Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Noises

My friend is going through some bad shite right now and I've been spending a lot of time on the telephone with her, listening to her ups and downs and trying to help her get to a healthier emotional state.

I don't mind, not at all. I love talking to her and she's helping me deal with my own problems, just as much, or if not more, than I'm helping her. Plus, we're just big gabbers – there was one day we were on the phone for nearly four hours.

Crazy, right? Normally I don't even LIKE talking on the phone.

I don't know how you operate when you're having long telephone conversations, but I try to get other stuff done when I'm yakking. Not big noisy stuff, like Hoovering under the sofa, or distracting stuff, like blogging, but little stuff like emptying the dishwasher and cleaning out the kitty litter. I put the phone on speaker, because after a while the cell phone heats up and burns my ear, and I go about my business. I've made lunch while I'm talking to her, I've had a tinkle in the loo (but never number two - I have to draw the line somewhere), and today I painted my toenails and trimmed my bangs.

We were having a heavy duty conversation this morning. She was spilling her guts. It was emotional, rip-your-heart-out stuff. If I was her therapist, I would have said she was having "a moment." She was "making progress." It was deep, man. Deeeep.

Naturally I didn't want to interrupt her to say, "My throat is really sore and I need to gargle with this shit the doctor gave me," because that would be selfish and rude, and it would disrupt the emotional "moment" my friend was having. So I slipped into the bathroom and got out my medicine, while my friend continued to spill her guts.

"... I was surrounded by blood, and by trauma, at that point. It seemed like everywhere I turned, there was crisis, and I didn't know what I was going to to. It was terrible, just horrifying and ..."


I was laughing because I realized how loud the gargling was and how awful it was I was interrupting with GARGLING, and the more I understood what a complete jackass I was, the harder I laughed.

When she could finally get a word in edgewise my friend said, "What the FECK is wrong with you?"

Only she didn't say feck, she said the real thing.

"Do I need to call 9-1-1?"

Which made me laugh harder, which made her laugh, and pretty soon we completely forgot about the deeeep shit we were talking about because all we could do was gasp weakly and wheeze.

Best laugh I've had in weeks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Medical Guilt and Dr. Awesomesauce

The great thing about being Canadian is you have AWESOME health care. The not-so-great thing is, you feel guilty about using it.

OK, so maybe you don't, but I certainly do.

There's so much pressure on us (from the government, which is trying to save money, and from healthcare professionals who are run off their feet) to not go to the hospital emergency department unless we're fecking dying.

Sometimes we don't have much of a choice. Like yesterday, I tried to get an appointment with my family doctor because I had a sore throat, fever, swollen glands and earache. All I wanted was for her to take a quick peek in my ear and see if I had an infection but, no, the clinic I go to pre-books everything, so unless you know you're going to have an earache three weeks from now, you pretty much have to go to the hospital – or just ignore it and hope it goes away on its own.

It's so embarrassing, going to the hospital feeling like you're going to croak any second, only to be told, "You just have a virus. Go home. Get some rest. (And the unsaid - stop wasting our precious time.) Blah, blah, blah."

So, understandably I wasn't in a big hurry to visit the hospital but when my fever kept going up and my throat got sorer (more sore?) I put on my big girl undergotchies and went to the ER, sure as sun-up that I'd be going home with my tail between my legs.

As soon as the doctor came in the room to see me, I started apologizing. The best defence is always a good offence, right? It's like, if you point out that you're fat as a whale, nobody else has to do it ... and, goodness gracious, it's important that somebody point out your whaleness, otherwise, how would you know?

"I'm sorry, it's probably just a virus, but I couldn't get an appointment with my doctor and they said to come here, but I didn't really want to and I'm probably wasting your time and I know the healthcare system is overburdened and it's completely my fault for coming here with this stupid virus. I'm so SORRY."

The doctor grinned. "Stop apologizing," he said.

I swooned. I had a nice doctor on my hands. And he wasn't bad looking, either .... not that I noticed ...

"I just feel so guilty," I said, still apologizing.

He continued to reassure me that I had every right to be there as he checked my ears and throat, and then he said, "Well you made a good call, coming here. The back of your throat is coated with pus – you've got strep, alright."

JOY! I was sick! Really sick! If I could have done a happy dance, I would have.

Dr. Nice gave me penicillin and Tylenol 3 and a mouthwash and sent me on my way. I thanked him profusely, almost crying in the process (because that's what I do when I'm sick, I bawl like an idjit).

"Thank you," I said, with utmost sincerity. I wanted him to understand how much it means to be treated well when you're sick. "You are a sweet man."

He smiled.

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Laid Up

For today's A to Z Challenge, I'm calling in sick! That, ladies and gentlemen, right there, is why it's a good idea to write your posts ahead of time ... see ya tomorrow... unless I'm dead ... then I won't ...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kelly

It seems odd that I know more people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), than people with cancer. Doesn't that seem odd to you?

I was thinking about this yesterday, wondering why, and after much ruminating I realized that my friends with PTSD feel stronger, love harder and give more than anyone else.

And then it hit me how truly lucky I am to have these people as friends. One of them is my cousin, Kelly, and even though I think I know her, the absolute depth of her compassion still blows me away.

Kelly is a humanitarian, through and through, and an internationally renowned artist (that's her piece, above). You can check out her art on her website.

Happy K-Day, Mizz Thang. And thanks to all my PTSD ladies for being such good people.

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Jennifer Lawrence.

I bet you thought I was going to write about someone else whose name starts with the letter J, didn't you?


Nope, for me J is all about Jennifer Lawrence. I have to admit I have a real girl crush going on for her. She is SO talented. I just watched Silver Linings Playbook again the other night, for probably the fourth time, and I was still absolutely mesmerized by her performance. I felt my face stretching into a perma-grin throughout the movie, and I'd look over at Dave, and he was wearing that same goofy smile.

I can't imagine anyone else portraying Katniss in The Hunger Games, and she stole the show in American Hustle. If you've never seen Winter's Bone, you must see it ASAP. The film is captivating for many reasons but Lawrence shines like the future superstar she is destined to be.

I know she appears as Mystique in the X-Men series but it's hard to connect with her in that one because of all the blue paint, eyeball covers and weird red hair – it almost, but not quite, hides the essence of what makes her special... that girl next door quality, that honesty, that complete and utter lack of grace at the Academy Awards ...  I can so relate!

I'm looking forward to the release of her next film, also starring her favourite male lead Bradley Cooper. It's called Serena and it's based on a book I just have to read before the movie comes out. So I better get reading, eh?

And if you've never seen any of these movies, you had better get watching ... I'm watching ya, get going ... go on ... quit stalling ... EC, quit goofing around ... Delores, get your DVDs lined up ... Joanne, put down that damned glitter gun and Alex, step awaaaaaaay from the computer ...