Archive for May, 2006

I Love You

I have great hair. I’m mostly indifferent about my appearance – not because I think it’s particularly ugly or beautiful in one direction or the other, but because mostly, I’m not appearance-driven. I look fine most days, and am lazy as all get out when it comes to actually doing anything about what I look like. I would *so* rather sleep than put on eye makeup. Or any make up for that matter, and as a result, I don’t usually wear it. And really, I look okay. Not great, but okay.

ButI take my time with my hair. And damn, I have great hair. And I know bad hair more than you can possibly imagine.

I cannot take credit for this fabulous hair. I have the best hairdresser I’ve ever had here in this sleepy little town, and GOD, if that isn’t worth its weight in alligators, I don’t know what is. He came recommended by my mother-in-law, she of strawlike, white-blond Carmela Soprano hair, but her recommendation was spot-on. Squiggy is amazing. But next week, I’m getting my haircut, and I am dreading it like I’m getting a colonoscopy, which is so unlike me. I love having my hair cut and colored, but GAH, I don’t want to go to see him.

Squiggy is a gay hairdresser in the most stereotypically, Birdcage-esque way you could possibly imagine, which I find totally endearing. In his mid-50s, I’ve never seen him wear anything but black polyester cut to the navel, and he sports a pompadour in an earnest, un-ironic way, along with a handlebar moustache. He’s been married to John, the cutest little salon receptionist you’d ever meet, for 25 years, and he’s nice, if a little justifiably arrogant (“I am the best hairdresser in the entire state.”), but gawd, I dread going there.

He overshares. And people, you KNOW I overshare. It’s not the oversharing that kills me. It’s the drama. The neverending DRAMA! And stories for shock value! And talk of bodily fluids and parts! And penises! And vaginas! And the neverending use of the word ‘cock!’ And pychic episodes! that I can’t handle. I might add that he does not do this to my mother-in-law. This behavior is, apparently, saved special for me. Let’s examine some examples:

– The first time I met him he asked me the question, “If you could be or do anything with your life, what would you do?” When I answered that of course, I’d be a writer, he seemed crushed, as apparently I should have loftier goals like his, as he would spend his life healing people through the power of “psychic movement.” He then proceeded to explain to me – in excruciating detail, full of pregnant pauses, how his sole mission in life is to read minds – which he is quite adept at – and “take pain away from people.” He paused to get on one knee and cry no fewer than three times during the course of this conversation, like a strange, possessed Elvis impersonator sans white sequin jumpsuit. I had to help him up on the third try, as his knee gave out, and he fell, near-weeping, into my arms.

– At the end of our first meeting, he explained to me how he knew we were ‘destined’ to be together, and that he loved me already. I thought that ‘love’ was used the same way I say, “I love that sweater on you!” but I think maybe I was wrong. I’m still not sure. He then proceeded to kiss me on the mouth, hug me dangerously closely, and then kiss me again, three more times. Because I am an idiot, and also, had the best hair of my entire life, I just stood there, helpless.

– Once, during a conversation about the somewhat recent death of his mother, he had to walk away, mid-haircut, to ‘collect himself,’ as he was too overwhelmed to continue and my GOD, he didn’t want to mess up my hair. Twenty minutes later, panicked, I found him in the fetal position on the floor next to a stack of White Sand hair product, rocking back and forth and heaving with sobs. After I plucked him off the floor, he told me, yet again, that he loved me, and he ever had to, he would ‘take my pain away.’ He said this in the most oddly ominous tone you can imagine, and seriously, I was a little scared, but not really. I mean, he weighs 11 pounds and has a pompadour. Not exactly serious material.

– On a happier day, we started chatting about some of the oddest things clients had done/said/gifted him with. He proceeded to describe, in excruciating detail, the number of lonely, male, married clients who had presented their penises to him in manner of surrender, and demanded that they be serviced as part of the hair cut and color right then and there. This alone would be amusing, were it not for the extreme detail of said penises (the word ‘veiney’ came up), and the perpetual use of the word ‘cock,’ which, as you know, I hate, and the terrifying hand gestures and pelvic thrusts. One pelvic thrust actually tossed the entire bowl of my hair color to the floor, splattering us all with Goldwell Level 7 lightener. He then started weeping – WEEPING – an apology and showered my foiled head with kisses.

I called him today to find out when my appointment is because I can’t read my own handwriting. He called me back and left me such a heartfelt message that Adam was torn between laughter and concern when he listened to it.

“DARLING! Oh, I missed you. I mean, I really, really missed you. I’m so glad you’re coming in next week – June 7, darling, at 7 p.m. for a cut and foil. I can’t wait to see you. I love you very, very much! SO MUCH! I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!!! *smooch smooch smooch smooch smooch*”

Yes, I’m dreading my appointment next week. But sadly, the great hair is all worth it.


