Discover more from Dying To Talk
As I understand it, it’s all relative.
For some, it may feel it’s been a long time since my last “story” installment. If that resonates with you, I thank you for your patience.
As a reminder, I concluded with the promise I’d discuss how to go about preparing a “catcher” to catch one’s descent from a fence.
Two things to know before you read on: First, I am not, nor have I been, on an actual fence as I have been writing this story.Despite this, this installment will absolutely begin preparing my “catcher” to catch me as I prepare to come down from my metaphorical fence.
Second, let’s clarify TIME. I am going to keep referencing “7 days ago” even though today is clearly more than 7 days since this story began to unfold.
I invite you to consider this more like a super-slow-motion >1000 fps movieyou are not viewing in one sitting.
With that frame of reference, let’s continue.
Since I began writing on Substack, I’ve had many people reach out to ask if I’m okay. Others are shocked to discover that all I’m writing is true. That this is not a poetic metaphor of similes (with the exception of the “fence” as we just reviewed).
If I have worried you, I am sorry. More importantly, please know how grateful I am for your concern and most especially your Love. Rest assured, I am well. Even better than when I began writing this story, 7 days ago.Yet this story began when I was far less well than I ever imagined.
Despite the presence of Zeus and the sounds of Cloud Cult, I remained distracted by my throat. My mind continued looking for other forms of distraction.
I began counting.
First, I counted the minutes before my husband’s alarm clock would sound. Far many more remained than my fingers and toes could support, so I began counting case reports of what I was worried I was developing.
I could find record of only 12 documented cases of a peritonsilar abscess in the absence of tonsils. This had me pause to wonder if I was case 13.
I remotely logged into the computer system of the hospital where I work and began counting the number of people in the Emergency Department (ED). 55 at midnight with 12 unassigned (meaning they had not yet been evaluated by a physician). I watched how these numbers changed. Was this the peak or the nadir? I thought this was the best indicator for when I should go the the ED.
Conveniently, the nadir that day was at 5:20 am, 10 minutes before my husband’s alarm would begin its soothing chime to welcome a new morning.
Between all the counting and the watching, listening and bobbing, I became distressed. Knowing how busy and overworked, understaffed and burned out healthcare workers are these days, especially those in the ED, the last thing I wanted to do was waste any person’s precious time and energy or the hospital’s limited space and resources for a sore throat.
I decided I would wait for my husband to turn off his alarm and turn on his bedside light. I would then place a note on top of his alarm clock and hand him his reading glasses.
The first line of the note read: I AM SORRY TO WAKE YOU.
Okay, let’s pause for a moment and return to the concept of preparing a “catcher” to catch. Between the hours of 12 am and 5:15 am I had lots of time to think about what I needed including what I needed to say. (Or write, more literally, as it was no longer possible for me to say anything after midnight).
NEED being the key word.
I began thinking about what I would need if I were going to go to the ED.
First, I gathered my ID and insurance card. Then, I changed into easy-to-remove, comfortable clothing including my socks.I had a jacket and slip-on shoes waiting for me at the front door. All I needed now was a blanket.
Turns out I have A LOT of blankets to choose from. So I took some time to think about which blanket I NEEDED.
One that was super soft and cozy while being easy to wash.
I began noticing that my distress was turning into worry. I needed to mitigate the distress I was worried I was about to cause my potential “catchers”, namely my husband and the staff in the ED.
Turns out, I had the perfect blanket.
I would LOVE nothing more than to share this perfect blanket with each and every one of you reading along. The truth is, I have no idea what makes a blanket perfect for you in any given moment. Only YOU know the answer to that. So instead, I would love to invite you to explore how any one of us can consider what brings comfort in times of distress. I suspect the presence of some one, some being or some thing may be part of the answer. I also would anticipate that the answer will change as the need evolves. For me, holding something soft and being held by something strong goes an awfully long way to helping me feel less distressed no matter the cause.
