About Me

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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, November 18, 2010

one in, all in...

the other day, i was telling our friends t and s that my transplant evaluation meeting had been moved up to november 19th. tomorrow.

t turned to me and deadpanned, "do you think you can make it to friday without overdosing?"

i laughed and laughed and laughed...

you know the kind. pure exhilaration that comes from trusting your friends have your best interests at heart.

[lock up your medicine cabinets, boys and girls. but, i'm giving it my all.]

6 months and minus 2 days ago, i overdosed on my migraine medication.

i have yet to blog about this, save a few vague references, but this was the reason my originally scheduled evaluation was postponed from june. i ain't no therapist, but even i can see the timing was no coincidence.

i told a few people; and even fewer people really asked; despite my personal, lifelong "open book" mandate. but that's ok.

i was hospitalized for 9 nights. it was the worst period of our marriage. my self esteem registered @ less than zero. and i felt like i had broken up with my best friend.

albeit, an incredibly dysfunctional bitch of a friend, who gossips about you behind your back, and sleeps with your husband. but regardless, she was gone. cut off from me forever.

never mind not seeing the forest for the trees, i couldn't find the g'dmn planet...

yet through it all, i finally felt connected to my father in a way i never had...

this is one of the last pictures of him.

for so long, i have been denied so much about him. and even if my ostrich of maternal persuasion, with her head buried so deep in the sand, ever decides to come up for air and talk, i now know this.

it was the best he could do. and it was the best i could do.

and when you know better, you do better.

the sun is going down on another beautiful california day. when i next see the sun, i will be embarking upon a new chapter in my renal magnum opus.

my hands are shaking. my heart is racing. i can't eat. and i am compulsively listening to "hallelujah"(k.d. lang), "la cienega just smiled"(ryan adams), "smile like you mean it"(the killers) and "running to stand still"(U2).

exhibit a: a barely 19 year old girl, weeks away from her first kidney transplant. [ralphie!!!!!]

exhibit b: a barely 42 year old woman, weeks (?) away from her second kidney transplant.

["one of these things is not like the other. one of these things just doesn't belong..."]

ahhhh....but, do not be fooled by the shiny, pseudo-70's jumpsuit or the shiny red hair...this is a woman with a uti infection. fungus and bruises. nausea and swelling and a killer headache. a panic attack that left her fetal this afternoon. and a mo-fo list of 22 officially prescribed medications.

[yup! for those keeping track! 2 more have just been added!]

but, DAMN, does she like to dance...

i loved my daddy so much. he was creative, intelligent, funny, adventurous, outgoing and loving. all the things i aspire to be. i loved every second with him. through the silly, the pathetic, the tragic and all the love. oh, the love...

but, let's face it.

he blew it. 38?

you don't have to die with chronic illness. you may want to sometimes...(hello, 120 fiorinal?)...but, you don't have to...

[at least, not right away... ;-)]

"one in...all in..."

this was how he would coax my brother and i into the back of our old jag. everytime.

forever branded on my heart...for he meant; all together or not at all...

so tomorrow, that's how i'll roll.

"one in...all in..."

for whether ya'll know it or not, you are all coming with me...

every text, email, fb post, call, letter and visit has resonated as deeply as my daddy's words. and i'll carry it all with me...

[and i don't think i can walk through those doors tomorrow without it.]

i can still hear his lofty, british accent...

but, what i hear more loudly is my own desire to live.

shit. there's never a fairytale ending. (c'mon, guys, give up the disney while you're ahead...)

but, tomorrow, i have a second chance. at even more life.

tonight, i say goodbye to almost 23 years with my mother's kidney.

i say goodbye to a compromised, difficult existence.

and i say goodbye to the idea that you can't survive addiction.

[for i am!]

i grieve for her. my beautiful, broken, damaged, struggling kidney that kept me alive for another (almost) 23 years. i love her so much. she gave me so much. and i did everything i knew how to do to keep her with me. she even has a name.


["run from the darkness into the night..."]

it's less than 12 hours, now. somehow, i thought sophie would last forever. but, she's done.


so tomorrow, if you're with me; hold my hand. and hang tight.

for it's not "one in." it's "all in"...


  1. Carol (Basset Rescue)November 18, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Wonderful news to hear about the new kidney. You have always been with me in thought. Hugs to you and Kevin and Ms Maggie. You will have a lot of positive energy from many.

  2. I always wanted to ask you if you named your kidney. I love you sister. I love Sofie too, for all that she has given you. I'll be thinking of you all day tomorrow. I will be spending the early part of the day in Kent's classroom, helping out with their Thanksgiving celebration. Guess what I'm thankful for. You and K-Mac and everything you mean to us. Good luck tomorrow.

  3. I posted on FB that we wished we could be there to hold your hands... then I thought about checkin in here and seeing what you had written.
    I am glad to know that even though we are are a country apart.... we are also right there with you HOLDING your hand.
    Love, thoughts and many many prayers for you guys today!
    We'll talk soon

  4. We are definitely "All In". We are thinking about you and hoping for the best possible for such an awesome person. We <3 you Henny.