I am a girl who loves numbers.
I know that it is not cool, that it has never been cool and is indeed part of what makes me decidedly uncool.
That is okay. I have never been cool.
In my work, I juggle numbers that I do not discuss. Not because I do not love the work that I do and the people that I work with. But that is a different world.
There are numbers that I am currently having to subtract from work.
There is a decent balance to withdraw from luckily. I do not have to weigh the values too harshly.
Every day it is a vastly a different number that I must start from. A precise, to the minute number.
I have had to learn that it is approximately 26 minutes from the car leaving garage here to the car park there. Dependent on factors beyond my control like roadworks or red lights.
Yet I rely on 26 minutes induced stress. Before I leave, I have to subtract at least 28 (because its a find a mask and a decent walk from the car park) from any of the random numbers I am assigned for that day and aim to leave before that moment. Or at the very latest that I am to leave.
There is generally a 10 minute process from sanitizing hands, greeting desk ladies and scannning barcode to take a water, take a mentos, take a seat and relax.
There are two rooms in operation. Both on time states the screen in the reception.
I then get ushered - through this way to a room. This room has three doors ahead.
The three doors read from left to right:
- Change Room Three,
- Change Room One, and
- Change Room Two.
Today I got Change Room Two.
I have never had Change Room Two before.
All three change rooms are nearly the same but slightly different.
A cubicle. A small bench. A mirror. Three signs with associated buttons. A door at either end.
I can lock both doors. I do.
De-mask, drink some water, suck the mentos, change from clothing and underwear to robe.
Drink more water, chew the mentos, put my mask on and leave by the other door.Take a seat in the runway.
If I am lucky, I get to read half a page of the book I am reading. (link to Booktopia listing of Live Fearlessly by Dr Emilia Dauway - not a paid gig, just if you wanted to know. Given my progress, there will be much book left when I finish my treatment.)
I am called through. I need to confirm who I am, where I live and what I am doing here.
I de-mask and ascend to become radiant.
Without going into details how, my tattoos are aligned, my breathing monitored and a warmed blanket placed between me and the machines.
First, there are two x-rays taken to ensure that I am positioned to within the millimetre. During each I am to hold my breath for 25 seconds. It is counted through. 25 seconds. Then 15. Then (sometimes) 10. Then 5 (and one even gives a full countdown from that point.)
Then the bed moves - slightly. There is always music in the background.
A very eclectic selection.
The machine moves around me and I get counted down - 25 seconds, and when I am ready 25 seconds and then a short one at 10. I think that truly they are just throwing random numbers at me to soothe, as some they tell me 15 to go but I have counted only 7 and other times my count nearly mimics there own.
The machine moves around again and I know that we are done with just on half the the first half. I start to do equations in my head. How long to go. How many left. Are we there yet.
Then I am congratulated for doing so well for the first half and am I up to doing the second.
Of course I am.
I am realigned and the bed moves for the right this time.
Once they have announced they have left the room, there is always THAT part of my body that says, actually, not 100% okay over here.
Yesterday, my nose suddenly became itchy. You cannot move with this treatment, let alone scratch your nose.
I start counting down their routine. There are 8 breath holds to go. 170 seconds.
Last bit. Spin the machine. Don't think about the nose.
35 seconds to go.
10 seconds - 5, 4, 3, 2 and I am done.
I am now 40% done.
Because of another appointment with the nurse after, I did not have enough numbers left after I had taken that away from the end of the day, but most days I return to work when I return home. See if my numbers are needed.
Today is payday.
It is June.
It is time to get my head around the numbers that I play with but have never really understood.
As long as the numbers on one side sort of look like the numbers on the other I get through another day and count my blessings.
There are those that are living life so they would look at mine and see lack.
And there are others that are living life so they would look at mine and see excess.
And I breathe.