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1. Doctors. Doctors, doctors, doctors. Phblllght.
So this afternoon I wrestled myself blearily out of bed to go see the doctor about my fatigue. My doubled dose of happy pills seems to be making me a more productive seamstress, which is nice, but isn’t doing much for the brainworms and even less for the tiredness. I’m not much of a one for following up on “come back and see me in a few weeks if things don’t improve” appointments, but as it happens Tiny Miles has been strangely droopy lately, and my left shoulder-blade hurts when I cough. Who can resist a three-for-one bargain like that? So off we went. Naturally, I didn’t get the same doctor I had before. I never do. The new one was jovial, friendly and utterly useless.
On the plus side, I don’t have chronic fatigue syndrome. I know this because the doctor shook his head, said “ehhh” and proceeded to advise me to take long walks, spend time away from the children, do things I enjoy, and relax.
“But I have plenty of time to myself,” I said. “The children are pretty low-maintenance, and I do lots of reading and hobbies and stuff. I don’t think I’m overwhelmed, just really tired. Are you sure it isn’t something like chronic fatigue?”
Whereupon the doctor smiled and said that chronic fatigue is “sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy”, and I should make sure I was spending lots of time with my husband. At which point the pig, echoing my own thoughts, said “When is he going to fix you, Mummy?” and he smiled and said “I am fixing her. Sometimes you need medicine to be fixed, and sometimes you just need to talk.”
At which point I restrained myself from clocking him one, proving that for a hysterical housewife I have remarkably good control of my emotions. We then discussed my upped Citalopram dosage (he: “That should help” – me: “But it isn’t, that’s why I’m here” – he: “Just wait and see, it will help”), Miles’ condition (he: “Wait and see, I think he’s fine”), my lack of rubella immunity (me: “I’ve been vaccinated for it before and I’ve had it. Apparently I just don’t seroconvert for it.” – he: “Ah yes, seroconversion can be a problem. Just make sure you keep being vaccinated.”) and my stress levels (he: “Sometimes you have pressures in your mind you are not even aware of, even if you think you’re fine. With two small children you must be very busy.” – me: “I’m really not that busy. They’re very good at playing by themselves. I have lots of time to myself.” – he: “You should have more time away from them.”) His final thought? “I knew a lady once who had chronic fatigue. She got pregnant and her fatigue went away. Now she has three children and she has no time to be fatigued. Ha ha!”
Forty-three dollars later, I’d completely forgotten to mention the pain in my shoulder-blade. I suspect he would have recommended bubble baths and chocolate.
2. We do seem to go through cars at a great rate, don’t we? This one, I’m happy to say, was totalled by somebody else. Helpdesk Man had the right of way, but that didn’t do the bonnet any good. Worst of all, when he went to the junkyard to retrieve the carseats he forgot to check the storage slot in the passenger door, and now my sister’s copy of Chloe Marr is compressed somewhere inside a cube of metal. (I’ll buy her a new one. Sorry, sister.)
Fortunately, my excellent parents have just obtained a new station wagon, and have lent us their mighty behemoth of a HiAce while we scavenge the funds for a new car. It’s quite an experience, driving an unfamiliar car – like being transmogrified into a baboon. Things are farther away, farther apart, squishier and angled differently to how you expect, and your muscle memory goes all fritzy. I’ve had a steep learning curve every time we got a new car, but this one – an arthritic sauropod with zero rear visibility – is particularly daunting. I now know why Father makes the faces he does – you have to, if you want to see behind you. Still, it’s kind of fun. Leaning down to take the ticket out of the carpark machine is a new experience, and there’s a certain feeling of clunky power driving something so enormous. Every time I drive it I feeling like getting a tattoo and eating a burger out the window.
3. You know, I really dislike doctors.