Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Try, try again

He pushed me up against the wall and kissed me deeply. "I'm going to marry you, girl."

It still feels new and it's still early but we'll soon be upon 6 months and we are already talking about the future. We just can't envision one not together.

This is turning out to be the most incredible love story and I'm ill-equipped to write about it. I've spent so much of the time in the past (now 5 years) since my marriage ended either shutting down, pining away, or otherwise floundering, that this is totally new territory for me. I *wanted* this kind of love but it seemed nearly unattainable.

I remember searching boys faces on dates, wondering "could it be you?"

I would see some nice qualities and think, "I could probably love someone like that" until I tried and then something inside me shut down. And then I did fall in love, but it was one-sided and ultimately lonely, although he treated me wonderfully and taught me much.

I fought myself every minute of the past five years, hating where I was, how I felt, and my inability to deal with it all gracefully. (By "deal with it gracefully" I mean: feel fine.) But now I see I couldn't have whisked myself into the future. The gradual inching forward... I was always in the best possible place for me at the time. (Well at least that's my positive Pollyanna spin. If I must take a view on my past, it feels nice to have that one.)

I told my counselor last night that I was somewhat aghast at how much of my own suffering was caused by my own perspective. My own focus on my failings or frailties, things I would never make front and center for other loved ones but never thought twice about punishing myself for.



As if it's just that simple to change our thoughts, but oh, how powerful.

Funny how I can have such an optimistic nature at the same time as one that so darkly ruminates on my own humanity. People are known for being masters at dichotomous thinking, so I may as well welcome another flaw to the table. But I found a quote I fell in love with recently:

"Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again." Ellen Bass

Yes. I will try, try again.

Anyway, we are both crazy in love and it keeps getting deeper and more intense.

When it's right, you know it. That old cliche is really true.

(Sent from my phone)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Stuff my BF says

"Wow, your eyes really pop with that that towel on your head!"

(How can you not love a guy who thinks that?!?)

Me: Um, why do you have a picture of the guy from Beetle Juice on your phone?

Him (looking embarrassed): Uh...

Me: Well I ask because I have the same picture on MY phone.

Me: Well I have it on my phone because I just happen to know someone who looks like that.

Him: Bahaha that's exactly why it's on my phone too!!

Him: Mmmm, you is fine!

Me (washing my face): What? But my hair looks like it caught on fire!

Him: Your hair could be on fire and I'd be like,"that's the finest hair-on-fire bitch I ever saw"!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I promise I'm not trying the old "death" ruse to bring us closer

We were lying in bed in our separate houses texting when he sent a selfie. "Here," he said. "Now you can feel like I'm right there with you."

The protocol, when your beloved offers some part of themselves, is to reciprocate.

I gazed at his sweet face and warm eyes, and then over at the mirror across from where I sat and saw a blurry, wild-haired mess hunched over a box of tissues.

There are precisely zero angles at which you can photograph yourself, seconds after sniffling into a snot rag, and look hot. I made 20 attempts anyway and even tried to pimp one up in a photo editing app, but while red eye filters are common, there are none for "red nose."

There really are not.

So I gave up and sent him one au natural. Somehow he made me feel loved anyway. "You're so beautiful to me," he replied and I nearly purred. (Thank god love is blind!)

It's been a rough past few days. Somehow I threw out my neck and, after 15 (intermittent) minutes of sleep out of an 8-hour night, I ended up in urgent care. (Again!) My sweetie drove while I stiffly practiced going into rigor mortis in the passenger seat. I wouldn't want to die unprepared, after all.

Four hours later I exited the pharmacy clutching muscle relaxants (which I loathe because I actually enjoy having a personality) and painkillers. Normally I'd resist even taking a Flintstone vitamin but I would have happily thrown myself onto a syringe of morphine if it meant I could move again. I gulped them down and waited.

What better to do while waiting than cook myself in a nice hot shower? I stepped into the steamy stall and let the water beat down on my neck, enveloping me in scalding bliss.

Never run out of hot water again!
Then I stepped out and... you know that sensation you get when life is leaving your body? That started to happen while I was drying my hair.

I waited for it to go away but it parked itself and set up camp. So I stumbled into the kitchen and, with the remaining vestiges of consciousness that were left, remembered a scene in the movie Steel Magnolias where Julia Roberts was going into hypoglycemic shock. She was shaking, I was shaking. She was sweating, I was sweating. She was fading, I was fading. But then she drank OJ and got better so... I drank OJ. It worked!
Hypoglycemic shock is a medical emergency.
I tossed the painkillers. They almost killed me, fuck no I'm not taking them! My route to becoming a loser laid up with a "bad neck" now thwarted, I had to rebuild the vision for my future: I had no choice but to return to being a productive member of society.

