I wake in the middle of the night, unable to sleep. After a nice three hour nap, I figure the muse wants me to write. Why else would I wake? And so I do. For hours. Then a Skype friend from the East coast sounds a musical note of notice. I sign on to say “hello.”
The hours pass on wings of silver flying fish and twenty questions. Word choice and sentence construction fill a tackle box brain of chum and lures, and I find myself pleasantly baiting all kinds of stories with quick ease. I use mini marshmallow hooks, lines, and sometimes sinkers. This is mostly fun. Occasionally, but not often gifting me upside the head in a kind of full tackle, sleepless headache. My friend does not seem to mind this scatterbrain tendency. He does though. Attempts to teach me focus. I am grateful.
Late in the day deli sandwich does not cure this physical malady. Pass to eat an apple instead. Still the splitting headache from early morning hours of poor posture, stagnancy, and no water does not leave. In the meantime my bladder is growing like a water balloon. This is the characteristic writing addiction that lends to neglect and hampers work performance some days. Threatens physical and mental instability.
But today is another day off. I stay in the warmth of my dear supportive bed thinking. Surfing in and out tides. Dehydration, headache and hunger, all of which I ignore. I have learned to tune out my body…not a good practice. Sometimes it points me toward sickness, a voice I cannot ignore after H1N1 came to visit not long ago. Fear is a motivator at times. Pity.
My amazing body begins saying give me caffeine. None of this balm in my house, not even Pamprin pills. Substitue with holy water in silent blessing. At 8:30 am my youngest appears like an apparition before me. She is miserable. She looks like someone has beaten her up. He right eye is swollen, her left eye playing catch up, as if someone has given her a back-hand to the face. Ouch! After one long look, and knowing she has been hosting a head cold and sleep disrupting croupy cough, I suspected conjunctivitis in the eyes. Sure. She was using the filthy, floor tossed, rice sock heat pack the last twenty four hours. Not to mention she is a lovely eye rubbing make-up girl. Ew.
And so we made the drive to Park City rather than Po Dunk, because the regular clinic was closed for State Basketball even though the teams lost at Region. No School. Lost instruction. Hm. Circled oKay into the parking lot and entered the Insta Care. This used to be the Peoples Clinic just off of Kearns Blvd.,I think. Still feels like the Peoples.
The sign in was all smiles thankfully, in mostly Spanish accents, and went more quickly than any I had ever experienced anywhere. I was being a magnet, and from my wallet, the frequently problematic magnetic strip of a debit card ran the FIRST TIME! Rejoice! Not alwuz the case in grocery shopping most days. This expedition allowed me very little time to observe the pain on the faces of surrounding patients. Enough though to remember some of it.
A lobby full of ski injuries: torqued arms, blown knees, middle age skiers resonating sad, pained expressions. I empathized and remembered coming to this same place with my son his Sophomore year. He had fractured his wrist near the growth plate, but by some miracle it did not require surgery. Just Doctor Pepper. Yes! This was his name! We laughed through the pain that day. And celebrated a casting, not incision.
Unlike Grandma. A couple years before Donavon’s snowboard mishap, Mark’s mom had stumbled in the front room, fallen on the new soft shag carpet and broken her humorous. Far from funny. Within a trip to this same building, and less than a month of convalescence, she died from the fall, or from the powerful pain medicines combined with her regular pill diet. Toxic. Stillness. Breathless, drowing pneumonia. Goodbyes. This changed the face of our lives forever to patterns of loss and grief. Unbelief for a time. Depression for Mark.
In being done with co-payment, I turned sad thoughts away from our own broken past to the broken present. The three of us passed a small blonde woman in a wheel chair, with elevated leg, a larger than life size blown knee packed in ice, throbbing bass drum. She was face pinched and scoring nine on the ten point pain scale. Had to temper my smiley face to be congruent to the mood. The woman strained and managed to softly apologize to us for blocking the path to seating. I tried to express my empathy and that her sorry was not necessary. She half received this. I prayed silent prayers for her.
And so we sat for maybe ten minutes. In that short time I accomplished much in my mind. Concluding this clinic lobby does not SPEAK LIFE, as the song suggests we do. I began to do a redesign of this public space toward more pleasant and more efficient. I do this critiqueing. I did this at JoAnne’s Fabric Store before Thanksgiving last year, and I myself, left the place limping less than I had entered. 🙂 I see a problem and begin to virtually solve in all its Seussness.
What if there were things for waiting patients to do while they watched for the door to swing to their turn? Things different than sports channels and Fox News on a blaring television. Things other than People magazine and Ellen Degenerates love confessions. Something higher and holier to get their minds off of their own pain and pointed in other directions?
“What if this place were redesigned to be more patient friendly?”
“How ’bout you be quiet for once in your life?” the middle child said. “Everyone’s in enough pain.”
