i've noticed over the past several years that i have finally come to a place where i can maintain relative calm in my headspace, but have witnessed evidence that the anxiety has moved to a physical place. or, remained in a physical place. i'll feel calm about a blood draw, but my body will still shake.
there i am in the chair. the nicest assistant lady was getting me all ready. i was babbling about having babies. she got me a blanket and strapped a pig snout device across my face for the nitrous. i asked if they had gone and scented it vanilla. which always smells like barbie dolls to me. immediately before, i ascertained i was having loss of control issues, which i really didn't expect. the nitrous was along for the ride just to get me through the IV. that was as far as i was allowed to go, mentally. we were doing absolutely nothing after that. nothing. maybe grab a coffee or chat over brunch. nothing definite.
dr phillips arrived and told me we were in no rush. take it easy. i worried over how i felt nothing from the gas and also worried that whenever i said that, and did my usual nervous conversational giggle, that they thought, "oh no. not feeling a thing at all you're wasted." so i also said, "i'm a giggler."
at some point, i looked up at the corner of the window and thought, "ohhhh. okay. i can see what's going on here. i can feel some kind of relaxation. or stupor." and i noticed the lengths of surgical tape surrounding the light shining in my face. and within less than five seconds, the remarkably thin membrane separating my physical anxiety from the situation burst and anxiety pus flowed freely. i noticed how my chin began quivering of its own accord, like when you're trying not to cry. and i found that curious. i was quickly losing the capacity to stifle it. so instead, i felt the biggest tears i have ever produced coming out fully-formed and falling straight off my face with their weight, not even bothering to leave a trail.
well, where there's smoke there's fire and flood gates opened and it was an anxiety apocalypse up in there. i was sobbing and twisting and wanting to breathe and suddenly felt the need to get the nitrous contraption off my face and raised my arms like i was going to throw it off and managed enough self-restraint to lower my arms without doing so and the nicest lady said, "do you want it off?" and i said, "i don't know. i think i might." okay. i really don't know what i said too much. but the thing stayed on, probably because they felt like it would help them tranquilize a wild animal.
and all of a sudden, they seemed very interested in starting the sedation. at some point, they managed to put that horrible elastic thing around my upper arm and i was more curious than alarmed by it. i'm usually just flat out alarmed by it. i think i was thinking that's for a blood draw and not an IV. so, some perplexation. and i said a couple of times, "but that's the wrong arm." meaning i somehow thought i would be more okay if it was in my left arm instead. and dr phillips was saying, "i promise it's the right arm. i do this all the time." and i asked them to please raise me up because who on earth wants to lie down when they are having control issues with people with needles? and he did that thing that men with needles like to do when i'm on drugs and he said, "look me in the eyes." have you people ever taken drugs and then tried to look someone in the eyes? that is not what drugs are designed to do... making you look in eyes. they are designed to make you not look in eyes. that epidural guy when i had oliver and three syringes of narcotics did the same thing. "look into my eyes." i am too busy rolling my own eyes up into my head to worry about what your eyes are doing.
anyway. dr phillips says, "look me in the eyes." and i think about the epidural guy and i've got much less going on with the nitrous than the narcotics and i decide i can look him in the eyes and i do and then i look at the corner of the room at the flying unicorns and they say, "look him in the eyes!" and so i look dr phillips in the eyes and he says, "i don't want to hurt you. i'll need for you to stay very still." and he obviously doesn't know how it works with needlephobes either, because the whole point of being a needlephobe is moving as much as you can while someone tries to stick a needle in you. like, the name of the game is seeing just how still you can keep that one piece of your arm while the rest of you runs a stationary foot race.
and so i say, "just hold me down somebody." and usually you'll say that while you've got some asshole, humorless phlebotomist looming over you who wants to jab you while you're in total control on principle. i've actually had someone do this. wanted me to calm down before sticking me, as if my unstoppable tears were a show of no consent on this jab and she would be brought before the phlebotomy board.
and so these people, nice and accommodating as they are, throw up a hand signal and this little, round assistant lady shows up and gives me this big bear hug from the left. i'm not sure if she's holding me down or just loving on me. and i guess the nicest assistant ever is the one holding the prize arm and i just kind of roll on to my right side and pull my knees to a slight angle and my feet start tap-running in my sneakers, thank god i wore sneakers!
and by this time, enough of the eruption has run down my moutainsides to let me kind of have some return to human decency and i might have cussed and blasphemed a lord to calm myself, which is kind of my MO, but i also think i remember saying, "IT'S OKAY. IT'S OKAY." and he got it in there.
