Donation: one slightly used gallbladder

Yes, I’m having surgery. Yes, I’m freaked out. I’ve been riding the adrenaline (panic) wave all day. Trying to hold out until I can take my double dose of Klonipin. Which really ought to be now. Or an hour ago.

No, really Doc, my gallbladder is fine right where it is. It’s the nausea I could do without.

DH says it’s too late to reschedule. Shit.

Why am I so panicked? Medical trauma my therapist calls it. Near fatal car accident, I call it. Same diff.

I was in a car accident twenty years ago. I was young and beautiful, full of life one minute. Spitting blood, screaming and cursing the next. Waking up in a cat scan and I can’t feel anything below my neck. The excruciating pain of having your hip put back in its socket without anesthesia. Regaining consciousness only to discover you are strapped to a board and literally CAN NOT MOVE.  Passing out – over and over again.  Each time waking up to some new and horrible torment.  Someone has drilled holes in my head and put screws in them.  Four posts connecting my skull to a body cast.  Someone feeding ice chips to me, telling me to hold on.  The priest who never left my side in case I needed last rites.  My parents showing up.  My mother saying, “Oh my God, my baby won’t be pretty anymore.”

No one told me I wasn’t supposed to live.  No one told me I wasn’t supposed to walk again.  Damn, I’m stubborn.

Six weeks in the hospital.  A guinea pig for intern rotations.  People talking above you, around you, as if you are an object on display.  Every day its the same questions, every day the same answers.  By the end of it, I was going to punch the next person who asked if I could wiggle my toes.

I lost teeth, shattered bones, bruised kidneys and my heart, but I never broke a fingernail.

When I walk into a hospital, I get nauseous.  I see a gurney and I have to turn away before I start to shake.  If I visit someone, I perch on the edge of a chair, ready to flee.  Scrunched into a ball or as near to it as dignity allows.  Barely controlling my nerves long enough to show them support.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

Once I had to take my husband to the hospital.  They didn’t know who to treat – me or him?

I’ve been able to avoid hospitals for the most part.  My mom had open heart surgery ten years ago.  I could barely walk into the room before she had the surgery – I certainly couldn’t afterwards.  Enter immersion therapy with Daycare for Psychos, doctor’s offices, various blood work and tests over time.  And still I want to run.

My last encounter was when I had a hysterectomy.  It took everything I could muster just to get to the hospital.  Fortunately, I had the nicest doctor ever but then I woke up screaming in recovery.  The nurse bitching at me to calm down or the morphine won’t work.  What’s your pain on a scale of 1 to 10?  12!

Can’t sit up, can’t lie down.  There’s not enough painkiller to go around.  Six weeks recovery.  But I survived that too.

So now you want my gallbladder.  It’s an easy surgery.  Laparoscopic.  In and out.  You’ll be fine.  Oh and if something goes wrong and we can’t do it laparoscopically, we’ll just cut you open.  No problem.  By the way, permanent side effects range from none to can’t eat fatty foods (goodbye steak) to continual nausea and constant diarrhea. This is supposed to make me feel better?

Oh well, I’m not sure writing this has made me feel any better.  Maybe I should have told you about my new psychiatrist.  She is really cool and she isn’t asking me to go into a hospital.

DH says to focus on a positive outcome.  My new mantra: I will be happy if there is a positive outcome.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If only I were thinner

There are many things weighing on my mind at the moment but I will tackle this one because it is the one I would have written this past weekend had the netbook not died. I was very VERY upset by some things I learned, and while my Dear Husband (DH) may disagree with my perception of the situation, this is my perception and my blog so I am going to tell you how I felt about it all.

We spent last weekend with DH’s family as part of a reunion. Since they live 1500 miles away, they don’t see us very often. Thus, any changes in physical appearance are magnified. Background: I am Caucasian and my husband is Asian. DH’s family are beautifully tanned, lithe creatures while I am a well-rounded woman whose weight has fluctuated anywhere from 10-70 lbs in excess of “normal”.

In summary: They are used to seeing me significantly overweight. Most of them remember seeing me at size 20 in 2002. We visited two years ago and I was in the size 16 range. Since then I have dropped to a size 10. (Overall, 50 lbs since 2002.) Additionally, I now dress better than I used to for a couple of reasons: I lost so much weight I had to completely replace my wardrobe and I make more money these days so I can afford to buy better clothes.

Did I mention that DH’s siblings and cousin dress really well? Although she loves a good bargain, I doubt my sister-in-law would bat an eyelash at paying $60 for a blouse or a pair of pants. My brother-in-law has worn Armani in the past (granted, it was outlet, but even so) and cousin P has gotten herself tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt over her wardrobe – repeatedly. Suffice to say: they dress really well and have the bodies to show off nice clothes.

I’ve always felt a little out of place there: I am fairly tall, overweight, and white. Now I have more or less fixed the one thing that I could, so when I packed my clothes it was to make sure that every outfit accentuated my figure.  I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that my weight and wardrobe would be a major topic of conversation.

Apparently, I am more acceptable now.

My sister-in-law complimented me on one of my outfits. I think it’s the only clothing compliment I have ever received from her in the nearly 15 years I have known her. I learned later that at brunch she was talking about how much weight I have lost and how I dress better now. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how it was spoken thus I don’t know if it was a compliment or a “thank God she’s no longer an embarrassment to the family” comment. Naturally, my mind runs to the latter.

What I do know is that in 2002 brother-in-law’s bride (now ex-wife) didn’t want me in any of the wedding pictures because I was too fat. Since she is no longer part of family, maybe that doesn’t count. My brother-in-law has never indicated that he cared one way or the other what I wear or how I look, but he does give DH a lot of expensive hand-me-downs. Never quite figured that one out as DH does know how to dress well. It’s genetic I think.

The greatest wound is from cousin P. I thought we had hit it off really well from the start of our relationship. So much so that I had asked her to be my maid of honor at our wedding. She was so excited at the time and chattered on about how her friend was a clothing designer and would design the perfect dress for her for the wedding. (I left it to her to design her own for our themed wedding.) But a month or so before the wedding, she begged off saying she couldn’t make it because she had to work. Yes, I was dumped by my maid of honor right before the wedding. Fortunately, my sister-in-law picked up the role for me. If I’d known what kind of person P was, I would have asked sister-in-law in the first place. DH swears that his sister has a little filing cabinet in her brain marked: In case of wedding, break glass.

Whether because I’m stupid or naive or purposefully ignorant or just incredibly generous, I forgave P for missing my wedding. But this weekend I learned of more skeletons in her closet and realized that she probably did so intentionally – perhaps even maliciously. Talk about re-opening and old wound – let’s pour some salt in it too.  Oh and if I drop a few more pounds, P & I may become BFFs. As if.

So now I don’t know who to trust. I trust my brother-in-law but beyond that… I don’t know. I think I can trust my mother-in-law, most of my aunts and definitely the uncles. When I married into a large and extended family, I was hoping to find something that was missing from my own family – love and support – but not so much.  So even though I’m thinner, I dress better, and I’m now acceptable, I still feel like the bull in the china closet.  The kid who sits on the sidelines and never gets picked.  The one that nobody likes because she’s too fat and she’ll bring the team down.

I’m hurt and I’m angry and I really don’t want to deal with family anymore.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.