Because I am a tireless warrior against the heterosexist patriarchal implications of Valentine's Day, I spent the first three hours of February 14th in the Whittington Hospital having my heart function monitored.
In sadly less hilarious news, the ECG tech was the worst. I go for tests so often that we've kind of bonded - we greet each other by name, I ask after her kids, she compliments me on my boots, I forget that I'm semi naked in a seriously cold room.
Sadly, a shared love of charity shops does not preclude someone being an intrusive, overstepping, disableist fuckwit.
The referral form said "high resting heart rate noted after switching anti-depressants, please check for recurrence of ablated tissue".
The ECG tech said, "You don't need to be on anti-depressants! You just need to be brave!"
I could have said, "well, I've been exhausted since 2009, I feel like I'm walking through a thick, viscous fog most days, I have been trying really hard not to kill myself or lacerate my long-suffering left arm since last May, and the only thing that has had any noticeable impact over the last eleven fucking years is the combination of mirtazapine and venlafaxine which are upping my serotonin and noradrenalin and making being awake feel like an achieveable possibility, and no, "being brave" is actually not as effective at that."
I could have said, "when you do ECGs on patients who take insulin to manage diabetes, or beta blockers to address cardiac arhythmia, do you tell them that they should ditch their meds and just 'be brave'? When you have a headache, do you take a paracetamol, or do you just tell yourself to 'be brave'?"
But, y'know, fuck it. I made a split second decision that, if she was going to say something so cruel and make me feel so uncomfortable, I would, for a moment, drop the constant effort to make unmad people feel comfortable when faced with mental illness. I would make her as uncomfortable as she made me.
I said, "Well, I want to die, so I think I kind of do."
Not to brag, but I think my response was actually pretty brave.