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Archive for August, 2011

Another Rough Day!

Yesterday I was supposed to get answers, I was supposed to have a test done that would provide for me answers to a long hard battle. No answers were had, no test was done.

Yesterday  I was supposed to have a colonoscopy. I did the horrible prep the night before. The prep that has you praying to the porcelain god and asking the heavenly Father to just take you now. The prep that has you running to the bathroom every few minutes and drinking the worst tasting crap you could ever drink. I did this prep hoping to get some answers to a sickness that has been plaguing me all summer. I did this prep praying that God would finally tell me what is wrong so that I can get back to a normal life.

I sat in my friend’s car on the way to the hospital praying that everything would be alright. I sat there telling her how much pain I was in and how I needed relief. She told me that she and another friend wholeheartedly conferred. She told me how I have been suffering for a long time and deserve answers and a break. I love this friend. I love that she saw how much I needed this. We prayed together that I would finally get some answers.

No answers. No test.

When I got to the hospital I paid my $250 for the test (which I got back). I sat in the waiting room. I walked back to the holding room. I changed into a gown. Talked with a nurse. Was wheeled down to the procedure room. They put the heart monitoring stuff on me and then said, “Its only been a few weeks since your surgery you can’t have this done.” WHAT?!?!?!?

When the doctor said this my heart starting doing somersaults in my chest. I started saying to God, “Please tell me I did not do that prep for nothing!” But it turned out I did the prep for nothing!

The doctor said that I couldn’t have the test this soon after my surgery. So I said, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this before today!” She said, “Who should have told you?” So I said, “SOMEONE!” She called the surgeon to make sure that she was right while I talked with the nurse. She was nice and trying to console me but I just kept repeating, “I did the prep. I did the prep. I’m here. I did the prep.” The nurse kept asking me questions about my life and I just kept saying, “I need answers. My summer has been shit and I need answers.” I started to cry and the doctor came back over.

She explained that she couldn’t do the procedure because it could cause some internal stuff to go ape-shit (my word).If   she did the test I could end up back in the hospital. To which I said, “Fine, I understand the reasoning behind the fact that you cannot do this today but why didn’t someone notice this earlier? Before I did the prep?” To which the doctor said, “Who would have noticed?” “Anyone!”

But since I had a captive audience I decided to get some help. I asked her what to do since I drank the whole jug again and my stool was not clear? She said you can take some dulcolax. Okay. She said I would need the test at the end of next month.

I said, “Okay but I’m in pain now! So what do I do for the next month!”

She said, “What are your symptoms again?”

I said, “Diarrhea and  cramping morning and night.”

She said, “You had this test before and what did they do.”

“They told me it was colitis and gave me some antibiotics.”

“Well, I can prescribe some Pepto-Bismol.”

I didn’t say anything to that. But I was thinking “How is that going to help me?”

They wheeled me out of the procedure room and back to the holding room where nurse after nurse told me how sorry they were and that they believed that someone should have caught this and that that someone was not me. I loved these nurses for this reason and hated my doctor that she couldn’t see that. I hated my surgeon that he scheduled it so soon and that his office and the GI office didn’t catch this stupid mistake before this hour. I hated myself for not asking anyone if it was too soon and I hated my life because I knew I would be living in this pain for a while longer.

Its not just the day or the pain that has me so down today. Its the fact that I still don’t have answers. Its the fact that I am wondering around aimlessly hoping to find some relief. Its the fact that I have to again pay attention to what I am eating and how each morsel of food is causing me trouble. Its the fact that I can’t do anything before 11am for fear that I might be too far from the bathroom. Its the fact that this whole being sick thing has me down in the dumps.

I usually like life. I can usually find a way to pick myself up off the floor and get on with it. I can usually do this. My life has not been easy and each person I meet and tell my story to wonders how I can go on. They wonder how it is possible that I’m not laying in my bed each day and struggling to survive. I don’t know how I usually do it. I think I usually do it because my health is good or at least one aspect of my life is good.

Right now the one aspect of my life that is good/worry free is my friendships. They’re keeping me going. The good friends in my life that keep checking up on me and family that keeps checking up on me. My Grandma Summers texts me at least once a week to tell me that she is praying for me and that she loves me. Its moments like that that keep me going.

