The day was agonizingly beautiful. The sky was an endless robin’s egg and the bright sun bade me release t
he bonds of my apartment walls for the worthier pastures of mass transit and dumpster treasure. What is 87 F (31 C) for those of us seeking adventure, the Holy Grail, and something besides potato chips in our cupboards? Apparently, 87 F is a lot, as I felt all 220 pounds of my glorious body begin to broil medium well in the afternoon sun. Three huge bottles of dish washing liquid, Lisa Frank magnets, and a squished bottle of generic fruit punch and I began to feel the ill effects of heat exhaustion setting in . Outrageous fortune beset me yet again when I realized the bus I boarded was air conditioning free. Once I got home, the effects of my romp, plus the thoughts in my head erupted. And I vomited. In the trash can by my bed. In the commode. In a bucket of Pinesol by my commode. In the bathtub trying to calm down.
“Either I got heat exhaustion or that tooth that had that mild abcess is going septic,” I told my friend.
But back to vomiting. In the yard waiting for my friend to come get me. Desecrating a Walmat plastic bag in the car on the way to the hospital. And once in a nifty vomit bag as the wheel chair I was in made too many jerking movements -but I apologized to the waiting room as any genteel southerner would. I vocalized that I wanted my mom, never mind that this section of the waiting room was where I finally was away enough from my mom to shed a tear at her impending demise back in 2011. Now, four years later, Lisa the Stoic, is replaced by OCD Lisa chanting a mantra of “I’m so scared.”
Then the nurse, while taking my medical specifics gave me a pill, Zofran. Zofran, named for the ancient Greek god of Emesis and Refusing to Suffer in Silence. I was fine in 15 minutes. Not sepsis. Not this time, Mom. I felt like an idiot as my panic subsided. I’ve vomited many times alone without alerting the media, but the heat exhaustion, sepsis in the tooth scenario weighed deeply in my mind along with other anxieties. I asked the triage nurse if it would be OK for me to go since I felt so much better. “Absolutely!” She said with a trifle more enthusiasm than necessary. But here I am a month later alive and well, and I see they’ve moved the entrance to the emergency department, probably they’re hiding from me.
Strange fate. Why God, or the universe, or a great nothingness conspires or throws events at random to some and misses others. The Wheel of Fortune keeps spinning. Some folks buy a vowel while others go bankrupt.
There was a blurb on the news yesterday: A fire at my old apartment complex. Then it announced the address. My building. I asked my friend to drive me ‘round the hood. I wanted to see if it was their apartment since their apartment was in the same building as the apartment I shared with my mother. Ye Old Shitville Ghetto Apartment Complex looked the same as ever: dilapidated, half-assed put together, just all that charm of a coastal town sunk into hell. Home sweet home. Roachy, bedbuggy, home. Mom and I lived 9 relatively happy years here. Four Years ago yesterday, March 25, 2010 I started my blog there. In 2011 my mother was taken to the hospital from there never to return again.
It wasn’t their apartment that caught fire, that is, my ex-roommates. Not the man who I miss to this day. My mother’s cook book is still on their shelf, and whatever else I gave them or they kept as theirs did not catch alight in some Waiting to Exhale diva style fashion. I’m glad they’re safe, and I hear they’re moving far away in about a week.
No, there was the apartment my mother and I shared gutted by fire. So far they say “cause undetermined,” but I’d bet the house (pun intended) that it was shitty wiring. First that wiring was older than I am, I’m pretty certain, secondly if I remember correctly, sometimes it did act funky. If it was a malfunction in the wiring or appliances, and had my mother lived, I’m certain we would still live there and it would be us left with nothing. Did God deliberately spare us that fate? Why?
In my more philosophical mode, I think, “Did my mother die at 68 to be spared going downhill physically, possibly ending up an oxygen-bound invalid like her mother or near blind from macular degeneration like her father? Did God cut my mother a break, or was he being cruel? My mother’s illness was two weeks total, only one day of which was in the hospital. Also God knew that as long as my mom lived, my OCD would’ve been at her side trying to keep her alive. I’d never have lived alone were she still alive. I’d be too afraid she’d die. And now our apartment is charred. My mother’s essence burned out of the walls it feels like to me. Would we have died in the fire? Did God kill my mother to protect us from a worse fate? Why didn’t He just stop the fire in the first place and spared whoever lived there.? Ugh, I just don’t get it. Maybe my not being there was just the luck of the draw, and numerous calamities are about to befall me. Stay tuned!
