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  • Alexandra Hillenbrand

vertigo

I went to the gynecologist on Monday to get my first pap smear. Like any normal person, I looked up what a speculum was before my appointment. Big mistake. I couldn't get that steely, metal clamp out of my mind as I walked into the doctor's office. I texted my sister, the one studying to be a doctor because I had a very important question to ask.

"What if I pee on her?" As empathetic and compassionate as ever, she responded, "Don't? lol". Very helpful, as always. Somehow, I managed to not urinate on the doctor. Instead, I suffered a worse fate. I had to talk about my job search all while the speculum nearly tore apart my uterus. As I experienced a pain that could be categorized as a part of Satan's personal toolkit, I had to humbly admit to a person with an M.D., "I'm trying to start a career in writing." Might as well have just stuck the speculum into my eye.

On Thursday, I was driving home from work after my closing shift. It was pitch black outside, raining, and foggy. The ultimate Vampire Diaries murder scene. Still, I was driving with my windows open listening to Ceilings by Lizzy McAlpine. Mainly, because that was the first time I had been able to go outside all day. That's when I noticed that a car had been following me for the last few turns I made. It wouldn't be weird if they weren't flashing their lights at me every few seconds, trying to get me to pull over.

Whoever that creeper was, clearly did not know that pursuing me meant they were dealing with a different level of crazy. A very prepared, very paranoid kind of crazy. I called my parents and said, "Wow, hi, I'm being followed home, there's no one else on the road, and I don't know what to do." This is what my mom told me. "Come home, we'll be waiting with the shotgun in the driveway." My mouth flew open. "The shotgun? Mom, we don't have a shotgun." She shushed me. "Just come home, Dad will be waiting in the driveway.

In a very baller move, I lost my follower at a red light and proceeded to hightail it down my road so they could not find me. When I approached my driveway, I saw the most insane sight. My father, maximum height 5'10", in a perfectly pressed striped red and grey sweater, pacing the sidewalk in front of our house with my old field hockey stick. Maybe we should buy a shotgun.

It felt like I pretty much slept at work the last week. I was the closing stylist three nights in a row, where I got to spend ample time talking to myself and to the clothing. Organizing the store is basically the equivalent of shopping. Except I never actually buy any of the clothes, just stare at them wistfully and imagine making more than minimum wage. Mentally, I put my wishlist together, dreaming about payday and all of the magical ways in which I could wear the pretty clothes.

On Sunday morning, I slept in. I was in a great mood at work. Except, I had a headache. And I felt tired. Every time I felt off, I had another sip of coffee. Until I was checking out a customer and I started to feel really dizzy. I went into the back office in hot pursuit of my protein bar, knowing that I was on the verge of passing out. I chewed on it, trying to convince myself that I just needed food to enter my stomach and that I would be feeling better. But then, my vision started doing somersaults. Kind of like if you have ever had the spins except you are dead sober.

I think maybe my audience will know that I do not ask for help unless I have absolutely no other choice. In this case, when I was nearly passing out, clammy, and pale, I had no choice. I fumbled around the back office, where my manager kindly got me a glass of water and let me sit down. There's nothing more humbling than when you're body just decides to stop working.

My mom and dad had to come to get me in a scene that felt like the school nurse had just called them. When I was ten years old and just threw up my whole wheat ham and cheese sandwich. Except, I'm 22 and am having intense bouts of vertigo.

So late week was basically a very odd week and this week is making up for it in boringness. Let me tell you, I could use plenty of that uneventfulness.


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