you are acting odd; what is wrong with you?
I, with considerable effort, put my overloaded, hyper-extended, full-to-overflowing brain pan into “be nice” mode, rolled my eyes (of this I am certain) and said “I’m sorry, I was momentarily distracted by a conversation I had with your doctor about your condition”.
An over-the-top, bar none, bald-faced lie.
I was stalling until I could catch up to their hatefulness with a smile I didn’t feel and control of a finger I was having trouble restraining.
I was, instead, desperately trying to listen to what they said, their concerns, fears and complaints.
It was a strenuous effort to hold on to their words, to hear their voice. I was elsewhere, anywhere, everywhere.
It is where I have been for the past few weeks and quite frankly, I was exhausted by trying to be here when I am there and there when I am here and somewhere when I am everywhere.
It is not polite to tell patients to shut the hell up … that all they do is moan and complain about things that are mundane on any ordinary day.
Never mind that, in this establishment, such activity is frowned upon.
Severely frowned upon.
I want to tell them this; listen … I got up this morning with a thousand random thoughts running through my head, barely remembered to wash my hair while I was in the shower (my legs remain unshaven because, dammit, I forgot while I was thinking about the sunrise over the desert west of Las Vegas, a sight I have never seen but hope to and the thought of shaving my legs never entered my mind during the sunrise scene.)
I washed my body simply because there was an escape clause somewhere in my brain that says you must take a shower daily, wash your hair and wash your body (with soap, not just water), but there is nothing that says “you know, you really should shave your legs”.
I suppose I realize that is a necessity once the hair starts being evident through my clothes. Do people notice? Probably. Do I? Not until I cause myself hair-inflicted injury during a nightmare (or on a good, though extremely rare night), an erotic, racy dream of some sort.
Talk about a downer, when in the midst of a truly wonderful dream full of potential, my unshaven legs decide to speak up and thus take precedence over more pleasurable endeavors.
Even then, there is no guarantee that it will be done because my brain is on overdrive and going a thousand places at once.
I would love to be able to write a manual on how to talk and deal with a person when I (or a billion other people) are in the throes of a manic episode.
It would be short and to the point.
Shut the hell up unless the building is on fire and then, only tell me if I, personally, am on fire.
Otherwise, it likely won’t register.
In my head, I told that patient, a rude and hateful individual (and would be so even if I weren’t in my current state of mind) in the most placating, compassionate tone I could muster that I was doing my best and was hoping to meet their needs.
It didn’t go down exactly like that and it is possible that somebody will be getting a phone call. So be it.
It is what it is.
A typical day for me where I was up until this morning consists of waking up and immediately starting the internal argument of whether to shower first or brush my teeth; is the towel warmer on and did I take off my paper bracelet. Oh no, is there a clean towel to dry off with and is it in the towel warmer that I may have forgotten to turn on; damn this water is hot. Damn, this water is cold. I have soap in my eyes and while rinsing it out, don’t want to aspirate. Lord this water is going to burn my eyes out of my head. It just blasted in my ear. How much do I need my eardrums. Did I rinse the shampoo out of my hair. What is that sound? Oh, I remember, I started Mahler’s First on my Jawbone speaker but now wish I had put Chopin on because he does piano so well, but then Brian Crain is my now favorite, aside from my friend who plays my favorite song, one he wrote and played at my late husband’s funeral, on piano or my other friend, who plays piano and guitar, or at least, though little proof has been provided, I have heard tales. He played for me once, at least I think he did, but that was a hundred years ago and I may have imagined it… well not a hundred, but, at any rate, a long time; anyway, maybe Brian would be best because he is predictable and while that can become tedious, it is, at times, soothing to know that what I hear will be similar and nearly indistinguishable from the last thirty things I heard him play.
I love Brian, but he has a one track mind and little imagination. That is, of course, only my opinion and even though I am only now learning to play piano, I know what it should sound like.
If anyone sees a run-on sentence, feel free to comment to yourself because if you tell me, that restrained finger may very well break free. Take no offense, however, because you have been warned.
I proclaim the fifth and refuse to incriminate myself even as I am incriminating myself.
Thank God I have some Barry and Sir Elton mixed in with it, otherwise, I would be imagining my myself in a mysterious musical Brigadoon where everything sounded the same and I would relive the same moment over and over.
I need to get dressed but the clothes I washed three days ago are in the dryer; if, however, I turn the dryer on refresh, they will be as good as new unless I left lipstick (which I rarely wear but for some stupid reason carry in my pocket) or one of my much beloved, blue ink, sharpie retractable pens. They can make a mess on a uniform top that even a Tide Pen can’t fix and ruin a perfectly good pen at the same time.
My notes are extensive and must, without fail, be written in blue ink in the form of a retractable sharpie pen. Anything else leaves me bewildered because, for no other reason, it just isn’t right. Not now. Now while my brain is on a vacation to Uranus, which has recently been deemed as nothing in particular which means, in essence, that my brain is just hanging out on the outskirts of the universe with the outcasts.
And now back to the patient who wants to know what is wrong with me … In the end, I think I will introduce him to the finger after all. I think he could use it and since I have a stellar record as a nurse, I feel it is time to shake things up a bit.
So, in my mind, I give the patient the finger, tell hem to go jump in a lake and walk out of the room whistling.
I will know Monday if I actually did that or simply fantasized about it.
Secretly? I’m hoping I did it. I am feeling reckless and rebellious and find that my “give a damn” has a dead battery.
It is what it is and life, be it good, bad or indifferent, goes on.
As mamaw Daphne said, this too shall pass but when it does, it will leave a mark.
Thankfully, when this morning dawned, I found myself to be on the north side of sanity.
It’s all going to be ok.
So I am back to me until I find myself not myself the next time.
I am always thankful that Jesus loves me even when I am in a most unlovable state. He is my rock and I have complete faith in Him that He will keep me no matter where my mind has gone. He blesses me most often, it seems, when I am least deserving.
My life … it is always an adventure and (for the most part, except when it isn’t) a fun one.
Frenetic in China Town, NY … I can relate to that