AS LONG AS WE'RE SHARING THE REAL SHIT: THE TRUTH ABOUT MY LUPUS DIAGNOSIS (PART 1)
I never talk about this. And it was kind of weird to write. But you guys are 💯 so...
- •2004: I run the LA marathon in 98 degree weather. I finish, totally sunburnt and totally exhausted.Shortly after, I get promoted from my first boss's desk to assist one of the CAA partners.
- •I continue to be exhausted, but clearly it's because I am working ALL. THE. TIME.Being an assistant to a Very Important Person is Very Important, you know. He's a nice boss, but intimidating as fuck.
- •Occasionally I wake up with nosebleeds.I used to get them as a kid, so I think it's odd that they've returned in adulthood, but not so odd that I need to be concerned.
- •One day, I'm counting pages on a script for Brad Pitt (to make sure the printer didn't miss one slash because I am totally OCD and terrified I will be fired if the script that Brad may never read anyway is missing a page) and I get a paper cut.It won't stop bleeding. Tears spring to my eyes, not because of pain or worry, but because I'm not sure I have time to get another script printed before the FedEx deadline. I call the mailroom and plead. It works out.
- •Another day, first boss walks into new boss's office, takes one look at me and says "Amanda, what the fuck is wrong with you, you look like shit."At this point I had been bruising extremely easily for a little while. I always bruised easily, but this was kind of beyond normal. I respond sassily: "I miss you too" and let it go.
- •That night, my friend Kristy and I are at a party, where Kristy is also concerned about the excessive bruising and the red dots that pepper my arms like measles but underneath the skin.We meet a girl who's in med school and Kristy thrusts my arm in her face. "What's wrong with her?" The girl pales. "Um, I think you should go to the doctor." I cry in Kristy's car because there is NO WAY I can take time off work to see a doctor.
- •My dad forwards me an email from first boss. The entire content is in the subject line, as is his wont:"your daughter looks like shit she has bruises all over her legs she needs to go to the doctor." I reply to my dad that he just can't handle the fact that I don't work for him anymore. But the pit of worry in my stomach grows.
- •On Monday, I call first boss's doctor. They're closed for Rosh Hashanah. They call me back the next day and tell me the doctor is incredibly busy and can't see me for weeks.They call back an hour later and say he's had a cancellation and can I come in at lunch? I could, and timidly ask my boss's permission. He says okay because of course.
- •The doctor is very nice and tells me I'm probably anemic, they'll take some blood and when I come for a follow-up they'll put me on a regime that builds up my iron levels.I grumble on the drive back to the office. What a waste of time that was. At least everyone will get off my back now.
- •The next day, the office phone rings. It's the doctor's office. The doctor is calling. He's calling my office phone because I didn't answer my cell, not even after he called several times.My cell stays in the back office when I sit in my boss's office with him. I had no idea he was calling. Several times?
- •He explains that he believes the lab that tested my blood made an error, and he needs me to get a second opinion immediately."I can't leave the office," I explain. He replies that if the blood work results AREN'T a mistake, I need an immediate blood transfusion so I should probably take this seriously.
- •I hang up the phone, a tear betraying my stoicism. "Honey, what's wrong?" asks my boss.I explain as a few more fucking tears run down my face, traitors to the "there's no crying in baseball" attitude I maintained at work (despite being a total tear fountain outside of the office).
- •"Darren will drive you." He points at my fellow assistant in a manner that makes clear to both of us there's no arguing allowed."But...who will answer your phone?" He shrugs. "Honey, I'll be fine."
- •Darren is excited that the second opinion doctor is hot and wearing a leopard-print skirt. Otherwise we're both kind of annoyed that we're wasting our boss's time.Hot doctor comes back with the results from the second blood test. She apologizes that they don't have an ambulance available and asked if Darren can drive me to Cedars, where I will be checked in for an immediate blood transfusion.
- •I attempt to call my parents. My mom answers her cell after I try it several times and says "we are at a board meeting I will call you tomorrow."I feel half-smug, half-sorry, knowing how bad she will feel when she learns tomorrow why I was calling. I still feel bad about this, but my guess is so does she.
- •We get in Darren's car and I - having said nothing since the call to my mom - burst into tears."It's going to be okay," says Darren. "That's not it," I say. "I can't go to the hospital. I have nothing to read."
- •This got really long and I need to publish it before I lose my nerve slash bore you all to tears. More later? Maybe? If it's interesting? The next part is more hilarious I swear.