This is going to be one of THOSE posts. What could you possibly mean, Lisa? You’re always so damn entertaining.
One of those posts.
Oh, one of those emo posts where you bitch and moan about the world, Lisa. Yeah, I’m out; or, at least I would be if I weren’t you.
I’m noticing something of late. I must not be a particularly fun person to be around, as no one in my circle of 1.5 friends wants to actually hang out with me. Friend 1 never feels it’s worth her time to go 5 minutes out of her way to pick me up to go somewhere with her. She must not enjoy my society much at all, and I keep wondering if it wasn’t for the fact we both feed the strays by a doctor”s office if she’d extract herself completely. She threatens to leave me with no friends occasionally when she gets exasperated.
Friend .5 only contacts me when she wants something. And she’s given to telling small lies, but it makes me a little nervous, because in my past liars have caused me problems. She even goes by a different name to her inner sanctum. I’m sure it’s because of a painful past, but I’m still wary. I know she wouldn’t intentionally hurt me, and has helped me a few times.
Friend 0 and I haven’t talked in months, but even if we did talk it would be a one-sided convo. If she really needed something, I’d help her out since we’ve known each other since we were 15. She did something to me it would be hard to forgive. I think and hope she knows I’d never do what she accused me of doing. If I had to guess who did it, my guess would be one of the people she unintentionally made enemies with during the hurricane. Someday she may contact me out of necessity or loneliness.
I just felt the need to vent. Thanks for listening.
I like to blame my mother for my personality disorder. She’s dead, so she won’t take it personally; besides, it’s traditional in psychiatry. My father, the drunken spermatozoa, no doubt helped, but I never met him. His absence gives him a free pass, and he is also dead. I suppose I could blame God for making me of a species that desires companionship. The fact that I’m human sometimes makes it hard to distinguish the blur between pathology and normalcy.
If you turn back time to the 2010-2011 me documented on this blog, my life and strife was my mother. I wish she were still with me. I miss her unconditional love very much. There are no substitutions. Everyone else pales in comparison. BUT. She didn’t prepare me for this world. Maybe it was that I was her only child, but she insisted on doing everything for me, and if she didn’t, I probably asked her to do it for me. Maybe it was the two years I completely isolated myself from people my own age, ages 13-15, and I just never caught back up socially.
What’s the point of this post? Besides killing time waiting for the maintenance guy to put some freon in my air conditioner, I guess it’s just to say that I’m miserable, and thought I’d bring everyone along for the kill-joy ride. My main problem, besides it being 85 degrees in my apartment, is my fear of my friend abandoning me. I got really upset over the weekend, she berated me, which made everything far worse, so I stayed in be for a couple of days. I fed the strays by my house, but I didn’t feed the strays by a doctor’s office.. I think those cats get fed everyday, or virtually everyday by the doctor, but it was still bad of me not to go. She won’t forgive me and I feel lost without her. I just feel terrible and weepy. I feel like life is hopeless without her, and that’s probably my personality disorder. We talked all the time and she’s virtually withdrawn from me. It’s driving me crazy like when my ex-roommate (ca. 2012, for those of you following along at home) would give me the cold shoulder.
Kinda sorta maybe wondering if I’m going to die like my mother did. I got a cold in early October and only got over it after two weeks. But did I get over it? I was hoarse and sometimes still coughed. Now I’m coughing a lot more and feel a little bad. Maybe I just have another cold. Or AIDS. Or lung cancer. Or pneumonia waiting to poison my blood.
Someone once said I’d die by 48 if I kept eating the way I do. I’d write it off, but he did predict my mother’s death. He knew she was dying. He said to me as I visited him, “Are you and your mother OK? Have either of you been to the doctor?” “My mother has a cold is all,” I said. I’m sure he sensed a death imminent. I caught my mother’s cold. My mother, however, was dead within a couple of weeks of sepsis from pneumonia. Coincidence maybe, but he had predicted things to me several times before. I’m only 35 now, heading fast for 36.
