Unlocked Part Two, or, On That Open Road in Front of Me

(I wrote this Sunday night while I was still in the hospital)

Being in the hospital is strange if not incredibly boring. There are only two televisions for a group of over 30 people and the channel is always turned to the Olympics. I have nothing against the Olympics, in fact I find the cute and little platform divers very cute in their little speedos, and I love it when they flip off those precipices and make cute little splashes with their cute and little selves. I find myself wanting to pinch their little butts and feed them a warm bottle.

The only problem I have with the TV being permanently tuned to the Olympics is the Bob Costas factor. My disdain and utter rage toward Bob Costas has been somewhat documented on this site, but there just isn’t enough hate in this world to spew in his direction. Please, Bob Costas, JUST SHUT UP. Why must he scar this precious world with his insipid voice-over? How many potentially wonderful and touching moments have been ruined by his fat face? I know it’s not healthy for me to carry around this much hate, but I’ve been watching Bob Costas for FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS. In the looney bin. There is no better place to carry around hate than the hospital because they are monitoring me. I can’t throw things in here.

Other than hating Bob Costas I’ve been reading magazines, listening to PJ Harvey, and talking to the other Crazies. I can’t help the talking to the other Crazies because they corner me and FORCE ME TO LISTEN. Yesterday morning some stranger trapped me and gave me his life story for over an hour. I was being nice and listening closely up until the 30 minute mark when I realized that he was repeating himself, and for the next 30 minutes I heard the whole story of his life for the fifth and sixth time. I now know as much about that stranger as I do the cast of The O.C. My brain is about to explode.

I had an incredible roommate who was sent home this morning, a charming 20-year-old whom I’ll call C. She’s starting her first year at BYU this week, and she is the spitting image of one of the roommates I had at BYU. When I was talking to her I was reminded of some of the great times I had as a college student, times spent being creative in such an oppressive environment. My roommates and I used to drive up to 7-11 in the middle of the night and fill up 64-oz Diet Dr. Peppers. We’d spend the rest of the night and morning giggling while on a caffeine and saccharine high talking about who we’d really like to make out with. Of course, all making out would be in a vertical position, fully clothed, with no roaming hands and touching of the sacred parts. Oh! How naughty!

I know I’m getting better because not once did I try to convince C. that she should run as far as she could from BYU. In fact, I told her that she’d have a blast, and I wished her all the luck in the world. DEAR LORD, WHAT HAVE I BECOME? There is sunshine in my soul today! I cannot stop exclamation pointing!

I saw my doctor again yesterday for a follow-up assessment, and we talked about how common my condition is among women whose bodies are transforming from a pregnant being to a non-pregnant being, and he told me about all the chemical and hormonal things that can go wrong. He has treated hundreds of women just like me, women who have gone on to have multiple children without any relapse of depression, and I felt very encouraged. He assured me that what I’m feeling is easily treatable, and he’s certain that the new meds I’m on will kick my anxiety and pain in the butt.

I cannot express how much I like this doctor. I feel a huge sense of relief and safety in being under the care of someone who knows so much about meds and my specific disease. At one point in our conversation he set down his pen and paper, paused and then looked and me and said, “You poor woman. I am so sorry for what you have been through.” And I cried. I cried hard. My god, what I have been through.

I know that people have far worse pain than I do, far worse trials and lots in life. But my pain is real, and to me it has been unbearable and incapacitating. It has also affected my family, and for that reason alone I had to get help.

I will most likely be discharged tomorrow morning, and glory hallelujah his truth is marching on thank god! I miss my family. I miss my dog. I miss my daily pop tart. I also miss my new Shabby Chic sheets Jon gave me for our anniversary — so rustic! and chic! and SHABBY! Tra-la!

I feel good about going home. I feel like there is an open road in front of me, a road to joy and happiness. I feel like I have a new perspective on things. That is what this hospital stay has provided me: PERSPECTIVE. It has also provided me an appreciation for my regular toothpaste and deodorant. The first time I brushed my teeth with the hospital toothpaste I gagged and was certain I had grabbed a tube of ointment instead of toothpaste, perhaps an ointment for an open wound or a swollen anus; it couldn’t have been safe for my mouth. And the deodorant! They gave me deodorant that smells like the shavings that line the bottom of a gerbil cage. I SMELL LIKE A GERBIL.

Hey Leta! Your Bob Costas-hating Gerbil-Mom is coming home!