If he touches my mother, I shall destroy him with Nylabones* and alien-eye laser beams!

*Or, as Kris observantly noted, Booda Velvets!

**Sarah McLachlan.

15 comments May 31st, 2006

The Obvious Child

Um, no one told me that a needle biopsy hurts. I mean, it HURTS. HURTY NEEDLES WIGGLING AROUND MY NECK. He pricked the neck and I was all, “OMG! So EASY! Thanks for the work, doc!”

Um, that was Novacaine. He hadn’t even started.

Oh.

I know, I know, it’s SO OBVIOUS, but for the love of GOD, it really fucking hurt. The needle is LARGE, and I thought it would be ONE POKE. ONE. It was FIFTEEN. FIFTEEN STABS. And also, restraining. There was restraining. One chick – a nurse, I hope – holding my head still while some dude had an ultrasound thing with jelly while another dude had a GIANT NEEDLE IN AND OUT OF MY NECK. There was wiggling and OH MY GOD, the wiggling! And I wasn’t allowed to talk, make a sound or swallow while this GIANT NEEDLE WAS SWIMMING AROUND MY NECK. Which, you know, I would have preferred. To scream or something. Because I am a wimp. With a wiggling, painful, ginormous FUCKING NEEDLE. IN MY NECK. WITH PAIN. Did you know thyroids have nerves? They do, apparently, and LOTS AND LOTS OF THEM.

But seriously dude, it hurt. Am wimp. It hurt. Whatever. It still hurts, and I have two quarter-size bruises on my neck, along with lots of little holes. HOLES. Am wimp. AM WIMPY WIMP. I KNOW. And also, wearing Band-Aids, and so look like Frankenstein. And will have results in few days, while I am on vacation in Disney World (stop laughing). The ENTIRE FUTURE of my children’s attendance or avoidance of Disney rests on these results. It could either be CancerWorld or Disney! Happy! MICKEY! Either way, though, I feel like it’s going to be fine, which is an odd feeling for a freakish hypochondriac like me. But it is.

ANYWAY, I also almost set fire to the house tonight, for the eleventy millionth time, this time with the dryer and a rogue doggie poop bag. Last week, there were undue flames surrounding a pu pu platter and the fire in the middle of the stupid thing. Why do they set pu pu platters on fire? Do they think we want to ROAST our spareribs over the flame? Or make a flambe** out of our chicken fingers? Because we don’t. And because I didn’t want to cook the food that was already cooked, I thought that blowing OUT that godforsaken flame would be a good idea, which it wasn’t, since Adam was leaning in to grab a chicken finger and do you know what blowing out a flame does when it’s attached to a pu pu platter? IT MAKES THE FLAMES GROW VERY BIG. Which isn’t great when your husband’s eyebrows are mere inches from them. You know.

So there was singing. And hysteria. And soft yelling, so as not to disturb the other Chinese food diners. You know, the whispery yelling kind, while we tried to ignore the smell of burning eyebrow.

But anyway, the dryer. There was, yet again, that smell of burning plastic/hair and Adam INSISTED that it was the dryer, and I was all, SHUT UP, and he was all, THE PU PU PLATTER and then, you know, I checked and there were NINE PLASTIC BAGS melted against the back of the dryer. Because, apparently, I am a moron who forgets to empty pockets before putting them in the dryer. Or washer. Or whatever.

And once, when I lived in Boston, I thought that using a paper towel as a potholder over a gas stove was a good idea. It caught fire, my hand caught fire, there was blistering and all-around misery, not to mention the screaming, the fire extinguisher and OH MY GOD, the screaming.

And yeah, I didn’t think it would hurt. Because I am the kind of person who thinks that fire isn’t dangerous and needles WIGGLING aren’t painful.

*Paul Simon.

**Someone, for the love of all that is holy, tell me how to make that little accent thingamafuckingbob.

17 comments May 18th, 2006

Carry On…

First off, I suck at dog training. I mean, I SUCK. I do everything wrong, and everybody knows it. I know I need to be the Alpha dog. I know I need to be hard on her. I KNOW. But she’s not an Alpha kind of personality – in fact, she wants to be Alpha about as much as I want to be a math professor.

But GAH! That face. I can’t refuse that smooshy little face, and I KNOW she’s manipulating me. I KNOW. But GAH, it’s so hard. And she’s fabulous at home – all obedient and shit, and she’ll do anything I want, but when we get near those other dogs, she wants to PLAY! RUN! JUMP! PLAAAAAAY.

