02 April 2024

Huh. I thought I had a lot more entries to catch up with than I do. This is just the third one I need to put online. I must have been thinking about my Substack essays and got my wires crossed.

I went to the library in Jennings yesterday and spent some time. I wanted to get some money onto my Chime to pay hosting, I wanted to get a better pill organizer for Dad, and I wanted to get ahead on Substack a bit because I was starting to fall behind.

Anyway, because I had a decent internet connection for it, I checked to see if my biopsy results are back. They are not. I’ve begun making Very Secret Diary jokes about it. Day eight: Still no biopsy results.

I also took another look at my EKG summary and the specific numbers mentioned in the results. I can’t read EKGs — it was never a skill required of patient admin specialists in the Army, even though we filed them in medical records (not really a discrepancy, I’m just saying we did encounter those squiggly-line printouts) — but the results were Englishy enough and the four items of (my) interest were Google-able. I can’t see where they got “inferior infarct” from. Doesn’t mean anything, I just can’t see it. I took some comfort from the language indicating they only suspect it. We’ll see how that goes.

However, my QT interval was interesting. It does not fall within normal range for a woman. I googled that one and turns out it does fall within range for short QT syndrome, which apparently is genetically inherited.

It is not something I have ever talked about because I assumed it was all just me being inactive and out of shape, but I have definitely had dizzy spells and similar all through my life. I wasn’t one of those stereotypical Southern belles fainting onto couches and needing smelling salts. It would just hit me at inconvenient moments just when I needed to have my shit together and an operational spine. And it was just a feeling, not a faint.

It wasn’t anything severe, though. Like, I could run two or three or five miles back in the Army and actually make it back upright and alive. But there didn’t seem to be any real pattern to the episodes other than I think getting overheated made them more likely to come on. Even then it wasn’t every time. Probably not even most times.

(Although it got worse somehow in the few months after I caught COVID. That seems to have improved, though.)

But the thing that really tugs at me is how I used to react to fruity alcoholic beverages back in the 1990s. Random, right? Seems to have been daquiris and wine coolers. It wasn’t every time and I never figured out the pattern other than those broad categories of trigger; it didn’t help that most of the time it was drinking out somewhere and I wasn’t the one who mixed the drink. But what would happen is I’d get this uncomfortable feeling in my chest. I don’t mean my tits, which are a different body part. I mean the actual area around my heart. It wasn’t heartburn, because I’ve had heartburn. I just know it scared me, and I’d sometimes have to go outside and catch my breath for a bit to feel better. I think it happened maybe two or three times that I can recall. I wasn’t a big drinker in the first place, but that shit put me right off wine coolers and most daquiris. (I don’t think I ever had a problem with the strawberry ones.)

So, I mean, I guess I’ll ask about it. I am pessimistic. I’m on Medicaid, and in my experience no one gives two shits about people on Medicaid. No one gives two shits about middle-aged women in any case, but if no one is being paid to give a shit it just makes everything worse. Medicaid has, I heard, the lowest payout of any of the insurance plans in the United States, public or private. No bueno. The ONLY reason I am on it is I need medical care and don’t need to be in medical debt for the rest of my life. I’m so poor I wouldn’t even be fined for not being insured, so it’s not that. But I was thinking. Maybe if I tell my medical people I want to start exercising but want to make sure there isn’t anything serious to the EKG result first, they might take ME more seriously. It would make them look good if I lost weight and improved my health markers instead of dying young, right?

I dunno. There are no maps for me anymore. I get why so many women want a man in charge. I get why I so often defer to men. It’s just easier. It’s not because they’re actually smarter.

[waves arms around at the general state of everything]

What’s the point of having gone to the moon when rhinos are going extinct, amirite?

“Can’t we go to the moon and also save the rhinos?”

Not with men in charge, apparently. If you can think of some other reason we haven’t done both, I’m all fucking ears. Plus you aren’t answering why we need to save the rhinos in the first fucking place. Where the fuck did they all go?

Right. Moving on now…

Oh no, wait. I should add. When was it? Yesterday? Probably. So I’m driving to Jennings one day recently, whenever it was, and I coughed.

It was productive. (I coughed up goop.)

I am not sick!

Particularly troublesome was the fact the goop had a color. I had to open the tissue back up that I used to catch it, after I got where I was going, and look at it again to ease my mind that my lungs weren’t bleeding.

If the color looked like anything, it sort of reminded me of that sticky crap that gets all over the walls with Dad smoking. Depressing to think he’s fucking up my lungs already, but that’s probably what it is.

I realized a while back that when medical types ask adult patients about general habits and addictions, they never ask if there is a smoker in the house. Well, ain’t THAT a gigantic fucking oversight. You don’t even get the filtered smoke that a smoker gets. If they’re smoking, you’re smoking. Just the way it is.

Nothing I can do about it. Like so much else.

Pity that I won’t be able to play the but-I’m-old card if by some miracle I live as long as he has.

Fucking men.

That said. I got on Amazon while we were in town today (he had an appointment with his nurse practitioner, which was the reason he got the labs last week in the first place) and did some pricing. I am still figuring out the portrait-drawing thing because my speed in all matters must be fucking glacial, and I wanted to see if it made more sense to get stiff mailers for my Bristol board or to get real drawing paper the same size and then get mailing tubes that would fit it, being that I only had about seventeen bucks in my PayPal to spend on it. If I had bought a pack of mailing tubes it would have made more sense to get the stiff mailers, but I bought a pack of two. I suppose that’s fair. There is no use amassing a gigantic mailing-tube collection until I know if I can make a go of this. Just selling one portrait would leave me the money to buy tubes and then some. I’m not fussed.

So that gets here Friday. I’m anticipating being bitched at for buying something off Amazon. If the universe loves me, it’ll get here while he’s napping. The universe probably doesn’t love me, but we’ll see.

I may set aside a couple days a week and just go do it at the library. I haven’t decided yet. I CAN do it in my room on the little card table — even an 11″x14″ will fit on that table — but I have to juggle the lighting, and if I’m working from a source image on my computer, that adds to the surface space I need. 99.9% chance I will be working from a source image on my computer. And hey, you never know. The right person might stumble across me while I’m drawing at the library. Making art where one is visible in public tends to bring more art business. It is what it is. But dumb reasons for me to do it all at home are sure to develop. Welcome to my life.