Suddenly a third illness looms, and I am scared and unsettled in strange, contrary ways, hoping for and dreading yet another diagnosis. Time for a professional disease (not this preposterous amateur affliction); a new label, steel blue, rule book cool, with proper treatment options, and above all else: one where fatigue is a side show and not the centre, the crummy sun around which all of life revolves.
The doctor treats my need to lie down half way through consultations as an eccentricity – my own fault, I did ride in on a steed called Rolling Pin, without a saddle. She repeats over several appointments ‘I am sure it is nothing’; another finds the scan alarming. I want it to be nothing (lest something turns out to be life-shortening), I want it to be something (lest nothing means more of the same). I am pathetically, perversely torn, as if I considered wishing a genuine source of influence. What if #3 were the sister who moves to Moscow after all and pulls her hapless siblings in her trail; the blazer who, sickle in hand, cuts paths through medical undergrowth, carves gates in walls, marches ahead with go-getting, new sight-setting good sense? What if she falters, sprawls with the other two on a bed that is much too small?