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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 24, 2012

m'andhen [the migraine matters lp]

for all you blessed ignorants, who continue to refer to migraines as headaches...

[day 10]

yesterday, my neurologist injected anesthesia into my neck with a needle as long as my elbow.

but i'm getting ahead of myself.

it was my wireless wail; friendly fire that assaulted her senses on all fronts.

she couldn't see my flayed cheeks, raw, blotchy big from salt water moaning; feel the fluttery favor that pirouetted on the tip of my tongue.

"m...?'', i whispered, and before i could croak out my desperate request...

"do you need a ride to cedars?"

"they finished each other's sentences" should be adopted less for the finite honeymoon period of the rabbit-fuckers; despite their head-turning, "remember-when", shoulder-sighing, green-eyed narrowing, triggering behavior...and more for the unflinching, selfless gestures that grow like barnacles through stormy, weathered relationships. they decorate the embattled, rusted vessels still willing to go back into the waters; still tackling those perfect storms one more time...

m. had been texting and calling and visiting my hand for 9 days throughout this migraine, and by sniping my unspoken question, clearly, had no intention of letting go.

"1:15? i'll be there at noon."

and for an hour we drove, propping each other up with mini therapy sessions, stairmastering upstairs/downstairs with our latest and greatest, topsy turvy opinions about life; sucking hard on pop-psych-cicles.

[my favorite is grape.]

as we harbored into the familiar, healing hamlet and traded parking tips, i thought about the endless times this friend has skippered my stormy seas; navigated seasickness that near capsized me.

[transplant rejection, february '08
e-coli poisoning, february '09
fiorinol overdose, june '10
ovarian cyst, july '10
dialysis, march, '11
kidney transplant, april, '11
kidney transplant rejection, june '11
xanax/klonopin overdose, october '11
admission to rehab, october '11

goddamn, this list reads like a weekend itinerary at charlie sheen's house.

there she sat, quiet, patient, legging elegant, as i laid out my meticulously charted "beautiful mind" insanity for dr. a. to analyse. onset migraine. maxalt attempted. maxalt d/c. migraine day 3. methergine attempted. methergine d/c. migraine day 6. excedrin attempted. excedrin d/c. migraine day 9.

"we are very limited with rescue options because of your recovery and transplant. we can't use narcotics or nsaids. but let's try neurontin. and a low dose of a beta blocker. inderal."

"cool. i was on inderal for years. to help with my blood pressure and migraines. but i don't need anything for blood pressure now."

"yes. we'll do a very low dose."

"is zanaflex addictive?"


"because that really helped me a couple of years ago."

"yes. we'll do that."


she speaks.


"it makes you noodly?"

"kind of. it really just makes me tired."

"noodly. like in the princess bride."


"you know, when he can't lift his head, after the, like this..."

she demonstrated by wiggling her lovely, lithe body inside the armchair like she was the star, caged attraction at a vegas nightclub. damn.

dr a. lifted his head from MY pad of attention and glittered, "that's one of my favorite movies."

and they were off.

"me too. it's perfect! they can never remake it!'

"yes, it's funny, has action, romantic, sweet..."

"good for children, families, adults..."

omg. get. a. room.

"she's my distraction.", i teased.

and dr. a. twinkled his eye, and leaned wittingly, "it's wonderful to have a good friend, isn't it?"

[ah, she only comes for the egg salad sandwiches...]

so i sighed with relief and decreed topomax/inderal/neurontin/zanaflex the perfect cocktail, albeit non-alcoholic. so i thanked him for being so patient, so kind and so thorough.

and he put down his pen and firmly filleted my heart.

"you are a wonderful person and you have been through so much. you don't deserve this. we will fix this."


i think i have a teeny, tiny crush on my neurologist.

and as he illegibly scribbled the script, i turned to m., and in the enchanting silence, quipped,

"well, for a minute there i was on 3 drugs."

she laughed fabulously, "yeah. cyclosporin, cell cept and p..."

"prednisone.", we finished together.

"what was the most you were ever on?"...

and before i could purse my lip...

"23, right?"

but it wasn't until this morning, as i steamed away in a 6 am bath, slammed by a good ol' fashioned, full blown, golden-snotted, common cold, that i realized the power of her perfunctory comment, that had initially escaped me...

[then slam dunked me in the tub...]

an aside:

{the cold being the kind of event that will surely handicap this immunosuppressed lass for a couple of weeks, but seems to shamelessly delight witty-status-seeking, straight-from-the-headline-grabbing, facebook whores in their unending quest for attention; for the entire 2 days they have to contend with the sniffles.

["omg! i'm so stressed! i woke up with a head cold!"]

honestly. one of these days, i'm going to wake up and virtually go postal and lose 200 friends in a single [un]bound.}

does anyone remember that ad for coca-cola?

"i'd like to buy the world a coke, and keep it company..."

even i was a toddler when that ad first came out, and m. wasn't even born. but it popped into my head today because it's impossible for me to describe what it's like to have a friend like m. and it's impossible to describe how demoralising life as a chronically ill person can be. when people think you have kidney stones and not a kidney transplant. when people ask you how you are doing, then turn away to sort through their purse. when people ask about your immune system or your medications, and you see their eyes begin to glaze over by the second sentence. and your heart cracks just a little.

but then there's m.

who drove all the way to your house and left flowers on your doorstep the day you started dialysis. because she knew your biggest fear had been realized.

who showed up in 20 minutes flattened, but held hubby's heart; your hand, while you ripped, screamed and "fuck you!!!"-ed yourself into an intervention.

who not only remembered that the most medication you've ever been on is 23 pills.

she beat you to the punch.

i don't know how many people have a friend like m.

but i've been around long enough to know, there's no such thing as bff.

[best friends forever]

in life, the only thing that stays the same is change.

so if you find a pint-sized gorgeous with a gallon-sized heart, with a spout endlessly pouring; a flower with an infectious ache to grow, blossom; petals searching for the sun, and a spirit always soaring for yours, even if her own light has dimmed...

you hang on and you never let go.

["i'd like to buy the world an m., to keep it company..."]

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