I did something bad the other day, and maybe karma is about to bitch slap me for it. I was at Wal-Mart with my friend one night and after dark is when things at Wal-Mart get all peopleofwalmart.com. As I looked for cans of Friskies and cat litter, a couple came up to me. They reeked of cigarette smoke, even the woman who appeared pregnant ( but hey, my mother smoked while I was in the oven and look how great I turned out!).
“Oh we hate to ask you this, it’s soooo embarrassing but we’re stuck here and we’re out of gas. All we have is a Wal-Mart gift card for $100.00 that my mom gave us to come visit her, but the Wal-Mart gas station is closed. We’ll sell you our gift card for $60.00 and prove it’s got a 100.00 balance on our phone,” said the distressed damsel. Then she reiterated how embarrassing it all was.
I knew they wanted drugs. I knew the Murphy gas station was wide open at 9 pm and were it not, the gift card might be usable there anyway at the pump. I also knew that the balance on the gift card really was $100.00 because they let me hear the balance on their phone. I looked through my purse, had $49.00 in cash and bought it for that amount. Maybe they really needed help. Or maybe I just helped a mom make her kid a crack baby. I’d probably still buy that gift card if they approached me again since I don’t really know, which makes me scared I’ve become a terrible human being deserving death.
Other than me possibly dying and ending up on a permanent vacation in a much hotter climate, I’m OK. How are you?
It’s not been a good 24 hours. I’m anxious and feel as though my life is over, which is stupid …I hope. All I can think of is “What if he doesn’t forgive me?”
My Soul Brother has two Chinese pugs. One is an ‘unaltered’ black male pug. He likes me A LOT. I’ll call him Stan to protect his dog anonymity. My first encounter with Stan after my mother’s death resulted in him trying to make love to me via my arm. His good lady wife, I’ll call her Maude, was in heat and it gave Stan an affection for her and every living thing around her. It was actually a good bit of comic relief from my terror and grief (it was a week after my mom went to the Great Beyond). Thankfully, once Maude ‘cooled’ he stopped. But he always wanted to be with me. At the time I thought it was my award-winning personality.
Later, when I moved in, I was sure I was going to be put back out when Soul Bro told me I shouldn’t be letting his dog sleep with me in case he started marking. But I wasn’t put out.
The other day, Soul Bro approached me again and told me to push Stan away for a couple of weeks and finally admitted why the dog liked me so much.
“It’s your feminine odor, but it’s the same with any female.”
Ugh. Great. So I resolved to rebuff Stan getting near me for exactly two weeks. But that didn’t last too long, because later that day I got upset by something The Partner did. The Partner is Soul Bro’s partner, a man who dislikes me, but the feeling is mutual. Soul Bro, being the dear soul he is, relaxed the rules so I could cry on Stan’s wrinkled shoulder so to speak.
The next day I asked if I should start pushing Stan away. “Nah, he’s OK. He’s a smart dog.”
But Stan’s behavior continued. and the night before last, Stan started to whimper when I wouldn’t pay him mind. I should have known pushing Stan away was back when Soul Bro took him back to his bedroom and shut himself up with the dog. I should have known, but I’m so ignorant.
So yesterday, sigh, Stan was beside me again and Soul Bro called him to go lay down with him (Soul Bro wasn’t feeling well). I quickly pushed the dog down when Stan refused to go with his master. Right back up there, Stan jumped, so I pushed him right back down. But it was too late. Soul Bro was angry at me. “See? This was what I was trying to tell you if you EVER let him sit beside you!” And he slammed his bedroom door.
I was afraid. Soul Bro has told me before that short of me killing him, there was nothing I could do to make him not want to be my friend. But I’m so scared. He’s my only family now and if he stays mad, what will I do? I love him so much, so I always try to please him, but I honestly didn’t mean to do anything. I hate myself. I even hate my vagina. This has made me Chaz Bono!
