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I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the poppyseed conspiracy

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kevin's cell explodes. my heart stops cold. blood-a-tingling.

[possibly just my edema]

is this it? our surgery date confirmed?

kevin was walking in, mid shoot, with a client, as i mouthed the words "cedars-sinai".

reach and grab.

"yes, this is kevin. uh-huh. uh, no. well, i take tylenol pm at night...a multivitamin...".

as snippets of conversation floated frustratingly from his office, i did what any wife in her right mind would do. barged right in.

cut to: the titanic of my heart.

i recognized all too well that look of disbelief, infused with a dash of panic, spreading across my husband's face.

"well, i had a poppyseed bagel. i know that's a seinfeld episode. ok...ok".


"i tested positive for opiates."

of course. of course he did.

his case social worker checked with dr. fuchs (we like to call him something else) and although they are pretty sure it's a false positive, and NOT the poppyseed bagel, would he mind doing another test? so, naturally uberhubby and i climbed into our ghettowagon asap and drove over to the dicy looking, sun valley urgent care centre for a urine test.

[this was no cedars-sinai, folks]

look, i realize, it's a lot more exciting for them to believe that we are a couple of druggies. on paper, we're not looking too good right about now. first my june overdose on barbituates. secondly, my resistance to sign the outrageously vague and restricting abstinence letter. and now, kevin's false positive for opiates.

[i'm sure one day this will be really, really funny; but, right now no-one's laughing.]

of course, we have nothing to hide.

the painful irony is that kevin is a man who hates painkillers. riddled with shingles, which mothers testify is more painful than giving birth, he passed on both vicodin and norco.

"is there any way you can send this stat? i'm giving my wife a kidney, and if they don't get these results by thursday morning, my case won't be presented on thursday afternoon, and we'll have to wait another week".

seconds like minutes. minutes like hours. hours like days. days like weeks and one week like one year.

and with the empathy of an a t and t customer service operator, she deadpanned,


["please attach your own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs".]

so with shallow breaths, tight chests and heads hung low, we scurried away.

absurd, really.

like the seinfeld episode where elaine begs mrs. seinfeld for her urine sample, because she has accidently consumed yet another poppyseed bagel, kevin could have asked anyone in the lobby for a sample. asked on the street. asked me.

[although hopefully he wouldn't have tested positive for menopause. yet.]

and much like an ongoing gag a sitcom milks for 22 minutes, kevin had a poppyseed stuck in his teeth the entire day of his evaluation. throughout every interview, the ekg, the radioactive dye and scan, he participated fully in spirit, but tight lipped in body; all tightly pursed lips and excavating tongue.

[but really? REALLY? of all the breakfast choices on that day. a poppy seed bagel?]

are we living in our own, personal sitcom? except our conflict, arc, resolution and tag ain't wrapped up in 22 minutes or less.

in fact, this episode wasn't particularly funny at all.

tonight. with limited commercial interruptions. a very special "How I Met Your Kidney"...

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