Here is an actual ultrasound taken of my pelvic area earlier this morning.
If you go back in time to your most recent anatomy class, you’ll realize that you are pleased to be at my cervix! Get it?! HA HA HA! Anyway, here we see my fallopian tubes, a couple of good looking ovaries, a uterus complete with endometrium, and various other parts that make up my reproductive system. (I don’t want to use the V word, because I would hate for someone to Google something that isn’t available here. In my mind, folks with questionable intentions will not be searching out “uterus complete with endometrium.” I’ve been wrong before…)
The next time you see me, my innards are going to look a little more like this:
Pretty! Yes. Tomorrow morning at approximately 8:00, my doctor will be slicing tiny holes into my abdomen, grabbing my fallopian tubes, and tying them into what I assume will be a decorative organ bow! (I bet Martha Stewart’s tubes are tied.) I’m not quite sure what to expect other than approximately three days of discomfort, but I AM hoping that my memory improves after surgery.
Because, look closely.
About six months ago, my doctor and I had a conversation about exercise.
Doctor: So, other than the thing on your hip, how are you feeling?
Me: I’m a little rough around the edges, but I think I’m just getting old.
Doctor: You’re 41. That’s not old.
Me: Are you flirting with me?
Doctor: If you’re having joint pain or muscle aches, you might want to ease into a workout routine. Yoga is a great place to start.
Me: Yeah. I know. I once stopped seeing a gynecologist because he looked too much like Jeff and he had his photograph on his business card! Isn’t that funny?!
Doctor: Are you trying to change the subject? Come see me again for your physical in August, and we’ll talk about how yoga is going for you.
Me: This is our last goodbye. I will see you on the 12th. Of Never.
I looked up a yoga class schedule. I did! And the bad news is that school was ending in a few weeks (My excuses smell like fresh lemonade! Delicious!) and I didn’t have a backup plan for where the kids could go while I was downward dogging, so instead of making a few calls, I decided to ride out the summer in the style of a sloth.
Last night it occurred to me that my physical is less than four weeks away. As I sat at the computer researching local frozen yogurt dumps and looking at cutephotos of my dog, it hit me: Maybe it’s time for me to do a Couch to 5K program! THAT will impress my doctor! I quickly Googled Couch to 5K and honest to God, my computer crashed. Seriously. This could be a sign. (Confession: I’ve always been slightly afraid that my heart would explode someday due to overexertion. This is why a comfortable couch and a good knitting bag are so important to me.)
This morning, while standing in the shower thinking, I ironed out my Couch to 5K reality. Here’s the thing: I hate to run, and I hate being outside in the heat. Similarly, I hate to sweat, and I hate feeling that parts of me are being jostled. With that said, it’s a nine week program. Nine weeks! That’s the life expectancy of a honey bee in the summertime! If I start “running” during the first week of September, I will be done before Thanksgiving! And forever after!
Me: Will I ever run outside if it’s hot or raining or there’s a chance that someone will see me?
Me: No. BUT, we belong to the J, so I can do this whole thing inside if I want to. And I can keep my eyes closed and PRETEND that no one sees me.
Me: But what’s the fun in that? Shouldn’t I be signing up for a REAL 5K to celebrate being ABLE to run? Shouldn’t there be slow motion finish lines and crying with people you’ve never met but can’t seem to stop hugging because of joy and pain and epinephrine?!
Me: Better yet, maybe I’ll celebrate by getting up at 5:45 in the morning, driving to the J, running five kilometers on the inside track before anyone else shows up, and then driving back home where Jeff will congratulate me with a plate of pancakes. After breakfast, maybe I’ll attempt to do a cartwheel and the girls will hang one of their Little Gym medals around my neck.
Me: Yes. And then I’ll take a nap and give myself the rest of the day off to knit, spin, or whine about how much it all hurts.
If I test positive for an MRSA infection, my entire family will have to be medicated. We won’t have the results until Tuesday, but Meredith and Harper are already Very Angry. If my test result is negative, I know two little girls who owe me big apologies. (Incidentally, research shows that the at-risk population for an MRSA infection includes high school wrestlers and people who live in crowded conditions. As you know, my house is VERY crowded. AND, just last week I put the Five Moves of Doom on a babyface!) ((I had to look it up. Wrestling terms! So many languages out there, and I know only English, a bit of Spanish, and Knitting! Life really is too short, and here I sit with a potential staph infection! I’m so gross!))
