Something Big happened. I went to an appointment by myself!
Okay, so I was dropped at the door and my Mum and nephew waited in the car for me. And it was the dentist, not the doctors. But this was a big deal; without even diving into the topic of the pandemic and shielding.
This isn’t about it being the dentist – I don’t mind going at all. It’s about doing something by myself!
I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere by myself. It would have been pre-pandemic and pre-2020-relapse.
So this was big! I might be 33 but I don’t live the life one would expect a 33 year old to live, for the most part.
I wasn’t meant to be going alone. But obstacles got in the way (rescheduled appointments, a broken-down car, staff sickness, and chicken pox, to name just a few!)
I get to have a lot of ‘Second Firsts’ since being chronically ill; the first time of doing something after a long period of not being able to. That’s not normal for most adults. It’s a strange silver lining and nicer consequence of the life I have to live, and it’s something that I’m really, really grateful for. I think Holly Moscrop has a post on this too.
‘Second Firsts’ are something I cherish and appreciate far more than I ever could have the first time round. I have no recollection of the first time I ever went to the dentist by myself pre-M.E. I lived an independent life up until 21. It didn’t even register as A Noteworthy Thing back then; it was likely just part of a week of other Non-Noteworthy Things.
But I can remember the first time I went to the dentist by myself after becoming unwell. Then my health dipped again and I either couldn’t go at all or someone always took me. And then there was another first time again. And now another.
My favourite ‘Second First’ was Operation Ice Cream in 2013. See the smiley face in the photo below? That’s the smile of someone who never thought they’d get to do those things by themselves again.
So this was just a mundane dentist check up. Except it wasn’t. It was momentous. For me at least. Another first after a long time of not imagining this level of independence would be possible. Who knows if I’ll be able to go by myself to the next appointment. Who cares! This was such a nice little triumph for me.