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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the scenic route

when we zoomed into la-la land back in '96, we braked with a fantastic crash. and then stillness.

uncomfortable, utterly foreign stillness.

but my friend, m, analogized to perfection the anticlimactic funk we had sunk into.

"you've been going 90 miles an hour for a year. you've just downshifted to 30."

it's almost a north american mandate: faster is better. slow is weak.

gps: find me the quickest route! upgrade to the speediest internet connection! express lanes! self-checkouts! audible sighs of irritation when the blue haired crowd pulls out a checkbook or that pilly, threadbare change purse. fast-food. on-demand movies. stamp machines. drive-up atms. drive-up pharmacies...and god forbid we should ever walk to the gym.

[where have all the flowers gone?]

the last three years have been more like a roller coaster. the spiral of addiction, the terrifying plunge into rejection. the mercurial, angled twists and turns of medications and their side effects. and the nauseating realization that you just can't get off the ride.

but, now that ride is decelerating...the safety bar is still securely in place. our hair mussed and wild (well, mine is...). and our eyes are wide with nervous anticipation. but we are coasting in. and with adrenaline pumping through our veins, we search now for a kinder, gentler bumper car...

[for a little while...]
[everyone needs a canadian lackey.]
[roadside picnic.]
[engine light off. laughter light on.]
[4 kidney zone.]
[flash flood warning next 50 miles.]
[better than any electric key finder!]
[i call shotgun!]
[jet fueled pit stop.]
[the scenic route.]
[bridge over (un)troubled water.]
[gas gauge full.]
[tourist attention.]
[brake for friendship.]
[clogs next 40 miles.]
[roadside picnic: the sequel.]
[yield for comrades in arms.]
[rooftop down....arms up...]

and then there are the speed bumps...

04/18/11 08:55 am. Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre. 2nd post-transplant clinic:

-check-in @ rm. "adult care 3".
-blood drawn and urinalysis completed.
-vitals (bp, temp., weight) recorded.
-meet with tx. co-ordinator, resident nephrologist and attending physician.
-head to pharmacy for 2 scripts.
-kim returns to tx. clinic due to one mistakenly written script.
-kevin does intake at dr. fuchs office.
-kim chases several doctors throughout the halls of cedars for corrected script.
-lunch at ray charles cafeteria. (figurative hug from fave nurse, jake).
-check in at dialysis ward for permcath cleaning. (come back in an hour).
-kevin has appointment with his surgeon/urologist dr. fuchs. (yes, you know what we like to call him).
-head back to dialysis ward for cleaning of permcath.
-kevin heads to one pharmacy for new script.
-kim and i head to another pharmacy for my corrected script.

[are we there yet?]
and then the muffler dropped.


and with a clink, clank, clunk an amplified roar tunneled through my ears.

dr. k's cautious reminder that "this is all still very new", reminded us of the potential road blocks and detours ahead.

i have a urine infection.

i am now on antibiotics.

i have a stent in my ureter for 2 more weeks.

my permcath remains for emergency dialysis in case of a rejection episode.

i am still on 17 medications.

we are sore. we are tired. we are in pain.

but, the windows are wide open as we navigate the potholes and uneven avenues ahead. despite the seat belt strapped precisely (and somewhat hilariously) down my permcath and across my incision, there's a breeze on our faces we haven't felt in years.

and the side streets never looked so damn good...
[and all's well that ends well with a coffee bean on melrose...]


  1. very nice post. You are amazing. Keep healing and see you on the dance floor soon.

  2. i'm holding you to that mr. anonymous! xo