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26

Direct Sunlight and Side Effects

Final draft-
                                                       
                                                         Direct Sunlight and Side Effects

“Hello, you’ve reached the Anxiety/Panic Attack Hotline, if this is an emergency please hang up and dial 9-1-1, If not press one for Spanish or two for English.”

I manage to hit two. Two or any other number for English in the U.S. of A. bamboozles me.

“Hello, Anxiety/Panic Attack Hotline how can I help you?“

“I think I’m having an anxiety attack, maybe a heart attack, my heart’s pounding like it’s trying to jump out of my chest. I feel like I can’t breathe. My hands are numb; maybe it’s a stroke. Is numbness the sign of a stroke? I’m going to throw up, but I can’t throw up because I feel like I can’t breathe,” I ramble, hyperventilating.

“Do you feel like you want to do harm to yourself, or others?”

“Uh, not really.”

“Do you think it’s an emergency?”

“I don’t know that’s why I’m calling you. My throat feels like its closing and I’m dying.”

“If you think it’s an emergency go to the closest ER.”

“But, I thought this was the Anxiety/Panic Hotline?”

“This is the Anxiety/Panic Hotline, but I can’t tell if it’s an anxiety attack over the phone.”

The plastic handset cracks as I slam the phone down. I am screwed if phones fall into the category of harming others.

 I race to get my sister Tammy out of bed and we haul ass to the ER.

 Now lying on a gurney, lights glaring from above, wires are hooked to every available space on my body, snaking their way to machines that beep and flash. The nurse starts an IV with a comforting, “It’s going to feel like a mosquito bite, Dear,” as she inserts the needle into a vein. Mosquito bite my ass; it feels like a hornet drilled his ass stinger into my vein. 

After three, possibly four shots of Valium, I notice blood drops on the floor from the last victim, and the sound of someone who imbided too much of the grape, being sick through the thin curtain that divides us. More anxious then when I came, I wonder, should I have stayed home? The Doctor waltzes in, and with a wave of his hand as though shooing a pesky fly, dismisses it as an anxiety attack. Whew, no heart attack or stroke, just your garden-variety anxiety attack.

Released, with a prescription and orders to call my Doctor, Tammy finds the closest pharmacy. Inside, I pry the soggy, wad of prescription out of my clenched fist, and hand it to the pharmacist.

I hear my name called, but the Valium running through my bloodstream, chooses that moment to arrive in my brain. In a major daze phase, I stagger to the counter, reach for my debit card, and hand it to the cashier. He gives me a strange look and hands it back.

“M’am?” He tries to be polite. ‘Your dogs identification card is not going to work. Do you have cash?”

I fumble in my pocket, find my debit card, pay, and wobble back to where Tammy is waiting in the car. Radio blasting, cell phone in hand, her fingers fly over the keypad. A snarky grin playing across her lips tells me she is Tweeting the events of our evening to the world. Getting in, I open the bag and throw the pills into my purse. I start to crumple up the white prescription bag, and stop.

I notice usage instruction and side effects warnings. I try to read the fine print. Eyes unable to focus, I surrender and hand it to Tammy.

“Read this.”

“It says--used to prevent and control seizures, also an anticonvulsant drug, used to treat panic attacks by calming the brain and nerves. Keep out of direct sunlight.

“I need calming, ya think.”

“Side effects,” she ignores me and reads on, “drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination and increased saliva production can occur—“

“That’s great. Now I’ll have a calm brain while I drool, and fall, dizzy and uncoordinated.’

“Wait, there’s more,” she smiles, pleasure in every second of our exchange of sisterly love, “ This drug can cause dependency and addiction, dramatic mood swings, along with anxiety, depression, seizures, and thoughts of suicide. If you…--”

“Wait! I’m taking a drug for anxiety that causes anxiety. In what Universe does this make sense? I take a pill for anxiety that gives me more anxiety, causes me to have a seizure, and then, finally, the coup de grace, I flop around like a fish looking for water trying not to swallow my tongue? Of course I’ll get depressed!”

