Losing Myrtle -
Ok So - I didn't lose her - as in I cannot find her - mind you I have always wondered where the bits of hacked up dismembered - disenfranchised people go... I knew where my lymph nodes were going - off to some nasty scientific experiments along with the triplets of evil - Peter, Paul and Mary - to be sliced diced labeled and curated - hopefully with a cure at hand - in some one's hand... was / is my fate... and that of too many ... zzzz
But wake - what I was really at a loss over was losing my nipple.,,, Yes Really. My nipple.
I did not always have Ethyl - but I have always had a nipple. I looked down at ( it) her? (me) once when I was swimming in pee soaked circles of a neighbours wading pool. I was maybe 5 sans shirt. Feeling free. And oddly masculine. You say mescaline - but I think that is a different drug... but I was lying there ( yes in the bed 'now' and in the pool then ) wondering am I (still) a girl? And really what does that mean... because it means and MEANS so much for so many... regardless of - or because of ... perhaps feelings of masculinity or felinity or what ever else the heck the powerful river 'stykks' of identity floods our being with ... um I am actually here? If this is here - there should be a concierge... zzz
But - wake - OW
I knew. It - I was / am different now . "It" - me - my embarrassing - eyes up Stan Creiper - chest hard on - oh my god what a hot rack you have - was gone. As was a huge part of how I learned to see myself - share myself - dress myself - well - so not now - ( oh I gotta pee Liza please come home) Who then am I now sans Ethyl? ...zzzz
And so I would sleep and wake - and be so lost... Wrong side of the bed. A HUGE bed - where are the dogs .. Gracie? How can I sleep without saying "Goodnight Gracie." Burns and I had the same birthday - all I wanted was to love that deeply - and say good night to a love that made my heart laugh even more deeply! ... Why can't I sit up? OR roll over - Why are you milking a tube in my chest!? Where is my nipple.....zzzzz where are my dogs... where is my ....
But wake - an oh so slow five day wake up ...
"Hello. I think I smell funny - but not like really funny... just un funny - AW.. gosh darn it - Liza HI - you look nice - umm - okay I will drink that - what time is it? Umm I I I really want to know where my poor nameless nipple is. Is it folded over itself oozing like a piece of giant pepperoni crawling out from under the steaming cheesiness of my pale skin? Is it in a bio hazard bin - oh dear god on the floor being flooded like so many hotdogs into a vat of vile.... vile.... Yes I am swallowing -
But Wake - as I faded ... I heard ..
"Oh Sweetie - when you wake up next - I will have a Momma Mia Special for you. Well done with extra peperoni. Don't worry about your nipple, that is Ethyl's baby - and for now you are mine. The dogs will be home in a few days. Go sleepies - before I smother you K love?"
"Goodnight Liza. I love you." zzzzzz
But Wake - (please insert love laughter and pepperoni in your life and in all the lives of those you love ) yes it can be veggi. sigh.
'At best i can figure, for the next two days or so I was in and out of consciousness like a 1981 Engineering frosh. The pole I climbed was an elevated bed, I puked where I could, peeing seemed like a Greyhound escorted Pondarosa trip for seniors and I just went on and on in four hour blocks from one pain medication to the next - all the while my face shifting from purple to sheet white from hello to who are you??
I am known for remembering things. Not where I put said things - or whose things they were or are - but remembering things... significant things.. not always in order ... but always intensely - like odd events, cool kids, wonderful smiles and smells. So it is no wonder I had little idea of the fasten your seatbelt its gonna be a bumpy ride exit from the barf lot at the hospital to the hike up the stairs to bed.
But I do remember Dad smell. Not my Dad - ew - loved ya - but the Belvedere old spice does third row of the library sweaty golf glove right butt cheek up smell - was - um like I said "ew". This was New Dad smell. The Bay, soaps from Costco, hotels, a pot of soup simmering on the stove , a new car, and me.
"OH god... Liza" I whimpered as she was uprighting me and slipping proper fresh lady panters and jammies on my stickly little legs. " Your Dad and your sister ( yet another one) got me up here didn't they."
"Yes. And you farted on my father." Thank god the other sister plays ball hockey. She would have never have noticed.
