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Overdrawn

Written by: Rachel February 09 2012 The nurse on the phone uses positive language and a cheerful tone as she delivers the results of my glucose screening, but the plain truth of it is that I have not passed. Only one point above the limit, but that is enough to get me pulled over on...

Written by: Rachel

The nurse on the phone uses positive language and a cheerful tone as she delivers the results of my glucose screening, but the plain truth of it is that I have not passed. Only one point above the limit, but that is enough to get me pulled over on the blood sugar highway, blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror. I am to report to the lab within two weeks' time so they can double, triple, quadruple check my levels and stamp me either A-OK or Gestationally Diabetic. I wonder when I will possibly find a day with three hours free for poking and prodding and waiting and waiting and waiting. Then I promptly feel guilty for not worrying about my health first, or—hello—about the health of the baby who is relying on all that sugary blood swimming around in my veins for proper growth. What about him?

Still, Ishuffle through my planner with a furrowed brow.

A few days later, in a dingy room with a rotating spectacle of specimens being delivered and deposited from people young and old, I sit and do battle with my head noise. Mentally I am tallying the undone tasks that are piling up on the side as I sit and sit and sit and the minutes tick by on the clock on the wall. This is important, of course, of course. But the tasks are also important. (Everything is important.)

There is another pregnant woman there with me for the long haul, but we don't speak. We watch each other with covert and half-lidded stares as we drink the same syrup and cross our legs this way and then that. We both read books to pass the time, silent and shifting. Each hour on the hour we trudge back to find a nurse who slides a needle into our veins to draw our blood and draw it again and again and again until there is enough data to diagnose us or exonerate us, depending on our levels of saturation. But I don't need a test to tell me that I am saturated. I feel it keenly as I try to keep up with all that crowds my days and nights and in betweens. Too much, there is too much. Forgotten curriculum night at school, a ballet leotard left at home, deadlines missed, bills accidentally dropped behind the couch cushions and forgotten, past due. Turns out we're not that different, my insulin and I—both of us struggling to take care of the steady stream of responsibility headed our way. And now we've both stopped to say: too much.

Afull-time job, a husband, a house, twothree kids and more. Blessings above and beyond, but also a swirling chaos of life that ebbs and flows with its mess and schedules and plans for the future and potential for not passing the tests that measure our worth in big things and in small.

I face most days believing that I can do all the things. I can work the job and maintain the house and raise the kids and grow a baby and have my life in order and everything will be fine, it will all be fine. But then there are times when the beast that lurks in the dark corners of my head rears up and drowns out all my thoughts with his terrible, deafening roar:YOUARENOGOOD. And when he is there, all the other words are lost and nothing can break through the noise he creates. Hush, beast, Ithink as Idrift off to sleep at night and rise in the morning, knowing that if I say it enough, he will eventually cease shouting and the good that sustains me will find its way back to the surface where I can follow it through the fog and into the light.

But until that happens, I wait.

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