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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My New Motto-BRING ON THE DRAMA

It occurs to me that the last time I wrote anything here, it was the middle of winter, and boy have things ever changed since then. It has indeed been an interesting and wild ride. Some of it would've made for some rather interesting reality T.V. Alas, the doctor and husband Jim keep nixing my idea of pitching the daily life of a small medical office to the Discovery Channel.

Anyhow. For the last few years, on New Year's Eve (one of the most useless excuses I can think of for people to get drunk and stay up late) I tell Cliff something to the effect of, "Okay, let's have a drama-free year this year." And it never fails-the drama only gets worse, more absurd, and more tragic. So...this year has by and large been one of the worst drama years in recent memory.

I personally went through a bout of alcoholism for most of the winter and early spring. I was so embarrassed about it that I wouldn't go to the same package store in the same week. This had a massive impact on my job, home life, etc. I blame job stress on the fact that I was drinking at all, but once I came clean about it to Cliff (one of the more painful episodes of our marriage), I quit cold turkey. Yay me! This was....geez, I dunno, March.

Things got really good at work. Beth and I were getting along really well (we hadn't been getting on so well on and off for months, this was the source of most of my stress. I almost quit on several occasions, once by dramatically picking up all my stuff and storming out of the office. I came back and was promptly put on probation for the third time. Many other times I just cried to Cliff and my father, who at one point called me a spoiled brat.). Things at work in March and April were great.

Then Beth had a lump removed from her breast. Then there was the day that will live in infamy. It was April 12. She was telling me al day that she had some vague pain from the surgery, but then another pain under the breast pain. We went to lunch at Friendly's (I paid, not that it matters). She talked mostly about the pain. We got back to the office, and I remember random moments-she was having trouble catching her breath, her doctor's office wasn't any help, she told me she felt like she needed to go to the ER (this being a woman who wouldn't go to the ER if her left arm was cut off), her getting flushed and rather panicky. I had no idea what was going on. The doctor checked her out at the end of the day, and then sent her to the hospital for a stat cat scan. I remember telling her on the way out of the office to call me later, because we frequently would talk after work. She never called me.

The next morning, I already had a sense of dread. Then I pulled the reports from the printer and realized that Beth had been admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in her lung. Her condition kinda deteriorated from there, with her requiring a ventilator and a helicopter ride to Hartford Hospital. Her recovery has been long, and complicated. She was in rehab for a while, but now, four months later, she is back in the hospital in intensive care again. Pray for her.

In the meantime, I held down the ship. I think at first that the doctor (let us call her Sue) had her doubts that I could handle the sudden responsiblity. Neither did I. Jim, ever trusty Jim, got us some help in the form of Leanne. We can all admit now that this was a painful stopgap measure. She spent most days playing on the computer and writing her friend Kimmy's name over and over again.

Next up was Angelica from the Temp Agency from hell. She was bossy, braggy, brassy, and ignorant. I tolerated it about as well as I could, it sure as hell beat being alone. Then she tried to call in a narcotic to a local pharmacy...and that was the end of that.

This began the period I like to refer to as the "Velma Kelly in an Act of Desperation Month" (for those of you unfamiliar with the musical Chicago, I am refering to "But I can't do it alone"). I was alone. Solo. Not easy. Hard. Bad. Exhausting. However, the one positive effect is a seemingly permanent bond between Sue and myself. We are a team onto ourselves.

We have Jamie now, and things are looking rosy. I am keeping in mind that these things can change, but I have a good feeling.

I am neglecting the few other icky things that have happened. Jim's father, who was one of our patients, was killed in an auto accident. Julie's boyfriend Justin had testicular cancer, then they broke up (his prognosis is good though). Life has been strange, but it's fun.

Oh, and the Red Sox are holding steady in first place in the AL East. Yippee! And Gabe Kapler is back from Japan! Quadruple YAY!

That's all I really feel like saying for now. My new motto is bring on the drama, because when I swear it away, it hits like a ton of bricks...so bring it on. If I can survive a year like this, there's nothing that can stop me now.

Burnham-Out.

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