One year ago today I was a different woman than I am now. When I looked at my future, I saw nothing. Nothing alone, nothing without him by my side.
One year ago today, my paranoia came crashing down on me and I could barely breathe under its weight, let alone climb out from under it.
One year ago today, the lies became too much, the truth too clear, and the fear unbearable. It was the fear that did it, the fear that my soul mate was as unreal as his words, that imaginary friends are mirages that disappear.
One year ago today, I checked his ears for the cartoon character earbuds I gave him for Christmas. If he’s wearing them, maybe he’s not mad at me. My obsession: checking for signs of discord. Perusing his body for gifts in quick glances. He wears one of my gifts, maybe he is happy with me. The earbuds are there! He smiles at me, he talks happily to his dogs. There isn’t anything in the intonation of his voice hiding ire or sadness. Perhaps all is well. Or not.
One year ago today, he returned from walking the dogs and went into his room, pugs too. The door closed, me shut out. Me alone and the social worker coming. He was there with me before when she came, supportive, saying what needed to be said. I knock. No answer. Anger? Is he angry at me? Alone. Will I be alone forever? Scared, and the social worker is coming. And the letter he wrote is on the stove for her. Angry? Is that why he left me alone? So scared of him not loving me anymore. Or is he hiding? Does hiding mean he is guilty of something? No. He’s mad at me. Or is he a liar? The letter is partly a lie, making him a liar. Can a liar still be your soul mate? He lies sometimes, it means nothing. It means he doesn’t care. No it doesn’t. He has problems, but he loves me like a sister. He wouldn’t hurt me. Oh God, is he angry at me? What will become of me if I’m without him?
One year ago today, there was a knock on my their door. This is not my home, but a place where I stay at the mercy of the queens kings inside. No, my soul mate is merciful, even if his truth is not always truthful. But here is the social worker and there is the letter. She is not happy. She is angry at him. I am scared and try again to knock at my dearest friend’s bedroom door. I am crying. He must be angry. No, you dumbass, he’s avoiding a confrontation. No, he’s mad at me, he doesn’t really love me. Oh God!
One year ago today, my social worker read the letter penned in my dear one’s artistic script:
750.00 dollars I owed them for paying my mother’s final expenses (I had thought I owed $550.00…but what do I know)
40.00 for a light bill (odd, because I thought the $240.00 I paid a month in rent included my share of everything).
35.00 for a late fee (strange, because I hadn’t been late in giving my share).
PAID IN FULL.
One year ago today, my social worker said loudly enough for my soul mate to hear through the door, “He sat here and said that they would wait until you were back on your feet to pay them back!”
And I told her about the netbook I got too, because of my soul mate’s partner forcing me to take back the laptop I got with my social security check and give him that money or I would have to “get the fuck out of his house,” adding tenderly as he menaced me that I was a bitch and a whore (though he knew I was a virgin). All the while letting me know that his lover acted differently when I was around, that even his dogs did too)
Just don’t let it happen again, admonished my social worker.
One year ago today, I told my social worker a story I was told about my soul mate’s partner. “He’s very mean. He was more worried about a friend of his getting blood on the seats of his van than that she slit her wrists…and when he left her at the hospital, he wouldn’t stay with her.”
One year ago today, I was left alone and I knocked again on dear friend’s door. No answer.
That morning, one year ago today, I didn’t wake up saying to myself, “I guess I’ll pencil in committing suicide today.” But it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision either. I went to bed early many nights too depressed to face the partner of my beloved, he who had a way of making me feel like less than dirt. Secretly my death wish had waxed and waned since the day my mother died. Now, five months later, I reached my cliff. Before that day, though it was a thought, slightly researched. I had researched a while before if one was unfortunate enough to survive death by ativan, ones vital organs may not fail. And so I decided, What have I got to lose now? The only person who really needed me was dead, everyone else would easily get over my loss.
