351: livin’ on a fat line

Thursday (4/21): Consult with other Dr. B. Not to be confused with the first Dr. B, who is my gyno. Dr. B’s a specialist at the sleep center where Dr. P thinks I should go for a study. The center for sleep medicine is located in the same building as the gyno. The building is also the Playboy Building. I don’t feel especially sexy whenever I’m there, though. Dr. B the Second orders a sleep study, which we schedule for Saturday night.

Friday (4/22): Benefit for Crossroads. By the time I get there, most of the food is gone and there is a cash bar. The benefit is attended by old folks sporting interesting hairdos and funky eyeglasses, twentysomethings wearing thrift shop party dresses, and small children wearing party clothes in gender neutral colors. After the awards are presented, Kathy and I leave to go to Margie’s. I know everybody goes for the ice cream, but I happen to enjoy the diner food they serve. We talk to the owner, who apologizes for the wait. “Those girls just sit there and they talk talk talk. What do they have to talk about? They’re 17 going on 90. Talk talk talk.” Eventually Kathy and I sit down for ice cream and we decide that we should go to the Art Institute the next day and then eat Indian food.

Saturday (4/23): On the way to the Museum, I warn Kathy that we are going to be subjected to some pretentious ass bullshit. Not so much in the art but in the people. Museum-goers with a few art history classes on their transcripts, or concave-chested students. I take Kathy to the my favorite gallery, the dark room in the Japanese galleries with the heavy pillars. We sit and look at the Chagall windows. Coming out of the contemporary Dutch photography exhibit, we see a tall girl with artfully mussed hair pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair. A middle-aged woman walking with them says as we pass “So when was it that Elsa Schiaparelli started using monkey fur?” and I bust out laughing. It took us a while to find Indian food after the museum, as Moti Mahal was closed. This we only discovered after fighting Cubs game traffic all the way up Lake Shore Drive. We caught the end of the buffet at Gaylord of India. It was delicious.

Saturday (4/23): I walk into the sleep lab at 9:30 sharp. A small girl named Kelly greets me in cheerful sort of way. Though I know that the other 3 rooms are booked, I don’t see or hear anybody else. Kelly leaves me for a few moments so I can change into pajamas, wash my face, brush my teeth, unpack a few magazines. When I open the door to signal that I’m ready, Kelly wheels in a white tool cart. She wheels it into the room, positioning it next to the bed. She carries the desk chair from its place next to the door and places it next to the cart. Before I sit down on the chair, we thread two pairs of wires into my pant legs, one pair for each leg. She attaches the ends to my legs with a sort of clear putty. Wires on my arms, chest, and she has to measure my head to wire my head properly. Sensor in front of my mouth, two for my nose. Kelly tucks me into bed, puts the remote control near me, and goes back to the front office to turn on the video camera and run me through some tests.

“Jasmine can you hear me? Okay I want you to close your eyes and breathe normally. Good. Okay now open your eyes. Good. Look left. Look right. Look up. Look down. Give me a couple fake snores. Perfect. Point your left toes up and down. Point your right toes up and down. Great. Okay, I’ll be right in.”

I forgot to mention that while Kelly was wiring me we talked about everything. Astrology (she has a scorpion tattooed on the inside of her wrist). Art. Ex-boyfriends (hers). Parents (mine and hers). Why I’m there. Whenever a doctor or somebody asks me why I’m there for a study, or at any of my other appointments, I always want to say “Um, isn’t it obvious? I’m fucking fat.” But I never do. I say something like “Um, I’m here to be treated for obesity” or “I have infrequent rare menstrual cycles, which I’ve been informed might be caused by PCOS”. But with Kelly it’s easy. She’s friendly and easy to talk to, so I miss her when she has to go start recording her data. Which is pretty much when I decide to go to bed. I don’t actually try to sleep until I watch the remake of “The Parent Trap” starring Lindsay Lohan, and read a few pages of The New Yorker. I kinda want to pee, but I’d have to ask Kelly to return so she could unhook me (the wires all lead to a few small boxes on the bedside stand) and help onto the commode. I think I have a restless night. I don’t think I ever completely lose consciousness. And then it’s 5:30 and I’m showering and getting dressed. I still have lumps of putty on my head when I exit the building, stumble into a taxi, and go home.

Sunday (4/24): I can’t sleep. It’s 7:00 am and all I can do is watch television. My mind races. I know that I have another doctor’s appointment the next day. I have dishes to wash. I’m hungry even though I had a wonderfully greasy bacon eggy thing from McDonald’s in the cab home. I decide, at 10 am, that the best thing to do is to do my dishes and roast a chicken. So I do. I even make mashed potatoes from scratch. I feel like I have more energy (thanks, anti-depressant) but I have no idea what to do with it. I join Kevin and Gabe for a trip to Costco where I buy a lot of chicken breasts and “Napoleon Dynamite” on DVD, among other things.

