Thursday, February 21, 2008

Doctors, dental and drudgery: plus a kidnapping (squirrels!)

The day is done and here I am drinking a cold North Carolina Cheerwine in the bottle, as sent to me by Alphabitch. A horrid day filled with a few acts of defiance and one of inspired kidnapping.

I woke to “Oh God” which is where my hands are claws, I am in so much pain I talk like Nina Simone after a night of drinking (raspy), and I sort of rock back and forth. I wanted to return to bed only this was shower day and so far, assisted showing and mewling in bed don’t work together. So I had Orange Juice and Opiates: The breakfast of Champions. It took 20 minutes for the pain killers to kick in and I was still dodgy during shower time which meant my hand couldn’t hold on to the shower wand.

So, what does any person in this much pain and dysfunction facing a two hour doctor’s appointment, a writing assignment and a dental cleaning do? They wear a corset of course. I realized that BECAUSE my home care person was here to dress me, I could wear a corset and get them to zip me up in the back. I had a blue brocade one I hadn’t worn in months. Add my Victoria Secret hoodie for the crisp sunny day and I was set. And you know what, looking good doesn’t actually make you feel “good” exactly but it can make you feel sexy AND in a lot of pain (which is WAY better than just “in a lot of pain”).
By the time I gotten half way to the GP, I had the hoodie off and was flying down the hills, playing my trance tunes on my MP3 player and getting a) WAY more guys in cars/trucks stopping to let me go first (Oh men....seen so many boobs yet still happy to see more), b) half the women saying, “Great top!” and c) the other half saying, “I feel cold just looking at you.” Well, that is the advantage of extreme heat intolerance and not sweating, I dress sexy in Feb., while I pass out in June.

The doctor’s appointment was a bust; it was sort of a “hey, there are going to be a bunch of tests coming up” and do you REALLY have a needle phobia and do we REALLY need anesthetic for some of these tests? (answer to both: Yes) I told him that a) I am taking a vacation and b) My health is getting worse BECAUSE of these tests so he and the specialists need to decide what really IS important because I can’t do this one a day stuff anymore. Also, I demanded another holter test because the one the cardiologist is using for my condition is from April and shows 12 seconds of erratics. I said that as he, my GP, had checked my pulse for a total of two minutes in our history and seen and heard erratics, that old Holter test was dangerously erroneous information if I am having autonomic failure AND it is targeting my heart FIRST. He felt my pulse for about 20 seconds and then said, “There’s one.” (erratic) I told him with the hours of erratics at night and early morning I felt the last Holter Heart Monitor reading was off not by 100 times more erratics (meaning 100 erratics now for each recorded in April) but a factor of 1,000 or more. He prioritized that. But I get no neuro painkiller until I see the neurologist to find out how my neuro system is screwed and why the pain is happening to make sure the neuro blocker doesn’t destroy MORE of my system. Yeah, yeah, but me still in pain?

At one point he said, “How can it be destroying BOTH your central AND peripheral neural systems?” I told him I was completely up for a re-diagnosis of MS! He gave a tired smile and then went on about how he cannot see any way it could be POTS (the good kind of autonomic failure). Which we established months ago...keep up doc!

Linda at this point, before me returning to sleep to rise, a zombie in search of dental scaling and cleaning, kidnapped me. She did so because it was a sunny day and we had peanuts (No, I am NOT having an squirrel orgasm in the picture - it just looks that way).
Indeed for normal people it was the type of sunny day for which Victoria gets the reputation of smug, annoying west coasters who post pictures of the beautiful flowers already coming up while the rest of the country is under snow and ice. Yeah, what kind of person would be so obsessed about taking such pictures to send to relatives in Manitoba, Sask, and other icy climes? (No need for pressure me to tell – it was Linda! Get her!)

Anyway, I was back in the park but a couple minutes when the first squirrel to notice me was one who obviously remembered me, the chair, the corset the whole deal because he came full out like a race horse. None of the typical little hops and then check the surrounding area with a head high for this black squirrel (is that you Psycho? Why are you so thin?), but just straight at me, full speed. He climbed the leg before sitting almost in my lap (don’t you think we should date first?).
He took the first peanut and started to eat it there, I fed him another. And then he was off, dashing away again, not to be seen again. I see that this particular squirrel sees me in the category of “friend with benefits” since his style of cruise ‘em, use ‘em, and lose ‘em left me feeling a bit……used. Oh but when it comes to squirrel love, I am a slut; I let them eat in bed, and leave me covered in peanut shells, just keep coming back (no, I don’t need more human friends, why do you ask?).

