Ocdbloggergirl's Blog: OCD, Life, and Other Misunderstandings

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Tubesteak with Habanero Sauce; or, How OCD Killed My Love Life — January 25, 2012

Tubesteak with Habanero Sauce; or, How OCD Killed My Love Life

About  a week ago,  I went with my friend on our second solo dining experience. You know who I mean, the one who likes showing affection with his tongue as the Continentals do. As I have said before, this guy has the distinct honor of being my first date and my first French kiss. My life before my mother’s death was a bit uneventful in its solitude.  

I’ve known this guy off and on since third grade and have off and on liked him since about the fourth grade. When he gave me the surprise kiss and even more surprising tongue, I thought, Hey for the first time someone I could like likes me back! Winning!

This last excursion began with  Mexican food, and I have a big  steak.  We both have a touch of Habanero sauce, a green pepper sauce that is hot as hell. We have blue margaritas, another new experience that are tasty for alcohol. The drink goes to my head and before long I’m exclaiming, “Oh shit!” – at what, I don’t  quite recollect, but I have enough of my wits to feel a hint of embarrassment. Neither am I so buzzed that the running commentary in my head doesn’t play. Why is he interested in me?, I keep asking myself. I’m so shy, my conversation isn’t funny or fascinating, and I am less than average in looks. Could he have liked me all this time and waited for a proper time to act on it?

We are home and  I know he will try to kiss me again when we get to the door. I try to suppress my giddiness on the way. “Come here,” he says, just as he did before, like he’s going to give me a hug. This time I know his modis and am preparing myself. I’m going to kiss him back this time or die trying.

Now we’re going to count down all the first times in this one…

I manage to tuck my tongue under his in his mouth and leave it there for a couple of seconds, all necessary and proper.  When I retreat to  my tongue’s natural station, I say “Heh, well at least this time I got my tongue in too.”

I find myself relieved when his tongue returns to my mouth in a way which needs no reciprocation from me. It is a kind dispensation of heaven for a socially anxious woman to have a kiss with a guy whose tongue would be the envy of the Geico Gecko. And herein comes another first, he’s copping a feel of my breasts. Cupping them  and pressing me against him, and then, he caresses my bottom – another first. I want to discern whether his pole is raised to attention, but short of grabbing him or applying continuous pressure with my pelvis, which I don’t have the balls to do in either case, I decide I must not look either. It’s as though he’s trying to lift me. “Um, I’m rather heavy and we’re practically making babies in the hall.”

His solution is to pull me under the stairway conveniently next to the fire extinguisher lest we get too hot. More kissing with his tongue. Oh look here, he’s nibbling on my ear. A first! And there he is kissing my neck, another first!  I dare to look into his eyes once or twice and he indeed looks as though he actually wants to have me, devour me even.

Then he asks that question every gal dreams of hearing: “Do you have a ‘fuck buddy,’ Lisa?”

“Um no…I’m still a virgin.”

“I have a couple of them.”

“Who are they?” I ask, thinking GERMS!

“Nevermind about that,” he says. “Do you want to be my ‘fuck buddy?'”

I am not aroused because I’m too shy to be aroused being pressed against the wall.   So that’s why he’s interested. Oh.

I actually think about it.  I’m 34 years-old and my flower is wilted and gathering dust.  I say that I might let him have dessert one day as long as he has protection to keep from having a  Junior running around. I am giddy and want to hurry off lest Wilt Chamberlain  here tries to gain entry  when a neighbor might walk by.

I’m excited and happy that I am desired, the margarita still numbing my senses. I tell Soul Bro and we are giggly. It’s after I wake in the night that the tears come. I thought he  had feelings for me. Nah, he just needed another fuck buddy to go with his harem. Waaaah!

The next day I talk to Soul Bro, crying even though we are having a bowl. I want to divest myself of my virtue, but by someone who doesn’t love me? I don’t want to die a virgin. I don’t want to die alone. I mail him with a “when and where,” but several hours later seeing that he hasn’t responded, I write,  “Nevermind, I’m chicken.” I hope he will write back, but he doesn’t. Feeling my impending old age and ultimate death, plus the fact that I want Wilt in my life whatever way, I make another bid on Facebook, declaring “Fuck it. I’m tired of being a virgin.” That gets an answer and he agrees to Friday night.

