“Did I ever tell you about the time … ” It’s a phrase that should, by all rights, be a Ginny Idiom. Except that, you know, everyone already knows what it means. I don’t have to tell you that I’m a story teller by nature, or that I can never remember if I’ve told anyone the story before. It doesn’t help that most people are polite and will listen to the same story over and over again. (I should note here, I’m not one of those people. I’m the ass who goes “I know, you told me already.”)
Sure, you might not know that strange and unusual things happen to me at a rate that seems higher than normal. But that’s probably all in my head, right? Right? I mean, everyone ends stories with “yeup, that’s my life.” Right?
Well, either way, odd and sometimes painful things happen in my life, and it’s these stories I’d like to share with you.
Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the doctor for my headaches?
I’ve wanted to share this story with you for a while now, but it happened during my Min promotion, and I didn’t want to take time out from that for this. Especially since I was really pissed off at the time. Some stories just need to sit for a while before they can be told properly.
Some background: When I was fourteen, I became incredibly ill. I missed a large hunk of the end of eighth grade and had to go to doctors for extensive examinations and testing that included ultrasounds and upper GIs. And, can I just say, that upper GIs are terrible. They make you drink this thick liquid that’s like chalk mixed with the minimal amount of warm water than swallow pop rocks. All of this was so they could tell me I had gastritis, which, as I understand it, is basically a pre-Ulcer. So I have a history of anxiety and stress.
It also runs in the family. My sister, God bless her heart, has gotten so anxious that she’s ended up in the ER hooked up to drips and monitors.
And now that you have a foundation, let me tell you about my most recent doctor’s visit. I’d been having headaches for about two weeks. Ones that Tylenol, sleep, and Advil Migraine did nothing to touch. Concerned that I had a brain tumor (because my family also has a history of not necessarily hypochondria, but of being completely spastic about our health) I broke down and went to the doctor. The visit itself was nothing special. She tested my reflexes and used a system that looked like WebMD, but the professional version they don’t give to people like me, and diagnosed me with tension.
This is where things start to go wrong.
First, she recommends yoga, which I cannot do without a spotter. I know, because I tried to using Wii Fit once. ONCE. The next day I woke up with the most random assortment of pulled muscles in my life. Left butt cheek, right tricep, left whatever the fuck the muscle in the top of your foot is. How do you even pull the top muscle in your foot? So by this point, my eye is twitching. Partially because the doctor is obviously trying to kill me, but more because I know what’s coming next.
Sure enough, she suggests meditating. Now, it’s important for you to understand that I’m less an author, and more an average run of the mill person who hears voices in their head and lives in an elaborate world of daydreams. I always have. So I’ve never been able to meditate. I get in the pose, clear my mind, and then think of the best little story about a stuffed dinosaur that comes to life and tries to find Michael Crichton for giving his species a bad wrap. He meets a stuffed brontosaurus who comes to life and lives a tortured existence because they never actually existed. It’s tragic, really.
Which is, as you can see, off topic and illustrates my point wonderfully.
Already, I am not impressed with my new primary care. Oh, did I not mention that? Since I’ve been at this office, I’ve had three primary cares leave. I’ve only been there four years. But this is also not the point.
She then leaves, stating that she’s going to look up more ways to treat tension. And I’m not sure what she’s doing, since I was able to google it and get results in five minutes. Which left me trying to kill the other twenty-five that I was left waiting.
Yeah, that’s right. They left the girl with tension headaches in a room that smelled more than a little bit like hospital room poop. (Which is different than regular poop, if you know the smell you know what I’m talking about.) You know what doesn’t help my tension? Being left to twiddle my thumbs for thirty minutes.
Worse, not even an uninterrupted thirty minutes. They came and made me take an eye exam and then escorted me back to the poop room without giving me the results. So now I’m stressing out because I just filled out my open enrollment forms and didn’t select vision coverage. Should I go in tomorrow and beg for the forms back to correct this? What do I do?
Right as I’ve worked myself up into quite the state, Ms. Primary Care finally comes traipsing back in. She actually starts out by saying “So, yeah … ” which, as you know I use way too often. But the thing is, I’m not a doctor. After my “so, yeah … “ I get the reiteration that I should try yoga and meditation, to try sitting by myself in a dark room and take a moment to myself …
I should stop here for a second. My daughter, who I love, does not sleep at night. She stays up until like, one in the morning and will come in every so often insisting my husband go in and tuck her in. Even though he’d just tucked her in five minutes before. Not even, sometimes. The odds of me getting a moment to myself without her throwing a fit are slim to none. Unless she’s decided I’m boring and has run off to spend time with my father or my sister. Which is, of course, as I’m paying the bills or cooking or trying to clean and not when I can sit for a moment by myself.
But, enough about that.
“So, yeah … you should try meditation and yoga. Take a minute for yourself when you can. And I’m a big fan of aromatherapy …” And at this point my eyes go wide with horror. I have a very expressive face, I know this. Meaning I cannot hide my every emotion from crossing my face while people talk. But Ms. Primary Care is not looking at me, so she misses the dread that is coiling in the pit of my stomach at the thought of aromatherapy. Not because I think its hooey. I don’t. It’s just that the one system that fails my body the most frequently is my sinuses. Smells literally hurt me a good hunk of the time. Especially candles, perfumes, dryer sheets, and anything aromatherapy.
Beyond that, I fucking hate the smell of lavender. It burns my nose the way vampires in Twilight burn the noises of the werewolves and feels sickly sweet and … just no. The only thing I like less is lilac. So when Ms. Primary Care goes on to mention lavender by name, my headache is worse than it was when I went in.
I left after that, as quickly as I could, and had to try and drive home while my head hurt worse than most migraines I’ve had. Got a few hugs from my daughter and husband on my way to bed, took a nap, and then drank some hot chocolate.
As it turns out, hot beverages in general are the best way to handle tension headaches for me. And not just because it lets me review hot beverages on tumblr, and I could not figure out what to do with my tumblr. YAY solutions! There’s also the rather significant fact that I don’t smoke, won’t fight (because I’m scared of getting hit … well the pain associated with being hit) and boozing it up or “spending time with my husband” aren’t really cures I can rely on at eight o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday.
I mean, I tried insisting I had tetanus, but people started to look at me askance. Turns out they don’t find my assumption that I swallowed rusty metal while I wasn’t paying attention nearly as funny as I do.