Waiting for news can be the hardest part sometimes. So much time wasted anxiously waiting; a call back that never happened, test results, an appointment letter, waiting to see what the next step is.
I get wound up the more I wait, constantly checking my phone in case I’d somehow lost my hearing temporarily and missed the ringtone, or checking for the postman, only to curse as he saunters back to the van without paying me a visit.
It’s not fun to wait. But then just over a month ago I got caught off guard when I finally heard from my surgeon at 8 in the evening. Let it be known : some NHS staff do work incredibly long, hard hours, and work tirelessly for their patients.
Turns out, after the tests, there were now more tests. I was also told that in terms of improving my condition, I was out of options and faced with a rather unpleasant and none too tempting prospect to consider.
Then I get the dreaded can’t-not-cry syndrome coming on… I felt like a mess. I knew to expect a call at some point that week, I thought through the worst case scenario, and yet I was still off kilter.
Whilst it’s hard to wait to hear news and try to plan a way forward, dealing with it can be harder than you anticipate, with emotions you hadn’t seen coming, no matter how much you tell yourself otherwise.
Waiting had, for me, given me something to focus on, and in that time I wasn’t really ‘dealing’ with any of it. No matter how much you prepare yourself and try to steel your resolve, sometimes we need a break. We are only human, and with that comes great pains; frustration, anger, resentment, fear, confusion, sadness, loss, regret, concern, hopelessness.
Perhaps the best way to prepare whilst waiting is to appreciate that you can not always prepare for everything. And that’s okay. It’s okay to get emotional, to not cope as well as you think you should or as well as you feel others expect you to. You will cope with whatever it is you’ve been waiting for, but sometimes the emotional response is inevitable and unstoppable. Don’t tie yourself up in knots over it because waiting around for news is hard enough as it is. Prepare yourself for being unprepared, for being human.