Friday, January 19, 2007
Sleep Evades Me
I'm thinking about switching my clocks around, so that during the day, it would be P.M. and during the nights, it would be p.m., and then I wouldn't have to worry about sleeping so much as trying to stay awake. Makes sense, huh?

If anyone ever wonders aloud: "Does huffing salt water up one's nose really help relieve sinus pressure?", I want to be the first in line to say "Yes. Huffing salt water will clear out your sinuses and will also result in the humbling posture of an octogenarian in a swimming pool--surrounded by bits of mucous and a viscous array of bodily fluids dripping out of the nose." I did my huffing over a sink full of dirty dishes (see previous post), so while gargling salt and swishing tap water 'round my nasal cavity, I had the additional pleasure of ruminating on this week's food intake.

1. Popcorn
2. Chicken Noodle Soup
3. Something that required a vast amount of ketchup
4. Velveeta Cheese and shells
5. Something else that required a more vast amount of ketchup
6. Is that apple sauce? Who eats apple sauce in the house?

I consider myself a rather simple being. I don't need much to keep myself happy or occupied. Give me some yarn, or some coffee, or a great cigarette, or a good book, or an opinion, or perhaps a compliment. Give me a feeling of contentedness, or a full stomach, or at least the pretense of good health. I'm ready to roll. But take my health away, and I become a squirming child, tearing up and weeping at my distraught physiognomy.

I caught a cold from my husband and immediately assumed it was bronchitis. I rasped for breath and heard the fluid in my lungs bubble up. I coughed violently enough to make my inner ear spasm, and my dear, darling husband reached for the phone. It was eight o'five in the p.m., so no doctor was available. Only one place to go! The ER...

...in which I told the ER staff that I was dying (in between rasps of air) and that I was a smoker (pariah! horrid witch!) and that I required an immediate breathing treatment, steroid shot, and inhaler. After twenty minutes of filling out insurance paper work, correcting the spelling of my last name ('No, not Frizz-Bottle, it's Fritz-COTTLE'), and maneuvering around the mass of Mexicanos inhabiting the bathroom of the ER, I got a room. Michael brought the laptop, so we were ready for a long night of anxious breathing and sermonizing about smoking. At long last (ten minutes, I think?) an ER physician entered our little curtained Mecca of healing and asked what medications I currently was taking.
"Zoloft," (gasp) said I.
"Ah huh," he said stoically. "And now, big breath in. Okay. Good. Let it out."
He listened to me breathe for about thirty seconds and said, "And when did you last take your Zoloft?"
I rasped for a bit, and told him it had been awhile, like seven or eight days. (I do this thing with my psychotropics--I don't take them once I start feeling better and less anxious. When I stop thinking about the possibility that I could have necrotizing fasciitis, or stop wondering when the world is going to end, or watch the cat for signs of diabetes--that's when I decide I'm cured, and just stop taking the Zoloft completely.
Anyway:
"What does my Zoloft have to do with bronchitis?" I asked the ER doc.
"Absolutely nothing--in that you don't have bronchitis. You have a cold. You are breathing just fine."
"I am?" (rasp...breathe....exhale...inhale...no rasp...)
"Oh. I am," I say as I glance over at Michael, who is laughing.
"So, I'll give you some antibiotics and an inhaler...but don't use it a lot, since it can make people kinda..." And the doctor glances at Michael as if to suggest people 'like her' go a little bit 'round the bend' on Albuterol.
"Shaky?" I say for the doctor's sake.
"Yes. Shaky."

Tidbit! I have two insurance companies, because I'm convinced I'm going to get very sick, so I want Michael to be protected from ridiculous hospital bills by allowing him to pay for my insurance through his company, and me paying through my own company (now defunct as today was my last day of work). And even though I have two insurance companies, I STILL had to pay $100 for a co-pay. The lady at the desk told me that if I didn't speak English, she could have gotten me into a program where I wouldn't have to pay anything at all. Rats. Next time you go to the ER? 'No hablas Inglis!" or whatever. This pisses me off, and I'm a social worker. Is there something wrong with that picture?

So, that's my adventure for the week. I have psychosomatic bronchitis. And the best medicine for that is a glass of salt-water (gently teased through the nostrils) and a tablet of Zoloft. Probably not cigarettes, though. They don't help with bronchitis, real or imagined.
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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