The Pretty Bird is feeling a little plucked.

25 Jun

So. A number of things have happened since we last spoke. A few of them sort of suck. All of them probably constitute a too-much-information designation. None of what follows exactly presents the kind of smart, analytical stuff I want to write about here. But, eh, too bad. Come back tomorrow if you want the funk.

  • On Friday I realized that something unwanted was growing in my body.
  • On Saturday it became swollen and painful. Because I am shy about healthcare, despite the fact that my employer took almost our entire state-mandated budget cut out of our health benefits, thereby causing me to swear I’d use my health insurance every chance I got, I was hesitant to call my doctor’s weekend number. At some point during the day it became clear that it was that or the emergency room, so I called. The doctor was lovely and reassuring and helpful and I felt vindicated and a step further from death.
  • On Sunday I accomplished exactly fucking nothing. It rained some more.
  • Monday I went to the doctor. He was concerned, which meant I was concerned. I’ve done this particular is-it-or-isn’t-it-breast-cancer dance before, so, you know, it should have been old hat. But it is somehow not comforting when a doctor you like and trust tells you that he’ll just skip all the potentially needless diagnostics and send you straight to the surgeon, who he really hopes can get you in today or tomorrow. The surgeon couldn’t get me in until Thursday.
  • Monday night we had our very lovely friend Barb Shoup over for dinner and book talk and writerly gossip. Barb is an excellent dinner guest.
  • The surgeon’s office likes to have you fill out your registration forms online before you come in. I have a perverse love of medical history forms. Even though I can’t answer half of them honestly, having limited access as I do to my most basic immediate ancestry, I love the questions. Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? Okay, I only wish they asked that. How would you answer?
  • By Tuesday the relentless storms had flooded the back yard. It doesn’t begin to approach the house, or even usually get into the gardens. But it fills the middle of the yard. I swear I saw a squirrel digging the packing peanuts out of the trash, fitting them around his arms like water wings.
  • Tuesday afternoon I went for that promised haircut. It’s probably too short. In the parlance of the pretty-girl-short-hair pity-partiers, it’s most certainly “dyke” hair. I kind of like it this way. It suits my mean mood.
  • Wednesday I wrote a grant. The swelling went down and some of the pain subsided. Despite clearly having an unwelcome growth, I began to feel like a hypochondriac. As in: How dare I demand the attention of the overburdened healthcare system for a little redness and discomfort? I mean, it’s not even that swollen, anyway. I did a little work on the final kitchen details. I sat with my back to the sun in a comfy chair on the porch, drinking freezing cold water, writing a budget. Things. They were done.
  • The yard and alley smell like a fucking swamp. It’s not even an exaggeration.
  • Thursday morning I got up at an unpleasantly early hour, prepared to spend the entire day pinballing from one doctor’s office to another in the service of ridding myself of unwanted growths. By 9:30, a glob of opaque yellow-green gunk had been aspirated from a weird and misbehaving but ultimately harmless cyst and I was eating pecan pancakes with Andrew, who ordered the cherry crepes. We shared some bacon, then bought about 20 books from Half Price and were home by noon.
  • That was a big fucking needle.
  • Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a shrink in this town? For some reason, nobody has proper web sites or bios available, so you have to call all over God’s green Earth just to find out where anyone’s office is located. I mean, I have some shit, from the childhood, to work out. I have health insurance that I’m hell-bound to use and enough spare change for a co-pay and everybody here wants to heal the adolescents, or the eating disorders, or the addicts. After about an hour and a half of Googling and calling and Googling and calling, I finally got permission to leave someone a voice mail who may or may not ever call me back. How the fuck do people who are seriously anxious or depressed ever, ever get any help? It’s like some kind of test: If you have the stamina to get someone on the phone, you don’t actually need therapy.
  • It’s scheduled to stop hurting soon. Really, any time. I’m waiting.
  • Now, I’m drinking wine on freshly brushed teeth. Kind of gross, truth be told. By the second glass, I’m sure it will be just fine. Sometime tonight I’ll get tired enough to sleep. Then I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling like my plucky old self, and get right back in the habit of elucidating the distance between the world as it is and the world as it should be. I promise.
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3 Responses to “The Pretty Bird is feeling a little plucked.”

  1. Hailey June 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    Whoa… that was one helluva crazy week! Super glad the growth came back just a cyst. Also, you pretty much have to walk bleeding into a hospital with slit wrists before you can get quick and decent mental help. This happened to a neighbor of mine recently struggling with depression and anxiety. She couldn’t get an appointment for over a month with a psychologist, and she had a breakdown. Thankfully, she’s fine, but it opened my eyes to how messed up and supply of and demand for good mental health professionals really is.

    • Victoria June 26, 2010 at 12:12 am #

      Well, I guess I’m lucky. I was able to get in with somebody at my OB-GYN office at 10 on Monday morning, right after he finished his regularly scheduled c-section.

      And the shrink did call back, and even gave me her cell phone number, so assuming she’s competent and not a crackpot and maybe even helpful, that will have been relatively painless, too. But I think she was eating something while she left a voice mail, and she had to call twice–the first time she called she hung up. Confidence: Not fully inspired, just yet anyway.

  2. Håvard S. Johansen June 27, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Scary stuff, but glad it went well. Too bad thoughts and emotions can´t be removed as easily. At least you have pecan pancakes over there … and A. Scott. 😉

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