I’m in the midst of my annual array of wellness visits. You know, the semi-annual dental hygienist appointment, my mammogram, a check in with the endocrinologist, a general physical. I appreciate these practitioners and medical experts in my life for the peace of mind they provide that I am healthy.
I’ve grown accustomed to the fact that the physician’s assistant, who I’ve seen for the past three years, can’t be a day over thirty and has no firsthand knowledge of what I can expect from menopause. That’s fine, I can read about that topic on my own. The two-part experience of having my breast compressed and then covered with goop and wanded over, is an embarrassing indignity I can live with for the sake of early detection and my dental visit has been made far more comfortable with some topical stuff on my sensitive teeth. All good.
No, the issue I have with each of these visits is with a simple consistent question on the intake form: Emergency Contact. I don’t really have one. Now, please, I have lots of contacts in my phone. There are plenty of people I can call for various things – to meet for a drink, to take a run, to give one of the boys a ride home from a game. But, there isn’t a single person who is close enough to me, physically and emotionally, to call if something really bad happens.
I don’t have a parent. Or a spouse. My only sibling lives 2+ hours away and my teenaged children wouldn’t be appropriate recipients of a dreadful call about me, their mom. So, who to call? I can’t put myself down, right?
I guess the 411 on my own 911 is this – I’d better not get hurt, sick or in an accident. The thought of having no one to call is almost enough to make me sick.
See? Being independent and single isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, after all.