So, today I finally called the VA and talked to someone about the stuff going on with my own health. One of the things that happens when you are a caregiver is that you don't do a very good job of taking care of the caregiver. For the past year, I have been having nearly daily bouts of nausea. Some days it's just a little queasiness, and other days it's full tilt boogie. Today it came on full tilt, and I had had enough, so I called the VA. They were pretty calm until I mentioned that I also broke out into a real unattractive sweat with this and would have to sit down until I got my strength back. That's when they strongly recommended I come to the ER (the nausea, weakness, and sweat are suggestive of serious heart stuff).
The ER? Really? This has been going on for over a year! And it was only a little over a year ago that a hotshot cardiologist ran a wire up my groin and told me that my arteries were "perfect." But I am an obedient airman and I went in. It took less than 5 minutes for the ER triage nurse to figure out that I wasn't in immediate danger and I was sent to the Urgent Care Clinic. I ended up with three vials of blood drained and leaving some urine behind for them to examine. I go back in on Tuesday to see a doc and get results and figure out what is next.
I don't think this is serious. I am fair, fat, and well over 40 and it is very likely a cranky gall bladder. But I will do the drill and get back on track taking care of my own health. The cautionary tale is this: when you are looking after everybody else, you probably aren't looking after yourself very well and things go to hell. I also haven't had an eye exam in three years; and if I hadn't been taking Bill to the dentist every six months, I probably would have skipped that, too.
When I got to the VA Center and checked in, I was chided because it had been since May of last year since I had been seen in my clinic. Well, I was SURE they were mistaken! I am clearly not THAT irresponsible!
Except that I am. I checked my datebooks from this year and last, and ... yep! I am doing the stuff I jumped all over my mother for doing before and after my father died. Not giving care to the caregiver. That just disappoints me. I thought I was doing SO much better than that!
And as soon as I have that thought I realize that I have found another way to make myself feel bad. "Wow! I did a good thing for myself and I am finding a way to feel bad about it." The guilt that haunts us in grief finding a new and exciting way to torment me!
For the guys with sensitivities to female things, I suggest you put fingers in both your ears and go "La, la, la" during this next section.
When I got done at the VA, I went to the mall and did some retail therapy. I went looking for shoes to wear to the reunion banquet in San Antonio at the end of the month, and ended up buying nearly $400 in lingerie. Oh!
But, truly, when you go in and find that you are wearing the totally wrong bra size and you realize that everybody sees you LIKE THAT; it is an EMERGENCY!
Afterward, I needed a drink. I needed three drinks. Cosmos. Actually, I just needed two -- but they were SO GOOD, that I had the third just because I could. And oysters. And good phone with my girlfriends!
Ok guys, you can come back now. Seriously, I don't know why you get freaked out when we talk about bras.