This morning I accompanied Karen to an oncologist appointment for the results of her recent CT Scan. Occasions like this are always tense times; the seemingly endless build up to acquire news of how her multiple tumours are behaving.
Unlike reality show contestants awaiting results, our news is important – Literally a matter of life and death. Not angst born from worrying about being kicked off a glorified talent show prior to singing ‘Angels’ with Robbie Williams.
Our metaphoric drum roll starting as we walk from the waiting area into the consulting room. Chambers of mixed news for the family over the past eight years; including the terrible diagnosis, bad initial prognosis and relief at the cancer’s stability.
During this octad of summers I’ve grown accustomed to reading the waiting room body language Karen exhibits during this time. Hundreds of hours in those domains allowing plenty of opportunity to analyse my wife’s behaviour.
For instance, I’ve noticed if she sits with hands together twiddling her thumbs clockwise (as she is at the moment), she’s very anxious. If my spouse twiddles them anti-clockwise she’s nervous, but in a more confident state of mind than the clockwise thumbs movements
If she has a continuous tickly cough, we need to pick up some Locket throat lozenges from Sainsbury’s on our homeward journey. If she sits mooing intermittently we also need milk. Should Karen repeatedly scratch her nose we’ve left the immersion on at home.
Intermittent nasal scratting indicates my missus needs to view the recording of last week’s TV cop drama Midsomer Murders. Ensuring she does so urgently before her friend Wendy spoils the ending.
Whereas tugging at her right ear lobe indicates my betrothed needs to view her recording of last week’s TV cop drama Taggart on ITV3. Again, prior to Wendy spoiling the plot climax.
If she intermittently scratches her nose in parallel with tugging her ear I know I’ve got an afternoon of watching Midsomer Murders and Taggart. Either that or a few hours hiding behind the sofa to avoid interacting with Wendy, should she turn up unannounced.
Should, while waiting room in situ, Karen tug her left ear lobe it’s a sign she’s caught up with her cop drama recordings – Normally leading to her later contacting Wendy with a retributive spoiler of valuations on daytime TV show Homes Under The Hammer.
I like to think I’m ordinarily pretty good at reading Karen’s body language. That being said, though, the cause of my spouse moving to the opposite side of the waiting room when engaging her in conversation remains a complete mystery.
Now into it’s ninth year, there of course isn’t anything remotely funny about any part of this emotional rollercoaster ride. However, sometimes I feel the need to impart gallows humour within my narratives – One of my ‘go to’ cathartic strategies as we venture on this turgid trip.
Anyhow, the mental drum roll finished as Karen and I tentatively took our seats in the consulting room. Silence followed by a heartening bulletin my diminutive missus’s tumours remain stable – Thankfully, Damocles sword remains securely tethered.