In less than two hours, I will be entering a local shop and purchasing a spinning wheel. The thought of this is both highly exciting AND terrifying, because it’s a big purchase, and big purchases tend to make me all squirrelly and apologetic. (Also, I cry and whisper “I’m so sorry” every time I vomit. Can we please hang out sometime?!) In my mind, I’m going to spin fiber into yarn and then knit that yarn into a cowl or something and then give it away on my site because you guys really are the greatest. (Thanks for all of the positive feedback on my post about Aaron’s bike! As of this morning, we had collected $800. It’s definitely a start! And there’s still time to contribute!)
Every time we go on vacation (which isn’t often) or away for a weekend (again, not often), I absolutely hate the thought of returning home. Last year, two days before we even LEFT for Jackson Hole, I said, “I’m so bummed out. A week from today we’ll be back home.”
Yesterday afternoon, I picked Harper up from her friend’s house. Even after spending less than two minutes in that beautiful (and clean and fresh-smelling) home, I found that I didn’t want to return to my own house.
I don’t know if you remember this, but we used to pay for a cleaning lady to come into our house every two weeks. It was WONDERFUL. Budgeting for her started getting a bit tricky, so we started having her over every four weeks. That lasted for several months, and then suddenly the money just wasn’t there any longer.
Every month or so, I go through this THING. Some people would call it a FUNK. I have a hard time saying that word without it sound like The F Word, so I’ll stick with THING. (By the way, last week Meredith said, “Is there a bad word that starts with F U? Does it end in C K?” I grabbed her baby book and noticed that there is no space to commemorate the spelling of baby’s first bad word.) Anyway, my THING. It usually begins with me seeing someone else’s home and then returning to my own home. I look around at all of the accumulated crap and wonder what to DO with it. What do people DO with weird reusable water bottles and half-used lip glosses and old cookbooks and toy guitars? Is it really okay to throw these things away? (We donate a TON of stuff every few months. Where is all of this piled up stuff coming from?)
Inevitably, I go to bed crabby when The Thing is brewing. And then? The next morning I step into my disgusting bathroom with the black mold (!!!) in the shower that I can’t seem to get rid of and I reach for my shampoo but end up knocking over fourteen or more OTHER bottles of shampoo that came from hotels or something that I’ve never stayed in, and suddenly the suction cup on my razor gives out and it crashes to the floor and breaks and I’m drying off with a wash cloth because the towels have to go through three dryer cycles to actually DRY and I had time for only two cycles yesterday, and the bracelet that I asked Meredith to put away THREE times yesterday is still sitting in the same place, and the dirty dishes are piled up because the dishwasher has never worked very well, and seriously! How do you keep your house tidy?! How do you hide your wires and stack pans that don’t really seem stackable? Where do you keep your charger thingies when you’re not charging something? Why is that bag of handknit socks still sitting on the printer waiting to be washed?
There are so many little things that need to be done around here. When I think about it, it becomes completely overwhelming, and all I really want to do is sit on the couch and stare out into the distance. And then we get to the HUGE things—hole in the roof, disgusting stained pink carpeting, the back bathroom that stinks and is moldy, poison ivy on the slope in the yard that needs to be dealt with professionally…
I’ve read this entry by The Trephine at least ten times now. I would love to be able to reach the point where it becomes time to part with everything but the very few things that actually MEAN something to me. These candles and bamboo stinky things on our mantle mean NOTHING. These tiny tea cups that are too tiny for tea mean NOTHING. (But they’re Fiesta! And we got them when we got married! But STILL! THEY’RE TOO TINY!) This basket of CDs that has been sitting on our kitchen divider for as long as I can remember means NOTHING. I always find myself thinking about the people who have lost everything, and my heart breaks. With that said, my heart would be so much better off if I could simply make the CHOICE to lose 80% of my things.
The Fly Lady does not work for me. Setting a timer for twenty minutes and cleaning like a mad woman until I hear the buzzer doesn’t work. Our original plan was to live in this (tiny—like the tea cups) house until 2012, and then try to find something where the kids can each have their own bedroom. 2012 is less than six months away, and our house is in the worst shape it has EVER been in, and we have no PLAN.
I’m the first to admit that I’m Very Lazy. With that said, I’m not doing my kids any favors by allowing them to be lazy, too. When I go nuts on them about not cleaning their room, I pray that they haven’t yet learned the word Hypocrite.
A year or so ago, one of my favorite friends from high school said something like, “Okay. I think I’m ready to let my hair go gray.” Our mutual friends began to scream, “No! It’s one of the only signs of aging you can control without surgical intervention!” Me? I sat in the corner with my grilled cheese and horseradish sandwich and whispered, “If you do it, I’ll do it.”