So like I used to, I went to bed and slept to get away from my problems. I dreamed about my mom giving me a beautiful Christmas Barbie doll. Then my mom died, I went to the Appalachians and was rejected by relatives. But then I look for dolls in a flea market, find out that Dolly Parton is my real mom, and she has the same Barbie that my mom gave me except in a different colored dress. Then I dream I’m peeing blood. The end.
At one point, I heard Soul Bro and The Partner up at midnight. I went and got a hello from both when I spoke, but as soon as the show was over, Soul Bro left without a word. I’m terrified he’s still mad and will want me to move when the lease is up. I don’t want to even imagine life without my Soul Brother.
I want to go to the parade tomorrow alone, but I’m worried what might happen to me or my mom once I’m set out to fend for myself.
Nightmare Scenario I: I go to the parade, but as my mother is driving home from dumping me, she has the misfortune of:
a.) being run down by a Mack truck
b.)having a heart attack
c.) being murdered
You choose the scenario you like the best, but the point is she is deceased…and it all could’ve been prevented had I just gone to the parade with her less than enthusiastic self in tow.
I am alone. I can’t even afford to bury or cremate my mom. There is no money except my $674.00 every month, and the cats and I are soon hungry and evicted. My friend takes me and the cats in,thankfully, but I yearn to live on my own for the first time. I give up thoughts of love and all my dreams. There is nothing to live for but my cats, because my friends and everyone might not need me. I am a burden.
Nightmare Scenario II: I fall dead.
But I so want to go alone! If I do I’ll let you know…If I don’t, well, guess you’ll know too!
Ophelia: O woe! If only outrageous fortune spared me from Parade’s earthly delight and I knew whither I goest toward danger or iniquity. Harsh, bitter, agonizing fate! Mayhap I ought to not frolic among Danish princes, either, given their penchant to be douches. O woe, I die!
Apparently ‘A’ can be for a lot of things. ‘A’ is everywhere and a lot of words in the English language begin with said letter. Aardvark, author, anger, abortion. The possibilities for Topic A are endless. What should I write about? Angst? Art? Though I have an articulate, absorbing, awesome article on Planned Parenthood somewhere, I think “A is for Abortion (but Not A Lot of Abortions)” would be sort of off putting for the casual blog surfer. I feel sort of like Hester Prynee guest starring on Sesame Street.
So how do I cast my reel into the blogosphere, hoping for an abundance of readers adept at commenting and all? I guess I will just stick to my area of expertise. I’ll give you a hint. It starts with an ‘A.’ 7 letters…
Yes, my area of expertise is anxiety. And how! But how, you may ask yourself, is said author an expert at anxiety?
Can she treat anxiety? No.
Can she show the audience how to deal with anxiety? No, not really.
Can she show someone HOW TO be anxious? Why, yes. Yes I can. You see, unlike many people who claim, “Like, OMG, I am so OCD! LOLz” I am the genuine, authentic article. This may overwhelm you a bit at the state of being in the presence of such authenticity, like seeing a rare bird or someone from Glee. I understand. Don’t let me overwhelm you too much, sisteren and brotheren. While you’re catching your breath and resting here, let me fill you in on a little trade secret of “Being OCD.” Psst. Now don’t tell anyone I said this, but the key to “Being OCD” is realizing you aren’t OCD. You don’t be obsessive-compulsive disorder, you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. I know what you’re thinking, “You say tomato,” right? Or maybe, “OMG, there’s that OCD.” I’m just telling you this for clarification. Personally, I don’t care as long as you know there’s a difference you may “OCD yourselves” on with my blessing.
So how can you be anxious like me? How can you perfect OCD and SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder)? In other words, how can one obsess like me? I’ll give you 5 examples and call it a day:
1.) First thing in the morning, before anything else, check your face for hair. Eh, what the hell, even away from a mirror feel for it, feel for it, feeeeel for it, any time your hands aren’t busy and no one’s looking. The checking and pulling are the compulsions. The thinking about it is the obsession. If you’re really good at the anxiety having you’ll take one man’s comments (who is a known asshat) and hold on to it for, what, 5 years or more and make it your “No one will ever love me, why God whyyyyy?! emo soundtrack forever and ever. Fun! Sure your chin hurts, but the price of beauty, right? Y’ou’ll think, “Why couldn’t I hold on to his comment about when I jump in the pool all the water splashes out?” But noooo. You love pizza too much. Oh, and then make sure to blame yourself because you’re you were the lucky 1 in 10,000 that that particular drug stops your period (great for swimming, though).