But today I’m having trouble seeing that. I’m having trouble seeing that because every part of my body aches. I’m having trouble seeing that because my body is cramping in places it has no business cramping. I’m having trouble seeing that because I need to run to the bathroom right now….I’m so over this!

I can’t see the silver-lining that is hiding behind every dark corner. I can’t see it. I’ve got stuff to do today and I can’t see the point. All I want to do is curl up on the sofa and watch movies and TV that will make me laugh and forget what happened yesterday.

I hate leaving things this sad but that’s what I’m feeling. So for this post there is no happy upswing. For this post there is no “But I’ll be okay.” For this post there is none of that because right now in this moment I’m not feeling it. So for now, maybe just the next few minutes, maybe just the next few hours, I’m gonna be sad. I’m gonna be angry at the situation and I’m gonna be sad that I have no answers to my questions.

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Two Visions

As I got ready for church this morning all I was expecting was some free AC and some new ideas to be learned.  I got both the AC and the ideas as well as two unique visions.

I was sitting in Sozo training when I got the first vision. We were doing an exercise where we visualized a wall that we used as a defense. Then we were to visualize breaking down that wall. I closed my eyes and saw a wall. The wall was made of those cardboard blocks that children play with and it was in the shape of a heart. Just as I was going to break down the wall a super being whipped out from behind the heart, cape and all. He broke down the wall. All he did was punch the wall with his elbow and it broke apart. The wall was much stronger than I originally thought and “poof” it was gone in one move. The super being put his hands on his hips.

We were then led to sit down and chat with Jesus. Jesus had broken down the wall around my heart and as he stood there protecting my heart we conversed about how strong he was and how he alone could protect me.

The second vision came when I was sitting in worship. We were talking about sexuality and the pastor led us in a prayer. I don’t remember exactly what he said. When I first closed my eyes I saw a man standing in front of me. I then closed my eyes again and I saw myself with giant wings white wings. I was chained to the floor. There were rusted chains that held me shackled to the floor. As the pastor prayed I was able to break free of those chains. It was actually a very powerful image with many meanings. The pastor even stated before he started that the sermon was going to be focused on freedom (although I only remembered that now).

It was a very interesting Sunday, wherein I have many more things to consider in the coming days.

Tired

You know that feeling when you are really exhausted but you force yourself to stay awake. It’s like that moment that you see on babies faces before they fall asleep. They take their little fist and rub their eyes or rub their noses and do anything they can before succumbing to the sleep or exhaustion that pulls them under.

Right now I’m feeling that. I’m sitting on my couch in my living room watching a favorite movie and my eyes are little slits and my body is sitting but I feel like I’m doing somersaults.  Its a funny feeling…

Fall in other parts of the world has started. Students are returning for school and I am gearing up for finals. Its a funny juxtaposition (I love big words).

People back home have been asking me what my plans are for the coming year. I promised them that I would think about it this summer but I didn’t. They ask what I’ve been doing and my only answer is that I’ve been sick. Even before the surgery I was sick. After the surgery I have been sick. The only summer-like activity I did happened this past week. I went putt-putting with friends and that was the only summer activity I actually did. I meant to go swimming and to drive-ins and Shakespeare in the park but the only summer activity I did was putt-putt and it happened this week.

Where has the summer gone? Where has the time gone to ponder my future? Where has the time gone to figure out jobs and life and school? Its all gone. The new quarter will be starting soon and I haven’t thought about any of it…at all. I felt free from the worry because I was so focused on my ailments. I haven’t had time to wallow in the unknown and I have really enjoyed that. But there are people in my life that keep asking me: What’s next? I have no answers as of yet and I don’t know what to say. “I don’t know” just doesn’t seem like a good enough answer.

The only answer I can think of is to keep searching for non-profit jobs and go where I can find one. If I can find a part-time one then I can finish the chaplaincy and then continue on with life. I’m just not sure what’s gonna happen next. And even though people keep on asking me what’s next, and even though I still have no answers, I’m kind-of okay with that. Does that seem weird?