Taking my best girlfriend’s advice, as well as my therapist’s, and casting it to the wind, I am ready for my virtue to die. My girlfriend tried to convince me I’m not worthless and that  I will meet someone someday. Noted, but life is such a damn transient thing, and unless I start hanging out with mutes, I will be at a disadvantage in the dating world. My therapist also had similar objections, plus the whole ‘fuck buddy’ thing being crass. Yeah. But I am resolved.

Then Team OCD decides to ruin any chance of me ever getting any. Ugh. 

My Soul Brother has made me up nicely – eyeliner, sparkly eyeshadow, and everything…when I get the call. Wilt’s tire blew out on the way to buy condoms and he will have to cancel. “I’ll get it fixed first thing in the morning,” he says.  

I decide to  ask him then the questions I felt must be asked before I let anyone into where no man’s ever gone before.

Perhaps if I had left it at “Do you have any STD’s?” this story would have a  happy ending. But no. I ask him if he has a medical encyclopedia’s worth of diseases, even if he has sores near his  genitals. 

Oops. Apparently, that’s not a turn on. But it  get’s worse.

“I know we’re not in a relationship or anything, but you won’t just drop me one day, right, or try to break my heart?”

AND, help us all…

“Maybe my mom is telling us we shouldn’t be doing this.”

Needless to say, he cancels the next day and says he’ll call in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope he calls before the world ends on December 21st.

Rumors of My Death: Episode I — October 9, 2010

Rumors of My Death: Episode I

 

Various Listerine products
Image via Wikipedia "Use as Directed" is purely optional.

 

It seems there are a few maladies unable to be conquered by waiting for them to go away, that there are some things that will make the most reluctant patient go to the doctor. My abject horror of disease-finding doctors kept me away from them in cases most people would go to a physician. Like that time I thought I had Swimmer’s Ear, or the time I had that giant pus-filled boil  and could barely lift my arm (sorry to be graphic). The only time in around five years or so that I had to get a medicine, not referring to my antidepressants, was the time I got oral thrush and ended up at my dentist’s. Genius here thought it would be fabulous for my gums if I kept Listerine in my mouth slightly over the minute directed on the bottle….. like 19 minutes  over the time on the bottle. Cleanliness may very well be next to godliness, but this doesn’t pertain to the bacteria of the mouth. Of course I thought I had oral cancer, then, after my mother explained what thrush was, that I was sure I had a compromised immune system and had ‘caught’ AIDS in a nontraditional way. …Ever the optimist if not the deep thinker. But anyway…

One morning I woke up and went to the bathroom to receive an unpleasant surprise of almost red urine, to which I immediately told my mother. She at first wanted to say it was still my Aunt Flo, but I told her that good lady of red blessings packed up and left at least two days ago. This had happened to me a couple of times months ago, but it went away and my bladder kept its peace until now. This time would not be the same. From almost red urine, I began to void red clumps and spots (again, sorry to be graphic). I just chalked it all up to bladder cancer or kidney failure.

For the first day or two my mother remained optimistic that I just had a long period, but my stomach and back now began to hurt and I seemed to pee less. To strain gave me a bit of a burning sensation. Then, joy of joys,  I had my once every 3 months pill pusher’s psychiatrist’s appointment to go  to while I barely could stand up for the pain and dizziness. It was today I planned to  ask her to switch me to a medicine I only tried for a while because I am desperate to end the need to be perfect and the overwhelming anger at not being able to live to my standards. If you feel like you have to restart all the time you might be pretty pissed off and on edge too. Though I was half dead, I still asked. Recall, gentle reader, I’ve mentioned this sort of thing before, my medicine not working well (I sort of cringe when I read one sentence in it, embarrassing! But you can have a look if you didn’t have the fortune of following my fascinating, deep chronicles of my life in April:

https://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/went-to-the-shrink-and-found-out-my-life-stinks-but-decide-to-live-it-anyhow/#comments Can’t get link to work, but if you  just really gotta read it its APR 20, 2010 in the hallowed archives —–>

).

My psychiatrist heard me out and this time she decided it would be better that she increase my dose rather than change my medicine. I take 300 mg of Luvox, which is the maximum dose recommended, so she upped it to 350 and would have me back in a month to see whether I was still alive.

“We’ll have to watch out for Serotonin Syndrome,” she pronounced as she scratched my new prescription on the pad.

“But I’d have symptoms before I fall dead of it, right?”