2.) Believe in the worst case scenario. Always. Your mom late? She’s probably just dead. Found a bump on you? It’s just cancer. Afraid you might go crazy one day? No worries. You’ll probably just become a serial killer. Amazingly enough, though, one’s mind adjusts to the belief that the worst is going to happen, so you handle actual crises like minor annoyances.
3.) Believe everyone is mad at you or are about to be mad at you and will NEVER forgive you. You’ll try to find an offense in your mind. Sometimes you break down and ask, but you mainly try to hide that you’re that afraid of making someone mad or upset. Case in point: Dude unsubscribes from my blog ( this was in my early days of blogging). What a relief it was to know that he wasn’t mad at me, he just thought my writing sucks! ( I actually think that experience helped me become a better writer, though you wouldn’t know it from this post).
4.) Believe everything bad that happens is somehow in a round about way your fault. A secret gets told. You start to think other people think it was you who told. Then you start wondering yourself if you told the secret somehow. Math problem: 3 people lose their blogs that you follow. If you follow all 3 blogs, why did they lose their blogs ? (Remember to show your work!) Yes, I really believed that somehow it was my fault until someone told me the truth. And the fun thing is I know all that is irrational.
5.) Believe everyone thinks “stuff” about you. You are walking down a hall. You see someone down the hall coming towards you. You’re afraid if you look at him/her, he/she will think you’re staring at him/her. He/she passes you, you say hello, all the while wondering what that person thinks of you. He’s/ she’s probably wondering who the next person will be to leave Idol, but you believe he’s/she’s busy thinking “There’s that weirdo” or there’s that ‘tard and why is she looking at me?”
Ahhhh, the catharsis of blogging. If any of you need more help being anxious, just let me know and thanks for reading!
Image is this past week’s Magpietales.blogspot writing prompt.There’s a door that separates you from them. It is a cold world outside, snow and ice. You want to go inside and you’re trying to turn the doorknob, but the door is locked, turn and pull as you may. As though God mocks you, there are glass windowpanes in the door. You see everything going on inside the illuminated room. But they can’t see you. You bang on the door and try to break the glass, anything to make them hear you. You now feel as though you aren’t real. Are they a figment of your imagination or are you a figment of theirs, a random irksome thought consigned to the dregs of someone’s mind soon to be forgotten altogether? Look at them, look how the beautiful people reside in there. They are perfection, they are you if you could stop being you. If you could have done anything you wanted, if you could have been loved…
“Oh sweet and gracious heavens! What is this crap?” asks Nervous Nelly, looking over your shoulder.
“You know what I mean. THIS IS CRAP!”
Well, crap seems a bit harsh. I was trying for a delicate, sensitive piece about…
Um no. So I am feeling a bit down and thought I would impart my sorrows on my blog. That isn’t a crime is it?”
“It is when you write CRAPPP! And W. T. F. is it with this writing in the second person shit? You this, you that, YOU CRAP!”
Well, thought it would be different and doused in melancholy it would be poetic and….
Yeah, whatever, Sybil.
‘Oh, woe is me, I’m turning 33, and I still haven’t lost my virginity.
My life’s a mess, Oh distress! Oh distress!
OCD and melancholy in an ugly dress!
Even Jesus Christ, at age 33 could walk across the sea,
but alas not me, never me,
I haven’t saved anybody.”
I’m not that bad of a poet! You protest, but Nervous Nelly continues to fuss about addressing yourself as ‘you.’
