Thing is, John is ALWAYS in the room. Every doctor's visit, every exam, no matter how benign. (There's a traumatic back story for this, but let's not dwell.) Anyway, the exchange happened too fast for me to really assure John I was OK with it, so when I emerged 17 minutes later I found him directly behind the waiting room door - like, I nearly banged into him - positively vibrating with nervous rage.
It took me the whole drive home to convince John I really was fine, since I'm famous for saying I am when I'm not - especially at doctors' offices. Plus the tech had promised we'd only be 10 or 12 minutes, so us going long hadn't helped. "Three more minutes," John said, "And I was going in there."
Believe it or not, John's not inclined to be the over-protective sort at all. It's just something he's learned since the night my panic began 8 years ago, since I've clung to him so many times for strength and for sanity.
Sometimes I see a certain look cross a nurse's faces; a look that wonders if John is really some kind of a brute, and if my dependency hints at something darker. It's a variation of the store clerk's look when John asks questions for me, with me standing right there. The look that says, "Geez, dude, let her talk for herself."
I want to tell them I don't *want* to talk, that John is my everything who does anything to spare me pain. That this is the gentle giant who moves the stars for me. That I am not weak for stepping back sometimes, and letting him lead me through.
I don't say anything, though; I just smile, and remember how grateful I am that John doesn't care what others see or think. He's my scruffy guardian angel, here to ask how I'm doing during the exam, here to fight and laugh and create with me, here to blame his toots on the cats. ;)
Aha, and now it's tomorrow, my mumble-dy mumth birthday, so check out my birthday card that turns into a robot:
It's from friends I met through Epbot (thanks again, Jen, Jeff, & Emily!), and when I think about how I've met almost all of my closest friends today because of this blog, well, heck, you just don't get a better birthday present than that.
Although John tells me we're going to visit some sloths today, so WE SHALL SEE.