Once the Squirrel Grapevine got around I had them lining up to take from me; this is just a sample of the video I will try to finish over the weekend so I can do a full squirrel video and round up next week, when I am not in such a “Uggggg....must eat brains” zombie mindset.

I met a new squirrel who was not only twitchy but actually a neurotic athlete. Just to point out, neither the black or the grey squirrels are “flying squirrels” who can open their paws to glide. No, this grey, after climbing Mt. Beth for peanuts, decided to use up his extra energy (do I detect a teenager squirrel here?), by leaping off of my knee. Okay, not that big a deal, a lot of squirrels leap instead of crawl down. This however was the first squirrel to leap HORIZONTALLY and actually made a little over six feet as he landed out of camera range.
I am left with a stupefied (and stupid) expression on my face as my nice “let’s all have a picnic” turned into the squirrel version of Mission Impossible in less than a second. In the video (next week) you can see him tearing past me at high speed as if he was expecting to be chased by police cars or something. Well, it takes many different squirrels to make the world turn; the polite, the users of innocent and emotionally vulnerable wheelchair girls (I’m looking at you Psycho!), the skittish, the neurotic and one squirrel we met today with a NEW disorder: agoraphobia. Not the best phobia to have if you want peanuts, the guy latched onto Linda and there was some weird squirrel mothering going on between them as he would only come out of the bush a LITTLE for her. I keep telling her she oozes ‘mothering.’ She says she took a test a work today, which concluded she is a “Nurturer”, and “even animal will be able to detect this trait.”

So if she is a “Nurturer” does that make me a “Vending Machine?” By the time I got home it was spasms, claw hands and the pain shudders, so after some pain meds I lay down for a couple hours of which I hope I slept some and then off to the dentist. I only passed out once, but lost eyesight in one eye and faded in and out. Who knew that getting stabbed by sharp implements a couple hundred times in the gums and having a mouth full of blood could be kind of taxing on the system? I told them that I wasn’t sure why I was so into getting my teeth in good condition (she said mine were tip top now), but at least if I die soon, if my mouth drops open in the casket during the funeral people will say, “Wow, she really kept good care of her teeth!”

There was some nervous, ‘you’re kind of creepy’ laughter. And I smiled, and Linda pushed me to the car, pretty much carried me in and then carried me inside the apartment and more meds.

There I started immediately on the final draft of a writing piece I had PROMISED to finish today for international women’s day (well actually promised to finish a few days ago but hey…). After nine edits of three drafts it was done. And now, my bottle of cheer wine is empty and so am I. Tomorrow, a new day, and hopefully a new corset (and better matched socks!).

I made it!


Hermes said...

Great post. Perhaps we could replace doctors with Squirrels, they seem more fun and way more empasthic.

yanub said...

That's better, tell the doctor you have had it up the wazoo with testing testing testing. Shame on him for thinking that the needle phobia evaporated just like his dreams of competence.

The squirrels are adorable, and you are clearly their queen.

alphabitch said...

So glad at least one bottle of the Cheerwine made it! I do think that the glass bottles are very attractive -- but glad I sent some (unbreakable!) cans as well:) Is it my imagination or does it taste just a little better from the glass bottle? The cans are OK, but it tastes just horrible from a plastic bottle. To be honest, I don't know how anyone can drink that stuff (although I don't know how anyone can really like any soda other than Tab, or maybe Fresca. I tried the diet Cheerwine when I bought those for you, and I can tell you that it's better with sugar.

Love love love the blue corset. If I had someone to help me dress maybe I'd wear one more often; they are kind of complicated, now that you mention it. You are full of good ideas.

I'm looking forward to the squirrel video; those pictures are great!

Also, I do the same thing as Linda, taking pictures of things blooming and greening to send to friends and relatives in Minnesota. I've got some daffodils and (I think) hyacinths coming up I should photograph this weekend.

rachelcreative said...