And then the swinging doors to the ER open. Cue music similar to the theme of Tales from the Crypt -only similar though since The Network doesn’t want to be sued.A young blond nurse calls The Patient to her doom, but she must go by the man who collects the insurance info and gives out the bracelets first.I have Medicaid, ” states The Patient, the slightest tune of joyous angels singing hallelujah come into the background. (As we at the network have said before, we commit to diversity, and what’s more diverse than seeing how the other half lives in penury? One needs a ghettoish/trailerish patient every other episode to pull at the heart-strings).“OK,” he says, only giving a second’s glance at the envelope The Patient brandishes before him that contains her Medicaid card. He affixes a paper bracelet with her name on it. Apparently they don’t use plastic ones anymore. They don’t make anything like they used to we suppose, but maybe that’s the fault of the props department. Well, whatever…Let us proceed.
The Patient and her mother are led into a small room where we see our protagonist subjected to her temperature taken; it’s 100 F. Her pulse is over 100 too, but the nurse says “Perhaps that’s because you’re nervous about being here.” (Quick! Someone call out ‘Bingo.’ American audiences really dig the stating of the obvious). The blood pressure is still pressuring, so we see some foreshadowing of The Patient living out the rest of this episode without flatlining, but you never can really tell with these shows. Keep watching!
More dramatic music as the nurse begins a barrage of questions. Are you pregnant? Do you use drugs or alcohol? Are you sexually active? The questions are each answered in a droning tone, “No.”We now hear a voice-over of The Patient saying in her mind, If only my life were so interesting.
“Do you have any medical conditions?” the nurse questions.
The Patient feels ‘IT’ must be stated, her constant friend who is always with her, whether ‘IT ‘ hangs out in the background or screams to the point of drowning The Patient out. “Um I do have a problem.” The words rush forth. “I have OCD and I’m terrified of going to doctors in case they find something wrong with me and I’d rather not know. That’s why I haven’t been to the doctor before now.” During this startling revelation, one that would make the incestuous secrets revealed in V.C. Andrews novels pale in comparison, we hear soap opera-type of music. The nurse is kind and reassures The Patient that things will be just fine….and then The Cup is produced. A flourish of dramatic music as the nurse announces she needs a specimen and points The Patient to the restroom down the hall. The Patient goes towards this sanctuary but she finds herself thwarted. Organ music, the sort used in silent movies to denote villains and dastardly deeds plays at intervals. A young cleaning woman and her cart is blocking the entrance. She stares down The Patient, who granted isn’t sporting her most charming-about-to-meet-God-dying-swan-look. Her curly hair is sticking straight up reminiscent of Einstein. The Patient, tall and plump, is the diminutive one, not quite sure how to handle this situation. She, unable to meet the eye of anyone for more than a couple of moments stared more towards the bathroom than directly at her obstacle. The camera pans out a bit and goes back and forth between nemesises, sounding the organ at each point.
Finally our heroine speaks. “Is the bathroom closed?”
“You need in here?”
The woman moves her cart out of the way, and The Patient thanks her. This is a public service message tucked into the script interpreted as, “Just because you’re among the walking dead doesn’t mean your manners should also be on their last legs too.” We expect this idea to be so popular it will span generations, be woven into samplers, and sell many Blu-Ray discs.
The Patient heads towards the handicapped stall preferred by most portly women when not needed. At The Network, we want to get a reward for positive portrayals of mentally ill persons, but sometimes an artist must pursue the artistic muse, that fire of creativity, which results in a crude sketch of Howard Hughes incarnated into the mind of our heroine.
The patient unscrews the cap. “What is it that makes capturing your own urine in a container so fascinating?” says the voiceover of The Patient. We hear a tinkling of piano keys and cymbals to drown out the sound of The Patient voiding. She fastens the lid on her handiwork, washes her hands and the bottle for good measure, then out into the frightening world of the hospital once again.
