Archive for July, 2011


In which I am reminded

July 29, 2011

I’m back at home and glad of it. As it turns out, I will continue to swallow rat poison, just by its generic name, Warfarin. Because this is warfare!

I forgot to take it tonight until the City Hall carillon sounded out the Michael Jackson song “Ben,” and I was like, Oh, right: rats. True story.


In which Venus is in the 11th house

July 28, 2011

My ruling planet, Venus, that is. She rules all Librans, and I am triple Libra: my sun sign, my rising sign, and Venus in Libra. (This means that I am a romantic, according to the Elle Decor horoscope page.) Anyway, Venus is in my 11th house — family and friends. Yeah, I’m no astrologer, but I could have told you that.

I’ve made friends with my roommate’s jovial visitors, who brought me a cup of coffee and kindly inquired about my condition without getting overly personal.

I think I get to go home today, and I can’t wait. I miss my cat, my beautiful cat. And my wigs, my cosmetics, my clean white linen and my fancy French cologne. I’ve been here almost a week — it’s time to be moving on.

David the nurse came in to give me my morning check-in, and when I asked about the coumadin, he looked into the depths of his computer and said, “It’s been discontinued.” He didn’t have an explanation. I will still be on blood thinners, but I’m finding significance in the idea that I may no longer have to swallow rat poison.


In which I swallow the poison

July 28, 2011

Itching around a wound generally indicates healing, I think. My left arm itches, just in the area of the catheter installed there. The line has been detached from the bag of heparin, a blood thinner, and that means I am one step closer to being home, home, beautiful home, with my beautiful, beautiful cat!

I am also changing from heparin to coumadin. The doctor who explained the change to me was taking notes as he asked me if I knew what coumadin was. “Rat poison,” I answered, and he stopped writing and fixed me with a steady gaze over rimless glasses. “Anti-coagulant,” he said after a pause, “but yes, an ingredient in rat poison.”

I’m no stranger to it, been swallowing rat poison for years. You never know what you’ll need to build up a tolerance for. I kid. And yet, I do not kid. To wit: the old saw that goes something like, “Carrying anger toward someone and not expressing it is like trying to kill a rat by swallowing poison.” That’s not exactly how it goes, but you get the idea, and maybe you’ll forget and down the road, think I invented that concept, and give me credit. Who doesn’t love credit? It buys so many wonderful things which, after you die, your children can pay for.

Anyway, I’m glad to be moving on from one poison to another. It means progress. The itching, while uncomfortable, means progress. I’m all for progress. That’s why I continue to write in Lyndon La Rouche in all local government elections.

And I misquoted yesterday when I referred to that person who’d found me through Google. The actual phrase they searched was, “Biffy Clyro song about ex’s being idiots.” It strikes me as logical that that phrase should lead here.

On yet another note, a baby is being born in this hospital, a baby I will soon know! This afternoon, I finally put it together that my friend Aki is in the same building, just a few floors away, having her baby. Her husband Freshtone texted me that she was in the thick of things. I admired his seeming calm. It makes me happy, knowing that there’s a new life dawning somewhere nearby.

Other things making me happy right now: the graceful white tulips carried in, alongside wife Sweetheart and Baby A, by my friend Mathrock. The firefly-in-a-jar sent by my friends Curt and Allison. The t-shirt brought by my friend Linda; it reads, “I do my own stunts,” and features a stick figure in a similar precarious position to the one on the warning sign opposite my bed, which reads, “PLEASE CALL /DON’T FALL.” The carved wooden statue, from an Armenian Orthodox church, of St Francis, brought by my aunt Jesuis. She didn’t know it, but St Francis is my patron saint. I love how he’s surrounded by animals, with one hand extended as if to receive money or tweak an attractive passer-by. Been there, Frank! My uncle Flip and his darling girlfriend came by. She’s like an American Maggie Smith, and I adore her. As they were leaving, she pointed to me and said, “I like you!” in a tone of great sincerity.

What’s my point? My point is that I am swallowing poison, but surrounded by love. “Do you feel loved?” Flip asked me, with a smile, and I said I did. “Because you are,” he added. In my non-demonstrative family, that is akin to skywriting a proposal between the clouds. But I do feel loved. I feel loved every time a text message arrives with a ringing of bells. I feel loved every time one of you takes the time to leave me a comment on my disjointed ramblings. I feel loved when Baby A fixes me with her dark-eyed, serious stare and then suddenly grins, her eyes alight with a mischief only she can imagine.

