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I took a pill
some life slices from a few months back
I took a pill and everything went grayscale.
I took a pill and everything stayed the same.
I took a pill.
And a pill.
And I took a pill.
I took a pill and watched Succession till 12:30 am and now I’m even more tired.
I took a pill and went to bed.
I took a pill and pretended I ate a meal.
I took a pill and crushed it beneath my boot.
I took a pill and it went down like ground glass.
I took a pill and forgot and took another one.
I took a pill and got sick as fuck.
I was sick as fuck and I took a pill.
We’re in a writing group on Zoom and your dad came to the door. He’s 95 and your wife is talking to him.
Across the hall from my apartment, the oldest kid is knocking and knocking at the door and no one is answering.
I didn’t remember to do a thing and I thought it was too late but others don’t agree, and so does that mean I’m still expected to do it?
I gave my cat a pill and it was too hard on his liver and now they say he needs a radioactive treatment that costs $3800 and he has to stay in the hospital for 3-5 days till he’s not too radioactive to come home but we’d have to save the next three weeks’ dirty cat litter for 80 days so it doesn’t set off alarms in the trash stream, and I am wondering if I should take him for the procedure a few hours away if it costs less?
I took my kid to the adolescent clinic for their blockers shot. It takes about an hour to get there and park and whatnot, and it has to happen every six months, and usually there’s a lot of waiting around. And we were all there - me and my ex and my kid - because my kid wants to move forward on starting the right hormones instead of just suppressing the wrong ones, as their peers are going through puberty and they have been telling us about their gender realities since they were 2 ½ and now they are 13.
And the doctor came in and talked about “ok you are here to talk about starting testosterone,” and we were all like “no, that’s what we are suppressing.”
He seemed extra tired. My kid has been going to him since they were 9. He said “there’s only one provider I know who will start gender hormones before 14 and they are in Los Angeles.”
And we are in New York.
He said “you know how the climate is now — we have to be extra careful but come in with the therapist's letter on their birthday and we can do it that day.”
And then it was time for the shot and he mumbled under his breath but only I heard him, “Jesus I hope the shot is here” and then went out of the exam room for a while and came back and said “I’m really sorry, but I ordered the generic and your insurance only pays for the name brand and I must have missed the fax that told me that and I didn’t reorder it and we don’t have it and we will reorder it right now and I’m so sorry but we’ll prioritize getting you back in for an appointment,” and then we left the adolescent clinic.
My kid and my ex went in her car to go north for the school break to my kid’s grandma. I had a really, really hard work conversation on the phone while in the car and while parking and while standing on the street, and then I got a really good massage and drove home and looked for parking for a long time then found it and went inside.
Two weeks later, I wrote to the doctor on the portal asking if they got the blockers shot and no one wrote back, and then my partner got a robocall from the prescription company saying that my kid’s prescription couldn’t be filled and I figured that was just left over from what went down that first round, but they don’t name the prescription. They never do.
Sometimes they give the first letter of the name which is often not that helpful if you have a lot of prescriptions and letters repeat but this is my kid’s only prescription. And then two weeks later on a Monday, which was a few days ago, I got a thick envelope letter from the insurance mixed in with all the other envelopes for insurance saying they were not going to pay for the blockers shot, under the brand name this time, and here’s how to appeal and here’s the different offices you call in different states to ask for help if you need help, and I called the clinic and they said the person who handles prior authorizations is out till next Monday and I said you are already behind on getting my kid their shot, and it can’t wait that long and she said well, you can call the doctor tomorrow.
And then I realized I could call the specialty pharmacy that fills this -- and only this -- prescription (and meanwhile I’ve been texting updates about this to my ex who is driving and asks if I can call instead but I say I have a work call in a few minutes and am calling the specialty pharmacy) so I call them and they say: actually the shot just shipped out today and will be there tomorrow; the clinic used the wrong diagnosis code but we resubmitted with the right code.
So I went on to my work call, and then the next day I forgot to call the clinic.
But I wrote to them on the portal and the day after that I called and said that the doctor had said you’d prioritize us to come in quickly for the shot and blood work, and she said, “well, you still need to have an appointment with the doctor, it’s the doctor who is required to give the shot,” and “hold on, let me make sure the shot is here” and she put me on hold but instead of the regular hold music loop it was looping abruptly every 23 seconds (but who’s counting), like a record needle scratching back across the same segment over and over but in a “I’m in hell” sense not a hip hop sense, and I stayed on for 12 minutes but then I had to do something for work and had to get off.
And today I called at 8:30 am and at 9:20 am and 11:30 am and the message kept saying the clinic was closed, but the third time I held on and the answering service came on and said “they are at lunch but I can take a message”, and I said “I don’t think they are, I’ve been getting this message all morning” and she said “oh they are closed, I can’t take a message” and I said “why are they closed” and she said “have a nice day” and hung up on me. And I just called back and got a person and she said we can come in in 2 weeks and I explained that the doctor said we could come in soon as it’s a priority, is there any other time and she asked about five days from now but it’s during the school musical rehearsal, and she put me back on hold with that warped hell soundtrack, and then came back and asked about the same day but in the morning, and I said yes and hung up.
I texted my ex to see if she can take them, and she said “yes” and “thank you” and I said “great” and “thank you.”
With thanks to my Writing as Resourcing group in the At Louis Place community, for the prompt and for the generative, chill space.
And P.S. We’ve decided to treat the cat with special food that’s super expensive but avoids the radioactive process and if he lives long enough, it ends up costing the same but not all at once.