By Nacole Ali for Pink Notes
Brooklyn, New York it was a cold morning in the winter of 2015. I could hear the hollowing of the wind whipping around outside of a frost covered window in this small apartment in Crown Heights, I woke up in. I looked across the room to see a dim flickering light peeking from underneath a closed bathroom door. Moving slowly, taking one step at a time on the creaking hard wood floors, I approached the flickering light. Putting one ear close to the door to see if I could hear anything. I reached for the door knob with caution, gripping it tightly, I turned the knob as quietly as possible. I cracked the squeaking door opened, and without fully opening the door, I reached my hand to feel for the light switch on the wall. I flipped the light switch swiftly up and down, there was a startling noise; a pop. I screamed, and I quickly tried to close the bathroom door, but the bathroom door flew open, I backed up with my heart pounding as I bumped into the wall. I paused and caught my breath, looked up and realized my light fixture had a shortage and light bulb popped.
Laughing to myself, I turned on the rest of the lights in the apartment, and turned on the morning news. “This is going to be a cold one today. We are excepting 8 inches of snow by noon. Schools are closed, and parking rules are suspended” The weather man said. I looked at the time, and I called into my office letting them I would be working from home today. “No worries, most people are working from home today” said the secretary. “Ok, then call me if you need me” I said. Sitting down on the couch, with a hot cup of tea, I started to look through my emails, just then my internet kept loosing connection. I shut down the computer and tried to reboot, and I noticed my satellite TV was also losing connection. This can’t be happening, everything is falling apart in the place. I called the cable company on my cell phone, waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a representative for 20 minutes, I put the tea kettle on to make more tea, and finally “Thank you for calling, how can I assist you?” “Yes, Hi. I am experiencing issues with my internet and TV” I said. “Ok” the rep said. I then heard a silence, “hello?”. The phone went dead. I looked at the phone and I had 4 bars indicating my phone signal was strong. “Are you kidding me?, What is going on?” I said with frustration. This day is not getting any better. My phone rings with an unknown number. I answer the call thinking it is the cable company. “Oh good, they are calling back” I mumbled to myself. “Hello, this is the doctor’s office calling to remind you of your scheduled MRI today” the voice said. “You’re open today?” I said with surprise. “Yes, we are a hospital, we never close.” The voice said with a chilling tone. I said “Yes, I will be there” and hung up the phone.
It was just then, I was reminded that I have a critical illness. This test will determine my current status and if any of the medication has been working. The result of this test can alter my life. I can not miss this appointment. I looked around in a daze at my empty apartment, and realized it’s just me. A loud whistle was came from the kitchen; it alarmed me. I got up and ran into the kitchen and quickly turned off the tea kettle. Standing there pouring the hot water in a mug, steam racing into my face, I felt a cold breeze embrace my body; it gave me chills. With the house in total silence, I stood still, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I slowly retracted my eye lids, grabbed my cell phone and started to look through my contacts. I was looking for someone to go to the doctor’s office with me. I know it’s cold, but someone will go with me, I thought to myself. Scrolling and scrolling through the list of names, omitting those that have already abandoned me during my illness. Trying not to exhaust the few people that had already shown their loyalty to me, I called a close friend of 30 years, who had known of my illness. The ring echoed though out my house on the speaker phone, no answer. I sent a text. I waited. Nothing. I texted again. Nothing. I called a relative, explained the situation, and my fear of this exam, and not wanting to be alone. My relative responded “Can’t you change the appointment? I have other things to do”. I simply stated no. I hit the end button on the phone and proceeded to the dark and cold bathroom. I showered in the dark, and got dressed. A loud noise from the kitchen interrupted the silence in the house. I stopped in my tracks, to wait for any additional noises. I proceeded to the kitchen to see what happened. At first look, I didn’t see anything, I walked further into the kitchen, to see that the dishes in the sink had shifted. At that very moment, I smiled and realized that since I woke up this morning, I was being tested. I had moments, of fear, that I pushed through and realized there was nothing to be afraid of. This doctor’s appointment is nothing to be afraid of. Ultimately, I am in this alone, and I can not let obstacles stop me. I grabbed my coat, put on my hat and scarf and headed for the doctor.
The moral of this story is don’t let your fears control you. See what is on the other side of the door. You have to take care of yourself, regardless. You cannot solely depend on anyone else, because family and friends who you think will support and show up for you, might not; they just may go ghost on you.