When Charlina the night nurse knelt by my bed to ask me, in confidential tones, how David, David of yesterday’s Ativan, was doing, I asked if he was new. She nodded. “Is he a bit shy?” I asked, and she allowed that yes, that was an issue. “He’s wonderful,” I answered, “very sweet.” He got me everything I needed? she asked me, and I said that he had, that he was great.

David came in a while later to take my temperature and seemed more confident, even jovial. He got me some Ativan right away. I took it on top of the rat poison, because hey, we are making progress, here.


In which my bruises shine

July 27, 2011

Yazoo, bitches! I spent a truly weird night in the hospital, unable to sleep, and intrigued by the silence in the halls. I don’t know if everyone in Ventura is well and at home, or what, but it was silent in the halls. I felt an irrational sense of freedom, like I could run around the ward unnoticed. If my gown wasn’t open in the back, maybe I would have. Whee!

Instead, I watched Netflix movies and contemplated the disturbed mind of whoever designed the floral wallpaper border decorating the walls.

This morning, I’m watching the second greatest movie ever made, entitled The Incredible Mr Limpet, starring Don Knotts. I haven’t seen it in a while, and it is exceedingly strange, hence its greatness. Watch it today!

In other news, I am obscurely pleased that someone found my blog by Googling “That Biffy Clyro song about how ex’s are stupid.” I don’t know if that is how I would describe “Many of Horror,” but it doesn’t hurt to think of it that way instead of how I have been thinking about it, which is, “the song that perfectly illustrates and glamorizes my intensely masochistic relationship with the Captain.” Perspective, I tell ya. It reminds me of an argument I once had with the Captain, years ago: we were in Tucson, and had seen a bumper sticker that read, “War is dumb.” he felt that the statement perfectly encompassed his feelings about war, whereas I found it trite and perfectly illustrative of the mindless pot-smoking hippie mentality I despised in a certain sector of the Tucson population. God, I hated it there, and the fact that he and I were arguing about such a mundane thing at all is testament to how very little worthwhile there was to do there.

And aren’t I just superior, lying around in my red hospital socks, watching Don Knotts as a cartoon fish. Oh, sorry. “Spoiler Alert!”

Anyways, as my high school friend Michele would have said, it’s time I stop glamorizing my pain over my last relationship. It’s so tempting, because it feels permanent and

Well, what the fuck, Universe? I just got interrupted by a visit from a new doctor, whose last name happens to be a fond nickname the Captain had for me at one time. It is not a common name, and I’ve never seen her before. She is not listed on my white board. Is this a test? I’m going to consider it a coincidence, a dull, not-at-all sentimental coincidence. Because anything else would be glamorizing, and I just fucking said I was going to stop doing that. As Gandhi said, “There is no try. There is only Do,” right before his index finger lit up and he flew across the moon in that kid’s bicycle basket.

My future is not horror, many of horror. My future is Don Knotts movies and meeting Ms Angela Lansbury in person, and buying unexplained makeup and wearing absurd wigs in public with friends who either don’t get embarrassed by me or want to wear the wigs themselves.

My future is my wonderful cat, who has spots and, I think, fleas. My future is laughter and figuring out what I did with my car keys, and finding someone who will love me in spite of my dark days, my lost car keys. Or not. There is always that possibility, too: and then I can go on to become an awesome champion of Can-Do-It-ness and sarcasm in the face of bravery. My future means I can play my beautiful 12-string guitar, badly, and sing along to the Murder, She Wrote theme, and say inappropriate things onstage and off.

And maybe someday I’ll write a song as beautiful as “Many of Horror” and someone will blog about it and in turn, inspire a reader to invent a wonderful new cult.

The future is uncertain, but it is indeed wide open.


In which I graduate

July 27, 2011

I’m choosing to consider my move from the Intensive Care Unit to the …regular hospital, I guess, a graduation, mostly because I keep getting congratulated on it. “You’ve moved up from The Units,” the nurses say as they come in to take more blood out of me or scan my white plastic bracelet to ensure that I am, indeed, the Violet Veronica White who’s supposed to get the Heparin, or the Ativan, or the 20% off discount on Cream of Wheat. They scan the medicine, then they scan me. I don’t know what the scan reveals, really, except a sophisticated form of the game Memory. Remember that game? (Ar, Ar.) Seriously, though — you laid out all the little cards, and turned them over one at a time to reveal a photograph of, say, vegetables or halved hard-boiled eggs. I credit that game with helping develop my own memory, which is why I can remember where I started this paragraph and eventually work my way back around to the beginning, tie up those loose ends. The Units. See?