Conferring around the writers and producers of ER, we come to the conclusion that Emily Post never mentioned manners or propriety in regards to brandishing urine specimens in front of a live studio audience. We decide to have The Patient conduct herself with discretion in the matter (after all, we’re hoping she’ll win an Emmy). The Patient hides her ‘prize’ with both hands holding it in a vise against her stomach. We infer her thoughts in the matter as thus: “If the golden hue of regular urine be offensive to the eye, perhaps this color will be twice as bad.” The secret liquid in her hands, at the risk of sounding vulgar, looks as though one has mixed Red Bull energy drink with tea. This is partly due to a urinary analgesic that she uses and the disease itself.
A small office is where The Patient is shown to give her contribution. A plump African-American woman accepts the gift by telling her to set the cup down in the sort of plastic tray they give hospital patients to spit. (A little note from the writers and producers of the show: As we at The Network have stated before, we are committed to diversity, blah blah, etc., but the head writer feels that unless the person of color is speaking Swahili, has a Jamaican accent, or can mimic Flava Flav, to describe every person who isn’t WASPy “seems kinda racist, kinda.” So we only offer up one token African-American to show our commitment to whatever we committed to, but there are actually three in this series. In other words, we are afraid we would sound racist when we didn’t mean to be).
Flava Flav of Public Enemy
He isn’t just a brother,
He is THE BROTHER!
Then the blond nurse leads her to her room. “Taps” is playing in the background now. The Patient sits down on her bed and the nurse brings her a gown. “You need to take your shirt and bra off and put on this in case he needs am x-ray ….”
“WHAT?!” cries our heroine. We hear the sound of a banging down of keys on a piano. “Is that routine?” The Patient’s voice shows an escalating panic, which makes one curious whether she will run away, collapse, or maybe even fight.
“It’s just in case,” the nurse reassures her and leaves. It appears this episode ER is quickly turning into Girls Gone Wild: Hospital Edition. But no, the actress who plays The Patient wishes to be seen as tasteful; therefore, she exudes to the audience the modesty of Botticeli’s Venus as she quickly dons the hospital gown.
A male nurse comes in and introduces himself. Wow, he doesn’t even seem gay, thinks The Patient (Diversity strikes again! A male nurse AND not even gay. Take that, Stereotypes! Mind you if I had any say in character development, I’d have him so campy people would think he’s the incantation of Liberace or a character from La Cage Aux Follies…Just saying). He tells them that the doctor will be there shortly and that The Patient could watch TV until then.
The TV is flat screen and can be pulled up close by a patient waiting for the doctor to come and pronounce her dead. Voiceover says, “This wouldn’t be such a bad place to stay if a doctor isn’t around to mess with you.” The Patient has no interest in watching TV, but mindlessly flipping through the channels as her mind ponders deep thoughts is something to do. Oh Ellen is on. Flip, flip, flip. Wonder what Scott would do in such a situation as this, she thinks of a fellow blogger with OCD who doesn’t seem totally !@#$%^ by being afraid of everything unlike herself. He wouldn’t have waited long enough to be compelled to go to the ER instead of a doctor, you dumbass. He wouldn’t think he had diabetes/kidney failure/ cancer/AIDS. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. Then her thoughts flip channel and she thinks of all the times she’s wished she was dead in passing. Oh. No. I DIDN’T MEAN IT GOD! What if it’s true that you have to be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. What if I’m about to get what I deserve, and…..and……
….And the doctor comes in shutting off all irrational and rational thought. “I’m Dr. Boring,” he announces good-naturedly over dramatic musical chords.
Dr. Boring… Are you for real?
We at the Network feel we should interject here that once Clooney left the show, we had some trouble getting A List talent. But then we couldn’t even get C List writers after the show was cancelled, and yet we defiantly kept recording . Hence we have characters named Dr. Boring and The Patient. Que sera, and if you don’t like it, change the channel. Some station somewhere must be playing Saved by the Bell. By the way, anyone have Screech’s porn effort? Anyone? No? Oh, well, my friend, The Rodrigo, has a super crush on him, but never mind.
