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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

shooting from the hip

whenever i head off to an appointment at cedars-sinai, i always bring a laundry list of items to discuss.

i am nothing if not a pro-active, informed patient.

but, last night, i tossed and turned and barely hit r.e.m.. a head racing with worries; a heart heavy with dread...how to pay for the upcoming year of medical insurance? taxes? mortgage?

waiting with bated breath for approval from disability.

but, i forgot my list.

when i awoke, after literally minutes of sound sleep, i questioned feeling safe enough to drive. kevin had 2 clients, but when i called dr. dauer's, they told me 11 am was my only option until monday. glancing down at my legs, i knew it was a non-negotiable.

[pull it together, hennybird.]

sans coffee, salt, cholesterol and any other option that might have temporarily jolted me awake, like a crazy ol' broad i puttered under the speed limit, hunched over, glasses perched low; focused only on the answers i sought. the medical advice i craved. and the connection with dr. dauer that continues to inspire.

for the last 10 days, my blood pressure has been all over the place. much like a bouncing ball upon a roulette wheel..."where she stops, nobody knows"...my tremors have increased to the degree where i can no longer write. kevin fills out all my forms. but, it's the swelling and the bruising that has scared me. bruises spreading like a red wine stain across a white shag rug.

startling in its intensity. impossible to ignore.

and the swelling. it's begins in my ankles and spreads upwards through my calves. discomfort. periodic pain. vanity i refuse to succumb to. and fear. stone cold fear about what this all means.

for if this doesn't get under control soon, i will soon be facing my biggest fear.

not making contact with a tarantula in my kitchen sick. not nearly crashing on a plane in a denver tornado. not being in a total white out on the freeways of south dakota. and not thinking a strange man was standing, backlit, over my bed; when it was really just my husband.

peeps. i conquered all that.


i.e. hell on earth.

it's a good thing i'm married to one devoted dude. i recently discovered that for 2 male friends, kankles are a deal breaker. so sorry, k., your wife is currently working the kankle like it's the new "black".

[where is rachel zoe when i need her?]

but, when dr. dauer walked in, pain and tension etched across his face, it was much like the way i wear my heart upon my sleeve.


a private world become public.

and my issues temporarily dissolved.

dr. dauer immediately confided he had just lost his very best friend. and as my eyes filled with empathetic tears, i selfishly thrilled to the connection we share.

[let's discuss.]

what a good man k. is. why do so many marriages fail? the void he feels over the loss of his best friend. the death of my young father. the irrelevance of age. a loss. is a loss. is a loss.

so forgive me if my hackles rise at the ignorance of crystal-head, kale-guzzling, bohemians who unconditionally reject western medicine. not all doctors are ignorant to the balance east and west can provide. this is a man who has heralds medicine to be an art, not a science. he is not a numbers man. and when i supported, "you have lost an energy that can't be replaced", he acquiesced.

today. i comforted my doctor.

pride goeth before the fall, yes.

but, ah, it felt good to feel significant. valued. appreciated.

something i don't often feel anymore. but, oddly, in the hospital, i feel at home. i have felt that way since i was first diagnosed at age 13. is it some cryptic connection to my g.p. father who died so young? or just an environment i know so well?

i don't really expect my friends and family to keep track of the now 20 prescribed medications i am currently on.

that would be like expecting me to remember the date of their child's first steps; the size of their first poop...[although there is an incident with a poop and a mountain dew can that i won't get into right now..]

but, besides kmac, dr. dauer steadfastly remains in my corner. and despite his own personal pain today, his last words to me were..."are you going for the record for the world's oldest transplant?"

"that's my plan..."

when in doubt, shoot from the hip.

but, the possibility filled me with joy...

and so, we shared a laugh. me, despite the unreality of that statement. and he, despite unbearable pain. and somewhere in the cadence of our laughter we found mutual comfort.

so perhaps, in shooting from the hip, occasionally one hits a bulls eye...

1 comment:

  1. Well I know for a fact the two gents that say "kankles" are a dealbreaker would spend all day massaging yours if they could make you feel better. And then one of them would take you out dancing. All kidding aside, I know it sucks to watch your body morph into something you wish it wouldn't....but we all love you just the same. Kankles and all. xoxo