I am home, not quite sure how enraged I should feel at the end of this day. I've had a number of quite disturbing incidents, any one of which, in the past, would have thrown me over the edge. I do attest to a degree of aggitation as I'm typing this blog post. Nervous excitement. But no classic feelings of anger and hostility as I would have felt in the old days.
My day started off with a visit to Dr. V-. He is not only a supurb doctor with international credentials, but a very caring and warm person too. I do believe that he actually - at times - feels that he has a vested interest in making my life more managable, and so I look forward to seeing him. This morning was not so fun, though.
No, he didn't do anything wrong. In fact, he and his whole staff were quite understanding and accomodating. You see, just before turning in the door to his office building, it happened. The classic Crohns accident. And it was a big & messy one. I thought about turning tail immediately and skipping the appointment, but he is hard to get in to see, I have all these other infectious conditions on which he needed to weigh in, and certainly, although I feel like the only one that this has ever happened to (I feel that way each and every time it happens which is frequently), in fact I'm sure it is a way of life in their clinic. I took over one of their private bathrooms for about 15 minutes, and emerged soaking wet from the skin up, and proabably a tinge of a smell left to me, but as cleaned as I could be under the circumstances. And no, for those of you who are about to ask. I did not remember to bring a change of clothes along for this journey.
I was emotional, I get tired = very tired - at any kind of outing, and Dr. V- was well over an hour late for our appointment. We took the whole time frame alloted, and I needed to wait for a precription to be written before I left. I was exhausted, starting to feel a faint coming on, so I quickly ran to the waiting room to sit in one of the chairs until the script was produced.
You have to understand my way of being at this point. I am not so sick that my brain is always out of commission and I am in bed 24/7. It's more like I'm a car running on it's last fumes. I run, and quite well although there is an underlying weakness and lack of performance waiting to subterfuge me. But when the fuel is out, I'm done. I need to fall into bed immediately, and tend to sleep for four to six hours at a time. Just for the record, this does not disrupt my nightly sleeping pattern at all. That's how physically near the edge I am still operating.
After the appointment was over, I got myself back into the car and made the hour drive back into the valley. I had a few errands that must be completed, even though I was soiled, befor going home. I knew that once I hit my front door, it was over and I wasn't going anyplace again.
First stop; Ralphs Pharmacy where they were holding three prescriptions for me. Critical.
Second stop: U.S. Post Office to mail out bills and my application to AARP.
Third Stop: Gelson's Market that has an ATM in which I am able to make bank deposits. All of my co-op machines dispense cash, but not all of them take it back in return.
Fourth Stop: Across a small side steet from Gelsons, Bea's Bakery for a Challah Loaf.
I pulled into Gelson's parking lot feeling quite woozy from all the activity in the morning. After all, I had left home by 10 AM, and not gotten done with the appointment itself until maybe 1:30. Then a separate freeway ramp exit to the pharmacy which requires getting out of the car to make a pick-up. A drive through the post office to deposit my mail in the outside box, then straight to Gelsons Parking Lot, a scant 5 minutes away.
I was exhausted. Fried. Soiled. I certainly was not feeling up to looking around the parking lot for a space far from the store, so I took a handicapped spot. I have a placard. So sue me.
I got out of the car, intent to toss a small piece of garbage out in the recepticle just outside of their door, then go in to use the ATM. The Security Guard saw me walking in his direction and manuevered himself to block access. First to the trash, then to the store. At that point, I wasn't sure if he had a problem or was just dumb, so I circumvented him and did my business. 30 seconds later (my deposit envelope was all ready for the ATM before leaving home this morning), I was out the door of Gelsons, heading accross the parking lot to cross the small street to Bea's Bakery.
That's when he accosted me. Stood in front of me and refused to let me go by. "You can't park here when you have not shopped here." he stated. And I assured him that I had done ATM business and was now just running across the street for a fast loaf of bread. His face was hard and unsmiling. "You could not have bought anything in the time that you were in the store. You were only there for a second." I replied that I was only there to make a fast ATM deposit and yes, my time inside was short but now I had something else to do. He demanded to see my ATM receipt; the transaction was small so I did not get one but even if I had, the monies that I were moving were none of his business under any circumstances.
"No!" he demanded. I needed to move my car out of Gelson's Parking Lot and over across the street. Well, I refused. He stood very close to me... face in my face, demanding that I either show him a receipt from the ATM or he was going to have my car towed. "Fine" I replied. "Tow my car. I have friends who are lawyers at the ACLU. It will be easy to pull a transaction record from my bank and then blow you out of the water. You will look like a fool." Then I turned away from him, walked into Bea's, and had my bread within 5 minutes.
I walked back into the Gelson's parking lot feeling very perturbed. Not well at all. And I thought, I don't have to take that kind of rudeness. I was going to go in the store and complain.
I did. The store manager assured me that the guy was a one-day substitute for the normal guy, wouldn't be back, and that he would talk to him. I'm fairly sure that none of that was true, especially the last part, but I was starting to feel even weaker and weaker with that funny chest feeling that precipitates a fainting episode, so I accepted his explaination and left.
On the way back to my car, I saw the security guy sitting on his butt on one of the chairs in front of the store. I detoured by him, and stopped in front. "Did you see that I just came out of Gelsons again?" I asked him. "I went in there to specifically complain about you." Although he tried to say something back to me, I had no interest and was already walking away.
I got in my car, pulled out of my space, and tried to leave the scene. But as a last ditch effort at annoying me, he got in front of my car so I had to back up and pull around him.
Well, I was really tired at that point. I needed to come home, take a shower, change my clothes, and get laundry for soiled items in immediately. Then I took a nap. And woke up with an uncomfortable feeling. I think I know what his problem was.
I had used the handicapped parking space. I have a legitimate need for it at times, today being one of them, but it's the same as all of my other issues. Sometimes they show through clearly on the outside, and sometimes they don't. I'll bet he thought I was abusing the right to park there and was striking back in a cowardly way. For if he believed in his heart that I really had no right to park there, he could have said something to my face and I could have set him straight on the spot. Generally, a lifting of the "hair" in concert with the word chemo being spoken will get people to back off. And then I would go off on a short diatrabe about how who is he anyway and he really has no right to make assumptions. But it would be over.
Now I'm upset. I feel like I need to go back and confront him more. Part of this need, I know, is me feeling ill and wanting to take it out on somebody, anybody. Part of it is my old residual anger-management issues. Part is altruistic; I can make a shocking presentation quickly that will stay with people. But all of it would be a colossal waste of time and energy.
I don't know who normally watches the parking lot, but I do know that I have not had issues like this before. Rather than going back there with the intention to make a scene, I am going to sleep on it. I'll probably feel better in the morning. And if the same guy is there tomorrow when I stop by (I do actually plan to buy vegetables at Gelsons tomorrow rather than it just being a money stop), I may quietly confront him then on what I suspect he believes. But in a forceful and controlled manner, gauged to frighten only a little and mainly educate.
We'll see. For now, I'm going to bed. I hope I have sweet dreams without any appearances of security guards wtihin them.