I was singled out no fewer than six times, and in the worst possible, most passive aggressive way. I’d do something (wrong) and she’d call out to the whole group, “Now SOME of you [glares in my direction] are doing XX, but what you really need to do is YY [glares in my direction again]”

Really, though I consider it a success that I didn’t puke, considering the SAME PUPPY threw up again, this time with *dead* worms because, apparently, he’s on the road to recovery.

As an aside, I hate passive aggressive shit. It’s like when people call you “Honey…” to soften the blow of a totally rude and/or condescending remark. I *hate* being called honey/sweetie/pumpkin or anything of the sort in that context. “Oh Honey…those are pinstripes, not regular stripes.” “Oh honey…do you know your shirt is untucked? It looks awful.” “Oh Honey…that’s not what that word means.” “Honey, don’t you think you’d be better off doing it the other way? Let me help, because that way is just plain wrong.”

Honey! You can take an entire jar of the stuff, roll in it and then find a fire ant mound, if you have a free moment. K, hon? However, Eve calls me ‘Button,’ which is totally acceptable. But if you want to correct me, tell me something I won’t like to hear or say something rude, you’d be better off just saying it directly. None of this ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’ bullshit.

Anyway, because I’m exhausted, have about 100 lines of my other project to do, and have to go in early to the doctor tomorrow to have my throat stabbed with a fat needle, I don’t have much to say, other than a small rant about a C-word that I SORELY REGRET LEAVING OUT of my c-post.

Celery. Y’all think it’s a benign, happy vegetable. A filler vegetable, even. Tasteless and bland, with a chameleon-like quality that takes on the quality of whatever sauce it’s resting in. And YOU ARE SO WRONG.

It is POTENT! Overpowering! MISERABLE! YUCKY! And totally unnecessary. I mean, what value does celery add? None! If you want a nice, anise-y taste, choose it’s cousin, fennel. If you want crunch, try snow peas, water chestnuts or bean sprouts. But who needs string? And that taste – that foul, potent GUCKY taste that TAKES OVER THE WORLD AND SWALLOWS US WHOLE WITH ITS GUCKINESS.

And don’t try to sell me on the value of celery salt. Because really, anything else would be just as good. Adobo anyone?

LEAVE US, CELERY. I HAVE NO USE FOR YOU.

*Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

16 comments May 17th, 2006

We’re Not Right

My attitude has changed, of late, and I don’t know why. I think between the cancer thing, and the whole idea that life is short, and wasting even one second is laughing in the face of life, I realized that no matter how much I hate Florida, or want to poke pointy things in people’s eyes when I meet them and they have no personality or are so right-wing that they reference the Bible within 20 seconds of meeting me, that my life is great, I should shut the hell up.

Because it’s all good. Life is quite grand, and seriously, I have absolutely no right to complain about one thing. Well, maybe the tumor thing, but whatever. My mom told me recently that someday I’d look back on this time and think of all the time I had to read books, write and just relax. And dude, she is SO RIGHT. This life is amazing, and I should be happy about it. And I can say now, that I really am.

I am so happy. I have a husband who makes me laugh every day, and just now turned to me in my dirty sweats and ancient Celtics T-shirt and said, “I love you so much. I mean, I love you very, very much. You’re it.” And I love him that much, too, because he’s nothing short of wonderful, and I want the whole world to find someone like him, because I really think we’d all be a lot happier. Dude, I’m it to someone, and he’s it to me. People live their whole lives to have one minute of that.

And I never would have had a second of that if I hadn’t quit my job, because I was to goddamn busy to notice a lick of it. And you know, it’s a supercrying shame that this kind of life isn’t valued in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes, I get up and think, “What the fuck am I DOING?”

I exchanged emails with an old colleague today, and he snidely let me know what I was missing (Excitement! Acquisitions! INTEGRATIONS!) and asked how I was enjoying “retirement.” Because, of course, there mustn’t be anything left to life unless we are busy and important and living corporate lives. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when we work like that, it’s so easy to lose who we are – there is only so much energy to go around.

I mean, really, what am I doing? I’m not really accomplishing anything important, though I was pretty sure that by now, I’d have done SO MUCH to improve society. There would be novels! Gourmet meals! CURING VARIOUS AND SUNDRY DISEASES! Massive contribution to society!

I’m volunteering, but not nearly as much as I should. But other than that, I’m doing pretty much none of those things. I mean, really, not even one of them, really, and I think I’m okay with that, although sometimes it gets to me. But there’s a lot of things that have gotten better – so much better, that while I’m pretty sure I’m not worthy of it, I don’t know how I lived the other way. While I’m not really accomplishing a single thing in the grand scheme of things, I can say with absolute certainty that I’m a better person.