“Usually.” Ain’t life grand?

Before giving the prescription, she asked me if I was having any health problems.

“No!” You can go to hell for lying, you know, Nelly?

I decided I wouldn’t start the brave new dosage until I was over whatever settled on my kidneys. Let one thing kill me before another thing decided to give it a go.

I got progressively worse. I didn’t make it to the toilet twice, thinking I only had to slightly go when my bladder played a dirty trick on me. Freaking out, I told my mother, “That can’t be a kidney infection can it? That isn’t a symptom is it?” I was convinced I had kidney failure/diabetes/cancer/AIDS.

“Yes it can. You have a kidney infection and you need to go to the doctor.”

“No!” Look, I knew I had kidney failure/diabetes/cancer/AIDS and I had no desire to hear a doctor tell me I was as good as dead.

“If you don’t get better really soon, you’re going to the doctor .”

“OK.”

But I wasn’t about to go without a fight with my immune system if not my mother.

I began a war of feverish, almost sleepless nights where I felt like I was freezing. My temperature at its highest was 103 and if I coughed my brain felt like it was exploding. So I told my mother if I wasn’t better by the time I finished an entire jug of cranberry juice I would go to the doctor. So I drank my juice, took Tylenol for my fever, and Azo for urinary pain. I had no appetite.

Curiously enough, as I was dying, I began to worry about a blogger thinking she might have caused my malady and I knew it wasn’t, but I was much afraid she thought so. So I says to my Mom, “If I die, please let her know it wasn’t her, that I knew the frozen tampon thing was a joke to begin with anyway.” Well sometime or another I felt better enough to let her know myself. Strange what the mind thinks about when sporting a fever. I said something along the lines that my vagina was just fine and all, but if it had been my vagina ending me, perhaps my death would  have warranted a Darwin Award and I could say I had not died in vain.

I guess it’s OK to explain, because if any of you read the comments on a blog, you might have seen what I did just because I was curious a little. I knew the post was a great joke, but I hadn’t dared myself to do something ignorant since my teens when I ate an ornamental pepper and ate a whole packet of mustard down with nothing else. The good old days, you know? (Such an attention whore to be so shy). So I decided to try freezing my tampon just because I could. I left this comment on her blog:

19. Lisa |  September 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

So I left it in the freezer about 4 hours, hidden behind a half-used box of spaghetti. It was one of those new “U” tampons, a blue one, which is really apropos for freezing. Somehow they think if tampons come in bright colors that you’ll buy them…well it worked for me (though I believe I prefer others….neither here nor there)

Anywho 4 hours later I remove the package from the freezer, and I’d be a liar if I wasnt thinking about those tasty ice cream on a stick things as I hurriedly stuck it iin my pocket.
The package was cold but yay! no freezer burn! I open the package and yes the applicator was cold, So I ….
The applicator was cold, not like Ice Man taking advantage cold. More like jumping in a pool in May cold, but God bless America, the actual tampon was only slightly cool.
It was a chilling experience and makes me wonder if there actually are people who do this junk.
But I climbed Mt. Everest and I conquered.

When I started vomiting, I knew Game Over on Save Myself with Cranberry Juice. If indeed I had a kidney infection instead of or along with kidney failure/diabetes/cancer/AIDS, I was getting in the stage before it gets in your blood and damages your kidneys, which = FUCKED. Little did I know how difficult it actually would be to see a doctor.

My mother called the local Medac urgent care, which takes Medicaid if you’re first approved. Sort of takes the point away from ‘urgent’ doesn’t it?

My mother called Social Services and I could be approved for a certain doctor’s office, so we called there, and they could  pencil me in on November 15. Great. I might literally be dead by then! They suggested I go to the emergency room if I couldn’t wait that long. Perhaps it’s unfair of me to be cross since they had never seen me before, but cross I was and am. Here I am trying to die here and all, dang.

I hope y’all won’t be cross, but gonna stop here and continue later. I can’t believe I’ve written this much and only now get to my guest appearance on ER.  Anyway, in Part 2 expect our heroine to go to the damn emergency room, return to her version of ‘normal,’ and get freaked out at the therapist.  Important junk like that!

