I will start out by saying I have had the utmost respect for the medical community. Mary Sally2 has been a nurse since I was 4. My one niece is a psych nurse (a “neck up” nurse as she likes to call it). My daughter’s Dad and her step-mom are nurses. I have almost always been respectful to the medical community. I say almost. I yelled at my GYN when she told me my thyroid was not the reason for my fat ass. She laughed at me. It was a fitting response as I was acting like an ungrateful douche bag. I got a clean bill of health and I was complaining. So, since my thyroid was not the reason for this huge weight gain in a very small amount of time, we went with Plan B. Plan B was to check me for sleep apnea. It makes sense to since 3b recorded me snoring and it sounded like a freaking chainsaw. I could hear myself stop breathing and the snoring was not rhythmic.
My gyn suggests a Dr that she has sent overweight, middle-aged ladies to before. Her office kindly makes the appointment for me and a one month (and 22 pages of paperwork) later, I go into my appointment. This was last week. I get there; sign a bunch of papers and the Dr comes out to greet me. I get on the scale with my back to the number (I was wearing a very heavy hoodie) and we go into his office. He is a pulmonologist. A lung guy. OK. Whatever. The questions begin. About a half hour in we start talking about my childhood issues and mental health issues in my family. I answer his questions honestly. Then a series of three questions:
Dr: Do you ever see things out of the corner of your eye that are not there.
Me: Like shadows?
Dr: Or whatever?
Me: Well, I have but usually when I am tired.
Dr: Do you have dreams where you are dreaming you are awake?
Me: I…I guess? But usually when I am really tired or I am not fully in deep sleep.
Dr: Have you ever had a dream where you couldn’t move your limbs.
Me: Of course, everybody has.
Well apparently everybody has NOT:
Dr: Have you ever been evaluated by a psychiatrist for schizophrenia?
You could have knocked me over with a feather. My eyes got wide. I could feel my blood boil. I am pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. Now remember, I am there for sleep apnea.
Me: Tell ya what Doc. How about we both stick to what we know.
I was very careful with my answers after that because I was sure that he was going to ask me if the government out to get me. I would have said, “Duh, yeah.” Then you would be getting this column from a locked ward and Thom telling all of you I went away for a “rest”. Shit that. Of course I am a little off. So are you! We all are. It doesn’t mean that I have a dissociative disorder.
I leave the office after another hour of how Should I Answer These Fucking Questions? When I get to my car I do what I always do and call Capri. She is not home. Never fails. So then I do what I always do when Capri is not home, I call MS2 and tell her the story. After a few minutes of her laughing her ass off, she begins to swear at the Dr and yell at me for going to the Dr. I tell her that her friend the GYN sent me so call her and bitch her out to which she replies,
MS2: You didn’t embarrass me did you?
What the fuck? Like our last name is Kennedy. I tell her believe it or not this Dr. did not know you or your many years of service to the medical community. What is the first thing MS2 does, calls our brother and then my niece the psych nurse. As my foolish karma would have it, it was my brother’s 60th birthday. My sister and I were taking him out to dinner that night. My Brother hit the trifecta, he became a grandfather, he was having a milestone birthday and now he has something to bust my fat ass about from now until the end of time. Fucking great.
So MS2 comes over to my house and we drive over to Delmonico’s. My brother is there waiting at the bar and says nothing except the usually pleasantries. Maybe, he was gonna let it go, I think to myself. Remember, I said I think to myself, not the voices in my head. Trust me I know the difference. We are seated and are ordering drinks. We scope the menu and then he hits me with,
Brother: So what do the voices in your head suggest for dinner tonight?
Me: Shut up, Joey.
Brother: Which voice is that?
Me: The one that is going to get outta this chair and kick your old ass.
Brother: Hostile. They should adjust your meds or you won’t be granted a day pass again.
Brother and MS2 begin to laugh uncontrollably. This has been the weirdest day ever, I THINK to myself. Again, not voices, actual thoughts. I spent the next hour and a half telling both of them to shut up and not to put me down on any paper work because the last three words they will both hear is SWITCH THEM OFF.
An interesting note to this story is the response my beloved Capri gave me when I was telling her the story the next day.
Capri: What the frig is wrong with this guy? You are so concrete in reality that sometimes it is annoying. Mostly it is just depressing but it is reality none the less. Frig him.
Thank you, Capri. I think.