The Mission Impossible squirrel description and photos made my day :)

You should offer some big studios the film rights!

Oh and this is a comment about your previous post ... but can't you be a writer as your job? Your work, your way, to suit your hours and schedule and life ...

Maybe you want more from a "job" than the work rewards and it's not that simple. But sometimes it doesn't hurt to state the obvious?

[Rachel ducks behind sofa in case flying objects or ninja squirrels) come her way]

cheryl g. said...

Yeah squirrels! Good job on the kidnapping Linda!

I'm hoping the GP actually listened and they will a)get another holter test soon, and b)not load your schedule like they are doing. I could tell that the old holter test is way off from your current status just in the time we've spent together.

So any radiation induced superpowers yet?

cheryl g. said...

Another thought... are any of the 3 or 4 appointments Monday stuff you could skip? For exampled, tell Triumph to go get stuffed if they're on the list.

Veralidaine said...

Squirrel post, YAAAAY!

I demand that someone send black squirrels to me. The only black squirrels we have down here are Abert's Squirrels and they are very shy, not at all like the outgoing park squirrels.

A Bear in the Woods said...

I agree: Squirrel love is the best of all the varieties of rodentian affection. (There's one big guy I like to hang out with in the local park).

anabel said...

It's great to get back to your blog. I moved recently and it took me over 20 days to get my internet connection up and running.

I love the blue corset.

Those squirrels are maniacs!

Gaina said...

We need to see about getting you some Assistance Squirrels, as I'm sure they are essential to your emotional well-being (actually, I hear a lot of people grumble about grey squirrels over here, but I they are here to provide light relief for anyone in a funk).

Lene Andersen said...

Glad you got to remind your doc who's boss and - most importantly - commune with squirrels. Linda knows what's good.

p.s. About those crocus? (crocii??) I hate you. Just sayin'.

cheryl g. said...

OOOOh Assistance Squirrels... what a great idea Gaina!

That would be cool sis and they work for peanuts!

Anonymous said...

Linda here.

Cheryl G - can you hear me groaning from the bad pun?

Yeah, we had a great day in the park.

Alphabitch - good to hear I'm not the only one. For the record, talked to my mom in Manitoba last night and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from telling her about the flowers when she was talking about the cold spell they've been having.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Hermes: yes, I think for every test I should get to spend an hour with squirrel (or kittens or puppies!), get a bit of balance to life.

Yanub: Thankfully, the Wazoo is the one thing they HAVEN'T tested yet. Yes, I find GP's really have to go, "So you're STILL afraid of needles?" Me: "No, I'm still PHOBIC of needles."

Hee Hee: Queen of the Squirrels! I like that, it sounds like the other side of the island on Wonder Island with Peter Pan.

Alphabitch: only one bottle made it and I have tried the cans but it is as good as I remembered it to be and I was like "I should keep it for a special occasion" and Linda was like, You should open it now...and I'm going to do it.

Thanks, I really like that colour blue for the Corset, will wear in Japan hopefully. Linda has her new corset from Seattle she hasn't worn yet too.

Yes, new flowers are so exciting it is hard not to share (even if they hate you).

Rachelcreative: Glad the mission impossible image brightened things up. I can write and I do have regular writing assignments as well as applied for a job as Writer in Residence at Library and trying for Grants for my non-fiction book. It is just, I miss being with people. I am always alone, I miss the banter about this show or that boyfriend or girlfriend. So for me, the job is less doing something but being part of a workplace where people can get to know me and see beyond the chair and get invited for drinks later or an office party and all the OTHER stuff which comes with work (plus some money too - I am not so fussed on it but all the people I want things from, like more corsets, keep demanding it!)

Cheryl G: Yes, I was scared they would just use the old holter and decide that say, Balance was the number one issue, or tremors while I am more concerned with "Um, how quickly is my heart failing and can you DO something about that?" - I guess even if they gave me a new heart, if the electrical signals in my head tell it do dance the funky chicken, that isn't helping.

Does feeling like gum scraped off the underside of the table during summer break by the janitor count as a superpower?

Actually, I need to book another one with Triumph to keep the pressure on them, no, I only have 2 on monday, the others are for the NEXT monday (I got confused and mashed them together).