The History of a Phobia;or, Physician, Heal Thyself and Leave Me the Hell Alone — October 2, 2010

The History of a Phobia;or, Physician, Heal Thyself and Leave Me the Hell Alone

Great, Lisa. You thought everyone needed a background history of your fear of doctors. Thought it would be a paragraph or two didn’t you? Then you could tell the ever so fascinating, graphic story of your kidney infection. But no, before you were done there were over 1000 words of something that could be daintily told in one sentence: I’m scared doctors will tell me I’m about to kick the can, so I don’t go to doctors. Amen.

So dearest readers, please enjoy if possible, and soon enough I will talk about blood in urine and other pleasantries.

When I was a little girl, my mother took me to the doctor for every sniffle and I had a cold at least once a month. This didn’t bother me much because I hadn’t yet come up with the idea of croaking from several different diseases. This isn’t to say I didn’t think I was weaker than other children, because I did, and actually was in a way.  I think the hyper-reflexia wore me out easier since my muscles never completely relaxed, and maybe in those days I hung on to a cold longer than other children (but then, I also was eager to stay out of school as long as possible). Also, it isn’t to say I thought I’d live to see adulthood. In fact, by the time I was 8, I convinced myself I would die by my 10th birthday. It was 1987 and the war on drugs was in full swing.  I became obsessed with it, convinced by all those public service ads that I would soon die. It was almost like a catching disease, and I began to imagine that years ago someone gave me drugs, which I couldn’t remember, and by delayed reaction I would die years later. Ten seemed like an evil age because it was double digits and by all those drug ads, I thought that once you got that old an almost irresistible force came and you got strung out on coke.

My Brain, Age 8

By the time I was 12, however, I had for the most part given up my “catch-a- drug- addiction-obsession” and focused it more on “the-police-and everyone-will-think-I’m-on-drugs-and-arrest-me-obsession.” (Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I either A) was an insane kid not in touch with reality, or B) I was just really, really dumb to believe such things as old as I was). It was about this time I stopped going to doctors. By my teens, I seldom had colds and Mom figured out that if I did have one, it wasn’t necessary to put me on antibiotics for a viral infection.  As I grew older a blanket of  uncertainty regarding my health seemed to be thrown over me. I saw signs in everything of impending doom, of thinking the normal discharge from my you-know-and-if-you-don’t-i-ain’t-telling-you-what was a sign of cancer or something nice and fatal.

Fast forward some more and at age 19 I went for my first prodding. I only went because my shrink at that time refused to believe me that Paxil, the antidepressant I was on, was stopping my monthly curse, which it was (apparently I’m that 1 in 10,000 whose period stops on certain SSRI antidepressants. Who can beat those odds?). We’ll just say it wasn’t smooth sailing and I screamed. Not gasped. Screamed. The good doctor told me she’d done the procedure on a 4 year-old once, which was fine, but you hadn’t done it on me. Give my fat, yet surprisingly tight ass a break considering I had not even used a tampon in those days. When I got a notice for another exam a year later, my mother was like, “Eh, you’re fine.”

Down the road a little more and I’m around 21. I got off my medicine for about a year then and I began to bleed again like a normal person and that delightful fat which helped in vouchsafing my purity started melting away. It was crazy. I went from 250 lb. to 180 in a year, and probably would have lost much more if The Cold didn’t happen.  The year I stopped taking my medicine was manageable, though about every 15 minutes or so I’d feel small surges of anxiety that came and went, plus at various times a terrible guilt plagued me so that I had to figure what I had done to cause it. That was the year I kept thinking I contracted HIV everyday by unique, creative ways.  All that I could sort of manage, but then The Cold sent me haywire.

Anyway. one afternoon at school I felt so sick I might faint and was ever so grateful when my mother picked me up. At the time I had no idea that faintness would set off something  and I got better. That part of my brain that hides and waits to pounce on something suddenly exploded to the worst sort of panic I ever felt, and it was a panic that would not subside. My mind felt tightly wound, my skin felt as though it was crawling, and all I could do was remain terrified. Out of my mother’s presence, I felt sure I’d fall down dead or that I had diabetes and ready to slip into a coma. What I ate tasted different, like I imagine  death tastes, and I had no appetite. Worst anxiety I ever had I think and I almost dropped out of college before I got back  on medicine. Still no doctors except my psychiatrist though I was certain I was in my death throes. It subsided eventually when I returned to my fat, medicated self, but dropping dead still likes to hang out in the back of my head on the rare occasions I go far from home alone. “Enjoy that stroke, Fatso,” etc.

