February 11, 2011

Fact Is Better: Sleep-Eating > Anal Leakage

One Wednesday, my phone rang from a strange local number. While I usually let unknown numbers go to voicemail, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I answered this call.

Woman on Other End: “Hello, Stephanie? We’re just calling to make sure you’re all set for Friday.”
Me: “. . . what?”
Woman on Other End: “We’re calling to make sure you’re all set for this Friday morning?”
Me: “What’s this Friday morning?”
Woman on Other End: “Your yearly physical.”
Me: “What?!”
Woman on Other End: “Your yearly physical with your GP.”
Me: “. . . okay.”
Woman on Other End: “Are you all set?”
Me: “Um, sure. What time is it at?”
Woman on Other End: “9:30am.”
Me: “Okay. Sure. Hey, out of curiosity, when did I schedule this?”
Woman on Other End: “A year ago. So, we’ll see you Friday at 9:30am, Stephanie.”

I suddenly wanted to slap myself for not writing this down somewhere as the whole “hey, you have your yearly check-up in less than forty-eight hours” thing came as a bit of a shock.

But I liked going for my physicals. I liked being knowledgeable about what was going on with my body. Besides, not only was my doctor young and handsome; he was actually a very good doctor – he listened, he immersed himself with his patients medical issues, and he was proactive. Oh, and he was patient. When I went in there that Friday morning, I had a list of things I wanted to talk to him about and rapid-fire asked him about them in my very fast-talking ways. Impressively enough, he kept up with me.

Until we got to the last item on my list, which derailed our focus.

Me: “Let’s talk about sleeping.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “Okay, let’s talk about sleeping.”
Me: “I haven’t slept through the night in 15 months.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “. . . that’s awful.”
Me: “Yes. I get up anywhere from one to six times a night. This shouldn’t be happening. I’m a young, healthy woman. And I’m severely sleep deprived.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “Are you doing anything to help yourself sleep?”
Me: “Am I self-medicating? Yes. To help me sleep, sometimes I take five or six melatonin capsules with two or three over-the-counter sleeping pills.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: ” . . . You take ALL of that in one go?”
Me: “Yes.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “DO YOU REALIZE HOW SMALL YOU ARE?!”
Me: “Yes.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “YOU CAN NOT TAKE ALL OF THAT AT ONCE.”
Me: “Well, I do.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “DO YOU KNOW HOW BAD THAT IS FOR YOUR BODY?!”
Me: “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I MISS SLEEPING?!”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “Fair enough. Does it actually help you sleep through the night?”
Me: “Not necessarily, but it keeps me drugged up enough that when I do wake up, I don’t care because I know I’ll fall back asleep relatively fast. The drawback is that when I do wake up – which is usually like 3 or 4pm the next afternoon, it feels like I’m struggling to swim up and out of unconsciousness. Kind of like . . .”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “Anesthesia?”
Me: “Exactly!”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor:: “Well, I’m gonna prescribe you some real sleeping meds. How’s that?”
Me: “You. Are. A. ROCKSTAR. But . . . what’re the side effects of what you’re prescribing me? ‘Cause I’ve seen some of those commercials, and I’d rather not slip into a coma so deep I die. Or have a dry mouth that becomes a dry throat where I choke and then die. Or seizures. Or depression. Or dying in general.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor*staring at me* “Are you done?”
Me: “No. I also don’t want side effects that include anal leakage or oily discharge.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor*bursts into laughter* “And now you’re talking about Meridia, the fat-blocking drug.”
Me: “Yes. When I first saw that commercial and heard that the side effects included anal leakage and oily discharge I was both horrified and tremendously entertained all at the same time. Does it really do that?”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “Well . . . the fat has to go somewhere, doesn’t it?”
Me: “So it leaks out . . . nevermind. Tell me about my new drug.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “Well, it’s pretty strong stuff, but the side effects are minimal. There is ONE in particular I’m concerned about for you, though.”
Me: “What is it?”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “One of the side effects include sleep-walking to your kitchen, preparing all the food there, eating it all, and going back to bed like nothing happened.”
Me: “You’re kidding.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “I’m not. Some other crazy side effects include sleep-driving, sleep-sexual encounters, even sleep-abusing your pets. The only side effect I’m concerned about for you though, is the sleep-eating.”
Me: “I want to laugh, but . . . this is actually very likely.”
My Handsome Bearded Doctor: “So, the first time you take it, you need to have a responsible adult in the house with you to monitor your behavior and activity.”
Me: “And to help me eat all the food I’ve prepared so I don’t have to some day take Meridia.”

True story.

Further proof that fact is better than fiction.