Friday, July 21, 2017

Chester Bennington: March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017

All I wanna do
Is trade this life for something new
Holding on to what I haven't got




Linkin Park's "Waiting For The End" was the anthem that chose me to when my own sweet Lincoln was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome.

It was on repeat for a million years while I sorted out what in the world had happened to my world. All the kids recognize the song still just from the first few opening bars. It's part of all of us.

I'd loved Linkin Park for a while before that. They are the kind of band I would have eaten alive as a kid. They got to me.

I've mentioned before that my love of live music was re-ignited with Ruby's match strike. Together we see 2-3 shows a year and a few more without each other. We laugh and dance and cry (and sometimes puke into our bags of popcorn on the train ride home but that's another story for another day *spoiler* IT WASN'T RUBY) and roll around in endorphins for days after.

The incredible Ruby has been earning money as of late by selling and commissioning her art. Holy shit. My kid is a working artist at 17. WHOA.  And with one of her paychecks she bought her mama tickets to see Blinkin Park on 7/28/2017.

I was finally gonna see them live. See and feel Chester sing that song. I couldn't wait to cry and yell it out with him at the top of my lungs.

How deeply do you need to feel the pain to end your life with 6 kids? How numb do you have to be to end your life with so many lives in love with you?

Rest easy, Chester. Peace.

So many things were left unsaid, It's hard to let you go

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I'm 47. I Despise My Uterus.

I've been at odds with my uterus for some time now. 

When I was eleven she unleashed a Cecil B. DeMille worthy torrent of blood into my gauchos as I sat in my 5th grade seat. I walked home with a long sleeved shirt tied around my waist that I borrowed from my well meaning, but utterly freaked out teacher (Why didn't she get a pad from the nurse? Get some sweats from the lost and found? What's the statute of limitations on that investigation?). Pretty sure I never returned the shirt.


Over the next intervening 36 years, me and my girl have had considerable beef. I respect her purpose but even in carrying my 3 babies to term she caused me some SHIT: 2 occiput posterior presentations (broken tail bone BOTH TIMES) and the piss poor form she displayed by not being able to hold it together well enough to fully dislodge my low tone, 9.5 pound baby boy. I am forever indebted to my midwife, Ms. Sandra Fields, for reaching her knowing hands up into my vagina to drag him out of his saggy, defeated womb.


It has given me periods so strong and abundant that they wash ultra OB tampons out like bloated squirrels from a storm drain in a downpour. Cramps? More like the bitch is trying to claw its way out of my body.


For 10 years I've wanted a hysterectomy. Sometimes on slow days working L&D, I'd jokingly mention to any surgeon within earshot that both OR's were free and the anesthesiologist was available (only I wasn't joking). 


My OB/GYNs were cool. They tried. I tried. Blood tests, hormone/birth control pills, Lexapro (for the depression it was causing me), endometrial biopsies to rule out cancer- these are biopsies that are done in the office without anesthesia wherein a device is inserted into the vagina, through the (un-dilated) cervix to scrape out cells on the walls of the uterus. Did you catch that? No anesthesia. Scrape cells. The results were always normal, normal, normal. The bleeding in and of itself wasn't enough of a reason to do anything more. I was in my early 40's, had a new baby... why not just wait it out? Oh. My. God.


I've ruined or permanently disfigured underwear, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, sheets, quilts, duvets & mattresses. I've traumatized dates, gone without sex. I've been laughed at and embarrassed all because of my monumental, psychotic periods.


My abnormal uterine bleeding has a name: Menorrhagia. Pretty, isn't it? Sounds like the Greek name to that gorgeous purple flowering shrub your mother in law has in the garden. Menorrhagia!?Yes! I'd LOVE ONE for the side yard!


Next week I'm getting a uterine ablation and I don't think it's possible for me to adequately describe the joy I feel in typing those words. Next week, under sedation, I will have a device inserted through my (dilated) cervix that has netting attached to it. The device will emit a radio frequency to the netting and basically fry the hell out of my endometrium and (hope, hope) greatly reduce (if not end all together) my voracious monthly bleeding.