I contemplated what happened, since that was the closest I'd ever come to passing out. Maybe percocet (Oxycontin) affects blood sugar? Maybe it was an allergic reaction? Or maybe just a coincidence? I still don't know exactly what happened. But there I was, feeling vulnerable and needy, especially now that I'd leaned on him TWICE for weird health stuff (can't I just get a cold and need him to pick up some soup, like normal people?!?) and I'd been sniffling into a box of tissues, worried that Amazing Boyfriend would shake his head and leave this hot mess behind, when instead he reached out so tenderly. And I fell more in love.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The fist in my chest (part 3)

The third time I woke out of a sound sleep with a fist gripping the inside of my chest, I drove myself to the emergency room. (1st time was over a month ago.)

That's a relaxing ride.

"No, after you!"

It occurred to me as they jammed the fucking needle way up my vein (not no pin prick like when you give blood, they lodge that shit in there nice & deep to prepare for possible open heart surgery), I'd never been in the hospital like this before. I mean, aside from a fairly "routine" (planned) hernia surgery for a hernia (that they said I was probably born with), this was new. Like, pain brought me here. And not obvious pain like that time I fell off my bike at 14 and needed stitches.

I tried to tell them it wasn't actually my heart. It might SOUND like that from the description but I knew in my bones it was not cardiac. I was actually thinking gallbladder at first. When biliary ducts get clogged, the pain slaps you at your shoulder blades. Check.

"Describe your pain."

"Well, it's like there's a fist inside my chest right at my throat, gripping all the way to my shoulder blades, up the back of my head and throughout my lower jaw."

"How long has it been going on?"

"About an hour. It woke me out of a sound sleep."

So, say that shit to an ER doc and they start pulling out defibrillators and swabbing the table, practically ready to crack your chest open. I mean, those are classic heart attack symptoms.

I was so sure it was not a cardiac issue, however, that I refused a CAT scan. Do I really have to be exposed to that kind of radiation? I mean, CAT scans are intense. They're not anywhere NEAR as benign as x-rays, which still fuck up your DNA. You're only allowed 4 chest CAT scans in your entire life. Radiation exposure is cumulative, son!

They allowed me to decline the scan but still wanted to admit me for "observation." I mean, something was wrong, and wrong enough for me to seek help. We had to start somewhere. I didn't fit the classic profile. I was fairly healthy. I'd only had a salad for dinner, not, like, a fatty bacon cheeseburger, and there wasn't much significant family history for cardiovascular disease.

Although this is true!

Over the next 19 hours, they proceeded to draw blood to look for troponin, an enzyme produced by damaged heart muscle and every time I fell asleep (OMG was I fucking exhausted), someone woke me to prick me, take my blood pressure, ask me how I was or drop off a tray of fatty, cholesterol-laden eggs. (Okay, that only happened once, but shouldn't it be off-limits in the cardiac ward?)

I finally relented to the CAT scan the next morning when another doctor explained, "Sometimes that kind of pain can be caused by a blood vessel beginning to rip open inside your chest. The only way to see that is to do this particular kind of scan."

That scared me. Fine, make me radioactive. Whatever.

After several additional tests and torturous times of blood vial filling, I was cleared of cardiac signs and released.

I made an appointment with my doc when I got home and showed him all the test results.

He smirked, knowing instantly what it was.

"You had an esophageal spasm," he said. "Text-book case."

I was aghast. "WHY didn't anyone else realize that?!?"

"Well, they look at the most life-threatening thing first. Maybe that biases them on the diagnostic route. But I can say that fairly confidently because we ruled OUT heart. If you'd come to me with those symptoms, I'd have wanted to run those tests first too."

Crises test relationships, especially new ones: Amazing Boyfriend had seen me with Sex Hair (which I somehow unwittingly pull off whether or not such has happened) but he had not seen me with ER Hair. Matted clumps hung unceremoniously onto my hollow face shadowing the dark circles of sleep deprivation. I worried he'd see all this -- the "For Worse" part -- too soon but the look in his eyes was tender and warm and I felt very cared for when I was, frankly, quite scared. I hadn't wanted to burden anyone -- indeed, had driven alone -- but to have an advocate when you're at your most vulnerable... now that is love.

Sweet friends texted and offered to visit, but I have to tell you, the ER isn't exactly the most entertaining locale to catch up, unless you're keenly into people watching: I've seen enough backsides now to last me a lifetime. (Then again, my friends might actually enjoy that...!)

Now I have to figure out why my throat decided to close up during sleep (three times). Fun!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015



"I was working out at the gym when I spotted a sweet young thing walking in....
I asked the trainer standing next to me, "What machine should I use to impress that lady over there?

"The trainer looked me over and said; "I would recommend the ATM in the lobby.."

(Sent from my phone)