Hope can be a tricky thing. It's important to not be cynical, to believe that things can get better. And without it I would be hopeless. But sometimes I've had to put hope on hold because the letdown was just too much.
I have hoped for many things in life. Some of them have turned out well. I hope I can carry this baby close enough to term that all is well; I did. I hope it turns out that this headache isn't being caused by a brain tumor and I'm not going to die and leave my children without me; it wasn't and I didn't. I hope my kids turn out okay despite all I/we do to screw them up; so far, so good.
But there are also things I've hoped for that didn't turn out so well. I hope my husband figures out what he needs to and doesn't leave the church; he left. I hope my parents get divorced (as a child); they didn't. I hope someone asks the right question so I can finally tell someone about what's going on in my life that's so horrible and that I'm so scared to talk about; no such luck.
I think I've worked through those disappointments. Sometimes they still bite me in the backside, but mostly I'm okay.
And then there's my health. I have hoped for answers for so long. I tried so many things, and hoped that they would work, only to be devestated when they didn't. In fact, it was harder to try something and not have it work than to just not try. So I would go for a long time without trying anything because I couldn't take the disappointment. I would just try to find a way to manage my life in the state I was in. I had accepted the fact that I would probably not ever really feel any better. I was moving on in that mindset.
But then something happened. In a routine yearly physical my bloodwork came back with a problem. A giant spike in my cholesteral. Now just let me tell you, I wasn't nearly as worried about this as the doctors seemed to be. I had a sneaking suspicion that it had something to do with the fact that I'd eaten almost nothing except an entire bag of potato chips the day before the test (apparently a 12-hour fast isn't enough to make up for a bag of potato chips). But they were concerned. So a few months later (last week, to be precise) we did a follow up test.
Knowing I was going to have this follow up, I was more careful about my diet. Low and behold, the cholesteral was back down to a safe level.
But something else showed up. My blood test showed that my thyroid was not functioning properly. Now, this is something that we'd suspected many times over the years, because of the severe fatigue. I'd had many blood tests and none of them had even been questionable in this regard. And then, BAM!, this one shows a problem.
I had a moment of hesitation. A moment in which I didn't dare hope. What if I believed this new medication would help and it didn't? How could I go through that again?
But hope is an amazing thing. The hesitancy was only for a minute. Then I rejoiced. I was thrilled. I am filled to the brim with hope. My life could be normal again -- okay, my health could be normal.
Hoping is a risk; but it's a risk I'm willing to take.