|The Unknown Level of Dante's Hell: The Neurology Clinic|
I couldn't possibly not mark The Quarterly $475 Reflex Check with The Neurologist, could I, even though the one yesterday was generally pretty unremarkable? I took the requisite photo in the Conquest waiting area, where I get my usual chuckles. For new readers, I loathe the medical/war metaphor in all its forms, and the fact that big, generous financial donors get their name on the wall as latter day conquistadores just basically brings out the cynic in me.
The big hair in the nest-like foreground of the photo above, where we stood in line to check in, is indeed Sophie's. She sat impatiently for quite some time, humming and shifting and drawing disapproving stares despite the fact that not many people hanging out at the Neurology Clinic at a major Los Angeles clinic are -- well -- free of all disease and affliction. I noted some quick look and look-aways, some look and look and look and look and looks (#don'tstarepaparazzi), some kind yet pitying looks and then, thank the abundant universe, a look and a smile and a hello! The Neurology Clinic is actually a pleasant place in that the people who work there are kind and efficient, and Sophie's Neurologist takes a whole lot of time with us and is sensitive to nearly all my needs and desires. Yesterday she even asked me if I had Caregiver Burnout, and as a response I spontaneously combusted leaving behind only the dark stain of my toes in the footbeds of my pale blue metallic Birkenstocks. That The Neurologist can't and hasn't ever really helped Sophie's seizures is just a matter for me to file away in the giant cabinet of my tiny little mother mind™ and try to remain sane in this, the twenty-second year of refractory epilepsy. Let's face it, though, hanging out for a couple of hours talking about seizures and The Mysterious Apocalyptic Friday Last Week, as well as the goddamn vagal nerve stimulator (always brought up by doc, always dismissed by me), the amount of rescue rectal valium we should try in the future, and a wait at the lab to get blood drawn, followed by an hour through Los Angeles traffic, is not an afternoon from which I can draw some jolly insight. Humor me if I sound resentful.
Here's what I'm grateful for: the fact that Sophie has recovered quite nicely from The Mysterious Apocalyptic Friday last week, and that when I get home I have my two very delightful teenaged boys with whom to laugh, converse and enjoy.
Here's something funny.
The Brothers have been extremely helpful to me the last couple of months. I bought a small gas grill at the hardware store, and they've both been terrific at preparing chicken or steak or peaches or zucchini on it, much to my delight because I hate grilling. What they're not so good at, though, is dinner conversation. There's generally a lot of bickering about who does what to whom, and I honestly don't remember even a minute or two in what seems like years that anything truly interesting or stimulating was shared. I know some of ya'll think I'm a saint, but some of you know my true colors, and I have had moments at the dinner table listening to them where I fantasize about pushing back my stool, standing up and announcing that I'm leaving. For good. That I can't take the idiocy any longer, that I need to discuss Russian literature, or The Wire, or the subtle sexism directed at Clinton. Even as I fantasize, though, Oliver comments upon the chicken that Henry has grilled that night:
My bicep would be easier to cut into than this chicken.
You're an idiot.
Sophie hums, picks up her cup, drinks by herself and then flings it across the room, even as I'm on my way out the door.
*I despise colloquialisms like anyhoo but enjoying using them in jest. This is an approved message for new readers.