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flowers for algernon


flowers for madeleine

Hi kids.

So, as you may have surmised from this and this, I had a kidney related issue and was in the hospital for much of Friday. In retrospect (always, always in retrospect) I should have seen it coming a LONG time ago. I was unbearably weepy and despondent and dramatic, I couldn’t function. Waking up was too much work. Picking fights was the only thing I seemed to have energy for and I bit and tore into Adam like a wounded animal.

Friday afternoon, following a jam-packed morning of weeping, crying and excessive sighing, my physical symptoms became impossible to ignore and I drove myself to the ER. I swore that if it was busy I would just get a blood test and go home. I have insane amounts of guilt about the amount of time I spend taking up an ER bed, a young and (relatively) healthy young lady just getting fluids injected among the chaos of drug addicts trying to scam opiates, bikers with broken bones and fevered, crying children accompanied by panicked mothers.

It wasn’t busy, there was one mother there with her young son but neither seemed in any hurry so I approached the admitting nurse and started to explain my condition. I was fumbling in my wallet for my care card and wishing I hadn’t lost the medic alert bracelet that I am too vain to wear anyway (I KNOW mom) and feeling more and more panicked and in pain and as I was trying to tell the nurse exactly what parts of my body were rebelling, it just became too much.

I was exhausted, I was scared and it became too much and so my voice trembled and cracked and the tears started spilling. The nurse understood what I was trying to say, finished my sentence and told me I would be admitted immediately.

Guys, she FINISHED my sentence. I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to buy her flowers and give her a two week paid vacation for not being rude and sitting there tapping her foot, waiting for me to get my shit together and explain myself. She just sized me up, got it, and got me in. Mystery nurse, I love you.

I was admitted and sat in a curtained room listening to the doctor try and understand my condition ( “…ok it’s a disorder involving the distal convoluted tubule… ohhh so she wastes electrolytes….ok so can we give her a potassum IV or…? Can she overdose? Do we need to be worried about heart stuff here?…”)

They gave me ativan for the panic. It made me so dazed that when the hot doctor reached over to take my pulse I thought he was trying to hold my hand and immediately started thinking of ways to get rid of my wedding ring (see how muddled I was? The easiest way would have be to swallow it, obviously).

I got bloodwork and an EKG done . Because I have to get blood tests every month or so I am on familiar terms with the  lab tech and let me tell you, you haven’t experienced awkward small talk until you’ve made awkward small talk with a sort-of-stranger as you lie topless, with electrodes stuck all over your chest, eyes puffy from crying.


Long story short I got my IV’s, while waiting I amused myself by taking photos, eavesdropping on nurse/doctor conversations and trying to nap.

Which brings us to today. Where I tell you that if you asked me what the shittiest part of all of this was (and I am fully aware that you didn’t, and that you haven’t in fact asked me to tell you any of this and oh my GOD how are you still reading this, if you wanted to hear some random lady complaining about her health problems just go wait at a bus stop or something christ), if I had to choose I would say it’s when I wake up two days after being hospitalized and realize how tired I’ve been, how not-myself I’ve been for the past few days, weeks (months?) as I was losing steam.

These days, just after all of my vital fluids have been topped up, this is the closest to normal that I ever feel and the stark before/after is staggering. I can wake up without being dragged out of bed, I don’t have to sit down after  walking up the stairs. I remember things. I don’t cry.

It becomes glaringly obvious that I’ve been living a half life, a shadow life. And like sweet Charlie Gordon, this delicious ZEST, the spring in my step, the sharp mind and strong, sudden happiness is tainted by the fact that I know that it is literally all downhill from here. I won’t be at this spot again until I come out of the hospital the next time.

Who says I’m a pessimist? I’m BACK!