My Mind is a Bullet Train

I kicked off this morning with the persistent words “A Book, A Thought, A Candle,” blazing in my mind. And since I don’t often get omens or messages from above, I thought this is one I should heed. So I’m going to give my addled brain what it wants.


Let’s start with the book. Have I told you yet about My Year of Meats? I’m sure I have. If not, I’ve been meaning to. It’s about a documentarian (documentariaist?) who’s been hired to make short films designed to encourage meat consumption in Japan. For her job, she traipses around the U.S., filming beef-eating families in ways that might make one want to eat meat. You’ll see what I mean. Just read it. Only one spoiler: You’ll never want to eat meat again. Or smell it. Or see it. And you may want to start caressing cows. (Platonically, of course.) But that’s such a small price to pay for a great book. It’s funny, too.


Onto the thought. It’s: Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy. Other than being the name of an Eagles song, and the title of a recent Thursday Drive post, it’s also a reminder that I’m my own worst enemy. I manufacture thoughts and anxieties and demons and crap, and drive myself crazy. And I want a new car. Or just tires? That would be a better analogy. Although in real life, a new car would work, too.


Let me tell you: the dark post about the ER? It happened, yes. Much the way I described it, except I upped the atmosphere ante because I could. I’m circling in an anxiety spiral lately, exacerbated by my upcoming flight, and it sucks. So what happened is last week, I thought there was something wrong with my leg. I was convinced it was a blood clot, about to travel to my lungs. I lived with it for a week, but the thought of it stayed with me always. Finally, last Saturday at 2AM, when I’d woken up to a red, sore and itchy leg that felt numb and heavy, I freaked myself out. The wheels, remember? I scurried into the bathroom, inspected my right leg, saw some back-of-knee veins bulging and swollen and felt sure that the clot would collapse my entire cardio-pulmonary system. Now I knew The Rock wasn’t going to like this. You may recall that he lives with me and is privy to my anxieties on a regular basis. So being 2AM, I thought it’d be a great time to slip out of the house unnoticed, take a quick trip the the ER, and be back before 5AM, no one but me the wiser.


But first, I needed to thin my blood. Just enough to stay the clot for my ride to the hospital. So I downed two Ibuprofen and some whole garlic cloves. Then, I crept back into the bedroom, swiped some clothes off the dresser, wrote a quick note to The Rock in case, GOD FORBID, he woke up and saw me gone, and bundled myself into the car. I’d made it about a mile, when I saw a crazy-looking dog cross the street. A crazy-looking dog, which reminded me of me. Soon, the dog became my anxiety mascot. But I made him a wolf. It’s scarier that way.


I made it to the hospital, felt like a fool, and spent hours in a foul-smelling exam room, which someone forgot to disinfect. And yes, there were blood smears on the floor. And tangled hair! Who leaves that kind of stuff for a hypochondriac to see? Also, there were crazy people who appreciably succeeded in making me feel less so. One man in particular came in from Mexico, hopped up on some kind of drugs, which he kept denying, and tried to score more from the doctor, who repeatedly asked the man what day it was. This went on and on and I felt like I was in a macabre Cheers episode, if Sam were a doctor and Cliff Clavin were the man from Mexico.


Eventually, the doctor made it in, wrinkled his nose at my pore-seeping garlic scent, gave me a test, and told me there was nothing wrong with my leg. But then he checked my reflexes, which were non-existent to slow on my sore leg, giving me yet another thing to worry about, and then declared me fine to go home.


Which I did. And so at 6AM I slunk into the house, destroyed the note on the kitchen counter, and slipped into bed next to The Rock, who you might guess, was wide awake. God love him, he didn’t get (too) angry and even held me as I cried. Until the garlic ruined everything.


And all this because I need new wheels. And need to Take it Easy.


Finally, the candle. These are the most fragrant candles ever. They used to be $25, but now they’re $26. Inflation, I guess.


15 Responses to “My Mind is a Bullet Train”

  1. Thank you for clarifying.

    I’m finished with my lunch of a burrito coverd in taco bell sauce after being reminded of the “blood smears and tangled hair”. Cough, sputter…

    Off to check out the book and candle.

    Nice, funny, lady – you.

  2. Jennifer H says:

    That was a lot in a few paragraphs! And I never knew garlic was a blood thinner. The idea of blod clots scares me, too, so I might have been tempted to hightail it to the ER, too. Except I hate getting out of bed, so maybe I would have waited for the alarm. But one way or another, I would have had it checked out.

    So, nothing was wrong, in the end? Did they have any explanation for your symptoms? Glad it was nothing serious.

  3. Jennifer H says:

    Oh, and thanks for the link!

  4. Steph says:

    So, did they explain what was up with your leg? You had actual symptoms, for pity’s sake!

  5. San Diego Momma says:

    Didn’t have answer for what was up with my leg. Thought maybe a tendon issue? It’s sore behind my knee now, but no more widespread pain.

  6. Oh, well that explains it. Love the candle. There is another that I like but am too lazy to look for it. When I remember I will let you know – around the same price, you will be hooked!

  7. vodkamom says:

    Hey, better safe than sorry, I always say. And don’t let anybody tell you any different.

    (I would’ve recommended one martini and call me in the morning, but hey, I’m no doctor…)

  8. Vered says:

    You do need to take it easy.

    Don’t you wish you could. :)

  9. robyn says:

    Thank you for posting the thought, Deb. It was something I needed to “hear”. :)

  10. mami Jen says:

    I don’t know whats going on but I am having the same pain in my leg. Not just behind my knee but ankle and wrists too. Crazy. Just earlier tonight I figured it could be my tendons. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to make it go away. Maybe I’ll try hot and cold packs tomorrow.

  11. Da Goddess says:

    Dare I ask which hospital you visited? Cuz that’s some seriously fucked up shit to find in the room. Only place I ever saw like that was University Hospital in Denver when I was pregnant. And in addition to the blood and hair, there were cockroaches in the ER waiting room. Just. Yuck.

    Report it.

    As for your leg, might I recommend you see your regular doctor as a follow up?

    By the way, my favorite Eagles lyrics are “So often times it happens, that we live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” Written by my friend Jack Tempchin. Profound. But the sound of our own wheels do make us crazy at times, don’t they? By the way, just a quick fact: I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. In a mild blizzard. Just to say I’d done it.

  12. Lori says:

    I’m glad to see you’re ok. My mind plays terrible tricks on me too. I used to have frequent panic attacks. I am afraid to fly too, but found some flying meditation for the ipod that amazingly works!

  13. I’m not a hypochondriac but I play one on TV. Sometimes I’m convinced there’s something wrong with me that is so rare it will never reveal itself on a normal physical so everyone will always tell me I’m the picture of health and then I’ll keel over and say “I told you so” from heaven. Seriously.

  14. ilinap says:

    My son had a weird leg issue like yours. They chalked it up to a virus manifesting itself in a weird way. A few days of Tylenol and voila, over. Who knows if the docs were right or if it was just timing.

    Thanks for the book suggestion. Is it the 2008 version of The Jungle?

  15. Jamie says:

    Had a blood clot in my foot recently and thought the same thoughts. Sent a picture of my foot from my cell phone to my doctor’s cell phone, on a Sunday. Love your late night sneaking out story way more.

    Let’s make a pact: If we die in some odd circumstance, like lump in the arm pit (had that once), scary sun disease-like thing, choking on an Altoid…please stand up at my memorial and say, “She totally knew this was going to happen. Why didn;t anyone DO anything?”


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