Friday, 5 April 2013


Back in the Before, I rarely worried about anything. What will be, will be. That truly was what I believed.
“What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

I don’t know whether this was the arrogance of Youth, or simply the confidence of a person who had not yet experienced any life-shaking events. But, of course, one day the worst thing did happen, and it shook that little belief system to its foundations.

Since then I appear to have become a world class worrier.
It would be nice if worrying actually resulted in something in terms of action. But no. I simply freeze and become overcome with inertia.

It also doesn’t help having just married a man who does this sort of thing on a regular basis.

Note the high-tech safety Birkenstocks, invisible head protection and Kevlar walking shorts...
It did nothing for my blood pressure to look out of the window one afternoon and find him doing that.
Nursing the two broken ribs that resulted helped even less. Thinking about what could have happened if he hadn’t managed to throw the chainsaw out of the danger zone before the ladder fell makes me feel physically sick.

And yes, we have had words about it!

I rarely worry about myself physically though, other than a vague concern about what the long-term future might hold. Seeing my Mum struggle with the slow onset of Alzheimer’s, I worry about losing my marbles and my dignity, but hardly ever about physical illnesses or problems.

So when my 50th birthday coincided with my first ever invitation for a mammogram, it provided a whole new opportunity for worry. I have seen the awful and devastating effects of breast cancer at close hand among my friends, but since there has been no incidence in my family as far as I am aware, it had previously escaped my worry radar.

Older friends also had no hesitation in telling me horror stories about squashed and painful boobs during screening, which didn’t help at all either. I am a complete wuss about this sort of thing, and I’m not afraid to admit it!

I did find it completely surreal that the screening would be done in the back of a lorry on Tesco’s car park. But in the event, the lorry proved to be something of a Tardis, and I was welcomed in by a kindly and efficient lady who bore a very striking resemblance to Claire Rayner, thus increasing the surrealism quotient severalfold.

And of course waiting for the results was equally fraught with worry, despite the fact I had given the issue barely a moment’s thought for the previous n years. Three weeks later, however, I am very happy to report that my lovely postman arrived this morning to deliver the all-clear letter. So that’s that then. I can stop worrying about that.

At least until 3 years’ time when I am invited for screening again.