Friday, February 16, 2007

When I let myself...

There's an imagination of me drifting off counting backwards, naked under the gown on a bed that is as wide as mine at home but much more sturdy and metal. Squeaky wheels and masks and it's like ER or St. Elsewhere or any Hollywood formica floor, soft petal blue and pepto pink walls with softer lighting and nurses with mascara. And, I can hear them. I can hear them "Hemorrhoids from kids? She looks so young." "No, no, bad diet and anal sex." "Oooo. Of course, it's always the whores." I try to say something but I'm just a tiny little hermit crab trapped in a semi-truck of a body. Squeak squeak peep peep. This is what coma must be like. Struggling to force my mouth to say "I can fucking hear you, you bastards!" But nothing. And I can hear the slice, the prod, the blood, the wipe, the suture, the clean, the wheeling out. And all the while, I get to say nothing. Trapped, numb, alive.

Then there's the horror of going so deeply down that I don't come out. That it's so nice and blank out there under anesthesia that I'm comforted and drifting and floating and nothing. I loose days or weeks or ages or years. I loose important things I was trying to remember and my "to do" list, my friends' names, my parents' faces. I practice this at the gym when I'm in the weight room. I'm laying down, lifting a long, silver bar above my chest, lining up my hands, staring at a dot in the ceiling. This is not me. This is someone else. I'm only seeing through this person's eyes. And the fear disintegrates. I could almost watch the arms come down from the ceiling, slightly curved, and just not lift again. Slowly, agonizingly slow, drop drop drop the bar and the weights and sense a crushing sensation, understand a shortness of breath, but be so far gone outside/inside to not notice or care.

Then there's the terrifying fear of what I will say while outside myself. I know I'll probably cry coming out from under, but will I say ridiculous things? It's a huge moment of weakness. It's not even comparable to being black-out drunk - which I have practiced many times and succeeded in blacking out while still functioning for myself. This is a medical manipulation of reality and a distortion of myself and I will be weak. I will not be able to whimper to mama like after the wisdom teeth came out. I will not be shuffled to the car and ushered in to my teenage bed to be surrounded by the scents of mother-ness, dinner, sweet fabric softener, comfort and care. I will instead be smiled at by an unsteady and overly sisterly co-worker whom I call friend and who I recognize as my real sister in so many ways. I knew she'd be good to pick me up from the hospital, drive me home and babysit me until James came free from work. And will she smile in that "aw, Lola's cute when she's drugged up" condescending way not realizing how pained I am by vulnerability? Will she coddle me almost too much? Will I forget my manners under the waves of numb and mumble curses or insults?

James says we'll see. We'll see if he really needs to be here to babysit. That it's really just a hospital insurance. It used to be that they kept people in the hospital over night but realized it wasn't necessary, an added cost and burden. So they made sure the patient signed all the right release forms and made sure they had someone to care for them - or said they did - and then let them go out in the world. Sutured up and stapled up and on their own. He says it's really not necessary to wake someone up every 1/2 hour to make sure they're alive like my mum did after the wisdom teeth came out. He doesn't think I'll need him to stay the night.

I'm not familiar with blood. I've never broken a bone. I have suffered only in so much as knowing hospitals intimately due to asthma, ear infections, chronic bronchitis and sinus infections and many wounds on my privates. I have suffered only when the fear of the needle was so great that I had a filling in a molar without novocaine. I have never been alone when they cut me. I was not alone when they pulled out gum between my front two teeth in hopes that I'd spend an hour a day pushing them together since I fought braces. I was not alone when they put the laughing gas then the anesthesia and then took out my wisdom. I was not alone when I feel on my head and broke said front tooth and concussioned my head. I was not alone when I tore the big toe off when moving my futon around. I do not want to be alone. I am scared. I am not thinking about it because I will cry. I don't want surgery. My perfect little body might not wake up. Recovery might be harder than suffering. I am scared.

I do not want "let's see." I want hugs and I want my mommy.


a said...

There will be many of us hoping (some praying, mayhaps) for your safety and health.

Good luck. We'll send the good thoughts.

James said...

It's true, I don't think Miss Lola will need me to stay the night.

But sweetheart, I'm staying because you want me to stay. Don't worry so much, I'll be right beside you, and I speak from experience, not bluster. Nonetheless, I savor the opportunity to care for you, and will enjoy your vulnerability, as you very well know.


Anonymous said...

Pain of procedure a mystery.
Recovery with soft linens.
Guardian angel and sleeping child in the form of mister and she.

Rune said...


you're gonna be fine, doll. honest. i'd tell you not to worry, but you're worried, so it would be pointless. but you're gonna be fine.

and after, your perfect little body is gonna be even perfecter.


darth sardonic said...

of course you well know we are all pulling for you, but again, the sheer art of how you've captured what one feels.

i, for one, will be sending positive energy (dare i say, praying?) and am sure all will be well. but i am still in awe of your ability to face things that others try to avoid, and capture them in writ. hope i do it half as well as you.

lola said...

You all are very very very sweet. Thank you. [I didn't mean to make your words sound callous, James. I hope that was well conveyed.]

Of course, this is one moment of about 10minutes in my otherwise happy and fruitful days. Although as I near the date I'm sure my anxieties will run higher. I do thoroughly appreciate all your good will. Maybe if you pray/think good enough and hard enough for me the removal of my devil's tail will not instantly send me to hell. [At least, I don't recall that being part of my deal with the devil. So, it would be mighty unfair of him.]

Thanks everyone.