Strap yourselves in…
Yesterday I travelled over an hour’s round trip for my second appointment with the new doctor who I had placed quite a bit of hope in (realised or not) and when I got there… they’d given my appointment away. Not only that, the 3 receptionists there made a big deal of asking everyone in the waiting room which doctor they were there to see and making it obvious that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I waited 35 minutes to see the doctor for 10 minutes, because I had to collect my daughter from kindy and stupidly hadn’t factored in time for the doctor to be running late. But as I sat there telling myself I should have made other arrangements for her to be collected, I got angrier and angrier because actually they had given my appointment away. Afterwards, making another appointment (still unsure why I chose to do this) I asked if I should re-confirm and the receptionist vaguely asked if I’d received a text message to confirm the appointment and had they rung me this morning to confirm? No was the answer to both of these. So they expected me to make an appointment, reconfirm it and psychically work out that they weren’t sure if I was coming or not.
What bothered me later, among many things, was actually how furious I got. After I’d been sitting there for 15 minutes, I had to go and stand outside and stare at the trees for a bit and once I returned and asked if they knew how long the appointment was that had been mine, I found it almost impossible to look the receptionist in the eye and struggled to actually say the words to let her know I’d wait another 10 minutes.
I suppose I should look at the last week. My daughter started kindy last Tuesday and ended up in Flinders Emergency until 11pm that night as a precautionary measure for an injury received on the climbing bars. So not only was I leaving her in the care of others she and I didn’t know, she hurt herself when they weren’t looking. She wet the bed for the first time ever the night before going back this week and then wet her pants at the actual kindy yesterday. Besides all that, she seems to be adjusting though – who can tell what goes on in the mind of a nearly 4 year old.
As for me, I could wet my pants and no-one would notice. I have resigned from my job to which I have been loyal for 10 years and they could NOT CARE LESS. I don’t fit their culture anymore – they are well known for an old saying that they don’t trot out anymore because it’d be against HR laws, which is ‘Fit in or fuck off’ and so I am. Fucking off that is. I can’t help but feel so disappointed with how my period of being ill has been ignored by them. I hope one day I can look back on all the good times and amazing experiences I would never have had without working there and appreciate these. I plan to use them in my travel blog after all because I have seen a lot of the world and its fun to share.
So anyway, with all this, I’ve had the allodynia for almost the whole week now too. The one good thing about this new doctor (and I’ll say more about that in a minute) is that he doesn’t look sideways at me when I describe the random pins and needles and itchiness then ask me to follow his pen and look into the light. He seems to be comfortable understanding that this side affect is…. normal – hahahah what a great word to use.
He launched into a long description yesterday about how oligosaccharides build up in the nerve endings and cause them to fire in response to stimuli that may be as light as a hair moving. Or something, he lost me there. The feelings I’ve had in the last week take the form of feeling like I have a big ant running over my foot every now and again (confusing when you’re outside in thongs), my shoulders and arms prickle and the hairs raise like a ghost is behind me every few minutes. My scalp tickles and itches and yesterday I had some stabbing pains in my ear lobe of all places. I’ve felt like I’m slightly hung over for about 3 weeks – mean when you don’t drink alcohol, and I’m permanently scratching skin somewhere. It just won’t go away. It drives me nuts. I had forgotten how horrible it was, since I haven’t had this symptom for months. I had started saying I was getting better at the beginning of this year but now I’m just going to say I’m getting different. The past 2 months have been foul.
Back to the doctor. I was pretty dark with him when I walked in and so our session was perfunctory although he tried to make a joke when I spoke about work, asking if I wasn’t sleeping with my boss enough. I have a female boss now, but hey whatever. I didn’t find it funny because in the mood I was in, I wasn’t going to find Eddie Murphy funny. I had to redirect him to the blood test results. OK I knew he wasn’t prepared so I wasn’t going to let him fluster around and waste our time. We looked through them together and he uttered those usual words ‘Everything looks pretty normal’. I resisted the urge to yell, YOU AREN’T LOOKING IN THE RIGHT PLACE THEN!! But he paused at the white blood cell count, that was low, but ‘within range’ and so were the T3, TSH and T4 results – otherwise known as thyroid function. So a quick script for a thyroid hormone and I was away. Making another appointment to see him in 3 weeks to discuss how it’d gone. I can’t help but feel it was just something to do. Let’s see what happens when we tinker with this part of my body. I did some research into the tests and the drug he has prescribed me (of course) and there is a lot of skepticism about the thyroid level ‘within range’. I suppose the doubt there was enough reason for him to give it a go and see if supplementing the thyroid hormone I may be missing out on would improve my fatigue. Who creates these levels you have to ask yourself? On a side note, I watched a great doco the other night called ‘The Secret life of Breasts’. You may be able to view the link here but probably not if you are not in Oz. However one of the discussions surrounded the ‘safe level’ of flame retardant found in the breast tissue of a feeding mother. Is there a safe level? And why should there be? Who made that decision and based on what science and what are their affiliations with flame retardant producing companies? The question was posed are we poisoning thousands of people, specifically children in a blunt attempt to stop their toys and clothes catching fire? But my point is, what is ‘within range’ really? Doesn’t it just mean; this is what we think happens with most of the people we see.
I’ve been listening to a lot of music today, in an attempt to pull me out of my own funk. Listening to other people’s struggles and stories always makes me feel more human and less vulnerable.
Seth Sentry made me laugh with his lyrics to ‘Dear Science’:
Yeah science is amazing
But not to me though cause I am sick of waiting
I’ve been patient
I really have, I’ve been reasonable
Now it’s time to say what I needed to
Dear science, cheers for the iPods
White goods, yeah thank you for the cyborgs
Top work on the light bulb
That was quite cool
But where’s my hoverboard?
Ok -he’s disappointed he hasn’t got a hoverboard yet, but his chorus still rings true…
When I was just a kid at a tender age
I was thinking about tomorrow and them better days
I just wanna let you know you let me down
And ‘More than you are’ by Grinspoon. If you’re feeling angry or hard done by and you don’t mind a bit of rock, do yourself a favour as one of our loved music icons, Molly Meldrum, used to say, and have a listen to this 3 minute song. The lead singer of this band was so painfully shy in the beginning that he used to sing facing away from the audience and I saw him do just this at Homebake in 2004 (I think it was 2004).
‘Did you have plans to be a star?
Did you have plans to become more than you are?’
I reckon this guy knows a lot about expectations and disappointments.
So, I had plans, definitely to become more than I am right now. But well, crap. What am I gonna do? Sit and wallow? Get angry? Write. The last works. I think it’s a good idea to take notice of just how furious I got yesterday and that pent up rage is probably a result of the last week, the last 2 months and the last year, just quietly underneath. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the allodynia responds to anger poorly, which is not to say this is in my head thank you.
I am carefully planning a new life and getting all the ducks in a row there, but at the back of my mind questioning, am I not just doing the same thing I was before but in a different way? Doesn’t all this crazy experience call for something new? A new and different approach and what would that be? A writing teacher of mine last year suggested that once I had what I thought were all my best ideas for projects, to go back and dig deeper, push the ideas until they went out of this world and that was where the magic lay.
What would a new life planned like that look like? I can easily say this last year was surprising enough, so doesn’t it warrant an equal response?
I have to finish this post with another song. A cheesy one by Gym Class Heroes – The Fighter, because life feels like a fight at the moment and I need these sorts of songs to get me geared up for the fight. (Doesn’t sound anything like acceptance does it, but what the hell, I’ve never been good at sitting still!)
Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live- life- til- we’re- dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter