Things I Learned from Having my Second Organ out in Less than Five Years.

Check out my Sweet Scars

Check out my Sweet Scars

Up until now, just about everything I knew about appendicitis I learned from reading Madeline as a child. Which is to say, at the end of it, you get a sweet scar and everyone is way jealous of you.

But, now I have actually done it, so I can give you a full an grisly report.

1) sometimes, as a grown woman, it’s a really good idea to go to the nurse because of a stomach ache.  And, you definitely get out of work, which is better than getting out of school in my opinion. No lollipops so far though. Or Ice Cream.

2) In comparison to having a kidney removed, everything is much faster.  The kidney donation process took over 2 years, dozens of tests and interviews, several days at the hospital and a month of recovery time.  With this surgery, my stomach started hurting at noon, the nurse ordered me to the ER at 5pm, and my appendix was out by midnight.  I was home the next day.

3) You don’t get nearly as many brownie points for donating a appendix to the hazardous materials bin as you do donating a kidney to your brother.

4) you do have to tell every medical professional who walks in your hospital room about the kidney though, so you get to remember in full detail all the brownie points you have.

5) In my post about donating the kidney, I talked about how truly bizarre High Contrast CT scans are.  The high contrast dye they use is apparently hard on kidneys and I only have one of those now, so this time they had to use a low contrast version to look at my appendix.  It was like a low budget indy film of my organs.  Also, low contrast stuff can’t be injected for some reason.  It has to be inserted into… a hole. Still a bizarre experience.

6) The scar.  So far, it is not a cute little U shape like Madeline would have me believe.  Yes, it is a little u shape, like my belly button is a minature smiling cyclops. But there is also a gigantic bruise on my entire lower abdomen.  I can only assume yanking an organ out from a tiny hole does that.

But looking at it makes me feel sick to the stomach, which is of course how I started this whole ordeal. Nice full circle.

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Signs you are pet sitting an actual cat, rather then a figment of your friend’s imagination

black-cat-hiding-underneath-blanket

1: The level of food changes frequently (the water, less frequently).
2: One day, there is a little cat puke in the corner.
3: Every day, the rug in the bedroom needs to be straightened out, because apparently the cat likes to dash across it very fast when no one is looking.

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3 Weeks on a Bicycle

I am 27 years old, officially in my late 20s.  A handful of years ago, this seemed unthinkable. Early 20s was where it was at. The world was my oyster, all doors were open to me, and most importantly, my lifestyle of eating whatever I wanted and not exercising had very little effect on my waistline.

They were good days.

I have come to accept that those days are past.  Now my belly bears the consequences of my diet, my job where I sit for 8 hours a day, and my relationship that has me comfortable. And, I found that none of that motivated me to change any of that.  I am not entirely happy with the shape of my body, but I’m not unhappy enough to change anything about my lifestyle.

So I had to think about it differently.  I don’t need to change the way my body looks. Other than a few complaints (thick middle, weak knees, gray hair), my body does pretty good by me. It moves around, takes me where I need to go, allows me to enjoy the things I love. Hell, it even had a kidney I could donate to my brother.

So I decided to come at this from a place of gratitude and awe of my body.  I know my body can get me to work everyday. My legs can pump the pedals of a bike and combination of simple mechanics and the raw power of my own muscles, I can get myself around. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. And the more often I do it, the better I get at it, my muscles get stronger, my endurance increases, and my heart gets some exercise as well. It’s kinda great.

I’ve been riding my bike to work for about 3 weeks. On my bike, I’ve noticed somethings:

1) Cars are really scary.  And because of this, everything a car does is more pronounced. So, if you are in your car and there is a bicyclist around, they are going to see every little mistake you make.  Every time you pull forward a little too far, every time you rush through a stop sign. We see it. We know.

2) Once, there was a dog hanging out in the bike lane.  I was heading directly at it.  I planned to stop, check it’s tags and maybe call its owner. But as a drew closer it lifted its head. That was no dog, that was a coyote. And I was still barreling toward it. I had no idea what to do. I did not want to check its tags for one thing. But, after a while, he decided I might, possibly, kinda be a threat. So he sauntered across the street, casually walking in front of several  oncoming cars.

3) Apparently, I talk to myself when I travel. In a car, this is pretty much no problem, no one is going to know. But I am in the open on a bike.  Yesterday, I caught myself going, “do dododooooo” as I went over a speed bump. A little like Kronk’s theme song, but with significantly less musical sense. And everyone around me could hear it.