Yes, yes, I’m still not sending wedding gifts or birthday gifts or cards or…ANYTHING out on time, I suck at returning phone calls and emails and GOD, it took me so freaking long to get someone to watch the cat for our vacation, but I laugh a little more every day. I’m nicer to people. I notice things about other people, like new haircuts and whether they said something smart or did a kind act for someone else, and I appreciate it. I’m freer and more genuine with my compliments – I’m genuinely happy for other people who do well, and I seek them out to tell them so. I never did that before. I was too busy trying to figure out how to insert the nearest razor blade into my eyeballs to distract me from the pain of actual life.

And here’s what’s kind of fucked up: I feel totally guilty about this sometimes – okay most times. I should be accomplishing more. Working more. I should be doing something more important, because even though I was miserable and overworked and miserable, I felt important, even though I wasn’t doing anything more important than pushing papers around.

Earning my keep, because life isn’t supposed to be this way and there are people who have it a lot harder. I love my job. It makes people so happy, and I get more satisfaction out of it than I ever thought I would. When people see their picture in the paper, or get their spaghetti dinner included in whatever we’re running that week, they are so happy.

And I am, too. And I don’t deserve it, and I hate that living like this, and being a nice person isn’t valued enough for everyone to be able to do it, and then I feel guilty that I can and unworthy and ANNOYED and inarticulate, because this didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. And then I hate the economy and corporations and workhorse mentality of our country. It brainwashes the living shit out of us, sometimes, and makes us forget what’s really important. How bloody infuriating.

Oh and by writing this? I feel fairly certain I’m jinxing myself. Healthy!

11 comments May 16th, 2006

Close to Me*

I got the letter ‘C’ from Lara, and really, it’s perfect. I mean, there are TONS of ‘c’ words that mean so much to me, and I could have gotten something shitty like ‘X’ or ‘Y’ or worse, ‘Q’! Who knows Q? QUIMBY, RAMONA! Because really, that’s all I know of ‘Q’.

And so, C.

The deal is I need to write about 10 C words and, um, what they mean to me. But not all of these mean anything to me, but they make me think of SOMETHING, other than cats.

Cheese. I love cheese. I miss cheese, with the diet and all, but the thing that saves me is that I like strong flavored cheeses, so, in theory, a little goes a long way. Except, not really. I’d still like nothing more than to eat an entire block of blue cheese (I refuse to spell it ‘bleu’ because HONESTLY, I’m not Pepe Le Pew). And oddly, Weight Watchers, when I was on it, seemed to be totally cool with feta, so today, I got a Greek salad with feta. Feta! Except, seriously, it tasted like goat. I mean, it’s goats milk, but there was something so GOATY about it. Like I was licking a goat head. Or teat. Or WHATEVER. GOAT CHEESE.

I no longer crave cheese.

Cookie . Gimme a cookie. A soft-baked one. Any cookie. COOOOOKIEEEES.

Cunt. I have a long list of words that I hate. Although this is one that is almost universally loathed, I don’t mind it. In fact I use it, and perhaps a little too freely. But my favorite instance of this word was when my former CEO used it to describe yours truly. It was a silly incident really, and it was primarily focused on a mistake that she made with one of our clients, but because she was honestly – and confirmed repeatedly as – mad as a fucking loon, she took it entirely out on me, and it was extraordinarily unpleasant. She was screaming at me like an insane person and just after screaming, “You are an incompetent imbecile. CUNT!” she hung up the phone.

So that was fun. I feel somewhat compelled, for character reference, lest you think that this was remotely my fault, that this is the same woman who screamed, just after the second plane hit the World Trade Center, “THIS IS NOT A FUCKING EMERGENCY. GO BACK TO WORK. ASSHOLES.” [The ‘asshole’ part was muttered under her breath with the subtlety of an industrial vacuum cleaner.] And, oh, PS, we worked right next to Logan Airport, where the planes CAME FROM and we could see it all going down, and, oh, EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF US knew someone killed that day. I left. Ran right fucking smack out of the office, backpack on, crying all the way, and got reprimanded the next day for leaving early. Emergency-schmergency. Cunt, indeed.

Chris O’Donnell. He’s hot, right? On Grey’s Anatomy, he’s HOT. When really, he’s nerdy. Nerdier than most, and married to a kindergarten teacher! A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER! How cute! I love male celebrities who stay with their actual normal wives after becoming famous. But really, is he that famous? Um, no. And this served no purpose except for a ‘C’ that I needed. So, whatevs. Chris O’Donnell. Hot. Vet. Nice.