I’d love to hear what you would bring if you ever thought you needed to go to the ED? What you did bring if you’ve already been? (Which, if you have, I am sorry you did and I am glad you are no longer in the ED, assuming you aren’t. And if you are currently in the ED, I hope you heal quickly and that you have brought what you need and that reading this is helping to distract you from what ails you). Please share what made a difference? I’d also love to learn what you’d wished you brought, in case I ever have to go back!
I promisethe alarm clock will alarm and you will learn my husband’s response to reading my note and whether I go to the ED in the next installment ;)
As this post’s title points to TIME, I want to declare that it is finally TIME for you to get your promised song(s)!! So I want to thank you, again, for your patience and offer you a present, because I can!
I am a very curious person and love learning what makes people smile on the inside :) It would delight me and my insides to hear from YOU! I’d love to know your experience of listening to Cloud Cult. I invite you to share the song you are listening to with our growing community of loving people by posting in the chat section of this story. Please feel welcome to describe in whatever amount of detail you are inspired to share how the music makes you feel. If you find you are moved, like me, to want to be surrounded by Cloud Cult music LIVEand are in the Bay Area July 6 or 7, you are in luck! They are in concert at The Chapel and I will be attending both performances! Care to join me? No matter where you are and how you feel and what you may or may not be listening to, above all, always know how grateful I am to know that YOU ARE HERE!
Though I will say that in the process of writing this story I have noticed and seriously considered climbing and sitting on top of the numerous fences I encounter. If you’re curious, (which I hope you are:) future installments will make the reason for this amply clear in due TIME.
fps means frames per second. Standard slow motion is reportedly 60 fps while super slow motion is 1000fps. I am compelled to trust the reference even though I have no source info becasue anything referencing hummingbords has my heartfelt attention. Any filmmakers in the readership (yes, I know who you are and that you are HERE) please chime in the comments section (or chirp in the way hummingbirds do… except no need to be territorial, we’re all freinds HERE). Given all these footntes, please also share how to calculate the equivelant fps for the extra-slow speed of this story installment;)
Just checking in to make sure that we are all on the same virtual page HERE.
I was worried I was developing something called a peritonsillar abscess. I developed one my first semester of medical school and subsequently had my tonsils removed. As uncommon as peritonsiallar absesses are in children they are even less common in adults, and they are vanishingly rare in the absence of tonsils (pun intended). In fact, I could almost count the number of cases on my 2 hands.
Turns out that indicator has nothing to do with what I would later learn to be the true indicators of when I, or anyone else like me, should go to the ED. (To be clear, for your own health and well-being and the safety of others, please do not misconstrue any of this to be medical advice).
While many hospitals will let you get away with certain personal clothing items, like pajama bottoms, personal socks are always immediately exchanged for the one-size-fits-no-one socks with treads that, like a glazed doughnut, always end up facing the wrong side when they touch the ground.
Anyone who has spent any prolonged period of time in a hospital knows that even the warmth of a warmed hospital blanket that has just come out of the hospital-blanket-warming-cabinet (yes, this is a real piece of hospital-grade equipment) is too thin to keep anyone warm for long. Therefore, imagining waiting in the ED waiting room before any hospital blanket would even be offered, mandated I bring my own very warm-yet-easily- transportable-and-washable- (because hospitals are, contrary to what all the white coats, sheets and blankets suggest, a very dirty place) blanket.
Because, as noted above, anything that’s going to be in the ED needs to be washed the minute it is no longer in the ED.
I hate causing distress. If you would like a refresher on why, please see inaugural post, “What are you waiting for?”
This may be foreshadowing… you’ll just have to come back to know for sure.
If you would like a refresher on my view on promises, please see the post, aptly titled, “Promises”
I pretty much consider the music of Cloud Cult the sound track to my life. My family knows (and now anyone else not already considered my family, knows too) that even in my death, I wish for Cloud Cult to be played as a way for the people I love to know I am always with you. So as you listen to this music, consider yourself loved and know my wish is to be with you… assuming, of course, that is comforting for you. If that causes you distress then please forget I ever mentioned it.