In my years of begging for someone to surgically remove my uterus, an ablation wasn't an option I was even willing to consider. Why did I have to do this first? Was always my question.I 'm not having any more kids & my uterus isn't at all useful to me. Keep the ovaries, tubes & cervix, the parts that actually help this lady out. But for the love of cheese popcorn and Sancerre, TAKE MY UTERUS, PLEASE.


Turns out, it doesn't work that way, women! So simmer down and quit asking!


Asking for an elective hysterectomy is not met with serious consideration by any OB/GYN of merit. The last good numbers from the CDC are from 2006-2010 and they say that 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year; second only to cesarean sections for reproductive procedures in women. 


The numbers don't break down partial procedures (uterus only), complete (ovaries, cervix) or radical (when some of the vagina is removed) or if they were done for fibroid issues or cancer treatment. 


The disdain I feel for my pear-shaped blood hut is irrational. It's removal would forever change the structure of my internal organs. Complications like vaginal or bladder prolapse could happen as well as the possible snags that could occur during any major surgical procedure. 


For now, I have high hopes. 


I am hopeful the ablation will give me back some control. I'm hopeful that I won't be living at the mercy of a 17-21 day menstrual cycle with 6-9 day long periods. I am hopeful that I'll get half of my life back; that I will be less angry at my body. And if it doesn't work? If after several months it is revealed she is still a cantankerous bitch? I just may get my wish and IF that happens I'm freeze-drying her and making her into a belt buckle.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13th: 2000-2017

Hello Rubith (Google kept wanting to autocorrect that to 'rubbish'. Do you know them?).

For your whole entire life I have been perfectly content with the exact age and person you were at the time. Never wanted more or less than the 'you' I got in the moment.

But guess what? Time is moving and I am getting older and I think more and more about memories and the space they are created in. I suddenly feel aware of time. It is a physical thing I make an effort to feel *time* on my skin, in my bones. I want to be surrounded by it like a grape suspended in some gracefully elegant jello mold. The past is gone! Holy shit. I get it now and I get that I can't get it back.

I am finally, 17 years later, wanting time to stop.

Make no mistake, child. I live and breathe your every move.

I think on every single conversation, text, every meal we share, lipstick we buy,  concert we go to, fight we have (they're all your fault), choice we contemplate, joke we make, kid/teacher/random human we roast. And I savor these things like the gin and tonic I have tucked into my side as I write this.

The other day I told you that the only reason I know a kid is a good kid is because I compare them to you. Ruby, the power you wield in our family and in your world... you have no idea. From the time you were dropping notes from the second floor to remind me of my deficiencies, you have been a purveyor of justice and truth. We all (and I mean ALL) look to you as a beacon of "wtf am I doing?" and "how can I do it better". You are good. And the only thing I want to do is relish, capture, enshrine in volcanic ash for ever and ever and ever, your goodness.

I am so proud that you are my child. That you are an artist. That you feel and see the world through the eyes of a fierce and genuine feminist. That you love your siblings and are willing to defend and care for them to the ends of the earth. Gah! I am like the annoying geese in our backyard right now! So puffed up and proud and blinded by love (except that you know I'm right, I'm way smarter than the geese. Let's just clear that up).

You're 17 years old. 17. Why does that seem so monumental? I tried to explain to you the other day why I feel this way but I'm pretty sure I wasn't able to articulate it well enough because I'm still not as smart as I think I am (this is not a problem you will ever have, by the way). 17 is a number that is thick in my mouth when I say it. It sounds round and brown and rich in my ears. It is a determined and steady current in front of my eyes; rolling along like the wave machine I was mesmerized by at the New England Aquarium when I was a kid.

I'm worried for the first time since you were born that I will miss parts of your life. Why I didn't realize that till now is really fucking embarrassing, I must admit.

Time. 17 years of it have flashed like a 4th of July sparkler. I want more sparklers. I want more matches.

Happy Birthday, sweet child. Happy Birthday.