and then i was on to, "did you start it yet? but is it on? am i about to go to sleep? is this thing on?" and i didn't feel i was getting a straight answer. maybe he thought i'd flail again. I JUST WANTED TO KNOW SO I COULD BRACE MYSELF FOR SLIDING DOWN THE FIRST BIG HILL OF THE ROLLERCOASTER I'VE NEVER GONE UNDER BEFORE."
and blippity blap. i struggle and struggle with my head and its consciousness and i look up at that top left corner of the sky in the window again and flutter flutter. once i see it two three times i see it and then it was gone and the nicest assistant ever was sitting on my left and saying whatever they say to you and my mouth was packed and it was mere moments before i was sitting in a wheel chair and she was strapping this ice pack-filled band around my whole head like we were straight out of a popeye cartoon.
i can't believe i have posted this photo.
i suppose we must have taken the freight elevator down or i would have remembered seeing myself in the highly mirrored main elevator. they probably don't want to scare all the street people in the regular elevator. she told me my family was already gone and waiting in the handicapped space downstairs. and i was loaded up and oliver kept asking why i was talking funny and he couldn't hear me and boy it'd be awhile before i could scream.
we went home. i took an ibuprofen, ate a cup of yogurt and a bowl of canned soup, waited two hours, took a hydrocodone, and sat on the couch waiting for all these people to go meet rachel and olivia at bahama beach. i thought maybe i was hamming it up and being dramatic for brian by starting to nod off while sitting up. they left. i took some glorious naps. they returned.
i started feeling super nauseous and decided to hold off on my animal-coated antibiotics until the following day. been having to re-encapsulate those things into vegi-caps. forgot all about the anti-nausea meds because who wants to put something in their mouth and stomach when they feel like they're going to puke? not this lady. i don't believe in counterintuition when it comes to vomiting.
i hemmed and hawed over dinner for ages. i didn't know if i had to eat certain foods because of possible pain or possible getting rice stuck in the wounds.
i finally said fuck it and chose roti grill. vegetables balti. rice up in my holes. you can't slow this bitch and her food down. it helped alleviate the nausea for a time and i realize this is in direct contradiction to my statement regarding counterintuition and vomit. this was FOOD.
i was surprised when dr phillips rang my phone during dish washing time. who has a doctor personally follow up? maybe he was afraid i was going to sue him for making me into a crazy person. he said i could eat rice with abandon.
at some point, i started feeling a little weird about the fact that all these odd and gruesome things were perpetuated on my person without my awareness. on the second day, i put on my criss cross bra and felt soreness and wondered if i had been placed in a harness. they could have been making me pick my nose in there for all i know.
i felt spic and span the following morning. popped in a hydrocodone for sport and an hour later wondered why i wanted to fall asleep on the floor. ever since, the hydrocodone have been relegated to bedtime for the sport of sleeping.
not feeling too shabby, considering the archaic things that went on in my mouth. had a few bouts of feeling ill or like i was dizzy and having an anxiety attack. could have been meds. could have been old-fashioned anxiety.
started using the old irrigation syringe two days ago. this disturbingly large thing came out of the bottom hole (not the bottom hole, but where that lower tooth had been). it looked like khaki-colored meat. a piece of a chicken strip basket from a ninth grade cafeteria lunch. as i fingered it inches from my face, i paused because juana, the stinkiest of shitters, had obviously come in and crapped while i was doing this and you have to get that business straight into the toilet or suffer the consequences for hours. and so i pause and turn AND THERE'S NO POOP. it was that chicken finger stuff that had been right in my mouth! smelling like juana's ill-stenched poop!
i hurled it down the sink and moaned and realized where the metallic taste in my mouth had been coming from for the past day and a half. i think it was decayed plum. who knew a plum could turn into such a thing?
went in for my follow up yesterday morning. it was like confronting the people you had been really drunk in front of. i only just now realized the assistant who walked me in and out was the bear hugger. are they saying, "so how are you doing?" to me in the same way they do every other patient? did they squint there eyes with just a bit more concern?
dr phillips came in and irrigated straight on that bottom hole. really, stop it. i can't keep clarifying every time i say bottom hole. it hurt a bit. i apologized for being a lunatic and blamed it on the gas. the nitrous.
that hole hurt with a new fierceness last night. i would have sworn i had a dry socket if i hadn't just been to the oral maxillofacial surgeon. popped in the hydrocodone early and two hours later realized i had forgotten to eat dinner and the room became very warm and i felt like either my mouth hole or my real bottom hole were going to revolt and i became shaky and icky and i shoved bread right in my mouth and forced one of those amy's pizzas that aren't really a pizza down after it while i watched dance moms. that's how bad i felt. and then i was better and knocked unconscious on the couch. the end.