“What if round hat looms and yarn were available for making winter wear for the needy?”
“OH! YES! That would be so sterile. A bunch of sick people spreading disease to others in knitting winter hats! Great mom. No.”
“Ever heard of laundry? Snuggle…you should try it sometimes.” I defend and redirect. I fear I am raising a disrespectful daughter. No. She is just hungry. This is the voice of her stomach.
“ Okay, what if the wall was equipped with music listening stations like at Best Buy? Drop down head sets, like yellow oxygen cups on airline flights. Create and pipe in a new Sirius channel called Oxygen,” I continued.
“Again. That would be so better in hypoallergenic. Nope. Fail!”
“Just provide wipees.” This is the case at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Rolling Stones are still rolling strong there….with no sign of marked sickness….unless it is in some listeners moral interpretation.”
“NO!” spouts Middle. I think 3M, the company, not my middle one of three. 3M would have something more encouraging to say toward genius sticky notes, or something, based on the book Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Leher.
“And what if there were mounted Etch a Sketches for little hands to create on, a white board wall, or floor for making beautiful life size colorful drawings, and over sized pads of magic paper and markers. This simulates the lemon juice science we used to do when you were small. Remember?”
“No. Did you hear something, Delanie?” says Middle sourly. I do not allow this to break my vision.
“What if there were interactive fine art displays, or tiled murals with color changing mood paint for little hands to explore?
“Hands. Germs. No way.”
“Then we would be at Gate Way in the Children’s Museum. Please, just stop mom!” pipes up a pained Angel. Even Angel has joined the assault. Sigh. I hold onto happy somehow.
If this were so, we would likely be in a Children’s Museum rather than the lobby of an Insta care. I get it. BUT, in this idealistic reality, we would most DEFINITELY receive pre-treatment, rather than stock yarding. We would find more insta healing in this not so instant….Insta Care. In experiencing healing ARTS and giving SERVICE, more would find quicker recovery no doubt, in prescribing and receiving LOVE. My daughters did not want to hear this SECRET, POWER, Law of Attraction talk that they had been subjected to on the drive over. No. Still I think we are in the dispensation, a time requiring CHANGE. Change for me to making more holy. Change for all.
Surely some design person, or architect can see opportunity for something other than the same old broken model of doctor clinic construction! Surely. I can not be alone in my thoughts with this. I realize potential. What if all my thoughtful energy could be directed like a Tesla current toward some good outcome. With help of course.
I turned another direction to Middle’s reading. Pride and Prejudice. She is proud and prejudice toward me. Still, Devon is a hopeless romantic. I love her. She is genuine and stands for her beliefs. What more could a mother want?
From her retell, I established she was disgusted with the family cousin, Mr. Collins. No surprise here. This character is repulsive to me and to many. She then went on to admit that she is most aligned to the character of Elizabeth Bennet. Who wouldn’t be. She said I was like Jane, not in age and outward beauty, but in inward delusional ways of the heart. Wow. Even my 17 year old daughter thinks she knows me better than I know myself. She may be on to something.
I offered oral excerpts from the self help atlas book, Kaplan’s, What You’re Really Meant to Do.” I am pursuing this in an attempt to better know myself and to perhaps temper and bridle passions toward salvaging my life and career. I volunteered readings and impressions to uninterested girls and also to silent, pained patients within ear shot. After the fact, I wonder if this added to their pain level. Yes. This was something I was NOT meant to do, maybe. What would Kaplan say? Cut my losses? My distractions. Find focus in the details. Maybe. Maybe not. More like accidental chocolate in someone else’s peanut butter creates Reeses peanut butter cup deliciousness. Or not. Maybe just a messy collision. Hm.
“What would you say my greatest strengths are?” I asked Angel and Favorite in the Middle.
“The book says for many this assessment comes hard fraught,” I add. I think this is not so for me. My daughters confirm.
In recording these things, I quickly see that my strengths quite often manifest as weaknesses however. My greatest strengths are also my greatest weaknesses. My Achilles heal. Strength replaced by a Prometheus bolder.
A boulder threatening crushing. Not unlike those that look down from above, authoritatively. At any moment, under the influence of super saturated soil, any one of these Goliath’s could roll onto the freeway.
This sure threat exists along stretch of interstate, in a little canyon outside of my hometown. This every Spring and especially hazardous for night driving. Yet another Night Blindness. How to change this? Drive cautiously in full sun. Don’t know yet.
I record my list. I goes from light to heavy.
- Optimism….reckless. I often default to this in the sad face of momentary set backs
- expressiveness………oral, and in face and body language. I am a light. I would certainly fail as a poker player; often magnify to extreme, loud and louder, dumb and dumber…certain regret in saying, doing too much toward excess in expressing truth
- creative & critical in questioning…..toward others annoyance
- problem solver…….by way of problem creation at times
- humorous……….mostly to self; others tolerate with sometime wincing?