Creek. Where I come from, they call it a ‘crick,’ not a creek. And some of my best memories growing up were of swimming in the Bushkill Creek in Pennsylvania. Catching toads, crayfish (yes, crayfish, not crawfish. Whatever.) Jumping off of the rope swing. Kids who grew up in an urban environment never get to live these things – never get to understand what it’s like to live that big old Country Time Lemonade commercial and it really is everything you think it is. And it’s why my kids won’t grow up in Southwest Florida, because who needs their legs chomped off by alligators while their about to go swimming? NOBODY.

Cracker. I don’t normally like crackers, but have you had those cheddar cheese Triscuits? Have you? Because MY GOD. The cheddary-ness! The Triscuits! THE CHEESE! SANS GOAT!

Christmas. I want so bad to like Christmas, but I don’t. It’s fraught with expectation, and when you have a fucked up, kind of blended family like mine, it’s hard to really like. Most of the time, I end up running back and forth from family to family, pretending to not have eaten earlier, and ending up STUFFED until I thought I might die from two Christmas dinners. And my mother, though nearly perfect, doesn’t really care about Christmas either (I know! I know!) So it ends up being kind of depressing. I prefer to make my own holidays.

Chamomile. Means nothing to me. I don’t even like the tea. Who wants to drink SHITTY FLOWERS? And, also, another filler! A CHAMOMILE FILLER!

Car. I don’t care about cars. I drive a Honda, and a Honda is the best I will ever get. Because what’s wrong with a Honda? Safe. Clean. Fuel-efficient. Can someone explain the Hummer phenomenon? And Ferraris? And any car that costs beyond what a normal car would cost? Because a Honda! A HONDA! Is really all anyone needs. And I promise you on all that I find holy, if I win the lottery and become fabulously wealthy, the most I’ll buy is a Honda. Maybe a new Honda!

I got nine. I’m out. I’m CLEAR! COLICKY! COLLOIDAL! And also, done. Clap clap!

*The Cure! DOUBLE C! I WIN I WIN!

AND HONESTLY WILL SOMEONE TELL ME IF MEREDITH HAS LOST HER MIND? HAS SHE LOST HER MIND? HOT VETERINARIANS. CHRIS O’DONNELL. SHE HAS LOST HER MOTHERFUCKING MIND.

22 comments May 15th, 2006

Sometimes

This is how I spent my evening:


Those olives are stuffed with blue cheese. My second one had olives stuffed with garlic. I spent $25 on olives tonight before I came home. And olives are PURE BLISS, especially when they are floating in vodka.

And sometimes, that’s how you have to spend an evening, along with Vanity Fair, and HBO. And sometimes, it’s how you have to cheat your way out of a blog entry, even though you TOTALLY OWE LARA a tagging thingamabob. Which is now coming Monday, because I tried to write it earlier and kept writing dumb things that started with ‘C’ like “Class: something I never attended in college. College! A place I should have attended CLASSES.” Can you tell I write for a living? Am smart!


I have a ‘c’ word for you bitch. CAT. Have you forgotten I exist since that slobbery thing arrived? BITCH.


Honest to fucking CHRIST, you little whiner, at least she doesn’t drive you around while you are BEHIND BARS. SHUT UP.

*Erasure. Happy Friday!

11 comments May 11th, 2006

Walking on Broken Glass

First, thanks for the emails, the comments, the everything. Thank you. The doctor is indeed, a cocksucker, but I think it will turn out okay. He did call me back today, and unfortunately, I have a “mass that doesn’t look good” so there will be a biopsy, maybe by someone else. I’m working on that part. This was delivered by a cheerful, irreverent nurse who said ‘biopsy’ and ‘bad mass’ the same way normal people say ‘cotton candy!’ and ‘ooh! Disney World!’ But really, it will be okay. No cancer yet, and really, thyroid cancer is usually well-contained, despite talk of 15 year old metastatis. Fuck it.

Yesterday, after the Day from Hell, I came home to find that Cappy had some poop in his bloomers. And really, who doesn’t want to end their day with cat poop? He STUNK to high heaven, so there I was, ever the patient mother, wiping his bum with baby wipes. Fabulous. We went out to dinner and were casually eating happily, when Adam looked at me oddly and said,

“Is that chocolate on your boob? What’s that smell?”

I don’t need to tell you that it wasn’t chocolate. I was wearing a shirt covered in cat poop in at least four places. And the shirt was white. CAT POOP. I mean, honestly.

