Three weeks of an itchy rash that spread along the left waistband of my body. A patch on my back right shoulder/arm intersection, another on my left breast near left shoulder.  Finally went to the walk-in clinic earlier this week.

Tick bite?  He asked this three times.  There’s no visible sign, so no.  It’s not chiggers, bedbugs or shingles.  (Thank.  God.)  What makes sense is that the dog had poison ivy oil on her fur and rubbed it on my clothes or me and that was that.  OR the dye lot of the skort I wear at work disagrees with my skin.  Regardless, it wasn’t going away so I found some help.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I’ve never taken steroids. Took the first day’s dose – six little pills all at once – around 7:25 AM.  Drove The Man to work (his car with the fixity guy) and headed to Walmart. 

Around 9:30 AM everything was fascinating and my critical thinking about design, packaging and marketing was reviewing and nitpicking every detail of every product.  Halloween, Pioneer Woman kitchenware, women’s khaki pants – what the hell are “Jeggings”? – lipsticks in the clearance bin, dog treats.

At 10:00 AM the skies opened up and it poured hard for 20 minutes.  But my hyper hearing thought the loud rushing sound was the store’s HVAC on high.  By then I was over at snack crackers and Slim Jims reading ingredient lists and pronouncing things I’d never heard of (nor will ever consume).  Mind building my vocabulary on hyperspeed.

Wheeled my cart to self check-out. Scanned, bagged, and loaded the car and had no recollection of either paying or how long I’d been in there. Whoops!

By 11 AM I could have run with wild horses and kept an even stride.  So, I did the next best thing:  went to the storage unit and unearthed some of my belongings.  Lifted heavy things, shoved heavy things; pulled and pushed heavy things, untaped boxes and, had there been more time, I might have emptied the whole space and rearranged it into a habitat with lighting, bar, sofa and stereo.

A big box of shoes, a large cardboard wardrobe, watercolor paints, small kitchen appliances and an oversized light-up pumpkin for the front porch. By the time I left it was pouring, again.  I moved quickly between the drops (or so I imagined).  House, make lunch for The Man, deliver lunch to The Man, head back to the house.

The day was stiff, unexpected, in its lack of creativity and impulse.  I had focus – almost too much focus.  Dinner prepared smartly, timed perfectly, consumed happily by all.  Boy and I did the dishes in sync, and I fell into bed fully expecting a happy hush to the day.  Glad to be leaning into sleep. I was purring.

Nope.  Not sleeping.  And that wasnt purring.  It was my body on steroid speed.  Three hours restless, wide awake and wired without palpitations (coffee does this.  Prednisone does not.)  Then I remembered what the doctor said as he was writing my prescription… (loosely recalled here):

“The Prednisone may cause you to feel aggitated, even somewhat uncharacteristically aggressive.  Angry, even.  You may experience feeling restless and, as in many cases, you may have trouble falling asleep – or feel no need to sleep at all.  You may have thoughts of daring feats.  Do not obey them… .”

My follow-up note:  You may lay in bed fully awake for several hours kidding yourself sleep is “just around the corner”, when you know damn well you’d rather be outside in the front yard in the booming thunderstorm holding lightning rods in your bare hands while sporting a tin foil hat and summer weight granny nightie, bare foot and hollering at the wild sky, “Is that all ya’ got, ya’ big rainy cry baby!?!”

So while I’m not as itchy I’m busting at the seam to wrestle a bear.  Or crack a barstool over someone’s head if they insult my friend.  Maybe I will eat the world for breakfast then trim my mustache then march off to stab something.

Man, this is crazy.  Let’s see how today goes.

(Mustache? Uh, no.)

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