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Aug 12

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Checking In

Frank MoraesHi, you all. I don’t feel like writing an Odd Words post, so I thought I would just check in with you. I also don’t feel like writing any of the posts that have been piling up in my head — one about Glenn Greenwald may be so out of date by the time I write it that I may not write it. But the truth is that I’m tired.

Early this last week, I wrote to my doctor, complaining of three things: breaking out into sweats; losing 15 pounds; and having high blood pressure. She set up some tests and told me to schedule an appointment after the results were back.

So on Tuesday, I went in to see the Kaiser Permanente vampires to give them four vials of blood. Because I walked the four miles to the office, I was somewhat dehydrated when I got to the draining office. And the phlebotomists had a hard time. I went through three of them. The last one got me in my hand. She was only just able to fill the fourth vial; the vein was giving out. And she left me with a pretty bad bruise afterward — which was kind of cool.

Nine Tests

My doctor had 9 tests run. I got to see the results before the appointment, so I was pretty sure what I was going to hear when I went in. Pretty much everything looked great. The only exceptions were that my cholesterol was a bit high — which is not surprising given how much I love cream sauces. And my thyroid was not functioning as well as it should be. So I figured she would increase my thyroid medication.

When I met with her, she did exactly what I expected. But the most interesting thing about my health this last few months is that I constantly feel — it’s hard to explain — dazed, perhaps? I feel like the outside world is unreal. It’s kind of like being a little drunk, but without the mental impairment. And so I asked my doctor if high blood pressure could do that. She said, “No. But stress will.”

Stress Kills — And So Much More!

From the moment we met, she took it for granted that I was suffering from stress. And I know that. It’s one of the reasons that I have avoided going to the doctor. It’s hard to seek help for something that you feel is your own damned fault. And that’s the thing with this stress: it is of my own making.

It would be one thing if I worked in an emergency room. But I don’t. I’m a writer. Nothing I do is that important. But I put a lot of pressure on myself — especially when I don’t think I’m doing a good enough job. And that has certainly been the case the last few months.

My doctor recommended that I see a counselor. (She shoved a bunch of papers at me with information on getting a counselor.) And she recommended that I go to a stress-reduction workshop. (She shoved a bunch of papers at me with information on when the workshop was offered.) And then she went over the standard stress-reduction things that everyone mentions: meditation, yoga, and binge-watching the entire Kung Fu series.

She also recommended a number of different teas. My doctor is a big tea drinker — as am I (I don’t know if that is on my chart). But I’ve never been big on herbal teas. But I’ll give it a try.

You Aren’t in Control

The whole thing is very weird, though. I feel like I should just be able to turn it off. But I can’t. I know that stress kills. And here is my mind — killing itself. It’s like a movie: watching yourself as the conveyor belt moves you ever closer to the spinning blade.

I don’t mean to be overly dramatic. But I fear all of us are hostages to parts of the brain we can’t control. I’m still hopeful. And tomorrow, maybe I’ll write about politics.

Permanent link to this article: http://franklycurious.com/wp/2017/08/12/doctor/

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10 comments

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  1. Natalie

    Even the doctor visits are stressful! Hang in there.

    1. Frank Moraes

      Thank you, Natalie! It was okay. I really like my doctor.

  2. Jon

    I miss working with you. Take care of yourself!

    1. Frank Moraes

      Same here, Jon. I’ll have to check up with you on Facebook.

  3. mike shupp

    Hmm … If you cure yourself of this (dis)stress and get back to living in a normal world, will you be carrying all the rest of us? To a place without Donald Trump?

    Get Better SOON!

    1. Frank Moraes

      If only I had the power! I’ve been calculating if I’m close enough to a nuclear strike location to just be vaporized. If it happened quickly, that would be okay. What I definitely don’t want is to live through a nuclear war. It’s sad to think that there a lot of people who are thinking the same thing.

    1. James Fillmore

      Fantastic news. What a doofus that CoC tool is. There’s going to come a point (I tell myself) where people stop buying this “low wages, no regulations, no taxes on the powerful” thing magically creates SuperJobs.

      1. Frank Moraes

        I’m not so sure. Fear is such a good motivator. Does anyone doubt that if Trump starts a nuclear war that his approval rating will go up?

        Think about that for a moment — if you dare!

    2. Frank Moraes

      Yes, I saw that! It is good news. I’m glad to see unions fighting back if nothing else.

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