Fast forward once more, age 27, my second and last prodding. I just got Medicaid and the doctor’s office my social worker suggested thought it proper I be prodded and I acquiesced. May I say something here on doctor’s clinics who depend almost solely on Medicaid for their bread? In a word, they SUCK. My first inclination this was a sub-par place was the fact they wanted me to update my records twice, once without ever seeing me. The second was the nurse couldn’t find my vein to save her life. “Do your veins roll?” she asked. To which my reply was, “What?” I was a docile cow as the young woman stuck me at least 3 times without finding a mark, but my mother, a retired nurse, got cross. She asked for another nurse who got my blood the first try. Mama said later that people my age don’t have rolling veins and that after the second try on someone she always got another nurse to try. It didn’t particularly hurt, but I was feeling a bit annoyed.

The nurse practitioner was nice and I gladly report I didn’t scream, though I had to ask her for a breast exam. Um third inclination. Fourth inclination was when I returned to be told I was fine except my good cholesterol was too low, I had to wait 2 hours in the waiting room and I thought for certain that meant I had bad results. Fifth inclination was that if I didn’t make another appointment by phone, I could lose my Medicaid, which I knew was a lie. I never returned again, but no big loss because shortly after the clinic shut down for fraud. Big surprise there.

Image taken from (w/o permission):

http://www.adamhershposters.com/storefrontprofiles/DeluxeSFItemDetail.aspx?sid=1&sfid=43435&c=505559&i=233147815

The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?” — April 29, 2010

The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?”

(This short post  was started March 31, then set aside , only to be finished today. Besides, I could not bear to not finish it when I liked the title so much).

Once upon a time (like yesterday),  I took a look in the bathroom mirror and my eyes were red, particularly my right eye. Not like  bloodshot-been-opening-my-eyes-too-long-underwater-someone-been-on-a-drunk-red,  much weirder.  A horizontal line seemed to divide my eye in half in the middle,  reddish at the bottom half and normal white on top.

I looked into the eyes of death.

Or something…

My mind began to conjure up what symptom of my imminent death was this.

I had mostly given up my of several years’ obsession with the idea of contracting  AIDS by bizarre means not pertaining to intercourse or needles, so scratch that one for now.

Cancer?  Maybe that’s it, I thought. I always swam in outdoor pools without goggles  due to my high tolerance for chlorine, and I loved looking at the sun’s rays dancing on the pool’s bottom.

So I ask my mother, a retired nurse, what dread disease is this one?

What malady is about to dispatch me, to nail the lid of my coffin, strike me down in the prime of my life?

“Pollen,” said Mother.

 

 

 

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No — April 14, 2010

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No

As the title suggests, I can’t say no even when I would very much like to say hell no. I am sitting at the library, minding my own business, when a woman approaches me. She is short, skinny, wears a long skirt, has a scarf on her head, has a look between a fundamentalist Christian and a hippie, and just generally has that look of a poor soul.

“Excuse me, do you have a library card?” she asks. It doesn’t occur to me to lie to her as I warily say yes. “Can I use it to get on the computer and finish a letter I was writing?”

No way.

“Well yes sure,” I answer, scanning the room for my mom in hope of her guidance.

I envision all the illegal things she could do with my account.

What if she’s a predator and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s committing credit card fraud and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s a hacker and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s threatening people and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s about to take over the world and I get blamed for it?

What if?

What if?

What if my head explodes from worry?

But I hate to offend others or not help them, especially when asked. Later she comes back and I have to use my card again to print out her work.  I really want to cop a look as it prints,  but I am mindful that that would be rude, so I will never know. I think I stole 35 cents from her, though, which is now on my library card (and conscience) because she inserted a dollar in there and I think her copies only cost 65 cents. I guess the only ethical  thing to do is hope I see her again sometime when I have change.  Boy, I annoy the shit out of  myself. Lucky most of this sort of stuff I can hide in my head. It isn’t even that I fear punishment for short-changing someone, it’s just that nervy feeling that I’ve done someone or something wrong.

I think since I’m writing about library cards and offending people I will tell two incidents from when I was back in college earning the Fries-with-That degree.  Now Downtown, where the community college is, is Homeless Central and the bum population all knew I was good for a dollar or two (I just sorta look like the kind of person who will not tell someone to get a job or to f off). I always was of the mind you shouldn’t be mean to them, that most of them are mentally ill, what if no one would help you out, and that if they ask for it? It would be unkind to say no even if all they were going to do is get drunk or weren’t even homeless.  Yes, I am a sucker.

