Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Exuberance deflated

Well. It was about to happen. Two red-letter days IN A ROW and then today.
First, I slept in far too long. What is it with me and all this sleeping lately?
I'm either depressed or there's something seriously wrong with me. Or maybe I'm staying up way too late. Here it is 1:40 a.m. and I'm wide awake. Posting a blog entry, for crying out loud! Ten minutes ago I was loading the dishwasher.
Another reason -- HUGE reason my day sucked -- was because my PVC's showed up around 2 p.m., and then lingered long enough for me to think: OK, is this the day I die? (PVC's are an abbreviation for premature ventricular contractions, which is a long way of saying "palpitations" or "irregular heartbeat.") I was vacuuming the stairs when they started. Immediately thought of that horrible scene in About Schmidt where the Jack Nicholson character comes home from an errand and finds his wife dead, the vacuum hose encircling her lifeless body.
Yeah, yeah, I've been checked out. My cardiologist tells me that my PVC's are the "good ones," the kind that won't cause my heart to quiver in a frenzied mess and then stop altogether, say, while I'm picking out peppers at Price Chopper. According to the doctor, my palps are probably with me for life: I just need to deal with them by, largely, ignoring them. Easier said than done, let me just say. Oh, and even though they're supposed to be "quite common" in women over 40, none of the Bunco gals has experienced them. I've polled every female at Northgate Middle School, and only the librarian can identify.
Third sucky reason to dislike today: I am down to $135 in my checking account, which means I'll have to ask Husband to deposit some money from the joint account into my little piddly expense account, which will more than likely peeve him greatly and cause a great poutage and the silent treatment for, say, oh, about ten days.
And then, I went and did something extra stupid: I watched a movie called Two Weeks, whereby Sally Field plays a 60-ish mother who is dying from cancer (stupidfreakingcancer) and hospice has come in, along with her four grown children, all of whom are there to be with her in her last days.
The movie's a Kleenex box jerker. My eyes will, most assuredly, be super puffy in the a.m.

Here’s what critics have said about TWO WEEKS ….

“Writer-director Steve Stockman is writing from experience, as the script artfully melds the honest, cold facts of dying with the awkwardness and humor that can be found in such circumstances. It’s a film to be sought out.”
Jeffrey Lyons and Alison Bailes, WNBC-TV

“Sally Field creates an agonizing portrait of Anita Bergman. Ms. Field’s tough, accurate performance is all the more compelling for its understatement. A knowing cinematic primer on what to expect when a parent dies.”
--Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“There’s an honesty to this film’s portrayal of what cancer does to family dynamics. Unsentimental, darkly funny. (Stockman’s) gifts as a writer are beyond reproach.”
--Jason Shawhan, The (Nashville) Tennessean

“Very real, very moving, and very funny. Sally Field is breathtaking.”
--Bob Rivers, CBS Radio


Bee said...

Have you noticed any connection between the PVC's and some other action of yours?

It definitely sounds like the scarier side of your imagination/memory is playing up today.

Lack of cash flow could give anyone palpitations, of course.

Kate said...

Yes, I have made some connections: the PVC's kick in on or around my period, if I've drunk too much coffee, if I've drunk too much wine/beer, if I'm emotionally upset, if I'm emotionally stressed, if I'm in the throes of marital passion. Additionally, they make unwelcome appearances when I am teaching something exciting (literature/poetry). To prevent the palps, which always scare the bejeezus out of me (even though they are not supposed to "kill me"), I drink a single cup of "real" coffee in the a.m. and then switch to decaf for my other four mugs. I've also qqqqqqqqqquit alcohol ... almost entirely ;). Dealing with stress is more difficult to manage, but I do try to exercise more and get better sleep. Sometimes, however, I do have to take a little white pill.
I'll probably end up going on a beta-blocker medication, which Dr. Cardiologist said would virtually eliminate the palps. Sounds like the obvious plan, although those drugs do other weird things to the human body.
Do you have any experience with PVC's?
Are you feeling much better/back to normal?

Bee said...

No, I've never had a PVC. I don't know much about them.