In other gross news, we had our first doggie obedience school tonight with the Sunnmeister. Not only was my little darling the worst in the class (“Sit, Sunny! SIT!” *blank stare* “Heel Sunny!” *runs off barking in direction of sexy bull terrier*), but there was a puppy there with worms, who ate a little too close to class time. A lovely little puppy who puked said worms ALL OVER THE TRAINING SITE. And have you ever seen puppy wormpuke? It is as bad as you can imagine. The worms, they move. THEY MOVE AROUND IN THE PUKE. And guess who threw up at the sight and smell of the wormy puke?

You thought I was going to say Sunny. HA! No. She was too busy trying to eat it while I frantically pulled her away. Um, no, the puker would be me. Vomiting like a diseased banshee behind the bushes, after screaming, “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THEY ARE MOVING OH MY GOD SOMEONE SAVE US THIS IS THE GROSSEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. SUNNY GET AWAY FROM THAT PUKE OR I WILL DIE DIE DIE OH MYGAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWDDDDDDD.”

I’m not sure we’re welcome back next week.


I told you I was the only sane one here. I TOLD YOU. YOU NO LISTEN.

*Annie Lennox. You know.

13 comments May 10th, 2006

Not the Doctor

I didn’t go to the doctor for a really long time before I moved here. A large part of it was that I worked too damn much, and really, who has time to take care of their health when there are press releases to be written! Investors to call! MEDIA TO RELATE TO! And so, I neglected my health, like so many overworked, Type-A fools.

And really, after having the kind of doctor experiences I’ve had lately, I’m starting to think that approach was a *little* bit better. I felt a hell of a lot better when I wasn’t going to weekly doctor appointments, and being diagnosed on a near-constant basis with something new, ranging from benign maladies like allergies and eczema, to more severe, chronic conditions like anxiety, asthma and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Kris, has already written an astonishingly wonderful account of exactly what I’m feeling, but yet, I feel compelled to add more fuel to the fire because, well, I’m fucking pissed off. Thyroid disease is an oft-misdiagnosed, deceptively hard-to-treat chronic illness, and it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to many doctors, because you just stick ’em on Synthroid, and off they go! FIXED!

And it’s pointless to explain the mechanics except for this basic background: Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disorder that basically means that my thyroid is being destroyed by my own body, and as part of this destruction, stops working in increments, as parts of it are eaten, my dose of synthetic hormones need constant adjustment. And it also gets rather large and swell-y and cyst-y. And sometimes, those cysts get really big. And sometimes, there are other masses, that aren’t benign and friendly and fluid-y like cysts, but are mean, ugly and cancerous! And angry! But those are very, very rare and highly uncommon – like less than 2 percent of all thyroid masses are cancerous. Really.

Thyroid hormones control basically everything – from our menstrual cycles to our metabolism to our thought processes. Hashimoto’s can cause hair loss, depression, anxiety, high cholesterol, weight gain, menstrual problems and heart palpitations, and that’s just scratching the surface. (I’ve had them all, for the record, or so it seems, except for high cholesterol, and it sucks). And sometimes, despite treatment, you’re not fixed, because it’s so squishy, and it changes all the time based on bodily circumstances – anything from weight to the speed with which your disease progresses can mean you need an adjustment in synthetic hormone. And worse, doctors don’t agree with the best approach or what is ‘normal.’ And if you’re trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant? Forget it. A whole new set of rules. God, and it’s all so NEBULOUS. And hard to fix. End background.

I went to the doctor a few weeks ago after having an ultrasound to look at my ever-growing thyroid and was referred to (yet another) endocrinologist. Apparently I have two abnormally giant cysts that may or may not be angry, but are likely friendly, as 99% of them are! Happy! Full of molasses! After I arrived, it became clear that my new endocrinologist had never looked at my chart before, and didn’t realize that the radiologist who did my ultrasound wrote an ambiguous interpretation that could either mean happy! shiny! cysts! or could mean angry! bitter! solid! masses! and GOSH, we should call that radiologist, right, maybe before we treat the patient and see if she needs a biopsy? Except, see, that radiologist? Was unavailable, but promised to call back in five minutes, which in doctor speak means, “the twelfth day of never.” Meanwhile, Endo was telling me that GOD, with the size of these cysts they are probably malignant (not necessarily true), and when I suggested that thyroid cancer is usually well-contained for a very long time, so might I be okay, even if it’s malignant, he replied:

“Um, not necessarily. I mean, let’s face it, you could have had this since you were 15, and it could have metastasized everywhere by now. What do you want me to say? Yes, you could be in very bad shape. That’s just the way it is.”

I need to remind you that no one even knows if I have a mass or a cyst, and even if it’s a mass, PS, it’s STILL more likely than not to be benign and thyroid cancer IS VERY TREATABLE. But it’s okay. It’s metastasized and I’m near death, so why not give up now? I should just slit my wrists and move on.

