Cool. I thought I was done. Or, if not done, at least…paused. I thought the raging torrent that had been sputtering acid on the walls was, you know, resting.
And then today, at my first solo appointment with my mental health nurse, meaning not only that I went in alone, but actually that I got myself there alone – walked past the Marie Stopes clinic and the cluster of camped out anti-abortion protestors who are always sitting in camper chairs on the opposite corner; checked myself in on the little digital screen; and sat in the waiting room alone; managing the rising panic all along the way, taking off my English-winter-has-begun jersey even though I couldn’t find a bra, for the sweat.
And then, midway through a reasonably manageable appointment, I told her I’d been vomiting a bit. I’d made clear I’m dealing with a pretty large number of stressful things, even apart from having a debilitating mental illness. I’m getting married in a foreign country on Monday, so there’s that. My brother’s visa was denied so I won’t have any family there, except in the tiny ribbon I will wrap around my South African protea flowers if I can find them, cut from my first ever dress and sewn into a ribbon by the local Ghanaian tailor, brought across the seas from my mom by my about-to-be mother-in-law who is arriving the night before the wedding. So, you know, pretty stressful stuff. There’s that, and a whole lot of other stuff, which I shared with the nurse. They also just changed my dosage of the medication they also just changed. So…my body understands fairly well that it isn’t on a beach.
So, I said, I should tell you about what I’ve been experiencing in case it’s relevant at all. I’ve been vomiting (also SUPER fun). Any chance of pregnancy? She asked without looking up from her screen with its disingenuously tidy list of side effects. No, I just got my period. Well, some women keep having them. You should take a test just so we know. Casual like that. And then you’ll need to fill out this form for the new prescription, and it may take two days (soz about your wedding.) Also remember we’re all sad sometimes, and listen to music that makes you happy. Have you had any thoughts of harming yourself? No. Any thoughts of harming anyone else? Not until about five seconds ago…
Now, caution is good, I’m so totally there for the people who are in charge of which psychiatric drugs I take being cautious. But you also can’t just drop that shit on me. Two days before my wedding. In a foreign country. Without family or friends.
So, that’s what I got to do the Friday before I get married. I got to go to the pharmacy alone to buy the cheapest pregnancy test the chap behind the counter could scratch up. Not because my fiance isn’t supportive. He is supportive – he’s bloody working until 8 pm. I’m not allowed to work…and we’ve found that you tend to need money to live.
She knew it was my first appointment alone. She knew all the things she could possibly know without me literally cutting my head open for her to dig around in.
But also, you might be pregnant and that’s the kind of thing we like to know, so why not pop off to get a test?
I’m not pregnant. I am pissed.