Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Sky is Falling!

This winter has been up and down. Between 60 degree weather—to a zero degree freeze. One morning, you’ll wake up with a pile of snow on your front door, and the next morning—it’s a summer downpour with a warm breeze. The weather almost has the same personality disorder as I do. Has the weather gone to therapy yet? Does it have bipolar disorder? Or is it simply PMSing?

“Oh the glaciers are melting! It’s global warming! It’s the end of the world!” Oh what—we went up one friggin’ degree and these people on the Discovery channel want to get their ratings up and tell you that the sky is falling. Let’s get everybody into paranoia-mode. Great. More money for our fellow psychiatrists.

“Did you hear about New York? There’s going to be a category five hurricane. It happens every 70 years, and we’re due for one!” One girl says to me, as I’m on line at the pharmacy picking up my medication. Luckily I was next in line in case I really freaked out. Just pop a few pills and pat the girl on the back and then say, “Now now, everything’s gonna be alright.” Then walk away with a big smile.

I can’t go anywhere without someone telling me that the world is coming to an end. “Revelations! Oh dear God! Jesus is coming today!” A pastor says, as I sit in church and wonder when the steeple’s going to come crashing on my head. The sermon was about ‘big brother’ and how cameras are put out everywhere to invade our privacy—and act of the devil. To me? It's an act of security. Bush is out listening to everyone’s phone calls. Oh yeah right—like he wants to hear someone phone bonin’ their girlfriend or talk about their family problems. Doesn’t he have enough to deal with? For crying out loud--he’s out playing golf people! In my opinion, I feel safe that he’s tapping the phone lines. He wouldn’t do it to ‘you’ or ‘me’ per se, but he would tap the lines of those suspected in terrorism. People—get a friggin’ grip here!

This morning I thought I was going to meet my creator. I woke up with a shooting pain going up my arm and then into my chest. It literally slammed me right back down on the bed. I immediately popped an 82 mg of aspirin that I was advised to take everyday---until the news came on and said that my brain could start bleeding. Great. That’s such lovely thought. Damn nimrods and their new reports. “New studies show that aspirin may not be so great to take in case of a heart attack.” No—a triple bypass may do the trick!

Anyway, I call Madelene up at work and tell her about my problem. She comes rushing over to pick me up and take me to the emergency room. What? Call 911? Did you even read my previous post? I’d be left for dead.

Madelene’s driving like old lady Perkins with all the time in the world. I might as well have said my goodbyes to everyone on my cell phone and make out my will right there in the car. I didn’t want to say anything, because she was nice enough to bring me.

We walk into the emergency room and they throw me in with a nurse named ‘Debbie’. The room spelled like funky whatever, and I didn’t want to breathe in—making my pain even more intense.

“My name is Debbie, and I’ll be your nurse.”
“Hi, I’m Debbie too.”
“Oh how funny!”
“Yeh.”
“So what’s bothering you today?”
“Shooting pain up my arm into my chest. I think I’m having a heart attack.”
“Does it hurt when you move your arm?”
“A little.”
I said, as I moved my arm around to check.
“Heaviness in the chest?” The nurse asked.
“No.”
“Pain in the chest area though?”
“Yes.”
“What kind of work do you do?”
“I’m a writer and do a lot of computer work.”
“Sounds like carpal tunnel.”
“Huh?”
“Typing all day. Your nerves are all related and even go into your chest. Your vital signs are normal.”
She says, as she takes the blood pressure machine off me and clips off the contraption she placed my finger in to check for my oxygen level.
“Wait behind that curtain for the doctor and he’ll be right with you. Also, please remove your clothing and put that gown on.” She suggests.
“Thanks.” I said grudgingly.

All this for carpal tunnel? I want to go home! I have to use the bathroom so bad and I don’t want to use the ER’s restroom for obvious reasons. I’m almost freaking out because it’s flu season, and people are breathing all over you in here. I’m definitely going to come down with something. Thank God I brought my antibacterial gel with me.

After waiting thirty minutes for the doctor, he comes walking in with a big smile. So, I smiled back to him. He was a tall black man with the nicest teeth I have ever seen on someone. I think he was smiling just to show his choppers off. Probably veneers.

“Well hello…(he looks at my chart to check my name) Debbie!” He shakes my hand with his damp hand.
"Oh--that's alcohol, don't worry." He says.
"Oh me too!" I said, now having my OCD rear its ugly head. I said it as if we had something in common.
“Chest pains, huh? You have to big of a smile to be having chest pains.”
“Well the nurse made a joke and said I had carpal tunnel.”
“Well, let’s take a look.”
As he chuckled and got his stethoscope out to hear what’s brewing in my chest.

“Left ventricle……right ventricle…..aorta………sounds good to me." He says, as he points to each member of my heart. "I’m going to ask you a few questions.”
“Okay.”
“Smoke?”
“No.”
“Family history of someone dying of a heart attack in your immediate family?”
“No yet.”
“Caffeine?”
“One cup.”
“Alcohol?”
“Daily.”

“We can certainly check you out with the EKG, but even if it shows nothing---it doesn’t mean you’re not having a heart attack. We have to do it anyway for insurance reasons.”
“Okay.”
Those words just didn't sit well with me.
“Other than that, you seem very healthy to me.” He said, as he smiled and left me lying on the bed that someone may have died on. Yes—these are the thoughts that go through my mind.

“Come on Madelene! Let’s get outa’ here!” I said in a loud whisper, as I threw my hospital gown off and started fastening my bra.
“But he has to check you!”
Madelene! Didn’t you hear him? I’m fine, and even if I was having a heart attack, it would still appear as ‘normal’----it’s all a business. If God wants me to go---then he’ll take me now.”

We scrambled out of that germ infested hospital and went home. I’m so sick and tired of going to the ER for an anxiety related problem. The doctors insist that I can’t possibly be having a heart attack at the age of thirty-one. I’m too young. Then I see on the news that some kid that was twenty-five years old drops dead due to a massive heart attack. Who am I to believe? Everyone is telling me I’m alright. I’m not! In fact, my family doesn’t even believe me anymore when I tell them that something is wrong with me.

“Oh it’s all in your head.”

That’s great. So when I actually do have a heart attack—they’ll think I’m crying wolf. My sister believes that I’m going to live to be 120 years old due to all my hospital and doctor visits for being a hypochondriac. That’s probably true, but I don’t want to risk not going to a doctor if something doesn't feel right. I told my family, that when I die, I want them to engrave the words, "I told you something was wrong with me!" on my tombstone.

For the next few months, I refuse to watch the news or health shows on TV. It literally makes me insane. The new studies, the new reports of what not to eat, and what the FDA has pulled off the shelves which are all stored in my cabinets. I refuse to listen of stories telling me that vegetables carry more bacteria than an uncooked chicken. Yes---the news reported that the other day. And I’m not going to watch anymore weather channel stories. I’m practically living in fear, and soon enough I’ll be typing out of a damn bubble.

I need to go drink my wine now and wait for the new ice age. If you don’t hear from me within a few days---don’t call 911!!! They'll never come.