Anyway, a man I hadn’t seen before approached me, said he just got out of jail, and talked me out of a couple of dollars. He wanted me to shake his hand. No problem except his hand had many cuts, not scratches, big ass open wounds.  Blood of the human variety is perfectly horrifying to me and hurting someone’s feelings is perfectly horrifying to me, so I was totally at a loss. Quick decision made and fast as lightning  I tap the tip of my fingers at the part of his  palm that seemed the least bloody for one second tops, but was certain I had HIV for the next few years. Being an avoidant sort more than a hypochondriac, in I worry I have a dread  disease but really, really don’t want to know for fear I couldn’t take the news. My best friend, however, says if I had anything, it would have showed up several years later in my blood cell count the last time I consented to a general blood test 4 years ago (I have only been to gynecologists twice in my life….the first time I screamed, the second time I was only silently horrified….I will go again if I ever become sexually active and the way that is going I’ll probably be 50).

As for library cards, there was the time I nearly didn’t graduate due to my college library card. It was 2003. Time for math, time for math. I think I was about 26, old enough to know better.  Seriously, when God handed out common  sense, yours truly was absent. My therapist is kinder. She says I have common sense, I’m just naïve.  Truth told, I’m a naïve dumbass, albeit a well-meaning naïve dumbass.

I was in the school library and as I was about to check out, a girl I didn’t know approached me. She didn’t have a library card, had a paper due the very next day, and begged me to check out a book for her.

It only gets worse from here. Dumbass.

I told her sure with only the slightest apprehension. She said she could show me her driver’s license.

Now what did I say? It’s pure Dumbassian. Someone please cut down these trees so I can get a good view of the forest dumb.

“Oh, don’t worry about it.  I trust you.”  I imagine this is where that girl probably heard the rattling inside my head, pretty hollow in there. Did I tell you I was a DUMBASS?  I will reiterate it now, lest you forget:

D-U-M-B-A-S-S!!!!!

So the weeks rolled by and I got a letter from the school library. It would seem that girl hadn’t returned the life-or-death-necessary book and with fines I owed my institution of higher learning $50.00 I sure as hell didn’t have. I had to pay up or they wouldn’t graduate me. Fuck an A!

May this be a lesson to you, Lisa Ann B. Just because you wouldn’t do something like that doesn’t mean everyone wouldn’t do it. Noted.

A few months went by and my brain filed the incident under “experience,” the 50 bucks and diploma under “Things to Do When I Can Afford It,” and the state of my intellectual prowess under “Dumbass.” I went and got the mail, and voilà, there’s my diploma. Apparently the girl brought the book back a few months late and either paid the overdues or my favorite professor got them to  forgive the fines because he had tried before to get me forgiven altogether. Perhaps I am the first person to graduate college and not even know it.  Life is funny that way.

Black as Night

In Which Nervous Nelly is Allowed to Leave the Guilty Party for a Bit — April 6, 2010

In Which Nervous Nelly is Allowed to Leave the Guilty Party for a Bit

Funny how things happen as though they are answers to your life’s questions. If you are actually reading this and also read my last post, you might be so good as to remember my last post trying to accuse myself of letting bad things happen without stepping in to somehow help. Tonight I got a glimpse to what I actually would do. While I can’t say I actually made any difference, I can at least say I did do something and I’m not as big a douche as I feared.  But let me tell you the story.

Earlier this evening, i had another one of my fits of conscience, allowing my social anxiety to override what I wanted to do. I was in a restaurant restroom  and as I was about to leave, one of the waitresses came in and she seemed to be on a crying jag. I was too afraid to look more than a second for fear of being thought of as staring. Hopefully she just had allergies or a cold. I wanted so bad to ask her if she was ok and if I could do something for her. I at least wanted to say hi, an acknowledgement that I saw her somehow, and I couldn’t move my mouth. Instead I hurried outside.

Later, I am sitting in the living room with my mother just a livin’ when I hear Woman-Across-the-Hall screaming, “HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME!”