Dr. Boring has been informed that The Patient has OCD and a phobia of doctors that’s bigger than the state of California, but he seems like such a kind soul. The Patient says for fear of causing offense, “It’s not that I don’t like doctors. I’m afraid of knowing I have some terrible disease…I’d rather just not know.” May the audience agree there’s nothing more silly than an avoidant personality, great material though perhaps?
“May I listen to your breathing?” Dr. Boring doesn’t want to freak out the nice mentally unstable patient. No sudden furious ‘doctoring,’ for which The Patient is extremely grateful. He listens to her lungs and seems not to be disturbed at his findings. And then…
The results are in! Cue drumroll! And the winner of America’s Got a Kidney Infection issssssssss The Patient! Cue confetti falling. And the award is a generic antibiotic prescription! “You can have a follow-up in three days at Dr. Suchnsuch’s office. But,” says Dr. Boring, seeing the fear in The Patient’s eyes. “But you don’t have to.”
“If you aren’t better in a few days come back. The Cypro might not wipe out the infection completely or we may have to do some x-rays to rule out other problems like kidney stones.”
Cue yet another bout of dramatic music as The Patient asks dramatically, “Do you think there’s something terribly wrong with me?”
Dr. Boring is matter of fact. “I don’t think so.”
As the doctor is about to leave, he says to The Mother, “She’s tough staying away this long. Her urine was really dirty.” No doubt The Patient’s mother inwardly beamed with pride.
For more diversity than you could possibly shake a stick at, this part of the show is dedicated with reverence to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., who said in his famous speech, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty I’m free at last!
“I’m free! I’m getting out of this without them finding something terribly wrong with me. Freeeeeeeee!” thinks The Patient, not believing she is going to walk out of those sliding glass doors with minimal trauma. Hallelujahs are sung in the background. The blond nurse’s parting words to The Patient’s thanks is “Remember doctors can help you get better if you do have a disease.”
Whatever! I want to go to McDonald’s drive-thru and get an Orange Lava Burst Hi-C drink and hope I don’t vomit it up.
After the illness
Two weeks later The Patient is telling of her ordeal, and though she now is recovered the memory remains so fresh that she lets not a single droplet of urine pass without inspection for blood. She has also taken to sleeping with a Barbie doll, as though among Barbie’s lengthy resume over the years, warding off urogenital diseases and causing regression in 32 year-olds are new jobs. She omits this last tidbit, sleeping with a Barbie doll due to the general idea that her death is imminent might be a little embarrassing.
“And so what did you learn from this?” ask the therapist
“Well, I learned that I ought to have a doctor…Yes, that I ought to.”
“You should have a doctor. You would feel better knowing you had a clean bill of health.”
“Duly noted,” The Patient replies. “But doubt I will anytime soon.” Cue wacky music that fades out as we enter our final scene.
It turns out that the hospital didn’t file her Medicaid, so they will have to sort it out with the hospital for her “Level 3 care” Level 3? We at The Network would hate to see what Level 1 care would be. A slap on the back and a, “You take care now and don’t die?”
When our heroine looks at the bill that thankfully will be paid for her, she is more than startled. “ $1033.00! MOTHER F-F…”The theme from Psycho plays as we fade to black.
OK, for fear that people think I abandoned the task at hand, I submit another exciting episode of Kidney Wars. It takes me longer to write something than to live it! I decided to switch writing styles from Episode I, inspired by the last paragraph of Episode I. The story remains true as I recall it except for dramatic music and the like. As fond as I am of purple, I think I may go goth and do it all in black for ease of reading except for the intro. Thoughts?
Welcome to my guest appearance on ER. It is a sunny, hot day, the sort of day you expect nothing bad could happen…
Cue dramatic music…
But even on the best of days, the absolute worst can and does happen. The Patient is ambulatory when she arrives in her ghetto/trailer park style van. The van makes a noise, the loud death throes of a wild animal. No doubt even patients in a coma hear and is as effective as the blare of a siren. As the van stops, the brave patient says to the subject with her (The Patient’s mother, a smoker), “Isn’t it stupid they won’t even let someone smoke in their own car?” They both agree, yes, very stupid, Cigarette Nazis and all that…
Which brings us to a commercial break: Insert public service announcement about not smoking, one with the woman without a voice box, because those are particularly freaky. Then an antidepressant commercial that warns as a woman smiles in complete bliss, “Tell your doctor what medicines you’re on and contact your doctor if swelling and nausea appear as this may be a sign of a serious medical condition and can be fatal. Tell your doctor if you contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide.”