I decided on Russian Roulette Pill and OCD style because I sort of wanted to keep living if my dear one didn’t dislike me now. I wrote a note proclaiming my love in a style mistakable as sisterly love to my soul mate, enjoining him to please take care of my cats and that this wasn’t his fault.
I tucked the note under me in case I decided to stop, and began. One pill. Count to 300. My friend still hasn’t come out of his room. I take another and count to 300. Another and around this time I pass out. When I awaken, the door is open! I stumble in and ask if I can come in. He gave his ascent. I remember asking if he was mad at me and that was when he noticed I was doped. “Oh no! he exclaimed angrily. “That will get you thrown out in a matter of days.”
Was I afraid? No, peacefully, I stumbled back out of the room, decided what the hell, and down the gullet the rest of my Ativan went. How many did I take? My guess is maybe 7 or 9. When I woke up again sleeping next to Babee Dondee my littlest cat, my soul brother said with an edge in his voice “Good morning, or evening actually.” I can’t remember if he asked me to call my friend to get me or if I took the initiative, pobably the former.
My best friend told me Soul Bro answered the door, called to me that my friend was here, and promptly went back to playing a video game. There’s the love. As I left though, I recall handing him my suicide note.
I stayed in the ER several hours though I recall little of it, they mainly just monitored my idiot ass, my heart dipping down into the 60s. If one might die simply from judgemental lapses I’d have been a goner.
I was given the option of “voluntarily” being admitted or getting a judge to commit me. It was around 4am a nd I was finally sobering up a bit. I bid adieu to my best friend who had stayed through the whole ordeal, was carted off in a wheelchair by a surly cop and began a 10 day vacation locked away in a psych ward. Ten days because no one wanted my sorry ass and I ended up in a faraway nursing home for 2 months. It was the worst two months of my life, though I absolutely LOVED my stay in the psych ward. It was pretty fun and I met some great folks. I’d do it again if it didn’t entail trying to kill myself and making all my friends tell me they don’t want my crazy self and sending me away to the home. Not fun.
What do you get when you cross a Moveon.org organizer at 8:30 am on the phone with a half-asleep broad with social anxiety disorder? A Moron left to cringe at her conversational gaffe and a liberal activist wondering if she called Michelle Bachmann.
Ms. Moveon.org: I wish to speak with Lisa B.
Me: This is she.
Ms. Moveon.org: This is P with Moveon.org and I was wondering how the Clean Oil rally went? (or something to that effect)
Me: I’m sorry, what did you say?
Ms. Moveon.org. repeats as before but the slight edge in her voice is getting edgier. It’s 8:30 in the morning, I just woke up, and feeling attacked makes me very nervous, so I say…
Me: I’m sorry I don’t know anything about a Media Matters Oil rally. (Eeps, the least I can do is keep my progressive organizations straight. I knew right away what I said. Oh. Sweet. Liberal. Heavens).
Ms. Moveon ‘not Media Matters’ .org is not happy with me. I knew from her voice beforehand that she was going to give me hell for not being at a rally, but now she has to deal with an idiot too.
Ms. Moveon.org( in such a snotty voice you’d expect her to sneeze): I must have the wrong number.
Ms. Moveon.org: Yes, I must have the wrong number. Sorry.
Click. This adds to the pile I’m amassing of reasons I suck and I felt embarrassed. Oh well, screw her. Sign a petition or two (not even about the environment, alas) and suddenly they think they own you.
In the bathroom, I see a roach in death agonies. I hate roaches. I hate death agonies. I can’t bear the nastiness of squishing it in the piece of tissue, so I throw it in the toilet alive and have a case of the guilties as I watch it struggle to live when I flush. I’m sorry. I should have killed you first, roach. More fodder for the “I suck” pile.
Later in the day, phone call. We go to a friend who is sick. I explain what ‘psychosomatic’ means to her, a word which the emergency workers used, as they cart her away. I haven’t been to the ER since the Great Kidney Infection Debacle of ’10 and was grateful to be on the visiting end of things. You can just feel the germs hopping around. I have a little fear myself when I see something at the visitors desk that looks like blood and hope my arm didn’t touch there. All was well in the end. I was there for a friend and we are all huggy-lovey as we parted ways afterward. I can take one log off of the “I suck ” pile, thank God. I was needed for a moment and that makes all the difference.