I viewed all of this gray talk as A Sign. (I don’t really believe in signs. I’m a terrible driver.) I colored my hair back in February, but haven’t colored it since. Last week I started noticing a lot of gray.
Side Story: A long long time ago, I was having blood issues. I will NOT go into detail. I’m mentioning this only because my obstetrician said to me, “Sometimes a little bit of blood looks like a LOT of blood. But it’s not.” I believe those words also apply to gray hair.
Here are a few photos I took this morning. Of my hair. (The kids are back at school for three weeks, and I’m not leaving the house today. So many things to do! For instance, taking photographs! Of my hair!)
I flipped out a bit when I looked at this next shot:
Those two gray hairs almost look like antennae, don’t they? Perhaps I have an invisible lounging skull bug and that’s the reason why I sometimes call my kids by the wrong names! (Note: My bug does not have cute ears. In fact, he doesn’t have ears at all! Invisible Earless Lounging Skull Bugs! Google it! Clearly, I am the first case!)
Anyway, I think we can all agree that It’s Not That Gray. (Similarly, my butt probably looks larger to me than it does to you.)
This morning I reached into the closet and pulled out my last box of color. I was going to throw it away and write a poem about wearing purple, but at the last second, I frantically twisted the top off of Bottle One, punctured the seal on Bottle Two and poured its contents into Bottle One, shook it all up until everything was blended, and squirted it all over my head. (I left it in for forty minutes to scare off the more resistant grays. Shock and Awe!)
I was going to start off by showing you this photo:
Then I was going to say, “This is the girls on their FIRST day of second grade and kindergarten.”
Then I was going to show you THIS photo:
And I was going to say, “This is the girls on their LAST day of second grade and kindergarten.” Then I was going to type something thoughtful like, “Meredith couldn’t speak Mandarin Chinese or write haikus on the first day of school, but now she can!” and “Harper couldn’t read or count by fives on the first day of school, but now she can!”
Ah! But then a big brown truck pulled up in front of my house this afternoon and all of my sentimental madness came to a screeching halt—replaced with what can only be described as Juice Potential. And Juice Potential is an insanely powerful thing.
Yes. My juicer arrived today, and as soon as I opened the box and washed the parts, I took nine carrots and a firmly packed cup of spinach and I made an eight ounce glass of Carrot/Spinach juice. (Despite the fact that the dog treats are right there with the carrots and spinach, I can assure you that they were NOT included in the juice.) ((They’re flavored with salmon, and Scout is crazy about them.))
Despite how it LOOKS, it actually tasted very good. BUT, I drank it entirely too quickly and I ended up feeling a bit ill for about an hour. I’m telling myself that my “ill” was actually the healing power of the juice going to work on my innards! Feel the cleanse! I CAN SEE IN THE DARK AND LIFT A HYUNDAI TUCSON!!!
Tomorrow I’ll be making Apple/Peach/Grapefruit juice! (1 apple, 2 peaches, and 2 grapefruits will make approximately 2.5 cups of juice!)
Side Note: Every meal I ate today was raw and vegan. Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day. Summer break in action! JUICE!!! DOUGHNUTS!!! (Yes. I still refuse to spell it as “donut”. I also still refuse to put that period inside the quotation marks.) We lack consistency! (Hence: Fluid Pudding.)
More than 30 hours have passed since my cyst was removed, and I’m pleased to report that the excision was dreamy, and that I’m currently walking around with an ice pack in my pants because when the numbing shots wore off, my hip began to burn like a Blister in the Sun. (You’re welcome, Children of the 80s.) Oh, the burning! Like a fire beneath my waistband! (It will be better tomorrow.)
During the procedure (as I lay (dying, William Faulkner) on my side with shoes, glasses, underpants and everything else on, because everyone knows that I tend to roll with modesty), I asked the surgeon if the cyst was solid, liquid, or gaseous.
Surgeon: It’s solid with a bunch of scar tissue. Do you want to see it?
Me: NO!!!!!!! No, thank you!!! Um, yes. I do.
I turned my head around as the surgeon held up a little wiggly finger-like object.
Me: Vili Fualaau!
Me: I was making a villi slash Mary Kay Letourneau joke. It wasn’t funny. Can I eat that thing so it remains a part of me? Never mind. I’m not making sense.
Surgeon: In a few seconds, you’re going to start smelling something that might seem a little strange.