Up from the couch and I spring out the door. There is Woman and she says her son’s having a seizure. I ask if she called 911 and she says she had tried but couldn’t get them, so I say I’ll call. So back into the apartment go I and cry out to my mom that Dude is having a seizure, she hadn’t heard Woman screaming, probably asleep in the recliner. So Mom goes over and I call from our phone. It rings 5 or 6 times before I fear I haven’t dialed the number right, so I hang up and call again. That old Public Enemy song is going through my head, “911 is a Joke.” Finally, someone answers (I guess holiday Friday nights are busy nights). I tell her about Dude having a seizure and the apartment number, at first forgetting to tell more of the address. She asks me if he’s conscious and if he’s ever had a seizure before, so I tell her to please hold on. It’s hard to get answers from Woman because she is in a state of total panic, bless her, but after asking loudly everyone I got that he was still seizing, and yes, he had a seizure before. Sure enough, there he was seizing to beat the band next to an overturned chair. My mom was a nurse for 30 something years and had the presence of mind to turn Dude on his side and fend off someone’s old-fashioned remedy of sticking a pen in his mouth.

 Back I go, and then the dispatcher tells me to tell them to just move stuff out of his way, not to force anything into his mouth, and make sure he can breathe. She said I could call back on my cell if I wanted over there but I tell her I will just wait for the ambulance.

By now many of the neighbors have come over to see why Woman is jumping up and down and screaming for help.  A young woman is calling 911 too. I tell everyone the paramedics are on the way.  Now I see he’s up and sitting in a chair. The seizing is over, let the spewing all over the carpet begin. Woman is still in hysterics, but is wiping her son off with a towel. He is disoriented and no doubt frightened from his vomiting, his mother’s ministrations and wailing, and the many eyes looking at him. Woman’s cell phone rings and I ask if I should answer it. Not really getting an answer, I take the initiative. Someone asks for Woman and I ask if she might call him back. So the guy asks if she was able to get 911, that he had called. I tell him yes, that the paramedics are on the way.

After I hang up, I see Dude has got up and is repeating for people to leave him alone. He shakes his mom loose from him, my mom tries to gently take his arm and he shakes her loose too.  “Mom,” I venture as if I know anything, “Let him go.  He’ll be fine in here.” My reasoning is that he’s better off in his home than wandering outside at night addled, plus I fear he will fight my mom if confused.

He locks himself in the bathroom, not the ideal place for a dude apt to seize, but what can ya do? Besides, his mama is still in something like a fit herself, still repeatedly crying out for help and asking, “Oh, why won’t they come?” over and  over, still jumping up and down to the point I almost expect her to begin clucking for good measure.

Then Woman’s other son, the one who looks a bit off, shows up and heads back toward the bathroom.  Woman has eased down to  the hall floor outside the apartment. If it were me I’d have left her sitting there due to her hysterics, hoping she would calm down, but some Samaritan helps her up. Now we hear the sirens and Mom suggests I go out and meet them so they go to the right place. Out I go, fat girl running,  and a fire truck rolls up. I’m about to show the men where to go when I see the would-be patient coming outside, his mom tailing him. “It’s that gentleman there,” I say, pointing. Somehow they wrangle in the wobbly patient and everyone goes inside the building. At the door to the apartment, once the principal characters and paramedics are inside and we are looking in, A-Bit-Off comes to the door, says “We got it from here, thanks,” and closes all of us outside.

Dismissed!

All of us neighbors head for our prospective apartments. Once my mom and I are in our home I head to the sink. While in Woman’s apartment I accidently touched a wet  wash rag hanging on a chair at the dining room table. I fear that it was used in cleaning up Dude’s chunks, though Mother assures me it was only used to wipe the poor soul’s forehead.  But I imagine spew particles clinging to that wash cloth. What if that spew has a disease like HIV hid in it? I think. Though I remembered reading vomit doesn’t  have the disease  in significant amounts unless there is visible blood, I decide to take no chances. I wash my hands altogether 4 times, alternating between soap and dishwashing liquid.

Out damn spot! Out I say! Mom stops me though as I look for the Clorox spray because I imagine it’s worth the sting on my hands to be certain of not getting a puke-born pathogen, but Mom assures me I’m ok. Guess I’m pretty “off” too in my way, huh? I’m usually not that much of a germ phobe, though. Usually. 

At least I can reassure myself I won’t let something bad happen to someone if I can help it. Bravo and bully for me, but I am relieved.

(Post started Good Friday….finished Mediocre Monday.)

 

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