Monday, March 29, 2004

miasma:my asthma. two scary middle of the night emergency room trips later, it turns out that my allergies have a companion. i cough and wheeze and just try to respirate. amazing how the stock in everything else goes down the tubes when you have to think about breathing, forcing it in and out. i have had two breathing treatments(very victorian, where is the bowl of leeches?), intramuscular shots of cortisone, chest xrays, friendly nurses bringing me graham crackers and apple juice, rolling veins, steroid tablets, steroid inhalers, preventers, relievers, no sleep. i have snored, i have heard a small child scream that he was really feeling much better when the doctor attempted to insert tubes into his ears. i have been sternly talked to about not drinking anything before having my temperature taken and then been sternly talked to about being dehydrated. i have been told to avoid animals, dust mites, pollen, dust, germs, cold weather, stress and have been advised to change my salt intake to sea salt. i have worn the same clothes for almost three weeks. i have slept on my face for four hours at a time. i have napped through lunch at work and have stayed awake at night sniffling and hacking. i have grudgingly inhaled lots of albuterol and been disturbed by how much it makes me shake. i have eaten three times as much food as usual because of all the steroids. i have an inhaler that tastes like rotting grapes and one that tastes like melting plastic. neither of them are what you'd call gateway drugs or something you'd take to have a good time. i have calculated what my expenses for two er visits and medication would be if i didn't have insurance and i can say that the attack the bills would have given me would have killed me.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

no, it's official: spring is here. i am a mouth breather. i suck in snot about once every 8 seconds. i stick my tongue out to do so. i bite down on my tongue and inhale, or attempt to inhale, and this makes a noise like the last of the bath water exiting noisily down the drain. and still my nose leaks on my upper lip. sure, i have tissue, in fact, i am currently balling one up in my left hand as i type this, disabling my thumb and making typing a chore. i blot and i apply pressure and i blow lightly and i suck snot. my eyes feel rolled in cat litter. i open them wide and then squish them shut. they itch. i rub them. there is pain. i open them and the itching continues, worsens. i am breathing through my mouth and i am unable to open or close my eyes with any deal of comfort and they are watering and i look and feel like a zombie. i walk around with my arms out in front of me. i keep my knees locked and stagger around. i hunt for benadryl. my head pounds. i think about going home, but the only advantage to that would be that no one would be able to see me sneeze my lungs out of my nose. these invisible things keep attacking my face, and i have to control the urge to scratch my face off.

Monday, March 08, 2004

how to describe the slimy itchy redness that used to be my eyes...ahh spring has arrived! or perhaps not! i think it's the lucky strikes i smoked last night while trying to pretend that my boyfriend staring at the wall and unsuccessfully attempting to pretend that his exgirlfriends presence at the dinner party wasn't bothering him wasn't bothering me. jesus, my sentences are reading like a sixth grade journal. but so anyway, i smoked these lucky strike cigarettes that my sister had given me. they had filters. which they usually don't have. in fact, the whole point of buying the pack of lucky strike cigarettes and slapping them down on the bar in front of you is to make you look tough, like, "i don't need a filter to keep at least some of the shit that i'm inhaling out of my lungs. i'm fucking indestructible!" but these were pansy-assed cigarettes in a tough-looking box and they tasted like those cheap old man cigarettes...old gold or whatever...and after i came in from outside i smelled like i should be sitting in a state-funded vet's home with an afghan over the shriveled remains of my legs, chain smoking these cheapo smokes and coughing until i throw up. they made my eyes water. then itch. i rubbed my eyes until i could hear the squishing sound that signals that maybe i was rubbing a bit too hard, but oh! it felt so good. and the relief that came from this frantic eye rutting was fleeting at best, and it simply came running back into my face at full throttle, and all last night, even after a lukewarm bath, my eyes just kept getting more raw and sandy. right now, even, while i'm typing this, if i squish my face up and really squeeze my eyes shut, the best thing that happens is a temporary reprieve from the itching by the introduction of a minor pain. oh visine! where for art thou?

Thursday, March 04, 2004

8:30am dentist appointment. i figure if i schedule body maintenance first thing in the morning, i'll get a jump start on the day. i arrive about 5 minutes early. attempt to check in. lady tells me that i'm at the wrong clinic, that where i want to be is all the way across town. so i jump back in my car and break the speed limit(sorry mom) for 15 minutes and get to the other clinic at 8:40. i explain what happened to the receptionist, who looks about 13 years old, and she said, no problem, they called us to let us know. i figure i'm off the hook here because really there's no way this is my fault. the hygenist, whom i'll call sandy, although that's not her real name, calls my married name(argh!) and without waiting for me starts to speedwalk back into the antichambers. i'm catching little glimpses of her ponytail as she turns corners and is sort of talking to me over her shoulder about how we really need to get going because i was late and she is overbooked(or something) and they don't give her enough time and on and on. i'm stilll feeling a little guilty and think to offer to reschedule but she tells me to sit down and rips through my file and shoves my xrays up in the little wall-hanging light table thing that i think is so cool, and she says to no one: "Oh great. You've got ALL your teeth. Well, that just adds to it." thinking she is joking i sort of half turn and say "what?" and sort of smile but she looks like she just has a headache and would just as soon strangle me as scrape my teeth. and then my repressed catholic guilt kicks in and i start to think that maybe i deserve whatever retribution she's going to dish out to me for having all my wisdom teeth. and speaking of which, i've never heard anything negative from any of my many dentists and hygenists about my teeth. i have room for my wisdom teeth, they're straight with out braces, i have one tiny cavity, my gums are the gums of someone far healthier than myself...basically i have teeth that everyone dreams of having. which sounds snotty and solopsistic and everything except that my radiant features pretty much end there. so i take great pride in my teeth. plus i don't have nightmares about the dentist like most people i know, as i have never really had any negative experiences there...they just look around in my mouth and i try to breathe through my nose and then they give me a new toothbrush that i use to clean around the kitchen sink and then i go home. but i digress. so this lady, sandy, she's not kidding. she's stressed and is not happy with me. and i want to do anything in my power to undo whatever unfairness has been dealt to her this morning, because in like, two minutes, she's going to have a sharp metal hook in my main orfice. so i sit still. i open before she says. i waive the polishing, which would take at least 15 minutes, i think. she doesn't say anything, and she doesn't really seem to be taking out anything on my gums, and the dentist comes in and looks around in my mouth and tells me i have great teeth and that's it and sandy seems relieved. and then she swipes some minty flouride around my gums and that's it. she must feel sort of bad because she says as she's finishing up my chart, "At least you were easy to work on." which, fuck it, i take as an apology, which is the closest i'll get here. i can't believe that i got chided in a dental office for having all my teeth. more teeth means more scraping, which takes more time, i guess. jesus, if anyone reading this is a dental appointment scheduler, for the love of god, give these people a few minutes extra every day. and double check which clinic you are sending people to. so i left and started drining away and felt an aching settling into my whold mouth. pervasive. definitive. all i could eat was peanut butter bread by sucking on it until it sort of dissovled. it ached all day. my fear of the dentist is now elevated.