He followed this little gem with, “You have acne. BAD. My guess is that you might have polycystic ovarian syndrome. Which isn’t good either, and might mean you’re infertile.”

Based on acne. ACNE. But who cares if I am infertile, because I am dying! DYING! RIGHT NOW AS WE SPEAK. I may not be alive in the morning, you know. Just saying.

Despite four phone calls to determine the status of the rogue radiologist, Endo still hasn’t called me back. Which is unacceptable, given that your patient is apparently dying of metastasized thyroid cancer she’s had since she was 15, based on an inconclusive ultrasound.

Fucker.

I waited an HOUR to see this asshole. And this is what healthcare has become. This isn’t unusual, and while it’s unacceptable, it’s not as uncommon as we’d all like to think. While healthcare in the US is better than other countries, we’re still stuck with HMOs and managed healthcare, and squeezed patient time, and doctors who just don’t give a shit. It’s common. I’d like to think this is abnormal, but it’s common. I have friends with countless stories just like this, from all over the country. One of my friends was told she likely had herpes, but GOD, the doctor just didn’t have time to deal with her right now, so could she come back later? This caused quite a stir with my friend and her boyfriend of five years, as you can imagine. Turns out? She had a laundry allergy in an unfortunate location. But the doctor was throwing herpes around like Wonka bars with no follow through. It happens.

And it’s unacceptable. And for the record, I don’t think I’m dying, and I don’t think I have cancer – I think he was just trying to scare me for the fucking fun of it, because he is an insensitive cocksucker, and even though I hate that word, sometimes IT MUST BE USED. Because, thank God, I am an informed patient who knows my odds, knows my treatment and knows what to look for, shitty doctors be fucking damned. But what if I wasn’t? I’m sure someone out there isn’t, who’s been near suicide because of someone like him.

I’m going to be fine. I am fine. I cannot say the same for this doctor. I just can’t. Because there may be an ass beating heading directly for him.


I will kill that doctor! Kill him! Don’t think I can’t do it! AM STRONG PUG!

*Alanis Morissette. Because that’s just how angry I am. And really, I’m not making this up. After the Dr. Polando thing and the Topamax, you’d think I was some kind of magnet for bad healthcare, or completely neurotic, but I assure you, I am not. This is what is actually happening to me. And, to keep this positive, I hasten to add that my primary care physician is *amazing*. An old-time family doctor who remembers me, knows my husband, takes as much time as I need, and actually cares. In this respect I am more fortunate than most.

24 comments May 9th, 2006

Ocean of War

I went kayaking on Friday night, which was great fun, if massively exhausting, because my arms just aren’t that strong, and going with a group is SO DIFFERENT than going alone, or with one other person, because suddenly, you have to keep up. No leisurely paddling, or taking a rest to just look into the mangroves and see what birds might pop out, or whether you can see any dolphins or manatees* in the distance. No. Instead, you are stuck frantically paddling to keep up with this super-brawny, ginormous tour guide who keeps screaming at you to stay away from the birds, because they are trying to eat dinner, and how would it feel if you were casually sitting at your dinner table and GIANT PEOPLE came up, bearing oars? YOU WOULD BE TERRIFED, THAT’S WHAT, SO HUSTLE UP THERE AND QUIT DAWDLING. You know, she was really nice. And also, relaxed and not at all tightly wound. Or yelly.

What she didn’t understand is that we were next to the birds because WE COULD NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO PADDLE AWAY, because we are inept kayakers who were about to be washed out to sea in the wake of a giant yacht, arms waving and paddles clashing while she just screams at us about the fucking endangered blue herons. And this – THIS is why I’ve only ever gone kayaking in shallow estuaries and not the open ocean, because the open ocean is very very scary. And those dolphins in the distance? Are NOT in the distance when the water is deep, THEY ARE RIGHT THERE, and in fact, when one came up to my kayak and bumped it, instead of casually observing its lovely little face (face! THE FACE! WAS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!) I screamed, “JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST IS THAT A SHARK?!” and scared the shit out of the dolphin, who swam away screaming, “JESUS CHRIST IS THAT AN ASSHOLE ON A KAYAK?” and went home and hugged her children veryvery tightly, because there are scary people in this world who don’t know how to kayak OR observe nature, and who must be stopped. I sense that the next time I go out on the kayak, I will be swarmed by angry, vengeful dolphins, and I will try to apologize by not screaming at them.

