Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Friday, 29 August 2008

How Much Is That Katie In The Window?

It seems that "being tired" is of interest to certain members of the medical profession. Now, I don't mean they spend years studying yawns until they can decipher their hidden meaning like those people who think they can understand cats' meows, or read bottoms. That would be ridiculous. There are, however, those who choose to specialise in what (as far as I can see) amounts to little more than 'watching me get more and more sleepy/bonkers while asking me questions that require me to not be sleepy/bonkers if I stand any hope of answering them correctly.'

This sleep-science epiphany occurred some time between arriving at the Chronic Fatigue Services Centre, and leaving it. I can't be any more specific than that, because the actual appointment is a little blurred. There's a good reason why they call the generalised befuddlement that accompanies M.E/CFS "brain fog" - it obscures anything that's just out of reach, cannot be easily cleared, and descends quickly. I get confuzzled very easily at the moment, and I'm not sure the specialist (who calls herself Julie, but looks like a Cynthia so I think she is probably lying. Possibly in witness protection or hiding from the FBI. Though I don't think you could really do her for any more than possession of wheatgrass and too many hippie skirts.)

Anyway, she wanted a basic family history and life story - a tale I regaled her with rather reluctantly, after telling her to "wait for the book like everyone else" sank like one of the rose-quartz stones from her peace garden. I shouldn't really be so dismissive of her - she's very nice - and there's nothing wrong with hippie types either. I'm descended from them! When my blood is viewed under a microscope you can see little daisies printed into each cell, and I have made a life-long study of recreating John Lennon's 'Bed-In" protest. (I just haven't decided what I am protesting against yet, ok?!) It's just that the whole place smacks of duplicity. It is a hospital facility that is trying very hard not to be a hospital facility, but no amount of pan-pipe music and pastels can hide the fact that behind at least one of the multiple unmarked doors there is almost certainly someone colonising MRSA cultures on their heart chakra, or spraying TB all over the inoffensively bland stationery.

I don't do myself any favours once I have passed from articulate-and-lucid into rambling-and-detached. I managed to avoid talking about pigeons or sausages this time, but blathered on for longer than was reasonable about lamas and woodlice. Over the course of the previous evening I had nurtured an affinity with woodlice that peaked about 45mins into the consultation when I was asked how I feel about currently being nocturnal. I repeated the thoughts I'd had the night before: that it is fine to be nocturnal in the summer when the days are too hot and bright, but late afternoon/evening is perfect. I adore the freedom of the night-time, and when it's warm and I can have all the windows open and just relax I love the night. At this time of year it starts to be different, as the nights are simple dank, dark and cold. Living my life in the damp, dark and cold is what makes me feel less like an insomniac and more like a woodlouse. It was in trying to explain this that they diagnosed the "brain fog" symptom, though even if I had avoided likening myself to a 'chuggypig' they would have noticed my bemusled state of being soon enough, as I clumsily attempted to fill out the last questionnaire with liquid-eyeliner instead of a pen.

I did accomplish one of my goals from last week, which was to get a sneaky photo of the rather unfortunate sign blue-tacked to the entrance of the facility: (It made me laugh anyway.)

After getting home I remembered that I had to get passport-sized photo's done for my disabled parking badge (which I've never had before, but decided I would arrange when I got stuck having to trek across a bloody-great car-park in the pouring rain not so long ago. If there are papers that say I don't have to do anything so ridiculous as negotiate potentially Nessie-harbouring puddles whilst wearing stilettos that aren't exactly well designed for *walking* in - let alone swimming - then it's just about enough to persuade me to have a photo taken. Bearing in mine it takes a lot for me to agree to being snapped - by man or machine. But, it needed doing. The local firm that I've had my ID with since I was (briefly) a student have closed down and it's no longer valid, so I have had to send that off too. So I had to sit in that stupid little booth in the post-office, denied permission to smile, and with every flaw highlighted by a light so bright I think it may have actually neutralised any pigment in my skin. As well as having the light-bleach to contend with, it was that hideously white background - the consequence of which being that I blended right into it and ended up with four photographs of little more than floating lip-gloss.

I thought my last ID card was gormless, but it turns out that I was capable of looking even more like I had survived a botched lobotomy. It's because I hate it so much I think. I sit there grumbling and glowering and wanting to leave, and then right in the middle of my surly stream of "ihatethiswhythefuckamIherelet'sjustgetitoveranddonewith," the camera flashes and I look like something off a dodgy website for cheap Czech escorts. "Each girl come with own goat. Very good deal. Buy now."

Proof that the missing link was better suited for eastern-european sex-trafficking than sentient thought:

As far as anything else is concerned I have done little more than buy shoes - and avoid writing a proper pitch for a regular column in the medical journal because it requires actually going to the gym. My editor John knows I'm lazy, but as I have another appointment at the M.E clinic next Friday, I can still call it "research."

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