Yesterday I woke up and finally reckoned with the fact that I probably have a UTI. If you don’t know what that is, you are lucky.
I drove to a nearby town to locate an urgent care center. It was Saturday, a holiday weekend, and even the urgent care centers in this part of Virginia were closed.
Except for the CVS clinic. Let me tell you, I am now a big fan. There I found a nurse practitioner who told me even though they generally take walk-ins, they were fully booked with appointments that day. I wasn’t surprised. It’s the weekend, there’s COVID flying around, and lots of people are not masking.
But she fit me in. She did a full intake, took a brief history of my very complicated health history, evaluated my symptoms, did an exam, tested the urine herself, made a diagnosis, and prescribed what I needed to heal.
It all sounds pretty normal for a medical visit, but I was filled with gratitude for this woman who didn’t rush me; who, every time she opened the door to retrieve something, had to field questions from nervous people about COVID tests, vaccines, and antibodies. Not once did she lose her cool, even though taking care of me was making her late.
Equanimity in a human being responsible for managing a stressful environment is glorious. I admire it. I aspire to it. I learn from it. It often seems to be the small things that get you–interruptions, grumpy patients, watching the clock, a day full of people needing something from you, but you’re just the one person in the end. And this nurse practitioner handled it with professionalism and grace. Such a gift.
When I returned to my residency apartment, I ate some late lunch and packed up to work outside on a gorgeous late summer day.
I felt so relieved that I dealt with my health situation that it must have inspired me. I was surprisingly productive while I drank water and worked. I wrote in my notebook, with a brand new cool pen (purchased at CVS while waiting for meds) and hand-wrote scenes about my twenty-something self that I’ve been avoiding. Ugh. The twenties. Glad that’s over.
Then I had dinner with the gang of artists. Then our lovely resident fellow started a fire in the pit and several of us did sixty second performances of whatever we wanted: a reading, a song, whatever.
So naturally I sang two jingles I’d written for my dog, Tiberius: “Mom Snuggles” and the “Poopin’ and Peein'” theme song for an imaginary sitcom starring Tiberius.
And in the end, this happened:
Someone handed me the wig you see in the above photo. I was like, sure, and put it on. As the night progressed and darkened, I had some deep conversations will a few people, and yet the wig stayed. I suppose it started to look normal after a while. We are artists and we are down with what’s weird.