Veralidaine: Well, if I can get a black in my lap and sitting pretty much in my crotch, I am sure I can get one into a box with enough peanuts, just also pretty sure he would chew out in about 5 minutes. Sorry, you need to come visit!

Bear in the woods: I agree, but I still have to work through the rest of the rodents.

Anabel: Yah! You're back! Glad you are reconnected. Um, you might not want to read back until you are feeling VERY happy. THanks, it is one of my fav corsets.

Gaina: I totally agree, but I want a black squirrel since they seem fearless and brillant and I could teach them how to break into safes and such - or did you mean assistance like getting my oxygen?

Lene: I do remind my doc who is boss - and that is Linda. As she knows when to take over my life, and when I need a special treat.

Yeah, sorry about the flowers but that's linda, I just publish it.

cheryl g. said...

Hey, if you can't occassionaly torture family with bad puns then what's the world coming to.

You can also blame it on me being a bit loopy on meds at the moment...

Michael said...

Your mood seems brighter, even if you are still in pain. Was it the sunshine? The squirrels? The time spent with Linda? Being assertive with the doctor?

I'm a bit more partial to raccoons, myself, but squirrels come a close second. Chipmunks are way too hyper, possums are too mean and forest kitties with their racing stripe just smell too much...


Lene Andersen said...

Oh, suuuure. Blame Linda for the weeping in Toronto. I'm sure it's all her fault!

tomcollins said...

cheerwine is the nectar of the gods. the glass bottles are the best because they use real cane sugar in them. the cans and the plastic bottles are not godly nectar. cheerwine and squirrels should brighten anybody's day.

orange juice and opiates, breakfast of champions. i want that on a shirt.

i hope you get the testing done that you need with some advance notice, i can't imagine having less than 24 hours notice for testing.

em said...

Hermes made me laugh. Nice one.

Your corset is beautiful, and I think it says even more about the weather there than the blooming flowers that you are in that corset in Feb.

Hey! Linda posted! I don't remember her doing that before.

Neil said...

Dear Squirrel Queen and Anonymous Linda:

So damned GLAD you had a good day, Beth! And my sons are jealous of your ability with squirrels; ours are too nervous to come anywhere close to us.

Lovely corset; maybe we should try to get you into medieval garb a la Society for Creative Anachronism.

Hmmm. Beth and Linda in medieval wear (with corsets as needed), being led by a service squirrel and a service cat - a Maine coon, of course.

Zen hugs and positive thoughts from darkest Saskatchewan, where it reached -10C today...

Elizabeth McClung said...

Cheryl: Okay, you are loopy, check! Will add that to the file!

Michael/Raccoon: I think knowing that Friday was only one or two appointment and then I could maybe sleep without having to get up for appointments combined with having squirrels who liked me for who I WAS (a mammal with the smell of peanuts on her fingers), helped me see past the pain a bit.

I would love to see and interact with some raccoons, but only Linda has seen raccoons in our neighborhood so far, not I.

Tom Collins: yes, I love cheerwine and all who love it - I did not know that about the bottles, so extra points to alphabitch who sent me two and negative points to seattle post office for snagging one. Yeah, the whole "Nuclear" in less than 24 hours is harsh, but I expect that the next one (liquid metal through heart) will be the same. Today I got a whole WEEKS notice of a specialists appointment. I notice they NEVER ask if I am doing something and one time when I actually WAS going to be in the hospital having an operation they got really snotty about it.

Em: I like to think the corset says even MORE about how I don't sweat at all and am almost always in heat exhaustion as most people were bundled up going, "I feel cold just looking at you" but you are right, no frostbite or anything! And a consult with a squirrel GP would be pretty interesting.

Neil: I don't know if I would call it a Good day as much as a Bad day with a good hour which is better than an all bad day to be sure!

I was in the Arthurian Society in the UK, because they dressed up and went to pubs (was there a larger point to it? I never found out). Linda has the most gorgous burgandy corset so we should get some shots of her totally! (next sunny day)

hope the weather changes for you...I don't suppose telling you the cherry blossoms are just starting to come out here will make you love me more. Sorry!

Dawn Allenbach said...

I can't believe you actually get squirrels in your lap! That is so freaking groovy! The closest I've been is a little guy putting his front feet up on my back tire, but I didn't have any peanuts.