My blogging tendency is long. Longer than long. I need to experiment with shorter form. So here is a recap of an unremarkable day, brief and to the point. (Except that none of my days are unremarkable, brief, or to the point.)
The morning: Banana bread with peanut butter. Children getting cantankerous as the days go on and I keep taking them to school as I haven’t done in months. I can’t work with their silliness at all. I shift the work onto J, and as soon as we leave the house, with the sun shining, they are perfect angels again. (And J gets to shower and emerge to an empty, quiet house.)
(Sidebar: I somehow was obsessed with telling Young J about social justice this morning. It started with zoo animals, moved on to police brutality and eminent domain, and I finally invoked a description of the Jews as am kshei oref, a “stiff-necked people.” It’s something he may have touched on briefly at school but it’s something that matters to me a lot, perhaps especially right about now. Stiff-neckedness, as a means of survival. Personal and collective. Yeah, I’m not sure Young J heard it all!)
Young A’s classroom has an “airplane” set up for the kids as they are taking a virtual plane trip to Israel today for its independence day. All the kids in blue and white. Young J’s ready to say goodbye at the curb to me again (but I did get to come inside earlier this week and see Spike, the adorable bearded dragon in his class). Young J already knows what he will order from the falafel truck tomorrow (a really good one, which will park right in front of the school). It’s a good sign he’s willing to try falafel. Note to self, he may be getting less picky.
J meets me at the cafe before we take the train together. We coffee up some more. He goes to work and I head to a checkup at the dermatologist, one scheduled long before the current crisis. In my bag, I have my steroids (in case I am still out at lunch time) and the anti-seizure drug they prescribed yesterday. My thinking is, if seizure comes on, I take pill which makes me sleepy, choose a subway, and take a nap for an hour. It seems to be a solid plan. (Perhaps the actual insanity of the plan is what keeps it from needing to be put into place.)
Get to dermatologist seizure-free. Long wait. Finally see doc and he knows what is happening and hastens to tell me about another patient of his, same brain lesions and drugs, who is doing great now. I like you, Dr A, always have. He checks me over, snips something to check (while telling me it’s nothing), and finally lets me just gab for a while. I am indulged by my dermatologist today.
I have some calls to return – the CVS pharmacist in Illinois has some drug interactions to warn me about. I call and stay on hold with Nurse Practitioner R for 25 minutes and she says it is fine, don’t worry. She laughs at my seizure-subway plan.
Where have I been on the phone? Out on the street for 35-40 minutes. It’s chilly today. But I’m on the block because catty-corner from dermatologist is my new eye doctor, the one with the droopy eyelid theory, and I want to send any notes he has to Dr P. I walk in there – obviously not a day the doctor’s in. Music blaring, smells of cleaning fluid, staff seem very relaxed. I ask them to send a fax. They are very cheerful but technically incompetent. Printer isn’t working. I ask to help them (because I have nothing better to do) and come back behind the counter and suggest stuff. Nothing works. The doctor also hadn’t written anything about the droopy lid, so I’d have to wait til tomorrow to talk to him about it. What I do, seeing an IT setup in shambles? I make a referral to J’s consulting business. I tell them he has worked with doctors and dentists before. They seem interested.
I stumble back out onto the street and stop at Sephora on the way to the train. I sure haven worn any makeup lately, but I know I’m out of makeup remover. I buy some, then some random Clinique eye thing, because it has SPF 20 on it so it must be helpful.
I get down to the train and a woman I have seen before in my neighborhood says hi, asks how I like my short hair. Her daughter is adorable and I play at guessing what her name is. Once we get on the train we wind up in a deep conversation and I tell her everything that’s going on with me, today, this week, this year. She doesn’t seem fazed. She listens. I smile at her daughter while I disclose the most painful things imaginable about my health. This is how things are for me, state of a random Thursday. Thank you, Adrienne, my neighbor, for listening.
On my way from the train to grab lunch so I can take steroid, run into another neighbor. He says he hasn’t seen me lately. I tell him. The five seconds flat cancer speech this time. He’s Jewish so I give him my Hebrew name. He’ll pray for me.
A slice of pizza in a bag. Home and scarf it down, swallow the pill, chase it with a liter of seltzer. It’s a living. That isn’t more or less than what it is.