A moment to whine*. I am warning you, there will be whining. I am sorry about the whining. I know so many people here have real concerns and real reasons to need to let off steam. I just have to let some crapola out before I have a sad, self-pitying implosion.

The last couple of days (let alone the last couple of months) have been pretty stressful, even if you discount the Adventure of the Missing Cousin (now resolved). I’ve been sick. I had my breast MRI. My hair is coming out in gobs. Yesterday I went to have my annual physical, Pap smear and all that. I’ve got to go back for a bone density scan. And, for the first time in my life, I have high blood pressure. For someone who has spent most of her life functioning along the lines of the common or garden lizard, with a subnormal body temperature and extremely low blood pressure (when I was still able to give blood they’d check my blood pressure, look at me and say “Did you walk in here?” What did they think I had done, crawled? Or slithered?) and a general inclination to hibernate in cold weather, this is a profound change and of course the stress of seeing my blood pressure reach new and alarming heights added to the stress I already had going on. I’ve spent the week losing stuff and dropping stuff and breaking stuff - before I left the house last night I broke a glass and then tipped a full bottle of water over on the counter. I had to run for the bus so I just threw a towel over the mess and ran.

I was headed downtown to the launch for the book featuring photographs of old dogs. I figured I could get there and back before the storm hit (we’re getting the leftovers of Hurricane Patricia right now). The reception was in hipstertown so I went to some trouble getting ready, not wanting to let the side down and all that. Got dressed and realized that my hair had hit a new low: there are actual clumps missing and gaps where I can see scalp and only scalp. My theory that growing it would permit me to work out a Donald Trump-style combover was clearly flawed. It was so bad, and I was so frantically self-conscious, that I stuffed it all under a hat and went off to the party, yes, wearing a hat indoors. I got there, bought my book, got a glass of wine, and said hello to many nice dogs. The excitement and the anxiety combined to give me a doozy of a hot flash in a room that was already warm, so I had to brazen out making pleasant conversation with strangers while literally gleaming with sweat from every pore. I finally had to take myself off to a corner where I could covertly dab at my face, put my wine down, and look through the book. And the Fusspot did not make the cut. This was not the fault of Pete (the photographer) in the slightest: he had told me that the choice wasn’t his, it was the editor’s, and although I am well acquainted with this rule from my publishing days (and the book itself is wonderful) I didn’t expect the wave of disappointment that knocked me off my feet. Suddenly I was so sad that I had to leave. Fusspot wasn’t in the book, and he wasn’t with me, and so many other people were there with their dogs and I had no one, so I fled. And then I distinguished myself by dribbling tears all the way north on the Ossington bus, though at least I managed not to sob aloud. The final humiliation came when I offered an older woman my seat, but because of my stupid fucking knees it took me so long to rise to my feet that she looked at me with consternation and asked if I was all right and whether perhaps I should just stay sitting. (I didn’t.) I stopped on the way home and picked up some beer, but by the time I got home I didn’t even want a beer.** I didn’t want dinner. I didn’t want to do anything but go to bed, which is what I did after I had another little cry.

TL;DR I’m waiting to see if I have cancer. I hurt all the time, all over. I’m waiting to see if there’s something wrong with me that makes me tired and want to sleep all the time. I’m waiting for the results of my Pap test. My hair is falling out in handfuls and it makes me look like a sad, ugly clown. I’m missing a lot of work due to all these dr’s appts and I am not meeting the deadlines I am supposed to be meeting: at this point I could care less, but I don’t want to get my boss in trouble because she is the best boss ever. And the Fusspot is gone and will never come back. And I am pathetic.

* sorry, that was probably more than one moment

** this is akin to mrsfinch saying she doesn’t want oxygen