About Me

My photo
Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
TO POST A COMMENT: Click on any "orange-colored" post title and scroll to the bottom.

Monday, May 24, 2010

one night at cedars

there are these billboards all over los angeles. beacons as to the pitfalls of drug addiction.

"i lost me to meth".

no, meth is not my achilles' heel, but the message resonates. this california winter was dark turbulence, despite the omnipresent sunshine. but with a little help from my new friend, lexapro, and a therapist conveniently located near cedars-sinai, my internal storm was eventually downgraded from insanity to just plain awful.

that emotional tornado ripped this little red riding hood's cape right off, and yet i encounter a few more wolves in this grim fairy tale...

15 meds and counting...

june 9th looms large...

an inpatient @ cedars once again...

my my, we have a lot to catch up on, don't we?


a week ago, i was lying on my couch, searing, hot pains shooting through my intestines. tylenol? check. hot water bottle? check. perrier? check. aunt flo's long anticipated arrival? intensified kidney pain? constipation? WHO KNOWS. but the prospect of riding it out diminished as evening turned into night, and the pain increased. out came the laptop and evidence pointing to appendicitis, pancreatitis and complete graft rejection seemed much more likely. as moody, gray streaks appeared over the horizon, my husband began packing a bag and loading me into our sexy station wagon.

by 6am, i was an inpatient at cedars-sinai once again.

a shot of morphine here, some dilaudid there. a battery of tests to make your head spin, and my gut spasm. ow. ow. ow. the consensus? a ruptured cyst in my left ovary that was causing internal bleeding.

and now the rub.

my transplanted kidney is a close neighbor to this left ovary. unless the internal bleeding stopped, surgery would be necessary. and surgery was very risky. the risk? that the kidney would just stop working altogether and dialysis would be a non-negotiable.

one glance at dr. dauer's heavily furrowed brow and my dreams of a preemptive transplant flew out the window. (hey, you dream of going to disneyland...) i've only seen dr. dauer that upset twice in 13 years, and although this obvious display of affection for me was heart warming...


it was a crazy night. intense pain. suffocating fears. the all-nighter, revolving door that prevents any kind of true rest. and longing. deep, intense longing for all this to end.

and so, i caught a break.

no surgery. cautiously optimistic. "do you want to go home?" phrases i clutched hard and fast to, fearing their vaporization.

get me out of here.

just add this to the laundry list. some women are "cyst-prone". this could happen again, and in the meantime, i have to negotiate the pain as the cyst continues to leak for upwards of a few more weeks. bed rest. lay low. of these requests i have a mastery.

and i am bored. bored. bored. bored. and sad.

if i sound like i am feeling sorry for myself. ah, well, maybe i am. just a wee bit. the mounting medical bills grow in contrast to my diminished capabilities. tears of frustration, my constant companion, as i realize new physical limitations. and moments of pure joy as infrequent as stress pervasive.

today, i received a photo from my recent trip to toronto.

i did not recognize myself. the bloated face. the tired frame. the vaguely, tomboy shag. ill-fitting clothes. and that expression that can only be described as woe. beyond sadness, melancholy or distress. woe.

"oh, woe is me."

i had a movie moment today driving home from dr. wilson's. with the opening chords of a timeless 80's classic, the thin veneer i had up for day-to-day superficiality was shattered. tears spilled forth; a welcome release, but probably as dangerous as texting. so, i pulled over and had a think.

yeah, this all kind of sucks.

but, i was driving home. to my husband. and my new (old) puppy.

and tonight, i am not sleeping at cedars-sinai.


  1. We love you Hen. If you need anything, just let us know. Love on cute Maggie Mae, please. She's so sweet.

  2. I hope - no, I know - you'll find a way through this. Good luck. I'm obviously a total stranger but I'm thinking about you.

  3. Granmo, you fill me withh hope and love...H xo

  4. Amanda,you fill me with much love and i adore you! h xo