stomped around tree branches, prickly vines, decaying logs…my feet briefly disappearing into layers of damp leaves and grass. Making my way towards the light.

Despite the roar of the nearby highway, I enjoy the peaceful pull of these woods. Bordering my condo development, the local utility company owns the land and has left it virtually untouched. The smell is comforting. Familiar. Summer camp. Vacations with my kids at a lake in the mountains.

And now…retired, nest emptied, I have all the time I need to grab the camera and explore. Taking all the pictures I want to. Standing still in the damp leaves. Waiting for the light to shift. Crouching down. Looking up. Quickly focusing.

Time passes. The light moves once more. And so do I.

Maybe it was here…

deep woods 2

They say you should tuck your pant legs into your socks. This never occurred to me. My woods feel safe. A sanctuary of sorts. Like I said…peaceful. I’m alone, but not really. A lone chipmunk scurries out of a fallen tree trunk and sits feet away, unafraid. A hawk swoops overhead alighting on a top branch…before taking off seconds later – too fast for my amateur photography skills.

There are also the deer I’ve encountered over the past few months…
The mama and her two baby deer who stand motionless when they see me at the end of the access road to the woods. We briefly stare at each other before she turns, babies following, and trots away…disappearing through the trees.

This time, when the light started to fade and I headed back home, I unknowingly transported more than my camera full of new images. After dinner, I transferred the photos…got ready for bed…

And that’s when I discovered what else I had carried home. It was actively feasting on my right thigh.

WTH?

A deer tick.

After much freaking out (this was my first tick), I removed it – with some difficulty. Apparently the little critter was hungry. (full disclosure: my husband assisted)

There is a high risk of Lyme disease transmission where I live in the Northeast so we deposited it in a tiny plastic bag for testing.

The next day, I spent hours…waiting…for the doctor to call me back. Will she or won’t she agree to follow the (current) protocol for antibiotics to hopefully prevent the onset of Lyme. A potentially disabling disease which I could not fathom dealing with on top of the other health challenges I already face.

Waiting for phone calls from doctors takes on its own anxious energy. Unleashing wild imaginings, which I admit are worst case scenarios. However, when you repeatedly hear how you are the exception to the usual rules of medicine (that doesn’t usually happenI’ve never seen that before…), that’s where your imagination – unfortunately – goes. Waiting that sucks the time right out of your day. Right out of your life. I hate spending precious time this way.

After six hours, the doctor called back (the nurse, not actually the doctor – since that rarely happens) and, yes, I can take the antibiotics.

Now I wait to see if they work.

 

tick

(I couldn’t resist a macro shot of this unwanted guest…safely secured in its plastic resting place)

 

 

Monkey Mind

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly challenge #47: In-Between

This week, I need your inspiration – where do you go in the in-between? How do you survive it? Or maybe the in-between is ripe with gifts?

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We will call you when the all the lab tests come back…
Pathology could take a while…
You’ll have to wait for the results.

       Waiting

Watching
Worrying
Wanting
What If
When Will
What Now
What Then
Why
When
Where

Waiting

The monkey mind churns.
Stealing today’s minutes in-between.
Poof.
Gone.

Helpless jumble of thoughts line up unbidden Bumping into each other Scrambling gibberish Is it five minutes or five hours I can’t stand another secondof….

Turn It Off

Short circuit the loop of lunacy.
Plug in
Three minutes of song.
Shut frantic tired eyes

One-Two.
One-Two-Three-Four.

Volume up.
Way up.

Melodies seep past fear laced neurons
Soothing the gray matter of terror
A foot tapping rhythm takes over…
Three minutes of happy.

ListenHearFeelMoveSingScream
Breathe deep.
Taste hope.

Familiar anthem
From the before.
Temporary respite
Filling the now..
The in-between.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”…
“Lovely Day”…

or a more recent discovery…

“Brighter Than the Sun”…

…whatever reaches deep.

Repeat.

Hold on.

As the clock keeps ticking

Sunup to Sundown

In-between.

Quote of the Day….

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.

Susan Sontag

 
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Check one:
Is your health: excellent ___ good ___ fair___ poor___

And so begins the lengthy registration page at the doctor’s office.
Held tight on a clipboard. Which is attached to a pen via a piece of string.
Or choose a pen with a huge plastic flower glued to the top. Ostensibly so you won’t walk off with it. Pens must be expensive. And how sanitary is that?
I really wonder about the fingerprint smeared iPad I am often asked to register on. Taken from a rack. Unsanitized. If I wasn’t sick walking in, chances just increased I’d be sick a few days later.

Anyway…
Back to the health question…why would I be at the doctor’s office, ID and insurance card in hand, ready to pledge my first born for payment if need be…if I was in excellent health?  Or even in good health….

I used to take my health for granted.
Doctor’s visits were annual physicals for the most part.
As a child and young adult, I could leap out of bed, get dressed and be ready for the day in minutes.
Young and vital.
I ate well. Exercised. Took the stairs. Did sit-ups.
No special soaps, creams, drops, pills, patches.

I had no idea my health was time sensitive.

Years passed without a major illness.
Hospitalized briefly for birthing 2 babies. Totally worth it.
But then my 40’s hit and body parts started complaining.
And doing new things that I didn’t like.
Odd symptoms popped up. Baffled the docs.
And then my 50’s…more of the same.
But who has time. I sure didn’t.
A career. House. Marriage. Two kids. Parents.
My activities. Everyone else’s activities.

Health – and wellness – became elusive.
And so started the grieving process.
For what I used to be able to do…
…including the ability to check off “excellent” or “good” on those registration forms.

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Vital