Sleep was just not happening.
Wrapped in Sam's t-shirt I dragged myself to the cabinet in the bathroom and pulled out some sleeping tablets. I needed sleep if I was getting up for my appointment tomorrow. Shuffling back to the bed I took them with water, put my alarm on and closed my eyes.
"Shit!" I looked at my clock and realised it was ten to nine. I jumped out of bed and swayed slightly before grabbing some pants and a bra and heading to the bathroom to have a wash and brush my teeth. I slipped on a t-shirt and some jeans, grabbed my keys, phone and purse and ran out of the door, locking it hurriedly and then heading as fast as I could to the clinic. I got there, breathless, only a minute or two late. "Cara Gramms." I gasped to the receptionist and then went to take a seat. Trying to catch my breath I glanced at my phone and saw I had several missed calls and texts. Megan had been ringing me last night, and Anna. I'd also got texts from both of them asking where I was and if I was ok.
I sent them both a text saying I was fine and what was up because they'd been trying to get me quite late at night.
"Cara?" I looked up and saw Doctor Weaver in the doorway. "Is your friend not with you?"
"Not today." I smiled and followed her through. I sat nervously in the chair and fiddled with my fingers as she got my files up.
"Well Cara. Have you been eating properly?"
"I've been trying."
"And have all the symptoms continued?"
"You seem a little out of breath."
"I had to run."
"Do you often get out of breath?"
"Only since I stopped dancing as much. I keep meaning to go back. Maybe I will now I'm on holiday." I mused.
"Well Cara, I don't want to alarm you but we want to do some more tests on you."
"More blood?" I gulped.
"Actually there'll be a number of tests."
"Oh." I looked at her blankly for a moment. "Why?"
"Well Cara, until we've taken the tests we can't be sure-"
"Well let's get on with it then." I said, feeling alarm spike through me. I wished Sam was here.
"We can't do these tests here I'm afraid. You'll have to have them in hospital."
"Hospital?" I blinked. "Wha- Why? What is it?"
"As I said, we can't be sure-"
"Tell me!" I cried, alarm spreading.
"Is your friend not coming? I'd rather hoped she'd be with you..."
"Please..." I stared at her. The overwhelming urge to cry was pooling at the corners of my eyes. "Please tell me."
"Well Cara, I don't want you to take this as fact, we could be wrong. But there are signs that you may have kidney problems. They may want to do a kidney biopsy to see if there is a problem but they won't do that until they've done a scan and then if that is clear then I doubt you'll have anything to worry about. It isn't common for someone as young as you to have these problems but we have to be sure. Things like this normally turn out to be something less serious, especially in someone so young. Are you alright?"
"Kidney problems? Like what?"
"Cara, let's just get you tested first. I've made arrangements for you to go to the hospital later today. You have an appointment for half past eleven. Is that ok?"
"That's... that's fine..." I murmured. Kidney problems? What did that mean?
"Are you going to be ok? Do you want me to call your friend...?"
"No. No I'm fine. I'll go to hospital. Thank you." I stood and left without looking back. Kidney problems?
I took a taxi to the hospital and sat in the waiting room until it was almost half past eleven. Then I went and signed in. I hadn't called Sam, I hadn't called Anna. I'd received a text from Anna to say it was nothing, she'd just been a little upset last night but Megan had sorted her out. I'd replied that I was glad and then switched off my phone. I couldn't talk to anyone. I didn't want to. So this was something. This was kidney problems.
Not yet it's not, my inner voice reminded me.
"Miss Gramms?" A doctor was calling.
"Yes. That's me." I stood and followed blindly as he led me down a series of corridors and in to a room with one of those chair/bed thingies. My brain wasn't even concentrating properly. I couldn't believe this was happening.
They scanned my kidneys and I waited anxiously for the results. My brain kept trying to tell me they had it wrong, that it couldn't be. It had to be one of those less serious things the doctor had mentioned. I was too young.
"Miss Gramms, did you hear me?"
I glanced up at the doctor in front of me.
"I'm afraid you have a problem with your kidney's. We'd like to do a biopsy to check the exact nature, but we are pretty sure. And I'm afraid it has proceeded to a later stage than we would hope. It's what we call stage four."
"What... what's that?"
"Well, that's where we have to monitor you closely, every couple of weeks, with blood tests. If it progresses any further, any quicker, which it might, we may be looking at dialysis fairly soon. It's abnormal for someone as young as you..."
His voice faded out of my brain and I stared. I could see his lips moving but no sound penetrated my ears. Dialysis. Oh no, this was happening too fast. Dialysis? Sam... we were supposed to marry, have children... what if I died? What if-
"Miss Gramms? I said is there anyone you'd like to call? You'll have to stay here until we've performed the biopsy, but it shouldn't be too long."
"No. No I'm fine."
"Are you sure? We find it's best-"
"No. Really. I'm fine."
He sighed and nodded.
"I'll be back to fetch you as soon as possible. Try to drink a lot of water."