5am, my Angel wakes me with a soft, gentle enquiring noise. A baby whimper. That is my alarm clock. An angel, bringing kisses and cuddles to open up the day.
But Anxiety reached into our idyllic space and battled to engulf me, swallow whole my mind and soul. My angel fought alongside, sensing my fear yet remaining unchanged, her love and trust anchoring me always in the present, wrapping me inside her unflinching fidelity.
Breakfast. I need a hearty breakfast to help me get through the morning. Mashed banana, oatmeal, egg – pancakes! Coconut milk and marmalade topping. Gobbled up in haste, I don’t really remember the taste, except that I don’t like the crumbly texture.
My iCal buzzed a warning. I had remembered the time wrongly. My appointment at the hospital for the test is an hour earlier than I thought. Anxiety mounts. I rush to get ready. I worry about leaving my Angel behind, I worry about bringing her along. What if? What if?
I call the hospital but there is no answer, I leave a message but nobody calls me back.
I decide to bring my Angel with me. And I am so glad I did.
We hurried uphill. She stops to sniff, she reminds me to breathe, and so I breathe, as deeply as I can. We reach the hospital. But we are in the wrong place. I listen to the instructions, but I am not registering anything. A cold sweat breaks all over me. My body is softly, quietly convulsing, yet I am still walking, moving onwards in space and time, on a cloud-powered modality. Out of body sensations begin to tingle. I come back to concrete reality because the Angel is tethered to me. She reminds once again, to breathe.
Meandering, lost inside the labyrinth of doors, passageways, people in white coats, people with walking sticks, people staring, some people smiling, some even asking me if I raced Lucy. I answer mechanically with my pasted smile and stock phrases, my eyes glazed but they do not notice. I cannot see the lifts even though they are in front of me. My angel stops, and I wonder why? Then I realise we are there, at the lift lobby.
Finally, I find the right place where I am supposed to be. A man comes up to me, he points towards Lucy. I babble, my mind racing in circles to nowhere, surely he should know about service dogs? He does. Actually. But he just does not like the idea. This I glean from hindsight analysis. He tells me there is no space in the room for Lucy. I must leave her outside. I have no choice. I tie her to the row of chairs which are screwed down into the floor, in a corner in the waiting room. She has her mat and my coat, and of course some treats. She will be fine. She is my Angel. She has done this before, remember? At the university clinic, where everyone was more friendly. I am thankful for that gentle introduction to this exercise. I enter the room, and I see that there is plenty of space for Lucy to lie down in. I realise the man just didn’t want her there. He is of that religion. It’s ok. My angel is safe, and the man is polite, that is all I care about. Let’s get over with it.
The machine is a sophisticated one. There is no pain, but sensory fear threatens to take over again. The whirring sounds, the lights, the pattern in the ventilation grid, and lying there prone, waiting for the machine to finish. It felt like an age, though it was merely a few minutes.
At last, we are on our way home. My head is bursting, my diaphragm hurts, I am nauseous and dizzy. I am lost again. But my Angel has an instinct. We help each other and we find our way home.
I open the door, and there is a man inside my apartment. Oh yes, the routine apartment inspection is going on. But I thought I told the manager not to inspect mine this morning? I was going to leave Lucy behind, and I was afraid she will run out when the inspector enters. The manager assured me they will not inspect my apartment, in that case. But here he is, the man with a clipboard, taking notes, probably detailing every spot of dirt he can find. My head is swirling. I am friendly. So is he. I wipe Lucy’s paws and send her straight to bed. The man leaves. Good bye. He closes the door behind him gently. Polite man. I am thankful. To him that he was polite. And thankful that I brought my Angel along and didn’t leave her behind, as previously planned.
Time to tuck into the hot and spicy lunch that I bought at the university eatery midway on our journey home.
They said it is Penang Laksa. No such luck. It isn’t. It’s just a watered down version of Singapore Laksa. Tasted good anyway. The little old ladies running the stall were sweet. I have a soft spot for little old ladies. And I really cannot face cooking lunch today.
Sensory rupture. Split open. Neurons and what have you. Whatever have you.
There goes another day. I do want this to end. I want to work. I love my work. I need to work. I need to find again that pleasure and relaxation in my work.
For now, I have an Angel in my bed to cuddle up to. She is a treasure indeed.