(Typing this just reminds me that I owe Kevin a check. Eek!)

Package of my favorite pens. A huge double-box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Four pounds of butter. Kevin buys lots of meat, and we have to pack me into the back of his jeep. I make all sorts of rude jokes about being smuggled, glad that my ass is not touching the porkchops. Well, not anymore, anyway.

Monday (4/25): No Jacalyn at work today, not for the week. A longtime co-worker just quit, so she had to go to New York and well, do what he used to do. At least until Wednesday, when she has to come back, close on a house she’s buying, and then take an exam (she’s getting a bachelor’s from DePaul) and then write a paper that’s due Friday. In comparison, I feel like a sloth. I go back to Dr. P and we go over the results of my blood work. It’s not good. I mean, I’m not dying and I’m not especially surprised by what he has to tell me, but I feel like I want to lie down and sleep for a very long time. He asks me for more blood and urine, which is really annoying. I’d been fasting all day as I had to go to Dr. B’s office at 6:45 that night to give her blood. I mean, I went to Blackie’s for lunch and ordered a salad and some chili to eat that night. It was maddening, though I found myself sort of meditating a lot to maintain composure and energy. I’m in the loo at Dr. P’s, contorting myself to catch my urine in a cup when I get a cramp in my stomach. And what’s really annoying is that I almost drop the cup in the rush to hold the cramp, make it stop. I’d have it taken care of, but there’s all this fucking fat in the way. It’s sharp and it hurts, and I nearly start crying. I calm down, pee in the cup, and push it into the cupboard for the lab to take. I give Dr. P some blood, then go back to work until 6:00, then back to the playboy building to give Dr. B the first some blood. The nurse is shocked that I’d spent the whole day fasting, and then is surprised by the bruise on my arm from the previous blood draw. She’s quick, and sends me on my way home. Another cab I really can’t afford, and I’m home to eat my wilted salad and lukewarm chili. Oh, and Kelly called. I definitely have sleep apnea. I definitely have to go back for a study, this time with a C-PAP on my face to see how I do with it.

Tuesday (4/26): Work sucks.

Wednesday (4/27): Back at the lab. Same routine with the wires, but instead of the nose and mouth leads a clear cup is placed over my nose. The cup is attached to a hose, which is attached to a humidifier type device on the bedside stand (yes, I got the same room). I don’t feel like I slept well the next morning, though Kelly insists that I did.

Thursday (4/28): I get out of the lab at 6:00 am. I’m at work at 6:30. I have to leave at 7:30 to go back to the hospital, this time for a liver ultrasound. I’m on time for my 8:00 appointment. I am the only young person in a room full of old people. I am lead into a dressing room where I can put my belongings in a locker. I put on a gown, then wait for someone to fetch me. Nobody does. I start to doze. Then I hear someone call my name. It turns out there was a little waiting room that I totally missed. Oops. I mean Tracy the ultrasound tech. He leads me into a room where I lie down on the exam table. He covers my hips and upper torso with folded sheets. I pull my pants down a bit and my gown up to expose my stomach. Tracy explains the ultrasound, and we look at me up on the computer screen. My liver. My pancreas and kidneys. I have to turn onto my side for the kidneys. It doesn’t hurt but I feel the need to focus on something else when he presses the sensor thingie a bit deeper into my back. When it’s over, he wipes the blue gel off my stomach, I stand up, and I go back to work.

On a lighter note, I have a nicer day at work than I did earlier. Went to lunch with Oscar, Cynthia, Svetlana, and Maurice the new guy. Later in the day, I tell Oscar and Cynthia all about the CPAP, and they demand to see pictures. I wouldn’t show them the picture that Kelly took of me wearing the CPAP, so we do search on what Olivia’s mom calls “interweb”. Cynthia looks at the images that come up, looks at me, and says “Jasmine, you are not getting laid with this shit.”

Cheers,
Jasmine

Be interesting. If you can’t be interesting, be weird.
[popbitch.com]

*songs*
Ella Fitzgerald – How Long Has This Been Going On?; Bing Crosby – They All Laughed; Kristin Chenoweth – My New Philosophy

*links*
http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/snoring/cpap.cfm
http://www.wesleywillisart.com/2003/11/oak_street_beac.html

*movies*
A Cry in The Dark (Saturday, 4/30)
sex, lies, and videotape (Sunday, 5/1)

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~ by Jasmine on May 2, 2005.

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