Tammy continues blithely. “According to this paper, yep.”

‘I hope that when I have my seizure I don’t swallow my tongue.”

She shrugs her shoulder. “I don’t get it. Why?”

“I need to tell the doctor where to shove these pills so they aren’t in direct sunlight”

                                                        
                                                   
                                             
Draft 3
                                                  Direct Sunlight and Side Effects

   

“Hello, you’ve reached the Anxiety/Panic Attack Hotline, if this is an emergency please hang up and dial 9-1-1, If not press one for Spanish or two for English.”

I manage to hit two. Two or any other number for English in the U.S. of A. bamboozles me.

“Hello, Anxiety/Panic Attack Hotline how can I help you?“

“I think I’m having an anxiety attack, maybe a heart attack, my heart’s pounding like it’s trying to jump out of my chest. I feel like I can’t breathe. My hands are numb; maybe it’s a stroke. Is numbness the sign of a stroke? I’m going to throw up, but I can’t throw up because I feel like I can’t breathe,” I ramble, hyperventilating.

“Do you feel like you want to do harm to yourself, or others?”

“Uh, not really.”

“Do you think it’s an emergency?”

“I don’t know that’s why I’m calling you. My throat feels like its closing and I’m dying.”

“If you think it’s an emergency go to the closest ER.”

“But, I thought this was the Anxiety/Panic Hotline?”

“This is the Anxiety/Panic Hotline, but I can’t tell if it’s an anxiety attack over the phone.”

The plastic handset cracks as I slam the phone down. I am screwed if phones fall into the category of harming others.

 I race to get my sister Tammy out of bed and we haul ass to the ER.

 Hooked up to unknown beeping machines, IV’s, three, possibly four shots of Valium later, the Doctor declares it an anxiety attack. Released, with a prescription and orders to call my Doctor, Tammy finds the closest pharmacy. Inside, I pry the soggy, wad of prescription out of my clenched fist, and hand it to the pharmacist.

I hear my name called, but the Valium running through my bloodstream, chooses that moment to arrive in my brain. In a major daze phase, I stagger to the counter, reach for my debit card, and hand it to the cashier. He gives me a strange look and hands it back.

“M’am?” He tries to be polite. ‘Your dogs identification card is not going to work. Do you have cash?”

I fumble in my pocket, find my debit card, pay, and wobble back to where Tammy is waiting in the car. Radio blasting, cell phone in hand, her fingers fly over the keypad. A snarky grin playing across her lips tells me she is Tweeting the events of our evening to the world. Getting in, I open the bag and throw the pills into my purse. I start to crumple up the white prescription bag, and stop.

I notice usage instruction and side effects warnings. I try to read the fine print. Eyes unable to focus, I surrender and hand it to Tammy.

“Read this.”

“It says--used to prevent and control seizures, also an anticonvulsant drug, used to treat panic attacks by calming the brain and nerves. Keep out of direct sunlight.

“I need calming, ya think.”

“Side effects,” she ignores me and reads on, “drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination and increased saliva production can occur—“

“That’s great. Now I’ll have a calm brain while I drool, and fall, dizzy and uncoordinated.’

“Wait, there’s more,” she smiles, pleasure in every second of our exchange of sisterly love, “ This drug can cause dependency and addiction, dramatic mood swings, along with anxiety, depression, seizures, and thoughts of suicide. If you…--”

“Wait! I’m taking a drug for anxiety that causes anxiety. In what Universe does this make sense? I take a pill for anxiety that gives me more anxiety, causes me to have a seizure, and then, finally, the coup de grace, I flop around like a fish looking for water trying not to swallow my tongue? Of course I’ll get depressed!”

Tammy continues blithely. “According to this paper, yep.”

‘I hope that when I have my seizure I don’t swallow my tongue.”

She shrugs her shoulder. “I don’t get it. Why?”

“I need to tell the doctor where to shove these pills so they aren’t in direct sunlight”

Ideas--

1. I get anxiety attacks describe one

2. Why I dislike cats 

3. My usual, why do the men in my life do things that drive me bat shit crazy.

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