I am really good at this stuff.

 

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The Ghost in the Girl

When I was very young, I didn’t really talk.  I could talk, I knew how and my vocal cords worked and everything, but most of the time, I chose to be silent. I don’t know if it was because I was too shy, or I didn’t have anything to say or what.

I do know that this early silence was very formative for me. A little girl who doesn’t say much is automatically classified as the “good child.” Whether it was in a classroom full of noisy and demanding children or at home while my mother worked a full time job and raised 3 other children, I gained a reputation for being the good girl.  This reputation followed me all through high school (lets be honest, it still follows me) when the first time I said “shit” was a HUGE event amongst my classmates.

I was also the opposite of a squeaky wheel, and therefore I got no oil. I became invisible wherever I went. My mother loved me, and my teachers were relatively fond, but adults mostly left me to my own devices.  I was invisible, a living ghost.

I benefited from this.  As an adult, I am very experienced at tackling things on my own.  I will try and figure something out first, and only ask for help if that fails.

But it led to less beneficial things as well. When, as a teenager, I decided to finally start talking, it came as a surprise to everyone who knew me, especially the adults.  My mother, so used to not listening to me, suddenly had to deal with not only a newly chatty me, but a newly chatty me who was going through puberty. I don’t envy her that at all.

And I had to deal with the fact that even though I now had things to say, it didn’t mean that anyone actually wanted to listen. It turns out, most of the time, people want to talk a lot more than they want to listen.  I don’t think this fact has sunk all the way into my brain even now.  I still don’t understand why people don’t turn and listen to the ghost girl at the table when she starts to speak.

It effects me in all sorts of smaller ways as well. When I am not paying attention, I tend to default back into ghost girl self, and assume I am invisible.  But grown women don’t fade into the background nearly as effectively as little girls.  For one thing, we are much larger. We definitely block aisles in the laundry mat when we start dancing in front of a dryer mouthing the words to whatever is playing on our headphones. We will absolutely get stares when we start assigning personalities to the produce we are buying and quietly whisper their stories to ourselves.

Or, no, I didn’t do any of that. Stop looking at me.

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Update:

So, I have been working on the book fairly consistently, I’m at 10000 words, which is 4000 words more than the last time we spoke.

4000 words. It’s not bad, but it’s not great.  It’s not a pace that will get me there on time.  But it does represent something good.  I have been working on the book in some way, writing, reading, thinking about, being haunted by, the book almost every day.  It has become an actual real part of my life.  And that’s what I have been missing.

Right now, I work as an admin assistant at an academic department. It isn’t bad work, and I can feel good about helping students navigate their way through their education. It’s a good job that pays the bills.  But it isn’t my dream job.  So I have to do something more, I have to work on a book, all the time. It can’t be a hobby. It’s what I want to do with my life, so I better damn well do it.

Only 80,000 words left to go.

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Deadlines

It has been literally a million years since I posted.  There are reasons for that:

1: I’ve been busy

2: I haven’t been posting.

But, recently, I have been trying to write a new novel.  It contains musing about the desert and the weird culture that is Santa Fe, a hypnotist, a 13 year old girl who is bored, and a homeless man who has giant spider creatures emerging from his head (I know, I may have buried the lead there).

Because I am useless without a deadline, my friend has dared me to finish the first draft by the last day of June.  Which is of course, impossible.

But here goes.  In order to keep myself honest, I am going to be posting incredibly uninteresting things like word counts here. So far I have:6,759 words. 

In my heart, I believe this novel will be about 90,000 words, but to be honest, my heart just pulled that number out of the air.  I don’t even know what all of the story is, how am I supposed to know how many words it will take to finish it?

Anyway, that’s what’s happening over here. 

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Confessions (of a Random nature)

1. I leave my car unlocked most days.  Chip is not pretty but is very distinctive, so I don’t think any one will steal him. However, sometimes when I walk to my car, I have a sudden, intense fear that a serial killer has climbed into the back seat and is waiting for me.

2. Every time I look at a date, I try and find an equation that works, or some mathematical game. For example, tomorrow: 10-11-12 Mwahaha! When I find one, I want to tell the world about how great it is. Everyone I see, I want to say, did you know the month, day and year are in numerical order tomorrow? Usually I am able to bite my tongue and not sound completely crazy. Not always though.

