Friday, February 3, 2012

Watching the Wheels

My mom says I'm a lot more alert this morning. I guess that's a good thing. I'm not on any mind-numbing narcotics, for one thing. Also, I got a solid night's rest after several nights of either too little or too much sleep, and it feels good not to be in a hospital bed under 6 blankets, shivering with a high, inexplicable fever.

The withdrawals are being managed with OTC medications and my anxiety drugs. God only knows why I didn't ask for a nicotine patch while I was in the hospital, for I was going through awful withdrawal from that too. (Yes, I lit up as soon as I got home.) I feel much, much better than I did the last couple of days. WD's, as they're referred to in drug culture, or as Steven always referred to them as to me, are a tricky motherfucker. They don't usually hit until 4-6 days after you stop the drug and it's out of your system. My doctor was skeptical of the Immodium cure--essentially you take about 40 mg of Immodium 3 times a day to ward of the WD's, because Immodium is a morphine-based compound that doesn't cross over into the blood stream, thereby keeping it over-the-counter available, but it a) stops the diarrhea and b) eases up the shakes, the chills and the other uncomfortable symptoms. But he said that as long as it seems to work, it won't harm me and that it was ok to try. He's not real hip to junkies' ways of managing junk, so he had never heard of this solution before himself. But it does indeed work. And it doesn't constipate you at all--rather, it gives you normal bowel movements, instead of constant diarrhea. That being said, my diarrhea as of late was blamed on an intestinal virus, since I'd been running a 102 fever and had a highly elevated white blood cell count, which meant I was fighting an infection somewhere.

Now, with school out of the picture, what the fuck do I do with myself? Yes, take care of getting my health in order. That's the first priority. But everybody's got a fucking opinion of what I should be or could be doing with my time and my life. Everybody. Friends, family, doctors. Taking the course was my chief source of purpose this semester. Something to keep me busy. And more fun and interesting than going from doctor to doctor, certainly. Everyone had an opinion about me going off the narcotics. Some wanted me to medically detox, when they don't DO that for narcotics, or go to rehab, which wasn't necessary because I wasn't addicted to the narcotics, I was simply physically dependent on them, which was natural given I was on them for a year. Your body's response to a substance it's used to is to go into withdrawal when that substance is suddenly taken away. And to be in the hospital on the day my dad died from DT's from withdrawing from alcohol was not a pleasant thought yesterday. I was NOT going to spend February 2nd in Resurrection Hospital.

Christa, my best friend from high school, suggested she and I look into some volunteer work, which is a promising idea. We are signed up with Chicago Cares, and they have hundreds of volunteer opportunities in the Chicago area that would look quite good on my grad school applications, so perhaps we'll do something like that.

I need work done on my car and I can't drive anywhere. The air in one of my tires is almost flat. How the fuck am I supposed to get my car to the service station to get it fixed? Ma is going to ride with me to the service station tomorrow to at least put air in my tire, which has a nail or something in it that I have to add air every few days for, but now that I got my tax refund, I can afford to have the car fixed. I need stuff from Walgreens and to pick up my heart meds at Osco. I need $$ from the ATM. Ma's hesitant to leave the workers on the bathroom alone in the house for some reason, so I guess the requisite errands will have to wait until tomorrow.

I'm staring at the neurologist's card waiting for his office to open to schedule the spinal tap for next week, which still scares me half to death. I'd be more comfortable with the neurologist if he wasn't so freaking WEIRD. He carries a little medical bag with him that has only the following in it: a pen light, a reflex hammer and an otoscope. And he just looks weird. I'm sure he knows what he's doing and he's on the right course, and he's nicer than the bitchy Polish neuro I saw a few years ago, but sheesh. The guy didn't know what an eyebrow ring was.

(OK, I called the neuro. His uber-bitchy receptionist asked me if the doctor gave me an order for the spinal tap. No, he didn't give me an order. I was IN THE HOSPITAL at the time. They're giving him my name and number and he'll call me back. Argh, red tape! Medicine! This is what I'll be doing with my semester, I guess!) UPDATE: He never called back after I left him a message this morning. He ASKED me to call him this morning to schedule the spinal tap. Assface. I may seek another neurologist and take my MRI results elsewhere if this doctor can't even return a fucking phone call that HE asked for.

As usual, I digress.

It was awfully nice of Pastor Dave to come and visit me twice while I was in the hospital. I really dig the guy. He's got a lot of wisdom for a kid of 32-33, or however young he is. He lets me swear in front of him and doesn't chastise me for it, and says things like "I bet you want to get the hell out of here." Damn straight, Dave. His prayers are honest, to the point, and not lofty or conceited. He speaks from his heart, which I appreciate. I've connected to him, which I honestly didn't expect to, given I really liked Pastor Todd, our interim pastor he replaced. But Dave brings a fresh, modern vibe to St. Paul and is doing a great job as our shepherd.

I listened to John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels" this morning, and the song so aptly describes what people are doing to me right now. Like I said, everyone's got an opinion as to how I should be living my life, what I should be thinking about, how I should progress with my future, etc. As if I don't get a vote. As if I'm not an adult capable of making adult decisions. Whether it's my mom (who will always naturally tell her kid what to do, not her fault), my friends or other loved ones, who I'm sure all care deeply, but really, people. I've got it covered. I need a little space and to draw those in closer who I think will be of the most use and comfort to me now. I don't need chastising and disdain and accusations.

If you're not familiar with Lennon's classic, fucking listen to it. It makes perfect sense to me...

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