I’m off The Units now, and in a quiet ward which despite your beliefs, is in no way dedicated to psychiatric care. It’s kind of nice. I have no roommate, and a TV and my iPad. All I need is my cat, maybe a mud masque, and I’m at home. Well, minus the IVs. I’m more of a pill-popper at home. Pills and cartoons, that’s my mot-to.

This is all just white noise to distract me from the ticking of the clock, here on the sixth floor at ten after midnight.

The white board on the wall opposite me lists the date as 7-26-11, my RNs as Charlina/David. David already dislikes me because I’m in the window bed, which means that he has to navigate his computer past the other bed, which is empty. I felt obliged to apologize, and he shrugged and attributed the responsibility to “management.” He then balked at getting me any Ativan, not because it’s not allowed, but because it would mean he’d have to come back. I dislike David. David can go scan himself.

I hear wheels in the hall, wheels that are not bringing me any Ativan. I’m not pushing the call button because the anxiety that causes me is greater than the effects of the one milligram of Ativan it would glean me. At home, I take two. And sometimes a Restoril.

Ok, David came back. He redeemed himself by bringing the Ativan, and by joking with me about not having to look at my “bottom,” because “you seen one bottom, you’ve seen ’em all.” David is now off-notice.

The white board on the wall opposite my bed lists my initials as V.W., my MDs as Hanley/Green, and my activities as “ad lib.”

Can do, white board.


In which I’ve had it

July 26, 2011

I’m having a bad moment. Or series of moments. Call it self-pity, call it rage, call it whatever you want. I am just sick of being sick, and sick of being in a hospital with all the goddamned beeping machines. I’m sick of feeling like I’m not even good enough to get a return email from someone who said he’d always love me.

I’m a fucking cliché: maybe someday I’ll be good enough for someone to love me! It’s like having permanent Stockholm Syndrome. Chalk it up to Daddy issues and douchebags for whom a Daddy issue is catnip. Mixed metaphor, I know. I’m smart enough to understand when I’ve mixed a metaphor, I just don’t happen to give a shit right now.

And I feel like absolute damaged goods, not only am I seemingly unable to get over a relatively routine broken heart, I also have cancer. I have very little to offer, in a romantic relationship, unless someone really likes visiting hospitals and waiting around a lot. I know this isn’t my year to Find a Boyfriend. It’s my year to get better, to focus on healing. Or my year-and-a-half, or whatever time span it is. I know all that, I just can’t do it. I can’t stand it. I feel horrible and sad and angry as fuck, and I can’t even bring myself to think about getting better some days, because what if I don’t, you know?

I guess if I don’t, then I’m no different from a lot of other people who don’t. My rage, my sadness, my inability to find my focus, are not unique. This is why people keep diaries, after all–to write down their secret, innermost thoughts. There is something odd about the fact that my secret, innermost thoughts don’t feel safe in my own handwriting, and I have to type them out here. It’s like shouting into the Grand Canyon and hoping for an echo. An echo that will somehow come back with a soothing answer instead of just my own crazy voice.


I which I have a dream

July 26, 2011

Ten to six AM. I just woke up with a splitting headache from the most luxurious dream, luxurious in two regards: one, that it blotted out the beeping and fluorescent lights of this hospital ward, and two: that it involved an orgy of furs and jewelry beautiful beyond belief.

There was an involved plotline that I can’t recall and which would be boring to recount and to read. The main thing I remember is the surfeit of long, perfectly tailored and sculpted furs, elaborate brooches set with rubies, and shaped like cardinals perching on holly branches, or archers’ arrows. I was running through a an ornate art deco building, but finely built art deco, not the clunky burger-stand variety common these days. Intricately inlaid fine-grained woods, cut crystal, peopled with tall, elegant models in beaded silk. There was a scandal of some sort afoot.

It was so beautiful, all these clothes and full-length sables and jewels. Maybe it’s true that, as in a dream I had as a teenager, I am the reincarnated Anastasia. Then again, she didn’t live to see art deco, did she? So, no, this is just another dream, brought on by my brain as a result of too much fluorescent light and Percocet. It’s nice that I get this incredible mental vacation.

As much as I love all that luxury, it’s good that it’s solely imaginary. Knowing myself as I do, I know that I can’t be trusted with finery of that level; I’d spill ketchup on it.

I thought for a second upon waking that maybe Heaven is like that — if we are presuming to get there, that is. I hope I do, although not anytime soon. I suppose my Heaven will be much like it would be on Earth: a lovely trailer park filled with all my friends in trailers of their choosing.

My great-grandfather, whom I never knew, was a jewelry merchant in Europe. Maybe this dream I had is some distant family memory filtered down through DNA, emeralds and sable coming down through the bloodstream of generations.

And maybe it’s just the drugs.