The sun no doubt is over the yardarm where my FaceBook friend Cas lives: the Gold Coast of Australia. Hereabouts, it’s time for a late breakfast. The sausage is on the grill. The potatoes (yeah, i know) are frying in butter and oil (i know, i know already!), and the bourbon and water is at my side. Stop that askance-looking! It’s medicinal…
At quarter to seven, I was running late for the early-morning bidness networking meeting. I don’t like to eat in restaurants in general — especially not breakfast, since it’s so hard to find something to eat that’s not eggs, and especially not in this restaurant, where the food often leaves something to be desired. So sliced off a piece of roast chicken, which I gulped down on the run with a mug of coffee that slopped all over the car’s nice new(ish) upholstery as I was flying to Scottsdale.
Yes. Well. I’ve learned something: Remember back when the first CardioDoc, the one whose bullying personality led me to wish to wring his neck, informed me that the “heart palpitations” were actually anxiety attacks and if I would race around the park a few times a day, they’d disappear? He was right.
Turns out he was right in spades.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been going back and forth with New Cardiodoc, who is a very nice man in addition to being, as it develops, a well respected heart doctor. The start of this present interaction was an episode in which I nearly passed out as I was cruising across the city at 50 mph on a surface street.
He cannot find a damned thing wrong with me. It does not appear that the apparent presyncope (click on that one and you’ll see why the sh!t was scared out of me) was caused by an easily diagnosed cardiovascular issue. We speculate that it might have been a side-effect from the dose of pseudoephedrine I’d dropped that morning to clear a sinus headache, though the link is unclear.
Eventually I fell back on Young Dr. Kildare, whose signal characteristic is common sense.
Common sense, clearly, was what we needed.
He was unwilling to rule out a cardiovascular cause. He thought it was not old-lady vertigo (ears were cleaned out; head congestion seemed not to be severe), but he thought it probably was not life-threatening. He recommended not giving up on the cardiologist, yet he also suspected, along with the first CardioDoc, that the origin could be anxiety.
So, I was generally miserable about this, and on a subliminal level scared shitless, until…oh yes, until Election Day.
More to the point, until the day after Election Day.
The ultimate horror happened: the President of the United States is now not a jaded politico but an orange-haired misogynistic, racist, blustering, lying, bullying Bozo with no more clue how to run the most powerful nation in the world than he showed in running several businesses into the ground, one of which was manifestly fraudulent.
The day after Election day, the palpitations and the lightheadedness came to a complete, total, peaceful stop. No, none, zero-point-zero-zero manifestations.
Meanwhile, several people — real-world friends and FB friends — remarked that they’d been having anxiety attacks over the gawdawful election.
And the day before the election, this amazing episode occurred.
YDK, thinking that maybe the issue could be allergic head congestion, phoned in a prescription for an antihistamine nasal spray. The pharmacy nearest to my house — a Walgreen’s that I like to habituate because it has practically no business and so waits are minimal — is in a colorful district. When I get up to the pharmacy counter, I find a bum (hey! With the Trumpites in power, now we’re allowed to call a bum a one-syllable bum, not an eight-syllable “homeless mentally ill person”) harassing the staff in a very aggressive way.
Okay, let’s get un-PC: in a threatening way.
He demanded that they fork over an addictive pain-killer. They refused to do so, since he didn’t have a current prescription. He carried on at some length, growing more and more aggressive. They finally cut off the argument by shutting and locking a door between themselves and the bum.
He staggered off into the store, and one of the staff asked me what I wanted, then explained that my insurance refused to cover it. I picked up, with the pharmacist’s advice, an OTC substitute.
At the cash register near the front door, I ask the clerk if the bum had left.
He says, “I’ll walk you out to your car.”
A lady is standing behind me with an armful of loot she wishes to purchase. I say, “No, you shouldn’t do that: you have customers you need to attend to.”
She now says, “I’ll walk out with you.”
This sounds good, so I wait till she’s bought her stuff, and we new-made friends venture into the parking lot.
We can’t see the bum anywhere, so I peel off and head for my car. She proceeds along the front of the store toward the neighborhood street just south of the little strip shopping center, headed for her apartment.
As I reach my car, I look back and see that the bum and a friend of his — another seedy-looking, filthy guy — were hiding out of view and have accosted the woman.
I jump in my car and drive over to her. By the time I get there, she’s put up quite a ruckus, and by sheer nerve and a loud voice has caused them to stand down.
Now I ask if she’d like me to drive her home. She says thanks, but no: she thinks she should walk.
She comes over to the car to chat. She needs to walk home, she says, because she’s been having anxiety attacks! over the election. And, oh God, what in the name of heaven will happen to us if Donald Trump doesn’t win?
heh heh heh heh heh
So thank you, God, for whapping me upside the head.
* * * Back to this morning***
My favorite networking group is probably the only business group in Arizona whose membership consists of a bunch of wild-eyed liberals. It’s hard to find a business man or woman anywhere who’s a wild-eyed liberal, but in Arizona it’s almost impossible.
After two hours of listening to nonstop pissing and moaning, I was already out of sorts when I got in the car to head back into Phoenix. About the time I reached 16th Street — two-thirds of the way home — the heart started to pound and the head started to spin. I had to pull off into a neighborhood, stop, and sit there until the episode passed, which shortly it did.
* * *
By the time I got home, somewhat after 9 a.m., I was effing starved. So I threw a package of lovely pork sausages on the grill, tossed a fistful of frozen waffle potatoes into some hot butter and oil, and poured a bourbon and water. Hence, this post. And hence, an insight:
America, my friends, is having one huge communal anxiety attack.
If we’re lucky, it will pass.
If we’re not, it won’t.
If we’re screwed one way or another (which we may be; yes, we may very well be), that, too, will pass.