Anyway. When I got home, I was wet and sandy, as usual, and stripped down near the laundry room and went to the bathroom, because when you are on a kayak for three hours, you HAVE TO PEE. In fact, I had to pee so badly, that all I could think about is how badly I had to pee. And then, you know, because I was so caught up in the relief of it all, I ignored important details, like how my crotch was filled with sand from launching the kayak into the ocean and that little time I spent swimming before I hopped into the kayak. And maybe, um, I just went ahead and took a nice big swipe of toilet paper along my sandy little precious area and SCRAPED A HUNDRED BITS OF SAND ALONG MY PRIVATES THAT ACTUALLY CAUSED SOME, um, MILD BLEEDING AND SEARING PAIN. And then, there was screaming and crying because seriously, WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME? I was pretty sure that I was having some sort of rare parasitic attack or infection, and I started running around the house screaming that sea chiggers had attached themselves to my vagina and I was doomed – DOOMED. CREATURES WERE EATING AWAY AT ME. And Adam was away on business, so I actually debated calling 911, because it was just a matter of time before I was eaten alive by the evil sea infestation, and clearly I was powerless to stop them.

Yes. 911. For sand in my crotch. Thank heaven for the small mercy of remembering the sand before I called an ambulance.

But still, there is PAIN. Quite a bit of it, in fact. I walk around like I’ve just come off of a cross-country horseback ride. I CANNOT HELP IT. The pain. I avoid going to the bathroom until I just CAN’T HOLD IT ANYMORE.

This was no-doubt in the master plan of those dolphins. The fucking bastards.

*An important note to tourists. Everyone thinks that seeing manatees is going to be SO COOL, because they are big sea cows, and very cute and very endangered. National Geographic has done a brilliant job here, and the first time you see a manatee, you think it is going to be this GIANT TRANSFORMING, MAGICAL EXPERIENCE. And it’s just not that way. They are so giant and docile that they just float along like big old sacks of potatoes, and I’m convinced that if there were an actual sack of potatoes floating next to a manatee, you would not be able to tell the difference. Sorry to burst manatee-loving bubbles everywhere.

**The Samples

13 comments May 8th, 2006

L.O.V.E.

I’m addicted to television. I mean, I love TV. I know it’s lowbrow, and I should be reading and writing and experiencing culture, and being active, but whatever. Seriously, whatever.

I love TV. And there is some seriously good TV on these days. Grey’s Anatomy. Big Love (oh, the love I have for the Big Love!), The Sopranos, What About Brian? TELEVISION, how I love thee. Except for Lost. I loved Lost, but dude, I’m over it. But last night was fabulous and so, a tough choice.

I don’t mind that not everyone loves television as much as I do, but the people who don’t have TVs, and act like I’m some sort of heathen because I have one oh, and by the way, I LOVE IT AND WANT TO MARRY IT? I don’t like those people.

But really, this isn’t about those people. It’s about how much I’d like to punch out Michelle Rodriguez. Blue Crush was fine – FINE, sort of, since it was a B-movie and star vehicle for the luminous Kate Bosworth (who is in desperate need of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or a milkshake. But who also looks like my stunning friend Kelly, who reads this site, and is beautiful as she is. Hi, Kelly!), but LOST IS NOT FINE. SHE IS NOT FINE. No one acts like that in real life. No one frowns that much, no one talks that way, and for crying out loud, no one wears that many half shirts with chunky belts. You’re on a desert island, for chrissake. Is that belt really necessary? Alyssa Milano wears half shirts like they’re going out of style (which, hello! THEY ARE.) on Charmed, but that’s because she’s the producer, she’s hot, and she wants to show her abs. So fine. But thank God Michelle’s been shot. THANK GOD. But I’m pissed they took Libby too.

And then there’s Chloe Sevigny. I’ve already ranted to Holly about this odd little woman, but seriously, it cannot be said enough: she must stop scowling, frowning and gazing. Yes, yes, there are bigger issues with this show – Bill Paxton has teeth reminiscent of filed teeth as they await veneers, his ass is like an ominpresent piece of flank steak, and Bruce Dern looks and acts like a pedophile, but seriously. Chloe. You are the problem. KNOCK IT OFF.

Ah, television, I love you. I have two Tivos, three TVs and television access on every single computer in my home and I AM HAPPY. Happy and entirely uncultured, and I don’t care. And am I the only one who watches American Inventor? THE ONLY ONE? WHO CRIES? I mean I even cried when that woman put a maxi pad on her head, for chrissake. Television, it stirs emotions. How can it be bad?

And really, this post has no point. Zero point. And it’s horrible. Except, I thought everyone deserved better than to end the week with a post about child abuse, so happy Friday! Just don’t forget to watch TV this weekend. It’s good for you.

*Ashlee Simpson. I like Ashlee too. Because that’s how classless I really am.

17 comments May 4th, 2006

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