3. Around October (i. e. now) I start collecting boxes like a dragon with treasure.  Every time some one ships something to me, or we get office supplies, I think: that’s a good Christmas box.  Then I save it.  The Man periodically throws these boxes out when he finds them in the closet, so I have started saving them at work.

These are the sordid confessions of an office administrator.

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I’m not going to mention how long it’s been since the last post after the title is over.

This season is the marrying season. 

Image

As I speak, I am sitting at the counter top that belongs to those that made the man.  In the background, John Steward is talking to me in real TV time, and I am on the other side of the country, experiencing humidity for the first time in my life.

I am doing this because the Man’s sister is getting married on Sunday. She is going to put a dress on and speak vows.  She will make a promise to stay with her “the Man” for all time.

It’s romantic, and important. And I am happy to be here for it.

My own little sister has similar plans in the works, a ring sparkling on her finger.

I am glad of that as well. (probably).

 

But more than any of that, I am glad to be breaking the cycle.  My days have begun to blend together.  I can predict the way events are going to play out the instant they began, because I have seen it before. I have seen it yesterday. i will see it tomorrow.  Frankly, it is exhausting.

For instance:

On my way to work every morning, I pass a place on the road where someone stands on the median and sells newspapers.  In the morning, a little old lady stands and the median and waves at every car that passes while holding the daily paper, asking for my change.

I love this lady.  I wave back to her. I smile as I pass, and for some reason, seeing her every morning brightens me day a little.

Every afternoon, on my way to lunch, I pass a man doing the same job.  He has a cast on his leg up to his hip. He gives a peace sign to every car that passes him.

I hate him.

I don’t know why I have decided one person is lovable and one is hate able.  But I have, solely based on one of them waving at me, and one of them giving me a peace sign. It could also be that one is a old lady, and the other is an injured man. Clearly, I prefer old ladies to injured men, it’s just how I roll.

Or it could be a highly irrational reaction to the fact that I pass these people every day at the same time in the same place.  My days have become so monotonous that I need to have opinions about things, just to add flavor.

Which is why, after having an amazing rehearsal dinner meal (there was quail drenched in chipotle sweet potatoe sauce), I am so glad to have some different flavors in my life.

So thank you sisters of the world, for getting married and stuff.

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Taking back the Horse

This is a Pony.  To be specific, it is a little one, one that may or may not be mine.  I don’t know much about the new My Little Pony show, but I imagine it’s like Power Puff Girls, but instead of flipper fisted girls smacking the living day lights out of a monkey, it is very colorful horse creatures.

I do know that there is a large group of men that have claimed this show as their own and proclaimed themselves “Bronies.” Traditionally, ponies and horses are the fodder for the attention of girls.  I know when I was young, I had horse toys galore (though mine were usually the upgraded unicorn variety). But apparently despite its girly subject matter, the show is awesome, so boys like it.

Here’s the thing.  The Bronie phenomenon is claiming something that is supposed to girly as their own.  They are saying, (I think.  There’s a chance I am putting words in their collective mouths, but just go with it) that this girly thing is cool enough that anyone can watch it.  Gender roles need not apply to this awesome fest.

And that is cool.  I am all for nixing gender roles, especially when it comes to children’s television.

But!

Consider this:

1)

Thier screams will boil your blood

Horses are terrifying. Ponies are slightly more compact, so they are maybe a little less terrifying, but not enough to make you feel safe. They will mess you up.

2)

Cowboys are bad ass.

Why?  Is it the rope?

No.

The hat?

Closer, but no.

The way they drink and whore around?

I mean, that is pretty cool.

But I hold that it is a side effect of what actually makes them bad ass: Their horse.

So basically, horses and ponies are bad ass.  They can be your only friend out on the range, or they can kick your head in. Your choice.

Therefore when the Bronies claim My Little Ponies as something awesome, they are being redundant. Of course it is a bad ass show; I can say that without ever having watched an episode.  It has freaking ponies in it.

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The Only Times People Will Come into Your office to ask you a question

  1. If your contact is falling out
  2. If you are on hold with your loan company
  3. If two or more other people are in the office asking you a question as well
  4. If you are leaving for the day/lunch
  5. If the door is closed because you are working on something complicated and time sensitive
  6. Or, most likely, if you are looking at a GIF of a cat climbing into a trash can that is too small for it

Look for longer updates to come.

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