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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

the roller coaster of hen

one of the requirements necessary to be "approved" for a kidney transplant in the united states of america is a mandatory psych evaluation.

[no approval necessary in "oh, canada, eh",  you ridiculous, puritan talking heads...]

good times.

so, tuesday morning, i dragged this emasculated frame behind the wheel, and drove my way back down to my reluctant home away from home...

cedars-sinai medical centre.

and so began the interview of a lifetime.

i am a spectacular actress. 

[yeah, i am...]

and nothing, non, mon ami, NOTHING was going to prevent me from getting approval for a new lease on life.

challenge this, chickie...

how many heads do a double take when they hear this kidney has lasted nearly 23 years?

don't throw me a sword, babe, for i will accept your challenge and fence you down. downtown.

let the games begin...

perhaps it is appropriate i am currently immersed in mccarthy's "the road". a world of gray. desperation. a post-apocalyptic hell.

[is life worth it?]

as the interview dragged on, to my mind, it became redundant.

a woman trained as a doctor; a psychiatrist, who has less than zero life experience with which to truly identify with me. textbooks are great, but they barely ever apply.

LISTEN and learn.

at one point, i wanted to bring full on henriette. try this on for size, doc...

live one week of your life, essentially confined to bed/ your home. unable to drive long distances. no work. no volunteering. no exercise. little ability to focus, remember...

then get back to me.

and then she asked, "so you've already been through a transplant...why would you want to go through this again?"...

[hold that thought.]

wednesday, we had we had the greatest day planned. 

bff, m, was going to take our annual christmas card photo, and then we were off to winnetka for dinner with a and e; friends recently home from adventures down under.

and then she hit.

around 1 pm, a migraine took me down like the titanic's infamous iceberg. ominous. unanticipated. and ultimately, decimating.

unforgiving. unrelenting. 

i don't want to hear, "well, it's only the second migraine you've had in 6 months"...

[have you ever had a migraine?]

and so another great day blew away like desert residue upon the freeway...noticed, but unremarkable...

despite the promise of imitrex and it's desperate downing, i writhed for 24 hours in a land of unrelenting pain.

waves of intolerable, followed by mild retraction.

["oh, thank god...breathe, breathe, breathe..."]

minute by minute you exist.

like mccarthy's world; poetic phrases deserving of reflection, juxtaposed against stark facts, mirroring the bleak landscape father and son traverse.

i keep hearing that "this will all be over soon", but much like the ashen sun they can no longer see, i strain, scanning for the vaguest suggestion of light.

"everything happens for a reason". don't want to hear it.

"there's always a silver lining". don't want to hear it.

"it's god's plan". don't want to hear it.

"it's just money". definitely don't want to hear it.

yesterday, was the first day i had been out since tuesday. this shackled soul stirred by the sound of our station wagon starting up. sweater pulled tight. ah, california in december...were those red neon letters a mirage?

and so we laughed and laughed.

but today, an unceasing undertow of nausea unceremoniously stranded me. shipwrecked to the couch.

[no salt water, please. just perrier]

and i was pissed. and my heart plummeted to the reality i live.

["make your plans, chickie, and i will laugh, laugh, laugh..."]

are you still holding that thought?

and then she asked, "so you've already been through a transplant...why would you want to go through this again?"...

you've heard of the evil eye? well, i gave her the evil mind, body and soul.

years and years ago, my admittedly witty life partner coined a relationship with me "the roller coaster of hen"... "she's up, she's down. i'm so happy...oh my god, i'll totally fight you..."

[trust me, i don't do it justice.]

and in mentally taking her down, i realized life is a roller coaster. once you're on board, there is no warning, no siren, no possible evacuation. you're up. you're down. and even the safety bar won't make you feel secure.

so, i gave her my bullshit answer where i quoted gloria steinem. "even if i'm 90 years old, with one eye working, i want to be around to see what happens."

but the truth is, it wasn't bullshit.

there are days like this.
and there are days like this.

and i want to be around for all of them.

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