and to think, this all begins with my thumb.
["fie, fi, foe, thumb..."]
being immunosuppressed for almost 29 years now, i am no longer surprised by the maladies that often strike this physical shell of mine. this is not to say i don't get irritated; it's just unfortunately become par for the course.
and as "THEY" say, "it could be worse"...
today k. and i had the most delightful reunion with family friends down in anaheim @ downtown disney. although i am self-proclaimed abhorrent of all things disney, wild horses couldn't have kept me away. good food; better company.
laughter and smiles.
but walking from parking lot to established meeting place, i felt a startling weakness in my stride. yes, low on kidney function, out-of-shape, bloodstream engorged with toxins galore, but this sensation was new. a weakness unidentified.
a desperate sob. "k. i am so weak"...but, with a simple grab of my hand, he made all things better.
dropping him off @ LAX for the last stand in the "summer series" of piping events; i buckled down tight for the long, long, long drive home.
["did i mention it was long?"]
the 405 on a friday afternoon. no place i'd rather be...
but being stuck in traffic gives one time to think; dare i suggest, reflect, if the right soundtrack plays in the background.
and it did. so i succumbed. tears streaming down my face, and all.
[i am an actress, guys...]
yeah, i may have snowballed just a wee bit, indulging myself in a little self-pity; so tired of having discomfort in some form or another all of the time.
and most recently, it has been my thumb.
as ridiculous as it sounds, i have been to the doc 3 times over an infection on my thumbs and fingers. at first, it was suspected to be a staff infection, then gangrene, back to staff and now eczema. all i know is that most of my fingers have cuts and/or bumps and cause me a daily, moderate amount of pain.
and then the laundry list swirled throughout my head:
-fungi i have had under my nails since 2002
-mouth full of canker sores
-swelling of my face
-body bloating/swollen ankles/legs/digits
-painful mouth sores that prevent me from opening wide (that's significant, folks. think about it.)
-10+ hrs. sleep a night/daily naps
AMENDMENT: substances to avoid:
-NO smoking [in the bus shelter!]
["don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?"]
but then, suddenly, what flashed through my mind was a laundry list of an entirely different kind.
years, ago, i auditioned for the film "girl, interrupted", for a role that eventually went to brittany murphy; who, incidentally, is now dead from suspected misuse of drugs.
[i don't care what the press release says]
much like the hype that currently surrounds the casting of "lisbeth salander" in "the girl with the dragon tattoo", every hot, young thing in hollywood clamored to be a part of this film that angelina jolie won an academy award for.
but it wasn't that film flashing through my mind.
it was a documentary i caught on HBO about 6 months ago entitled, "boy, interrupted" about the suicide of evan perry. age 15.
evan perry was a young man, suffering from bipolar disorder. officially diagnosed @ age 11, but suspected since the age of 6, when he was placed on prozac. after several years on lithium he convinced his parents that he felt strong enough to discontinue the drug. one night, after a fight with his mom, he typed out a suicide note on his laptop, threw himself down an elevator shaft in their building...
evan had a laundry list of an entirely different kind.
what he had typed out on his laptop was a simple pro vs. con list of reasons to live and reasons to die.
5 of each.
it still makes my heart ACHE.
and as his psychiatrist brilliantly articulated, "that was the true definition of insanity"...
not what we see depicted in movies. the frothing at the mouth, rolling eye portrayal that brad pitt attempts in "12 monkeys". or jack nicholson's manic hairdo/crooked grin/gimpy limp down the overlook hotel's hallways in "the shining"...
but rather, evan's eerily pragmatic approach to death. a non-partisan approach to life vs. death. watch his story and you will never be the same. it made me want to hunt down tom cruise and his ignorant, judgmental attitude toward psychiatry and mental illness, and bitch slap him and HIS glib mouth a few hundred times...
and somewhere between the 405/118 exchange my laundry list of maladies faded from view.
and yet, i DO believe that pain is relative. i always have. i always will. and if your most traumatic experience is a bad haircut, well, goddammit, that's valid. and i feel your pain.
you made my laundry list look about as relevant as that dumb ass movie i once auditioned for.