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!
I was going to post this on March 25th to commemorate my first year of blogging, but my friend invited me over to hang out, so I guess I’ll do it today. I will list some links and excerpts from the past year that I favored. This is a chance to reminisce or to brush up on my ADHD-style masterpieces. Pay attention. There will be a test!
Here is an excerpt from my very first post, March 25,2010:
I worry about murderers, carjackers, rapists, etc. causing harm to my mother and sometimes to myself, but mainly to my mother when we are apart. Look at the news, awful things happen ALL THE TIME. But when something awful could have actually happened I was calm and I handled it.
Ok, so 3 or 4 years ago we tried out a newly opened Chinese buffet. It was later in the afternoon, just past lunchtime, so there was only a couple other patrons and they were in another section of the restaurant (this was before the state made smokers into lepers and my mom could still smoke inside). We were eating, the food was good too, which makes this all the greater a tragedy . Suddenly, one could hear yelling in the kitchen. It kept up steady and seemed to stay in the kitchen, so I felt confident in my safety at grabbing something else. Oh what to get, what to get. Soup? Or a couple of those slivers of cake?
Oh, the possibilities! Oh…….. oh …….oh shit!
The shit had now officially hit the fan. The argument spilled out near where I happened was, no further than 12 feet. A man was surrounded by 3 guys and 2 women, and boy, was he ever pissed. It was a good thing I don’t speak Chinese, but some things are universal, a psychotic rage is distinguishable from someone mildly miffed that he burned the General Tso’s chicken. Psycho Cook then took a soup bowl and smashed it on the floor, but this must have not been cathartic enough, for he soon lunged at another cook. I remained unnoticed and began to deliberate what to do. I wasn’t panicked I remember, a little nervous and disconcerted, but panicking? No, not really. Would someone else have totally freaked out? I’m not sure . Perhaps they would have the common sense to be scared, not just a little frightened. So I weighed my options, a little list in my brain:
A:) Every woman for herself, haul ass out the door and hope your mother will follow. But I would never leave my mother if if any harm could come to her, so scratch that.
B:) Run past the offending party back to my mother. Run, fat girl, run!!! No, that didn’t seem sensible either. Let the lunging crouching tiger become aware of Hidden Dragon here? Not a good idea in my estimation.
C.) Act normal (or fake it in my case since I ain’t never been normal, just seen the brochure once or twice). Yes this is the best idea. If I ignore whatever the screaming, striking cook is doing and act like an unconcerned customer I might have more of a chance at not attracting the ire of this poor guy. Time to not be too particular, so I grab a bit of orange and start back, walking as far away from Psycho Cook ‘n pals as I dared. One of the waitresses sat at the table with my mom kind of hiding out. The waitress said to us, “I hate Chinese people. All they do is fight.” ( disclaimer: She was Chinese or Malaysian herself, so she could say that I guess). She proceeded to tell us the story of the restaurant. Appears a few guys got the idea of opening a restaurant together. Too bad that among the angry lot, one was totally insane and off his meds. Happens in the best of restaurants.
Meanwhile, the fray moved more towards the kitchen and another waitress came over. “We got to go now! He threatening to kill people.”
Ever the scrupulous idiot that i am I tried to give them money fast, but they said not to worry about it. Fair enough, but I did manage to give the waitress 10 bucks at least and wouldn’t take it back. This all happened really fast. One or two of the men stayed with the wigged out chef and everyone else made for the door. When outside several people got into one car and left. The other patrons had already left before hell broke loose.
Safely away my mother and I were like “well…that was….different.”
The fireworks were beautiful and I think we had the best view we ever had, sitting in our fold-out chairs in clear view of where they were shot off. Then we went to the Chinese take-out for some soup. This joint gave birth to the term “seedy.” There’s always interesting people there. Someone opened the door to yell to a patron that their mutual pal is in jail, but she already knew and was cross but seemed to not view it as being as newsworthy as her friends did.
Soup is a rather ritual-oriented meal, especially the robust hot and sour they serve at Seedy China. The soup is spicy hot and would not do for the average Anglo to gulp down, but it is the best I’ve ever tasted. In case you aren’t fortunate enough to know how to eat a pint of soup the proper way, allow me to school you on the perfect and essential way. You can thank me later for this vital skill.