(She was right.)
Me: That smells delicious! What is it?
Surgeon: Cauterization. It’s your skin. Basically, this is what you would smell like if you were cooking.
Me: I smell like a barbecued pork chop! Does everyone smell like a pork chop?
Surgeon: All skin pretty much smells the same.
Me: It’s funny, because I’m free range and corn-fed. I would imagine my burning flesh to smell more like a portobello mushroom!
Moral of the Story: You might think you’re better/smarter/cuter/et cetera than (insert your foe’s name here), but at the end of the day, you both smell like delicious pork chops when your skin is on fire. Sleep tight.
As you know, right now I look a little bit like this:
The next time you see me? I’ll look a bit more like this:
It’s hip surgery day at Fluid Pudding, during which I’ll be driving to the hospital, receiving lots of numbing shots in my hip, and having a cyst sliced off! And if that makes YOU cringe, imagine what it’s doing to ME!
Interestingly enough (???) (!!!), my cyst is the exact size of a Swedish Fish.
Some of you may say that’s a coincidence.
Me? I’m going with: You are what you eat? Manifested!
When I saw my doctor in June, I was given antibiotics to kill the family of spiders that were nesting under my skin. Two months later, when the spiders were still bubbling, my doctor said, “Our choices are to wait it out to see if the cyst goes down, or have it removed by a surgeon.” I told him I wanted to wait it out, and he gave me three months in which to wait.
Nine months have passed. (Nine months in which I could have had a baby! But I didn’t!) The cyst is still there, and it’s big and hard and it sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night to say, “Hey! I’m ITCHY! Poke! Poke!”
Long story short: I saw my doctor last week. He referred me to one of the only plastic surgeons covered by my insurance.
Receptionist at the Plastic Surgeon Office (RatPSO): I’m sorry. He operates only from the neck up.
Me: I can stand on my head for twenty minutes.
RatPSO: I’m sorry?
Me: I make jokes when I’m nervous. It’s one of my best and worst traits.
This morning I met with a general surgeon. She walked into the room, asked me to pull my pants down, touched the cyst, and said, “Yep. Let’s slice that thing off.” On May 25th, I will drop the kids off at school, drive myself to the hospital, get a bunch of shots to numb my hip, lie very still so they can “slice that thing off” and stitch it up, and drive myself home just in time to pick the kids up from school and then volunteer at a fifth grade recognition ceremony. It’s called being STALWART, people. If the doctor allows me to bring the cyst home, I’m going to stick it in the dehydrator and make a special treat for the puppy. (It’s all about sharing DNA and wearing Birkenstocks. Am I right? Yes. I’m right.) (I made stew out of my placenta and my family LOVED it.) (I make jokes when I’m nervous! Remember?!)
Speaking of the puppy, this is what’s happening right now:
She’ll be starting school on Sunday afternoon.
I just spent nearly 30 seconds trying to think of a word that rhymes with Tuesday. When I didn’t feel like wasting any more of my time (It’s worth over twenty bucks an hour at times! Other times? It’s worth absolutely nothing! You’ll never hear me complain!), I typed a search into the Internet. I was told that Ghandi rhymes with Tuesday. I’m no poet/songwriter/seamstress/cook/etc., but I DO know that pairing up Tuesday and Ghandi is a stretch. Blues day. Goons day. You stay. Anyway.
This Easter was the worst Easter I’ve ever had. Seriously. Ever. It had nothing to do with lack of eggs or candy or fellowship or amazing food, because we had all of that. It had everything to do with this little puppy and how we got her on Friday but had to take her back on Monday, and who knew my heart could bust up SO MUCH after spending less than 72 hours with a muffin-footed hound?
I won’t talk about the reasons why we had to take her back, because it tears me up and I don’t need additional help in the tearing up department. I’ll just say this: She’s an awesome dog, and is at the Maryland Heights Humane Society in St. Louis. (They call her Candy. We called her Beezus.) Go adopt her. She’s a super-quick learner and sleeps through the night without whining! She’s great with cats AND with kids. She’ll even take a nap on you if she feels the urge.
Let’s change the subject. In about an hour I have a doctor appointment during which we’ll be talking about cutting something weird off of my hip. (I’m purposefully going to leave you hanging, because the only thing I can think of that rhymes with Cellulitis is Norman Fell? You bite us!) I’m hoping we can get through the appointment without me having to remove my pants. In other words, Typical Tuesday for Angela Pudding. (Yes. Typical Ghandi.)