And now back to our show! The ambulatory patient and her mother walk in the sliding glass doors, leaving the beautiful sunshine outside, maybe forever. To the reception desk STAT!
The woman at the reception desk is a friendly woman around 60 and she asks The Patient what makes her think she has a kidney infection. “Blood in urine, fever, ache in stomach and back, and I’m weak,” says The Patient.
“Have you ever been a patient here before?”
In the background, more dramatic music, this time starting low and building to a crescendo as the receptionist mournfully says, “Sorry, then you have to fill out this form.”
The Patient says to her mother, “I thought it would be much longer, but it’s only half a page. Will you look it over to see if I did it right.” It seems the patient doesn’t trust her own judgement. Our narrator must stop and shake her head at the 32-year-old patient, but since that isn’t in the script, we must proceed.
Now the patient must find a seat to await her time in the back where all the real dramatic stuff happens on this show. They sit down, but directly behind them hidden by a grey curtain is a heavy drilling sound that puts a patient in mind of having dental work done. One can hear the Spanish-speaking workers yelling over the racket (additions to sets can’t wait until filming is over, plus we at the network wish to show ethnic diversity in our shows anyway, so it all works out in the end). The talking didn’t offend the patient, but the drilling appears to be a bit too taxing for the ailing Patient, so she decides to move.
“We can sit over there,” says The Mother, pointing to a space recently vacated by a mother and her little boy. The Patient looks and immediately rejects the idea, seeing a Diet Coke can and clear plastic cup on the side table. Everyone knows children in emergency rooms are walking Petrie dishes, and The Patient with great wisdom decides not to get near these left over articles from the child, lest his germs jump ship and hop onto the Patient. Finally, The Patient and her mother decide on a seat next to the window.
The Patient and The Subject now may make a survey of the humanity around them. Surprisingly few are here; perhaps it’s too early to cut one’s finger off or drill a hole into one’s hand at work. Perhaps later, but as it stood now, only one young man has somehow injured himself. With surprising adeptness, he jumps about with only one foot, the other injured. A woman in her fifties is rolled into the waiting room by a nurse. She has a rolling suitcase, which she makes certain the nurse puts exactly where she wants it. Eye view, right next to her, but out-of-the-way. A man in his seventies is wheeled in, speaking with a hint of curtness in his replies to his wife. They take the old man back and the wife waits behind. She strikes up a conversation with the woman in the wheelchair and the patient listens to them speak. The older woman introduces herself and the younger woman does in kind. She notices the wheelchair bound woman is cold even though it’s comfortable to The patient. The older woman puts the sweater around the younger and tells her to keep it, she has plenty in the car and at home.Then they proceed to tell each other why they are here.
“I’m trying to get into Hospice,” says the younger woman, as though knowing you have six months to live is only inconvenient and annoying. “My cancer is all over now.”
The patient listens and steals glimpses at the woman. She neither looks healthy or all that unhealthy, she just is there with her long, stringy gray hair and thin frame. Before she admits she has no family around it’s obvious.
Now the older woman tells why she’s here. “They don’t know what’s wrong with my husband. They keep running tests.”
And then the older woman is giving her phone number to the younger.
Curiouser and curiouser. The Patient wishes she was as open as the older woman, as good. Every thought worthy of being told to the audience is done by a voice-over of The Patient in a slightly echoing tone popular in these dramas. The patient has the inclination for being all good and kind and junk, but she finds her voice unequal to the task of constant open magnanimity. If she survives this ordeal, hopefully she will be of better use to others one day.