Please recall, gentle reader, we did not grow up in a sty and must actaccordingly. Unfold your napkin and set it in your lap (if you are lucky like me your stomach is one large flap and if utilized properly, can act as a ‘paperweight’ for the napkin in your lap). Take your spoon and begin. Begin from the left and take sips until you’ve taken a sip by dipping your spoon, working vertically until you’re at the right side of the bowl. Then put a few of those crisp noodles, at least 3 of them since you really prefer things in 3′s. Eat the noodles in your soup. Now repeat the entire ritual until you’re done, and if you’re good at it, people won’t even realize you have a ‘strategy’ for eating.
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.
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?
Apparently, the good people of Rich White Cemetery in their good sense, believe a decent cemetery should expel all living patrons by 5pm sharp regardless of time of year. But the fun part is locking the gates without a glimpse for suckers who failed to read closing time upon entering. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since I had my cell phone, not to say that would be too fun a call to make to the cops. I suggest we walk around, that surely somewhere remained unlocked, especially since I saw a not-so-paranormal-looking couple just a few minutes ago walking.
Two gates locked, we’re padlocked in Perdition. We keep walking until a third gate. This one looks a tad different and I walk up to it, a side entrance and the damn thing opens like the pearly gates to Glory. Mama walks back to our ghetto fabulous classic 1994 Mazda MPV, me waiting so no one locks this gate on us. I look at this gorgeous azalea I remember from last year, a dark red-purple flower about the size of a common magenta azalea but much darker, so awesome. I take a peep at the graves near the gate, all the while keeping my eye on said gate. No one, not St. Peter, not the devil, not a grounds keeper, is gonna lock that damn gate without me at least screaming loud enough to wake the dead.
Safely delivered from captivity, we go downtown to have a look at the teabagger rally, I mean the Tea Party, that has gone on all day. We listen to Sean Hannity on the radio waxing rhapsodic about the noble Tea Party activists nationwide and Reagan this, Reagan that. Every time I listen to Hannity, I tend to think if he could dig up Reagan and marry him he would, anti-gay marriage or no.
So the noble tea folk are down at the federal courthouse at the river. Good for them, I suppose, since the joy of being American is the ability to protest for what you believe. It’s WASP Party 2010 downtown and rather fun to look at as long as you recall everyone is entitled to believe as they like, that is until I see this one woman and I have my What the Flying Fuck?! moment of the day. She has this sign, “Obama, Go Back to Kenya. I Will Buy the Plane Ticket!” Now, I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like some racist saying no more than “Go back to Africa.” Sure, I get the whole Birther rumor popular among some people. But honestly? Honestly. Could Obama be from Kenya and a closet Muslim? Could I be an Ethiopian albino and a closet Hare Krishna? Anything is possible, but probable? Um no. She has a right to her opinion and I have the right to think she’s plumb ignorant with a limited touch on reality.
Unfortunately, it seems I favor quite a few excerpts from my first 2 months. I know these aren’t literary masterpieces, but they were my first efforts. I think I got better at not rambling so much as I went on. I hope those of you who weren’t here from the first like this, and my first dear readers like “Lisa in Review.”
Do y’all like this and should I continue this base self-aggrandizement? Am I just being redundant?
I gotta do a book review on a book I got from bloggingforbooks.org. Hey, I was like, “Eh, what the hell? Free book! (I enjoyed it too, but don’t worry I’m not becoming a book blogger except every now and then).
Retrieve my stupid political post from Rejectionville and post it here. It’s a moot point now anyway, but whatever.
Finish my damn Christmas Post (once I get my netbook back from the pawn shop).
Do more OCD; less tangenty, boringy stuff.
Still want to write more of my memoirs, thrill a minute.
Answer my comments much faster.
I love you all and thank you for everything. Y’all don’t even know how much you mean to me and how you’ve helped me,
PS, If anyone dislikes this color let me know or even the font.
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.
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:
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 .”
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:
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!
I am going to make my way in this blog on a metaphorical bridge of thoughts and perceptions from day to day to try to connect the known with the yet unknown. My bridge is like a single plank which will require the supplement of others.