||[Aug. 11th, 2015|03:05 am]
Plans can get so screwed up at times.|
So, I meant to post this weeks ago. But, the Tuesday before my last post, I was pissed off from work and decided to do some stress-induced window-shopping. And I found a near carbon-copy of The Mythical Pride Top. Yes, I bought it on the spot. I went home happy.
Also, my programmer brain was satiated. I had a baseline. It freed me to experiment looking at other styles.
Then I fucked everything up.
You see, I had (and still do have) a little feel-better plan. Nothing grand, nothing elaborate. Just simple steps to get me to a place where I might feel better about myself. Just things like new glasses, new hair, maybe some laser on the chest. Lots of little self-improvements, just to see if they'd add up. I'd also start looking more seriously for a new job. Maybe a holiday.
Then Thursday night happened.
Someone was leaving my company, and because I knew her socially, and because not many were likely to turn out, I went to her leaving drinks. On an empty stomach. Drink flowed on the tab, and it went straight to my head. We got talking about another colleague and her religiously-rooted homophobia; said colleague apparently had a big outburst one lunchtime about the City Council putting up rainbow flags for pride.
The girl who was leaving jumped in, and accused us of not really knowing that colleague, and that we shouldn't be talking behind her back. She said how we shouldn't be saying these things, and that the colleague had her right to an opinion, and that the truth must fall somewhere in the middle. Now, when it comes to advocacy, I consider myself a diplomat more than a firebrand, but I fail to see the middle between me being a monster against God that will burn in hell, and my having a right to just Be. I may be Wrong for other reasons, but I seriously doubt it's on account of my gender identity or sexuality. So I got angry, and countered that she was defending The Colleague's homophobia stance. She couldn't see how I couldn't find a middle ground, how the middle ground represented me being something Less Than Human. My voice raised, and I told her she was defending The Colleague's homophobia. Were I more sober, I'd call her an apologist. I got to a point where I was gathering my stuff, ready to walk away. Another pint was bought on the tab for all and it was settled.
I was about to go out for a reconciliatory smoke when I met some derby-folk.
Never trust a joint passed to you by a derby girl. Especially question it when the bar-staff come out to ask to you move the action further down the road, because of the smell.
By the time we were done, I knew I was going to white out.
I got my stuff, made hasty goodbyes, and got out before it all came to an hour-long crescendo in a corner of a side-street, puking my guts out. At various points I was sure my random fears and thoughts of being mugged or beaten up were future memories filtering back to me; thankfully, they weren't. Everything stopped spinning, and I felt safe enough to take a taxi.
After I got out of the taxi (I did fall asleep once or twice), my arm felt weird. I went to bed, thinking nothing of it.
The next day, I woke up with horrible dehydration, and I felt pins and needles in my arm, unable to bend it. It felt like I'd slept heavily on it. Thinking it might get better, I went to work. A few hours later I went to the GP. The GP looked at the lack of strength in my arm and said it was "impressive".
He told me it was probably neurological, and that I should get to an Emergency Department. He also said that if I had insurance, I should go private. I did.
Long, and terrifying, story short (although, if you ever are wheeled off to the MRI waiting room, do take a blanket, I didn't), my c5 and c6 nerves are bruised. I was told it'd take 6-8 weeks, and physio to get back to full strength. My overthinking programmer brain was already assuming the worst, so my words were guarded, "So I can expect some recovery, then?". Oh, yes. "So, none of the nerves are dead?" No, just bruised.
I told others about what happened, and I laughed nervously as I showed people what I couldn't do. I think I was still in shock.
But, that cast an immediate shadow on plans. I'd gone from assuming my body was just a fixer-upper, to one that had suffered a catastrophic failure, and a part of me still hadn't accepted that recovery was an option. I couldn't reach behind my back, so any exploration of the tops were out. My shaving and drinking hand were out of action for a while.
Still, I could type, so there was no reason not to go to work. And I had physio to figure out, and I had to feed myself and everything else. The little things suddenly hit me; would I ever eat sushi with chopsticks again?
So, here I was, with these thoughts of a piecemeal plan, and they all lay at my feet. Glasses and hair seemed irrelevant. Laser? How could I shave in preparation? As for moving jobs, I felt I really needed to make sure I still have health insurance to cover stuff (although the MRI is already paid for, and the physio isn't exorbitant), so that's me definitely locked in for a number of weeks.
The holiday will have to wait. I don't want to just take leave and stay at home, I want to go somewhere, but I don't want to drag a bag around with a busted arm.
In the two weeks since then, things have gotten better. I'm getting more strength into my arm as things regrow. That said, it isn't always smooth. On the Wednesday after everything, I booked a physio appointment in a fit of frustration; I couldn't get an appointment for anything closer than a week. I felt nervous going in, being able to bend my arm again, feeling like there'd be no work to do, but the physio did tests and showed me that there was still plenty of work to do. She gave me exercises that are trivially easy for my left arm, but are a massive struggle for my right. She was lovely, and explained a lot of things to me. Moreover, she provided exactly what I needed to satisfy my science-brain; I've now got a baseline for comparison, and a method for self-evaluation of my recovery (which doubles as a rehab tool).
The small things are coming back into scope, I think. The big things, like a job and a holiday may still need time. Also, the nature of the job might change, but that's another post.
But yeah, it's been a fairly big few weeks, and I'm finally regaining a sense of normality... AGAIN.