“January 18, 1979,” I recited promptly and waited while he typed in his computer. “Thank you,” I smiled when he said my prescription would be ready in 15 minutes. I set off to pick up a couple of items – presents for the girls as I’m going home tomorrow, two more poster frames that make my living room look less like a dorm room, dog treats and cat litter.
“Hi, Smallest One,” I cooed when Mom called to tell me the girls were very excited I was coming tomorrow. “What does a cat say?” I asked, knowing my assigned lines. “Very good!” I praised upon hearing ‘meow.’ “And what does a dog say?”
“20mg of Celexa,” the pharmacist confirmed when I returned to his counter. “Three months?”
I nodded and thanked him again, feeling relieved that I’d finally found time to pick up the pills that help keep me steady. Then I came home to clean a bit, do some laundry, download audiobooks for my trip and shower.
“Make it stop,” I whimpered. “Oh, please, make it stop.” I winced, praying the 2 Tylenol and 2 Advil 30 minutes later would become effective before I threw up. I curled on the bed in the guest room, unsure of why I ended up there instead of on the larger bed in the master bedroom. I waited, forcing back nausea and reminding myself to breathe slowly when I realized I was panting from the pain.
“Thank you,” I whispered a few moments later, feeling the pain in my temple ease as though a knot was unraveling into smooth strands. Then, feeling Chienne curl behind my knees, I relaxed into the pillowtop mattress and went to sleep.
The Day Before Yesterday
“I can show you how to use the shower,” she offered. I blinked sleepily, muscles loose and brain pleasantly blank after a nice massage, and tightened the knot of my terrycloth robe.
“OK,” I finally said, perking up a bit when I noticed there were matching rows of three nozzles each on the walls, topped by one of those huge showerheads that pretends to produce rain. I tried to focus, thinking six controls seemed a bit excessive, and shrugged philosophically when my therapist left me to it.
Tossing my robe on a bench, I wandered toward the controls, gasping when the cold water splattered on my skin from the left. I instinctively reached for the closest level, hoping to stop the icy water, and instead turned on the other side of the shower. Scampering back from the dual assault of cold water, I giggled at the absurdity of the situation and braced myself before turning knobs and shoving at levels randomly, pleased when the water warmed.
“Water, water everywhere,” I murmured, figuring out how to turn on the overhead water. I finished shampooing my hair and reached for the complimentary cleanser. I turned, unsure of how to handle this bathing experience since water was coming from everywhere. But I’m used to turning toward and away from the water in the shower so I twirled aimlessly when I felt it was appropriate.
I returned to work after taking a mere three hours to have a massage (and shower) and sighed at the 70 new messages that waited. And all the stress I’d worked to shove away rushed back in seconds.
I sighed, went back to work and reminded myself that I was taking this weekend off.