Déjà vu, from French, literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.
It was a déjà vu day.
Amanda recently had a visit with a new urologist and he ordered an abdominal ultrasound. Okay. That’s easy enough. His office actually does them and we were scheduled for first thing this morning. Just as we were ready to leave the house, the office called to tell us that the ultrasound tech would not be in today and could I reschedule? Drat. I had already made sure to be off work today and had gotten Amanda from her apartment and they wanted us to pick another day. Phooey. A couple of phone calls later and we were able to get it scheduled this morning and actually at another facility that was quite close to our home. The results could be sent to the urologist’s office.
We made the trip to the medical center and waited for our turn. The tech called Amanda’s name and as I looked up at him – SLAM! – I was hit with a mega dose of déjà vu. This was the same tech that did my ultrasound when I was pregnant with Amanda – thirty years ago – at the same hospital.
He recognized me because his family actually was members of my church thirty years ago. During Amanda’s ultrasound we both asked the polite questions back and forth: “How’s your family? How long have you worked here? How have things been?” Etc. I reminded him that “this was where it all began” with our journey down Spina Bifida Lane with Amanda. I told him that I wrote about him in my book, Amanda, Perfectly Made. I remembered our exchange of pleasantries as he scanned me thirty years ago – and said nothing about what he saw. He couldn’t say anything because only the doctor can say what was seen. He certainly had seen Amanda’s hydrocephalus but had to pretend that all was well. So here he is scanning Amanda today – and of course he still can’t say anything. With my nurse’s dose of anatomy classes in my head, I tried to figure out what images his scanning was projecting on the screen. At one point I exclaimed, “Ooo – what is that?” After a brief uncomfortable pause I answered the question myself with, “Oh – you can’t tell me, can you?” “No,” he responded.
I didn’t like today’s dose of déjà vu. I struggled to hold back the flood gate of feelings from thirty years ago when I waited for results after what seemed like a harmless and benign ultrasound. That harmless ultrasound ended up being the informative spark of information that ignited the beginning of Amanda’s diagnosis, and surgeries, and doctors, and … and … and everything. As Amanda and I left the hospital today, I felt like I was dreaming while panic and nausea threatened to surface. The ultrasound tech was like a ghost from the past, coming to haunt me.
I hope not. I hope I’m just being silly.
Psalm 45:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Stupid déjà vu.
That’s all it was, right?
Just déjà vu.