Friday, April 13, 2007

Really pretty bad

I was in the car, ready to leave, when I was alerted that a patient had been identified for one of my studies. This lead to my scurrying around trying to get things semi-settled before driving to town for my massage...which hurt! 90 minutes of rather searing pain as she decided we'd work on my lower body. Have you ever had someone spend 20 minutes rubbing all the sore muscles in your bottom? Well, if you don't stretch that specific area, there's all kinds of pain.

"It's for the best. You'll thank me later." Massage therapist said as I gripped the table in pain while she worked on my legs.

"That's where they cramp." I gasped when she found the muscles along the outside of my calves.

"Oh, they're all messed up." She tsked. The she proceeded to dig and rub and smooth the flesh until I was sincerely grateful that time was up. I turned on my cell phone and pager to missed messages, dealt with parking, then went to my office.

I felt like death. Woozy and flushed and sick. But there was too much to do, so I made my way (painfully) toward my desk. I dug out the list of projects I made at home, then got started on sending the requisite emails, screen capturing images from software that was finished running, restarting some ftp software that failed to give me all the files, looked at other work and sighed over my list. I immediately called around and gathered information about this patient, then frowned when I heard he was an inpatient. That's not really the goal for me.

I arrived in his room - terribly depressing places, hospital rooms - and saw enough to truly make me sick and sad until his wife refused to let him participate.

"Thank you." I said sincerely, grateful that I hadn't had to turn him down. He was far too unstable to participate, so I went back to my office, feeling worse than before (emotionally and physically) and winced when I noticed the sun was shining from around copious clouds. I wanted gray! Was that too much to ask?!

I then went to deal with Project A, grabbing mounds of files and noting that the computer I needed was, as it usually is, being used. By someone checking email this time. With much hatred, I literally stomped back to my office, irrationally angry and increasingly sore as my poor muscles protested the movement.

"I do not," I thought silently but with venom, "have time to deal with this crap! There has to be an easier way than 'run back and forth until it's convenient for us to have you do this favor.' Stupid, miserable whores." Breathing heavily (from all the rage, of course), I arrived at my desk, placed the files down and tried to figure out what was different.

"Someone stopped by." Maria noted. "He took the laptop with him."

"No, no, NO!" I exclaimed, causing her to turn in her chair with surprise. I actually don't tend toward tantrums in the office. Today notwithstanding. "I wasn't done with it and I was going to take it home this weekend to finish a bunch of stuff and I Need It Back!"

"Oh." She said with some concern. "Can you call him?"

"No." I said. "The idiot has an out of town cell phone number and I don't have a long distance code for some strange reason. It's not like I should have to use my cell phone minutes to call people!" I ranted and she nodded in wise agreement.

I sent him a brisk email demanding the immediate return of the laptop (which he ignored. Jackass.), then almost wrote to Boss to complain about people who insisted upon thwarting me when I wasn't feeling well! I decided that was hardly professional and deleted the message I'd be composing.

I dealt with more work, then glared at the Project A files on my desk. I walked back over to the place where I have to work on them and found the computer was free though there were no chairs. I stood and started to get new data organized while some idiot behind me pontificated on how women were prostitutes because we all expected dinner and gifts before offering sex. I considered kicking him, but, again, not so professional. Especially as we'd never met. I rolled my eyes and ignored him, and continued to pout that I had to deal with stupid Project A.

I finally finished and felt moderately pleased with my productivity, then looked at the list of problems I'd accumulated and scowled again. I made an appointment with the MD in charge to look at the new data.

"Monday. Early. 9?" She said.

"That's fine." I replied, thinking that if she made me wait again, I would be forced to yell at her.

I returned to my desk - still no laptop - and grabbed more work to bring home, realizing that I'd likely be dealing with data all weekend, most of which is being processed as a favor to someone else. Dammit.

Maria was preparing to leave, probably hoping she escaped without me flipping out and yelling at her (though I was trying very hard to be nice when responding to her questions). "Katie?" She asked softly, hesitation clear.

"Yes?" I replied, turning to face her with an inquisitive look that I hoped didn't hint at my impatience.

"Do you know what this stuff is?" She pointed to the pile in the corner by her desk.

"No." I said, getting up and throwing away the phone books. "Do not discard until July, 2007."I read. "Screw you. I'll throw them away when I want to." I turned to view a box and a large frame. "The frame can go across the hall." I decided, then unlocked the door to place stuff out of our way.

"Do you want this box in there too?" She asked, trying to aid in my 'throw crap away' spree.

"I don't know. What's in it?" I asked, opening the lid and feeling tears arrive immediately. I took it to my desk and sat down.

"Are those shoes?" She asked, confused. I nodded.

"They're Winnie's." I explained and she looked at me, not understanding.

"One of the fellows passed away this summer." I explained. "She was killed in an accident and I told Jill I'd take care of her things, but I didn't know where they went. They'd been in this box over there." I said softly and she touched my shoulder in an attempt to comfort.

"It's fine. I'll take care of it." I said, patting her hand in thanks and wishing her a lovely weekend. I sat and stared at the box, throwing away documents on the phone system and parking regulations. Rubbing my thumb over the print on her business cards. Looking through random science supplies, papers, and a lab notebook. I ducked my head and considered her post-it notes, appointment reminders, a message slip. All in her friendly, loopy writing.

It made my heart hurt.

I organized what I thought should be saved and put it near Dawn's desk. As she's taken over Winnie's project, perhaps she'll find it useful. I was left with a pair of shoes. Brown leather with a tiny buckle and large heel. Size 9. At a loss as to what to do with them, I tucked them in my bag to bring them home with me.

I got dinner on the way, offered a cheeseburger to Chienne upon my arrival home, then ate while watching a Gilmore rerun. Then something else happened and I broke.

I stopped - a couple of weeks ago, I think - taking pills. I thought I could handle my moods and wanted to see if I was right. I don't know why I feel this is the right way to go - I don't know that I necessarily do think it's right, actually. I just want to prove I can do it. It's odd and likely stupid, but there you go.

"You can do this." I told myself as I felt everything start to shatter inside from all the bad feelings. All the frustration and anger and annoyance and grief and ick just wanted out. So I cried - just a little - then stopped. Then I got up and tried to walk across the room and found myself having to sit back down so I could give in to the misery for a little while.

It's OK now. All of the events were tolerable individually, but I get weak from being hit too many times, I think. Then something nudges me over the edge and I have to pick myself up, muscles aching.

I did, after blowing my nose and mopping my face, stretch. Reached toward the ground and holding for 30 seconds to ease the pain in my legs as my massage therapist instructed. It's a process, I reminded myself. I do what I can and react how I react and try to do better next time.

But today sucked. Just so you know.


Lucy said...

{{{{Katie}}}} I'm sorry you had such a sucky day. That was a lot to deal with. I hope tomorrow is better.

joy said...

(((hug)))) Here ia to better days.

The Contessa said...

I'm sorry you had a sucky day. I'm sorry I didn't read this sooner...

Your a good lady and a great friend.... monday will be better for all of us.... I believe it.

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