I’m sure it does. But I’m kind-of okay with that. As “Definitely Maybe” ends and my mind starts flipping my body upside down again and my eyes start to close and my body says its time for bed I’m okay with the fact that I still don’t have answers for what’s next. I shrug my shoulders and get ready for bed and pray that maybe tomorrow I will consider some of these problems but for now they are simply inconsequential.

A little intellectual reflection

I heard somewhere recently (or read somewhere recently) that the reason that Harry Potter and other magical or fantastical movies have been making so much money is because people are looking for a little magic in their lives.

9/11 changed American’s lives. It changed how we viewed ourselves and how we viewed the world. It changed the untouchable mentality that we had been living with for so long.

Most American’s who were alive that day can recall exactly where they were when they heard the news, it was the new ‘Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” I was in Pittsburg, KS. I was attending college and was just beginning my second year there.  I was on my way to class and I turned on the radio in my car and every station was playing the exact same thing. For a moment I thought it was another “War of the Worlds” hoax and then I realized it was real. I went to campus and it was like a ghost town. Students were milling around moving from room to room not really going anywhere. Students were wailing and when I finally made it to my classroom the professor just turned on the TV and we watched the world change. It was sad and horrifying. The world had just changed and as I looked around the room I knew that some of my friends would be going off to war. I knew that my friends would die fighting so that what happened on that day would never happen again.

We continued for days in this stunned state. There were lines for miles at the gas station because everyone was certain that gas prices would sky-rocket (which eventually they did). Parties on campus got bigger. There were 24 keggers instead of the standard 1 keg per party. Escapism got bigger and phrases like “shock and awe” became ridiculous as each newspaper and news station kept repeating the phrase over and over. Drinking games were developed around this one phrase. We all did what we could to forget that we were not actually untouchable. We mourned the loss of lives and the nation came together in shock as we never did before.

9/11 changed how we viewed the world and our role in it. Students and “adults” alike began discussing how we could get pay back and I remember thinking: by killing others? When the Dixie Chicks made their remarks but our President I remember thinking “finally someone said it.” And when that guy came out with that song with the lyric “we’ll put a boot in your ass” I remember thinking “oh good antagonize our enemies that will work out well.” Weapons of mass destruction my ass!

Anyway a few weeks ago when I was in a class called Theology and Pop Culture I couldn’t help thinking what else that day changed. It changed how we sought to lose ourselves. I think movies actually started being advertised as ways to forgot your troubles.

Magic in movies became a way to lose yourself. Fantastical lands became places to forget what was going on in our world. Life became something to escape.

Fairy tales were no longer just for children. The 10 year anniversary is fast approaching and as I remember where I was on that fateful day I can’t help but think about all the people that died that die. The people who jumped to their deaths. The people on the planes as well as in the buildings and the firefighters, paramedics, and police that lost their lives saving others. I also can’t help but think about the families of loved ones who died that day. What will the anniversary mean for them? Are they still deep in their grief or have they moved on in their lives?

I consider myself lucky that I didn’t know anyone in those buildings or on the planes that fateful day but I do pray for those who did know someone. I pray for the families and friends who lost someone that day and every day thereafter.

As the anniversary approaches I am reflecting on how our lives changed that day and how they continue to change because of that day. The nation is in financial turmoil because we went to war. We went to war because planes crashed into the Two Towers and killed more than I can count. The planes crashed that day because???? Of all the questions we have answered in the past 10 years did we ever ask the question about prevention?

Sure we changed how we are patted down in the airport and extreme measures such as x-rays that show our skivvies were invented for prevention but that only stops an act in process. What stops the act from being thought of? What stops violence from being an option?

I have no answers for my questions. Just more prayers to be prayed. As 9/11/2011 approaches I will be praying for the country, for families who have lost someone in the war on terror, for families and friends of people who died on 9/11, and for those who currently make decisions about how to keep me and you safe everyday. I will pray that wise decisions are made and that we do our best to bring about peace and not antagonism.

Lots of praying going on….as well as some intellectual reflection.

Romantic movies, longings and dreams unrealized

What do movies provide for us? What does music do for us? What do novels do for us?

