Thoughts from a Waiting Room

I’m sitting in a waiting room, waiting to get a brain MRI when Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got a Name” begins playing over the ceiling speakers.

Like the pine trees lining the winding road
I got a name, I got a name
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I got a name, I got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I’m living the dream that he kept hid

This as a good sign.

Call it a “writer’s quirk”, but whenever I’m in a waiting room I take notes on the background music. Most songs are mellow and light. Good magazine page flipping music. To pass the time, I sometimes pretend this is a movie and the music playing, the soundtrack, is artfully chosen by the director to play at this exact moment. Like it does in those important scenes in the movies.

(Side note: The puckish part of me desperately wants “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” to hit the medical waiting room– just to see the reactions.)

It’s been 8 weeks and I’m still dealing with migraines, nausea, and vertigo.

It’s been hard but I’m okay.

Sometimes it feels like I’m being stabbed behind my ears or above my right eye.

I can only stomach one cup of coffee a day instead of my usual 2-3 cups.

I have no desire to have a beer. In fact, the thought of beer turns my stomach.

My vertigo still flares. Most days I live on a ship. Rooms rock. Door jambs shift. Floors incline and decline without warning. When I’m sitting, sometimes I feel like I’m moving.

Moving me down the highway, rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

But don’t worry. Don’t pity. I’m doing okay.

See, I take comfort in knowing I’m doing the right thing, which is–writing to you.

I always wanted to be a writer but, like all aspiring writers, I pined to find subjects worth writing about. So I didn’t write. I waited for the material to find me.

Then I got sick. Was diagnosed with two rare diseases that seemingly morphed into one rarer disease. And with that–I was gifted my material.

As a writer you can’t be greedy. You take your material where you can get it and go. No matter how strange or misunderstood, you take what life gives you, craft a narrative over and over and over and hope someone finds it and understands.

My disease is my material. That’s all. My job is to live with it and write about it as gracefully as I can. Hopefully helping others understand that there is a purpose for suffering. That you and I don’t senselessly suffer–no matter how long we’re sitting in the waiting room.

Movin’ me down the highway, rollin’ me down the highway
Movin’ ahead so life won’t pass me by

Be well,