" ARRRRrrr we going back to the hospital now? Cause I heard you talking to them. Something was sticking out of my chest and he told you to stuff in back in. Then I swalled stuff and now it is light out and we hafta go again?"
And then we were there - front row - room two - right in the emergency room - along with half the hospital staff. Mostly the top half, I don't remember annnnnny feet. Except some Nikes - old and smelly laces doubled..
So, as best as I can put together - the drain sewn into my side - to replace the function of the 10 lymph nodes I was now missing - was precariously attached and had almost popped out at home. Thus the drain sucking sound. Ethyl as you may recall was a big girl - and Peter, Paul and Mary - VERY scary Mary were about 5 cm in total. I was not just down a body part - I was going to be a potential body double for shark week.
However - I had no clue and was on some level clearly still recognizable as human. Unlike the blur of scrubs and masks hauling up my very crisp Ralph Laruen Night shirt who were oh so very impressed with Liza's stuffing and the surgeons work. One fellow - head of something and clearly aspiring to be head of everything was almost in tears. Not because I ( and my family) had been traumatized, but because he - and the other interns were staring at their own dreams. Dreams of being a surgeon. Dreams of cutting cancer out of people lives. Dreams of making a difference. Dreams of seeing a difference... dreams induced by very unpleasant circumstances and drugs...
Not unlike my dreams as a tea - sorry educator.....
And that is when I got recognized. And when I remembered - a really cool kid - with a really cool brother. Room has cleared. Panic over. Hello really big smile. A tough do not bother effing with me - I got this smile. My kinda smile.
" Hi. I have to take your blood."
" Oh Ya,? Where are you taking it? Cause if it is going to Disney I am so in. How are you kid? Pause. Good to see you.
PS I am super scared of having blood taken - body parts fine but really a vein - I am gonna lose it.."
I laughed, but not because I was scared, but because I was in that dream space - where as an educator you ( I ) hope and try and sometimes pray that the 1000's of really cool kids you meet will turn out to be way cooler than you. Grasshopper style.
It took but just a minute of going eye to eye - The frenetic get it done mantra calmed and my sedation gave way to a moment of clarity and we chatted... 10 years ago - this class - that event - where are you now - no me neither - things change - you ok- clearly - wow you are a phlebologist so so so cool - and your brother ? Nice! great to hear.... kinda neat that you were ' scared' to be in my class - sorry about that - but hey I am 'scared' now to be in yours - staring at a cart of vile vile viles... "ohhhhhhhh" I could feel myself getting faint... and then a strong hand gently touched mine.
" Ya know Kelly - they are likely not going to need this blood work up. " Wry smile.
"Ya I know - But if you just get it done before they get back - I might learn not to be such a wimp." Wry Smile.
And thus I gave. Almost all of the insides I had left and it felt awesome.
But more importantly - in that 30 hour ordeal - everyone gave - of their time, their love, their expertise and I am grateful.
And Alas and AArrr - I still have no flying clue how I got home from hospital the second time. I do however have a rare recollection of being either babe raham Lincoln or a pirate. Then again it might have been a photo.
I have't heard from you - are you ok? You have not updated your blog - hello? Are you still here?
Yes. Yes I am. And no not at all. I know I am behind - six months roughly in regaling my tales ... And yes I am ok and no I am not okay.
Everything is different everyday. And yet everyday feels the same as the last...
I want to write. I need to write. I want to share. I need to share. I ....
But like that package of chicken you buy - that starts off in the fridge - then moves to the freezer - that ends up under a pizza - stuck to a bag of fruit you swear you will make smoothies with - I am white with flakes of ice - swollen with my own rottenness and too frosty to touch.
So it sits. And so I sit.
Waiting - like so many of us - like this winter of so much discontent - I wait to thaw.
And I will.
In fact as I find the courage to be honest - -authentic that I am tired - and scared - and lonely - and numb - to the point of have little feeling in my finger tips..
I am noticing that I am here. And here is exactly where I need to be - With each and everyone - of you. Because I love you.
Take a deep breath Kelly - it's ok not to be ok.
Exhale. Peel yourself off the bag of peas. It will be all write.
Now where was I .....