Today we tried a new vein, and it worked on the first try! Big news, you guys.
Carb crying is my 2016 aesthetic. In March I built a makeshift fort of oatmeal boxes and biscuits and cereal; I cried sad tears over wheat, rye and barley while I listened to JoJo’s 2006 hit “Too Little Too Late.”
Last week I carb-cried again. I got teary eyed over a bowl of gluten-free fusilli at Noodles & Company — super glamorous. This time, though, I cried happy tears — like, “She got off the plane!” from “Friends” tears. The kind that inevitably slip to the table below right as the cute server arrives to inquire if there’s anything else you need, and with mouth full, you mumble-weep, “Nooooo.”
For the first time in six months, I felt well. Not “better” but “well.” The kind of “well” you say when you’re trying to be grammatically correct and impress someone rather than defaulting to the trusty, “Good, and you?” Continue reading
White petals flutter from the tree beyond my chair. It’s a breezy spring day, the kind that makes me a little overconfident in Iowa weather; I leave my jacket at home. Uncovered, bruises snake across my right forearm, browns and yellows and purples forming a winding web.
Here, the nurses transition effortlessly, alarmingly, between joking about veins and recapping an autopsy. It is an unsettling dichotomy, one that reminds me that getting better is a painful, messy process. Continue reading
There are rows of chairs, eight in mine, each a shiny, coated plastic, some pea green, others muted red. They’re trying to be easy chairs; that’s it. A source of relaxation, calm. They want to be watching TV; maybe a “Seinfeld” rerun or “Punk’d” with Ashton Kutcher. Yet they’re outfitted with trays and wheels and towels dangling from the back rack. They’re uneasy chairs.
Heat warms my right arm, the “good” arm, my IV arm — the nurse is forever trying to find the vein. “You’re a bit of a pincushion, aren’t you?” we joke, punctuating the sting of her inevitable third try at the IV. Continue reading
My lovely, accommodating friends hosted a gluten-free taco girls’ night.
For once I am fearful of too much time, the kind measured not in minutes, but by the rhythm of an IV. Drip, breathe, drip, breathe, drip, breathe. The kind of rhythm that reminds me I’m not well, not entirely, not yet.
Tomorrow I start two-hour IV iron treatments for the next six weeks. The needles don’t scare me anymore; the time still does. Time to meditate and ruminate and reflect and worry. The kind of time punctuated by piercing silence, the realization that aloneness has its own sound, one that podcasts and Netflix can’t ultimately drown out. Continue reading