The last week and a half in review?
The last few days I’ve had that wonderful cycle I have every other month which results in not only heinous pain when my period starts, but hours of vomiting. This time, I hit a record eight hours from start to finish of the vomit, to the point that even keeping water down was impossible. Not my best day ever. I was at clinic when all this started and was at least able to get an EFT treatment from the doc there, which fended off the worst of it so I could finish my workday. Unfortunately, it only fended off the big yuck into the evening, and my body seemed to want to get revenge for dismissing her schedule.
After several years of this, there is still no solid theory on what the heck the deal is. I do have more votes for this being the flirtations of peri-menopause than anything else, and it does appear that in those cycles proceeding this, I’m anovulatory. As I mentioned to someone else though, if this is flirtation, knowing that given my age I’m looking at a long courtship, I’m not excited. And I don’t even want to think about what the consummation of this relationship will be like. Ugh. So much crap for an organ that, for the most part, I’ve never even wanted to use.
Given I was on the couch all day and night yesterday after I could finally keep enough water down to get a painkiller in my system, I caught up with some film. I’ve had Sweet Land sitting here for weeks wanting to see it, and it was just a beautiful, quiet and earnest film. I didn’t realize that Mark Orton (of Tin Hat Trio, who if you don’t know, you so should) had done the soundtrack, either. As I am wont to do with Jarmusch films in general, I fell asleep twice when Broken Flowers first came out, so tossed it off, but had a few people telling me it was so, so good, so finally could watch it yesterday. I remain unimpressed. My father said he couldn’t stand La Vie en Rose, but I rabidly disagree. Parts of it felt disjointed (though my suspicion is that was intentional), but I thought it was amazing, and sweet jesus did that woman ever earn her Oscar. Brilliant, brilliant acting.
Due to the holiday on Monday, I am graced with a schedule at clinic this coming week where my two days are one right after the other, rather than being spaced out over the week, which I mightily look forward to. At home, the way I work tends to be in very extended two or three day spurts at a time. Since I’m usually working Mondays and Thursdays away, that’s been creating a problem in my usual patterns, and only allowing me Friday - Sunday to do that, taking away the time Mark and I usually have together since he’s got a standard day job with a standard schedule. So, this weekend, this should allow us some extra time, and also give me the whole front of the week to finish up a few articles I’m almost done with. I’ve been working on a sort of meditation on the validity of love for young people, so often told the love they experience isn’t bonafide or real, that I’m particularly stoked to finish.
The Thursday before last, I came home from clinic feeling pretty defeated, having had my first repeat client since I started working there, a 17-year-old girl with one of those few-years-older boyfriends who looks like Joe Sensitive on the surface, but who actually is a controlling, careless ass. In fact, the first time I saw both of them at the tail end of January, the clinic was still allowing “support” people (I put that in quotes since they were often anything but: more often than not, the ones who wanted to come back only did because they wanted to control the client) into counseling appointments. He was one of my examples as to why I, personally, was not at all okay with that, and the policy has since changed. While I sat there explaining her procedure, her aftercare, asking how she was about her choice, he sat playing video games on his cell phone. Would that I were kidding. As well, he told me this whole lovely fairy story about how the pregnancy was all her doctor’s fault because he didn’t renew her pill prescription on time. When I asked if her doctor had also then, of course, made clear he was never to wear a condom under any circumstances, I got a shrug and a sneer. When I told her she could have a Chlamydia and Gonorrhea screening with her procedure if she wanted, HE answered for her saying she should probably get that, and when I not only made clear I wasn’t freaking talking to him, but asked if, given how invested he was in her screening, if he’d ever had one himself, he told me no as if I had asked if he ever tore the legs off of squirrels. What a charmer.
And there she was, back again a week ago, and she was sent home with three months of pills last time, no less. Of course, Mr. Wonderful was still with her, and very not-pleased when he couldn’t come back into my office this time. I did the sneering that day. Alas, she wouldn’t talk to any of us about birth control, or much of anything, even though she was back in the office for another procedure not even three months later. Obviously, I can’t keep watch over any client to assure they use the birth control we give them, or do anything outside the office to help them get away from jerks. So, I know I’m not at all responsible for her being right back there, but it is pretty hard not to feel like, somehow, you failed someone in that spot; like there were some magic words I could have said but wasn’t smart enough to think of. It’s frustrating, and it’s hard not to bring that home and stew in it.
On the other hand, I’ve done a few options sessions lately, hour-long sessions expressly for clients who just don’t know what to do about a pregnancy and need to talk it through, and I love those. They often do get pretty emotional, but usually within just that one hour, you get to watch someone come in totally conflicted and lost and leave resolved, clear and confident. Two of my last three decided to terminate, and one decided to continue her pregnancy and parent: all felt good about their choices, and that is incredibly rewarding. One common thread I see in a lot of these though, no matter someone’s age, are families pressuring them into a given choice. A lot of the time in these sessions, you have to spend the first quarter or even half of them just getting the client clear when it comes to putting away everyone else’s opinion, whether the pressure is to continue a pregnancy or terminate. But the mere fact that any family makes a condition of their love what a woman does with her own pregnancy and her own body is so incredibly maddening. Watching someone feel like (or be directly told that) they have to choose between what they know is right for them and the love of their family makes me want to hurl even without my grumpy uterus.
I finally got my camera in for repair: here’s hoping they can actually fix it. They seemed about 50/50, which was not especially heartening. I need a working camera, both for the photo gig in Minneapolis next month, and for my own well-being. Being unable to make any art over the last handful of months has been seriously sucky.
Plus, the garden is coming along really beautifully this year, and my old camera from early 2000 isn’t at all cutting the mustard when it comes to capturing it. (It is not, for the record, half full of poisonous flowers this year, as I unconsciously chose last year. I am taking this as a signal of improved mental health on my part.) Since the dog also has a habit of stealing my strawberries and cherry tomatoes, I also made a small garden just for her this year in the front with those things of her very own. This may or may not make any sort of difference, and may, in fact, only be indicative of the fact that I take my dog a little too seriously.
There’s also been family drama, but I’m not going there. Let me just say that a lifetime of my parents being unable to stand each other, and ever being the person perpetually shoved into the middle, is truly tiresome.
Mark is off to the start of SIFF tonight, where a feature he produced last year is playing, and I’m off to an evening out with a co-worker at the fantastic new cantina a few blocks away which includes some vegan deliciousness, then up to the Copper Gate for a perhaps ill-advised bout of Norwegian grain alcohol. I have a little gardening on my plate today, a little Scarleteen work, a couple edits on an anthology piece, some tidying-up and a few snuggles where I can get them.
(And hey: happy birthday, Fish! My father sends birthday wishes to you as well, still clearly nursing his mad crush on you.)