This is a guest post from my patient, who has a wicked sense of humour !
‘It’s only grown by five mm. It should’ve been eight.’
I’m referring to the twist of mouth on Dr. M’s face, a disappointed grimace which needed an elusive three millimeters to stretch to a beaming smile. Dr. M (as I shall refer to him. M for magician) is talking about my uterus, which like an old deflated football, tucked away in the corner of a cupboard behind a pile of dusty board games, is ready to be pumped into action.
‘That is an awful thing to say,’ he might knock the figure-of-speech with a stroke of his stethoscope. ‘You mustn’t be so negative.’ Or a pithy, ‘don’t panic’, as was the case today.
Hmm. Panic. Panic is perhaps what I’m meant to do, I think, on my way back home. Or be worried, or anxious or apprehensive.
‘It’s normal to feel these emotions,’ I hear you say.
Normal: ‘usual and ordinary, and what people expect.’ says my well-thumbed dictionary.
Let me begin by telling you that, normal, is not me. Not in the cloak room, not on an IPL cricket team, not in an infertility clinic. Not by a long eight-mm shot.
A little about myself. My name is…..ah…..sorry… daring enough to consider in vitro fertilization at the tender age of fifty, too chicken to reveal her name on a website read by fellow Indians.
Fifty, I hear you gasp. My grandma was fifty when I was born! My aunt was arthritic! Isn’t one menopausal at fifty? And you’re thinking of having a baby? Why aren’t you panicking, you should be!
Yes, to all of them, save the last.
Panic, and all its cousins – Anxiety, Worry, Nervousness are luxuries I cannot allow myself. Precisely because I am fifty. And at fifty, I vow to replace panic with gratitude. Gratitude for being able to conceive of the idea of…well….conceiving, gratitude to medical science for giving me the opportunity to have a go at it, for having the means to pay for it, gratitude for…..hmm…let’s see….everything that happens to me, for the people that care for me, for being alive? Alive enough to make a life?
‘So why worry?’ I shall remind myself. Besides, where’s the time to worry; when one is too busy celebrating life, and the possibility of a future one?