There are industries devoted to the idea that one day girls across the nation will meet, fall in love and marry the man of their dreams.  I love these movies. I own many of them and watch them all the time. I have favorite moments in each of the movies where the man and woman finally realize their feelings for each other. Its sweet and special and in that moment I want it but then in my jaded mind I remember that that doesn’t really happen in real life.

I remember a few years ago having a heated argument with my Grandpa. He was asking me the question that all singles loath to hear, “When are you going to get married?” Although his question was more like, “When are you going to give me grand babies?” Which is equally loathsome. He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to be rescued by a man.

SERIOUSLY!?! I need to be rescued by a man???? That is when it got heated. He even said that I needed a man on a white horse to come and take me away. He told me that I needed to look for my man on a white horse. I looked at him with my mouth wide open unsure how to get him to back off and to understand that I didn’t need a man to rescue me. Ugh!

I love romantic movies and romantic novels where the woman is strong. Where in the end she rescues him just as much as he rescues her. I love movies where women finally realize what stuff they are made of and realize that they are special. The movies and books that keep my interest are no longer in the “Little Mermaid” genre but live more in the “I’ve just realized just how special I am and now I can fall in love with the man who believes I am actually special.”

I had a friend over on Saturday night and we talked about our college days. I regaled her with stories of clubs and frat parties. We talked about how we used to meet men. She mentioned that now we are in our 30s we wouldn’t want to meet men at clubs or parties. That got me thinking and I asked where we were supposed to meet men. I said, “I don’t even know where I would meet a man I would want to date.” We both sat in silence pondering that. By the end of the conversation we had no answers. Where are the men I would want to date hanging out at? If I could figure out where these men are hanging out then maybe I could hangout there and meet them. But where are they?

I have lived the past couple of years just living my life. Doing things I like to do and not really caring if I met anyone. It was always in the back of my mind but I figured if I spent time doing the things I like to do then maybe I would meet someone that way. It hasn’t really worked for me.

I’m still backseat dating. All my friends have assured me that they don’t know any single men but I feel relaxed. I’m not freaking out and I’m not lonely (at least not as lonely as I used to be). I put it in their hands (and God’s)  and I’m taking a step back and letting whatever happens 0r doesn’t happen, happen. I have no profiles up on any dating sites and I feel pretty comfortable with it.

I went to go see my surgeon today and a resident came in my room. He was hott!! and I inadvertently completely dismissed him by dismissing another resident I had met. I laughed and joked with him. He was really gorgeous and single. And it was fun. I will never see this man again but it was fun to laugh with him.

I want a professional. I want a man with a career. Someone with goals and dreams and a helping heart. I think that the fact that he was a surgeon totally scored him major points. I care for people. I want someone that cares for people as much as I do. So where do I meet such a person? I don’t know. My heart says just continue living your life and get involved in organizations that care for people. Do these things to help people and maybe some day I will meet someone who cares for people like I do. But I’ve already been doing that….

I don’t know. I’m not going to dwell on it but its just something I have been thinking about. I am not looking for a man on a white horse to rescue me (much to my grandfather’s chagrin) but instead for someone to spend time with…..

What have I been doing these past few weeks?

As you all know I had surgery August 5th and I have been on limited activity and bed rest since. Just this past week I started wearing real clothes. (I was wearing clothes before but the outfits I chose were closer to pajamas than anything else.)

My first week of recovery I spent on the couch in my living room watching countless movies both on my TV and on my laptop. I made it through two seasons of “Mad Men” before I became completely annoyed with Betty and Don and had to stop for a while. Sometimes the morals or the lack of morals on a tv show can get to me. I watched all of “Downton Abbey”, I watched two versions of “Pride and Prejudice” (both the long and the short), I watched all of “Bleak House”,  I watched 2 seasons of “The Big Bang Theory”, and a plethora of Netflix instant movies that are two many to name. That all happened in the first week of my recovery. So what have I done with my second week of recovery?

