Rest Day

“How are you feeling?” Mr. Photography dude asks on FaceTime.

I make a face. My grad school requires we get a physical before coming into college. So they can make sure we got our immunizations, are in good condition to attend school, and what not.

So when I visit my doctor on Monday to get the physical done, I told her about my increased tiredness, fatigue, cold, and weight.

I think back to how I was feeling so tired around graduation (I’m usually really energetic during big events like that!) I think back to how it would hurt when a friend hugged me goodbye (not emotionally) and when “Prince Player” cuddled my on our last night. And then I think back to the past few weeks. About how I’ve been bruising easily. About how I’ve been feeling sore after doing tiny chores around the house. About how I’ve been gaining weight even when I teach a dance class twice a week and work out 4 times a week.

I tell her all these random details as well (even the part about it hurting when “Prince Player” cuddled me!) She laughs, “Oh dear, that’s not supposed to hurt”.

“Exactly” I say.

“Stacey. I need to submit an order for a blood test” she says calling her nurse in.

I raise my eyebrows. “We’ll need to check if it’s your thyroid again”.

I nod. I remember. That’s the reason why I decided not to take the summer job in Chicago in the first place, something in my body was off- thyroid or not thyroid.

“I’ll call you tomorrow if I notice something. If not, I’ll send you an email” she says.

I nod and get the blood test done. It wasn’t too bad this time.

Sure enough, as I was shopping with my mom for more stuff to take to Boston on Tuesday, she called.

She tells me it’s not my thyroid. That there has been a high increase in my platelets. And that my Vitamin B-12 and D counts are dangerously low.

“Do you understand Shaz? You are Vitamin B-12 and D deficient. Neither is good. I have written two prescriptions for you, but you need to come into the clinic to get a shot too. I’m full all week. But how about you come first thing in the morning when we open on Thursday? That way we can make sure you feel better as soon as possible. And then in 2 months or so, we can check your blood again and see if there’s been improvement.”

Oh. my. god.

I tell her Thursday works for me. When I hang up, my mom is staring at me with a rice cooker we liked in her hands. “What? What did she say?”

“I’m Vitamin B-12 and D deficient” I say.

Her jaw drops. “How is that possible? B-12 is when you don’t eat enough chicken and meat and stuff. And D is when you don’t go out in the sun enough. And you do all of that!” she says.

I sigh. “I know. Dr. Clarke said I have poor absorption though. So. It doesn’t matter” I say.

She puts her arm around me. “It’ll be okay”.

So that would bring us to today.

“Would you like it in your hip or arm?” the nurse asks me as I see her prepping this giant injection.

“My arm” I say quietly.

She stabs it into me. My eyes widen and I hold my face like I had a stroke.

Holy moly.

And then she takes it out. I exhale. “You okay?” she asks smiling.

I smile my big fake smile and nod. She leaves the room.

“Son of a bitch” I mumble to myself. I poke around where she gave me the shot, there’s a huge bump and I still feel the pain.

The doctor comes in a few minutes later. “Okay sweetie. So this should help you feel better. I would recommend more shots but I understand you are leaving soon which is why I prescribed tablets. After you finish your first month’s supply, call me and I will send it over to your local pharmacy in Boston.”

Well that’s good.

So when I get home, I feel my whole right side of my body ache. The doctor said that may be a side effect as I got my shot on my right arm. I also start throwing up. The doctor said that would be a side effect as well.

I call for my mother. “Oh honey, you better rest up” she says. My dad had a conference downtown today and we were all supposed to go.

My dad comes into my room in his suit. “See. Now aren’t you glad you didn’t take that summer job? Imagine what would have happened if you were there now” he says.

I pull my blankets up to my head. “Yep” I say. As crappy as I feel, I still miss my Chicago friends 😦

“We’ll be going now. Call us and update us on your condition” she says.

I nod and go to sleep.

When I wake up I lay down with my dog and watch “The Good Wife”. I post it to my Snapchat story saying “It’s a lay in bed and watch the Good Wife kind of day” with the sick emoji.

A few minutes, I see a snap-chat response. From “Prince Player!”

It’s a cute emoji. I send him one back. We tell each other we miss each other. He asks me how I am and how being home is. I exclude all the details about what has been going on and tell him it’s been nice. It really has been. I’ve gotten lots of me time. I ask him how Chicago is. He says it’s really hot. I smile to myself. I miss those summers in  Chicago. It in-french-you-dont-really-say-i-miss-you-you-say-tu-me-manques-which-means-you-are-missing-from-me-quote-1doesn’t hold a candle to the 100 degree Houston heat. He asks about when I’m leaving for Boston and how exciting it is.

“It’s going to be so weird without you coming back to Chicago…it just hit me you won’t be here” he says after a while.

I take a deep breath. I think about our last night together. About how quick it was, and about how we both felt. Even though we didn’t share how we felt, I think we both knew.

“I know babe” I respond. We talk some more and then he stops responding.

And then we get back to where this post began. Mr. Photography dude calls a while later to check up on how I’m doing. 

“I can’t do shit. I thought shots were supposed to help you feel better. But this is making me feel worse!” I say.

He laughs. “It’s just a side effect. It will work soon.”

Then Sidekick joins. “I have exciting news for you” I say.

“Player?” he asks with a smile on his face.

I nod and fill him in.

“Wow. It just hit him?” he asks.

I roll my eyes. “I told you. People grieve in different ways. Some people feel it immediately. Some people feel it later. That’s the difference between me and him”.

“So how do you feel now?” he asks.

I look away.

“Do you still miss him?” he asks.

I nod.

“It’s okay” he says.

“I miss everyone” I say.

“We miss you too” he says.

I hold my arm where the shot still hurts. “It was just meant to be this way I guess.”

He looks at me sadly. “I think people seem to forget. It’s much harder for you because you not only had to say goodbye to us, but also your home of over a decade. You lived here longer than all of us. You are like a true Chicagoan.”

I smile. Amen. 

Mr. Photography dude comes back on. “Well. I hope you feel better Shaz. Don’t tell me what happens on Good Wife and enjoy your rest day!”

Lol. Rest day.

xoxo. S.


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