All I could think about, as I lay there possibly slipping into a coma, was my ex husband's reaction-
"Juan is going to feel so bad when I go into this coma. What if I am having a stroke? I should find a pen and paper so I can write a note for people to post on Facebook about how his shitty attitude jacked my stress so high that I had a heart attack. Maybe I will just have them print out all of his dick emails to me and use them at the funeral for programs."
But I couldn't get up.
It was like my brain was in a cloud. I had to type really
slowly-like making more spelling mistakes and forgetting where the keys were.
It was hard to breathe and my chest hurt. Waves of heat went through my body but my hands were icy cold.
(Stop your occasional social smoking.
Why don't you shut up)
I was lucid enough to send emails, then I felt like I was going to pass out so I laid down. The room was blurry. It sucked.
( No-I wasn't drunk, even though May is not quite over)
I thought about calling the Picky Bastard and making him bring me something since he only lives two minutes away from me. People always offer to bring you something when you're sick. They never mean it. It's just something you say.
"Can I bring you something?" they always say.
"Yes. Can you bring me a whole rotisserie chicken and some tampons?'
"Well, I have to get back to work actually..."
No one really means that. No one actually wants to go hang out with someone who is sick. It's a drag.
I decided not to call Picky Bastard. Because I knew the first words out of his mouth would be-
"This is what happens when you drink Dr. Pepper! I told you!"
So I called my Mom who had also been doing her own version of my Online Freakout Research. My symptoms matched this thing called an "Apathetic Thyroid Storm."How cool does that sound? So cool, like a comic book character.
I could see a Dust Bowl family in the middle of Kansas looking up in the sky as a massive black cloud came rolling in.
"Look ma!" yelled one of ten or twelve little barefoot hayseed children."There's a Thyroid Storm a comin!"
And the hatchet faced, tired looking mother wipes her hands on her apron and says "Jimmy Jon get your brothers and sisters into the root cellar. I'm gonna go git yer Pa out of the chicken coop."
Because all the people who live in Kansas or trailer parks know that if you don't get into the storm cellar you'll get taken up into the Twister with the Wicked Witch who rides by on her bicycle laughing at you and deposited in Munchkinland where everything is in color. Which is fine-because they get sick of living in black and white-but the County Fair is next week and it would be a Damn shame to miss out on the pie eating contest.
"Are you high?" my Mom asked.
"What is this? Junior high school? No, I'm not high. You're going to feel really bad about asking me that when I slip into a coma."
Then she sent me an article from Web.MD that I'd missed in my own Paranoid Internet Research that described a whole bunch of symptoms that I totally had. There was an ominous warning in big letters at the bottom.
"Friends or family members of anyone experiencing these symptoms should call the individual and ask them if they are high on drugs. Then if they say No make them go to an emergency department immediately even if they hate the ER and are healthy enough to sit at the computer and obsessively write on their blog. It could be a THYROID STORM."
"I'm not going to the E.R." I told her."I'm going to lie down and slowly try to text people before I die so that everyone at the funeral can talk about how I knew it was coming because I was psychic. Even if each text takes ten minutes because I can't see the keys."
"I don't understand you sometimes." she said."You're going to the doctor tomorrow. If you absolutely won't let me come over there I'll leave my phone on tonight. Call me if you go into a coma."
I hate the E.R.
I would ride out the Thyroid Storm. It made me think of George Clooney who toughed it out on that fishing boat in the "Perfect Storm"
He didn't go to the ER, he just steered his boat right through the storms yelling at Marky-Mark to tie up ropes on the starboard bow or whatever
and look-they made a movie about that.
I hoped that Zoey Deschanel would play me in "Thyroid Storm"
There are two different kinds of these episodes-the regular, boring kind of Thyroid Storm with a super high fever that lots of people get and another, more rare one called Apathetic Thyroid Storm that doesn't have the fever.
I was happy that my symptoms matched the Apathetic one. It seemed to have more cachet-the storm that Andy Warhol's disaffected entourage might have. Or the Beat Poets.
Anyone can have a regular Thyroid Storm. But I went to art school. It made sense that I would get the Apathetic one.
"Yeah, whatever man," I could see myself in a black turleneck drinking rye and soda with a bunch of Nihilists, sweating through my chest pains and dizzy but sexy anyway-like Zoey Deschanel -because my liquid eyeliner was still artfully applied.
I really hate the emergency room. It's cold and you have to wait for four hours for them to run a million stupid tests and then finally come back and say "We can't find anything wrong with you Nutbag. Maybe you should go home and take a Tylenol PM."
"Okay-I'm not having a "Thyroid Storm" Then you feel stupid. Especially if you make someone go with you.
One time I was having one of those seizures I had last year and no one was around to take me to the hospital so I called all of my Match.com dates until my favorite one picked up.
"Hey, I am blind all of sudden. Can you take me to the ER?"
He came right over and took me. He even waited for me to get seen by the doctor before he split. We'd only been hanging out a week or so. His heroic rescue made me think I was in love with him for about three hours until the Hydrocodone wore off.
So that ER trip was fun. Because I turned it into a "date"
"I Cut off my left arm" you tell them at the front desk.
"Don't worry." yawns the nurse " I'll get an orderly to clean up all that blood. Just go have a seat in the waiting area until your name is called and fill out that form. You missed line 4- your entire family history."
Then you have to sit there for eight hours watching them wheel in old ladies that got here WAY after you did just because they have "chest pains". It sucks.
"I'm not going to the ER to check whether I have some crazy coma death-storm because it's boring and I never get the cute doctor. I will just write about it."
"That sounds like the DTs," said Trixie when I painstakingly texted-I'M DYING!
"Maybe its because your little Drinking Month is over. Sleep it off."
"But I looked it up! On Web MD! I could go into a coma tonight!" Its kind of hard to convey panic in a text. Just use a lot of exclamation points I guess. Which is hard to do when your hands are shaking and you can't keep it still enough to punch the right keys. Why are the keys so God Damn small? If I'm going to be having thyroid Storms with any frequency I am going to get an Iphone.
But I could feel Trixie sighing in her message.
"Get off the fucking internet and go. to. bed."
Sunny Haralson was born in a house of ill repute. After acing the first grade, she ran away to join the circus. At night, while the elephants slept, she learned how to spin and sew from the spiders. She made whimsical creations for the trapeze artists, who needed their outfits to be both beautiful and comfortable. Magpies brought her shiny objects to embellish the costumes with, if they sometimes accidentally brought an eyeball they'd plucked from some unfortunate, she forgave them and quietly popped it into her mouth. The circus, for all it glorious adventure, was often low on dietary protein.
When she tired of circus life she retired and set out alone to the desert in a stolen hot air balloon.
It's there, in a tiny FEMA trailer, that she writes her tell-all memoir. She steals ideas from the coyotes and writes them down with needles made from the giant cactus that guards her doorway. The UPS man never sees her face.