Well once the pain started to lessen I tried to get out of the house more. I went to see a movie with a good friend. I had a lunch with a friend who is moving. I went grocery shopping with another good friend. I talked on the phone with another good friend. I had my supervisory meeting at my house with my supervisor of my internship (that’s right ladies and gents I’m still in school). And last night I went to Yarn Night. (My friends and I get together to knit and crochet once a week. Some of us use needles and other use hooks but we all use yarn.)

I’ve also spent a lot of time reading. I recently joined goodreads.com. I don’t know if you have heard of this website but I love it. My favorite thing to do to relax (besides watching tv) is to read. On this website you basically list what books you are reading and then write your review of said books. But that is only the surface of this website. You can trade books or swap books with other people out there. Basically people don’t want their books anymore so they list them as swaps and all you have to do is pay for shipping.  That’s pretty awesome but still not the best part. Another amazing aspect of this site is you can enter giveaways for books. I have entered a lot of giveaways and I usually don’t win but just his month I got 3 books that either have just been released or are on their way to being published soon. All I have to do is sign up for the giveaway and then they tell me whether or not I won and send the book to me in about a week. Publishers are the ones giving a way the books along with authors and other people who have access to such things.

Those are some amazing aspects but another great aspect is that the also have free ebooks. I read 3 novels this week that were free ebooks (that can either be read online or downloaded to Adobe Epub) and they were amazing. I laughed and I cried while reading these books and I completely forgot that I was in pain (until I stood up or walked around that is). Thoroughly using this site this week helped this week to go by much faster (I think that was also do to the fact that I was in less pain this week. Don’t get me wrong I was still in pain this week but it was less pain than last week).

So that’s what I have been doing lately. It may or may not sound boring. I’ve thought it was pretty boring sometimes but I have found some ways to help the time go by faster. 🙂

Here’s a link to goodreads.com in case you are interested: http://www.goodreads.com/

Does your body mourn?

Does your body mourn when a piece has been taken from it? It might seem like a ridiculous question but it is one I have been pondering since my surgery last week. I have had other surgeries before. Foreign bodies like calcifications in the form of kidney stones have been removed. Foreign growths have been removed. Things have been added to increase the bodies workings. But never before has a part of my body been removed.

I have had my appendix for 30 years and now it is gone. I don’t even know what an appendix does. Mine is gone and now my body is repairing itself. It is still making work and doing its best to take over what ever job the appendix performed.

So does your body mourn the loss of an organ or working body? In other words in the process of repair does the body mourn the loss of a function, the loss of an action?

The more I write the sillier this idea seems. I have a friend who had her colon removed and her body is still learning what it means to function without it. It is still repairing itself.

If the body does mourn the loss of the colon and the appendix I wonder what that might look like. I guess to answer this question you have to decide where your ideas of body and thought lie. In other words do you believe that the body is an empty shell? That it’s functions serve the purpose of keeping you alive but once you are dead it is nothing. Or do you resign yourself to believe the body works like the “Magic School Bus” taught us. That each part has a voice and job and when a piece is taken from it, it must learn how to do the job in a new way.

At 3am on pain meds I am resigned to believe that it is a little of both. I have been taught in class and in therapy that the mind can be trained to believe and act differently. I believe the body has the same function. It can be sown together and torn apart and pieces can be taken from it but it in the end it has to figure out a way to keep going until death when all function stops. When all that is left is a shell of the function and the person. The mystery of the body and its functions can be explained by science but must also be awed at by faith.

I have a friend whose mom is going through a cancer scare right now. It may prove to be easily fixable or it may not. The road ahead may be long or short. Her mother may have to have radiation and may have to mourn the loss of her hair but what does the inside of her body have to mourn? Her body will learn to fight itself and when the cancer is gone to stop the war. Its interesting how modern medicine can mold and shape the bodies functions to do as it wishes. Its also interesting how some cancers can be cured and others cannot. I know people who have died from cancer and those who have survived it.

When someone dies we mourn the person not their bodily functions. As I lie here with an ache in my belly and a need for more medicine I wonder if that pain I feel is my body mourning what was lost. If it is trying to teach my insides how to function without an organ and what I feel is merely the process of what is going on.

Its a weird thing to be thinking about at 3am but alas I am awake and my mind, it does wonder down unusual roads.

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