- playful….. at the cost of needful serious
- quick wit………toward disrespect makes me Thomas Paine less the political brilliance
- boundary pusher…….beyond awareness fences and rules to the breaking of them
- authority challenger……..in search of answers, justice, fair and holy, simple understanding…….instead toward spinning into someone else’s “problem person” and then sorry
This is me. None of this ever intended to harm. None of this consciously predetermined, or premeditated in my mind or in my motives. Certainly not in my heart No never! It just happens.
Stuff just happens and I find myself in the midst of the mess. I find myself in this self created mire, paddling for my stinking life. This seen as defiant stirring perhaps by others. It is not. In reality I am desperately baling out my life boat while watching a hungry bengal tiger about to pounce. Life of Pi stuff. Rarrrr. A floating beautiful abundant island that turns cannibal and toxic in night vision. Hm. Perhaps the answer lies in dialing things down. Perhaps it lies in still and silence. In perfect timing, and carefully scored dynamics. Somehow, I think my Tabernacle playing Mountain Goat friend may be gifting me his wisdom. Maybe…..or other musical vibrations.
The admit clerk calls my daughter’s name, just as I begin to take drink orders for Circle K and contemplate take out from Taco Maker or El Chubasco for the girls. No time for refreshments or lunch at present in spite of it being the noon hour and we are thirsty, hungry. We pass through the holy health care swinging door into a hallway meant for vital signs and weighing in more questions. We all weigh in….ha ha. The tech is cheerful and tolerant. Our patient is 112 lbs. I am my usual muscle mass swimmer’s weight, and Devon only ten pounds less than me.
We are led into an aseptic, tiny cube room. I instantly can not breath, but don’t open the door as I sometimes do in these places. Sometimes asking permission. Sometimes not. The walls present in painted muted beige. The space holds no aura colors, bears no soul and barely a heartbeat in being hooked up to an assortment of mounted monitors, leads, and wires on the wall.
There is a rigid examination table with stirrups, and standard crinkled rolled parchment paper under Angel’s bottom. As she mounts this pommel horse, the horse blanket paper tries to speak with Angel’s slightest move. It is prisoner, as are we.
This room is not design for comfort and healing anymore than the lobby. Any more than C-collars and rigid EMS backboards prevent further damage to spinal chords. This room is meant for the ease and best convenience of the physician, and the efficiency of a Phara-ceutical driven health care system aimed at promoting a drug company agenda.
In spite of my criticism, though, in the end I am grateful for the monster. Angels eyes promise to clear up in a couple of days, thanks to prescribed eye drops. I know she will see again and be back to smiling her usual bright eye smile. I want some of her drops.
However, this came at a fascinating cost and with a freaky exam procedure. The woman doctor, bearing an Italian or Greek name no less, was excellent in her bedside manner and articulation of what and why would happen procedurally. Impressive. She numbed Angel’s eyes with local anesthetic drops. Once those had time to work, she added some yellowing drops. These to show if the cornea was damaged in any way. Dr. Saturnino wanted to make sure my girl had not scratched the eyes in painstakingly placing brand new disposable contact lenses this week. Contacts a new life event.
The eye exam was done with a device that looks like a pop-off side mirror from a dent resistant new car. It possesses a small, camera, viewer, and screen. With the cube room lights out, and Angel reclined still on her back, the doctor aimed the side mirror ultra violet camera at angel’s eyes. OMGosh! This turned angel into a green eyed purple people eater. Zombie, I thought. Walking dead. No. lieing dead. No! As she lay there blinking, the window’s to my child’s soul quickly turned sinister, EVIL, a chapter out of a Goosebumps children’s novel! Ahhhhh!
In no time, however, damage to the corneas was ruled out and conjunctivitis fell into place. Conjunction junction what’s your function I sang in School House Rock ways in my head toward the conclusion: Angel had pink eye. Even though in the dark, the eyes truly looked Satanic neon green, requiring I-ready intervention toward reading Holy Writ and Exorcism, the data pointed to PINK EYE. At first impression the data had pointed momentarily to spiritual deficit. No. My angel was still perfect, innocent, and holy in every way, just itchy eyed.
And so we left the Insta Care full of gratitude for a health care provider and system, that I often doubt. My negativity can not destroy today Angel’s cure today. Sight is more important than my being right. Not even Obama Care can threaten to destroy the fact that the system worked for us today.
We board my Pearl and drive across Iron Horse to El Chubasco. Entramos. Find a delicious lunch en un casa de los amigos, a terrific salsa bar, and musica…..happy Conjunto accordion music. Life is in good accord with hope of a full recovery of eye health for my Angel and no sign of Chupacabra’s in Prospector, Park City. Next stop….Holiday Village Theater to see The Son of God and for further healing on this wonderful day off. 🙂