I’m one of those people who tends to worry about anything and everything at the drop of a hat. Most of the time I can rationalise the worry and push it to the back of my mind but since last night I’ve been in a very real panic about one thing in particular, so much so that I’ve not been able to think about anything else.
Next Tuesday I’m due to travel to London for a couple of medical appointments ahead of being admitted in September for gender reassignment surgery. The thing is, I’d not heard anything from the hospital since I got the appointment letters in February and after an innocuous conversation about it with my partner last night I became convinced that something had gone wrong, that for some reason the appointments had been cancelled and nobody had thought to let me know.
I’ve been waiting on this surgery now for over seven years, ever since I was first referred by my GP back in May 2006. The journey to get to this point has been a bit of a long-winded roller-coaster, and it hasn’t helped that the clinic I’m assigned to here in Sheffield has a tendency to take its sweet merry time to do things. I’ve almost become resigned to the fact that anything to do with the NHS will be characterised by bureaucratic ineptitude and inefficiency, so maybe it’s hardly surprising that I would panic over something like this. Or maybe I’ve just had a bad experience with an otherwise good service, though if my conversations with other patients going through the same process is anything to go by I’m inclined to think that my experience has been somewhat typical. Either way round, I’ve been expecting the worst and that expectation finally reached a head (emotionally speaking) last night. Unfortunately, because of the late hour when the panic first took hold I couldn’t do anything about it until this morning.
All night I was worrying about this. I managed to get some sleep, but only a little, and only in between the moments of petrifying terror that something I’ve been waiting on for the last seven years was somehow going to be set back even further. Walking to work this morning my head refused to stop spitting out ‘what-ifs’ and by the time I got to my desk I was quite literally a neurotic mess. And still I couldn’t assuage the doubts and fears, not until the hospital phone lines opened at nine. Despite the best efforts of the rational and logical side of my mind telling me to stop worrying I just knew that when I finally made that call I was going to be facing bad news and felt my world crumbling into smaller and smaller pieces.
As it turns out the panic was for nothing. I finally managed to get through to the hospital half an hour ago and they confirmed the appointments are still booked and everything is still okay. So perhaps I should start listening to my rational mind more often.