The examination table rose up like the launch pad for a space ship and the holes in the ceiling tiles above her resembled distant constellations.
“Just relax. I’m going to insert the wand now and you will feel slight pressure but it won’t hurt.”
She relaxed and floated softly above the table. She tried not to get dizzy from the thought of being so far away from the things she loved. She stared upward at thick yellowed splotches between random dark points.
Time seemed slower here. Maybe because of the cold darkness around her that kept the beastly machine from overheating. Maybe because there were no sounds, but her own breath and the technician’s voice instructing her through the dark.
“Just a few more minutes, and we will be done. Just need to take a few more images.”
“Of course,” she replied.
And then she was landing again, the launch pad was being lowered and the starry ceiling shapes receded beyond her vision.
“I am not allowed to talk to you about the results, but please – contact your doctor.”
Yes, she nodded, she would speak to her doctor. She would tell him all about her trip toward the bespeckled ceiling and the silent anxiety and fear she saw when she looked back at herself on the examination table. How many countless times she had been subjected to this examination, the wand and the darkness and the out of body experience – and that gap of time between the exam and the results. She would let him know that it was the in-between things that panicked her most these days – the never knowing exactly, the ebb and flow of her condition, the constant checking.
If there were a certainty, she felt she could shape her life around that. But the open-ended question – she had trouble with that. She didn’t have the strength to keep bearing the unknown, with her imagination as her most ardent foe.