With all the things that my dad is going through health wise, I decided to suck it up and go see a doctor. It turns out that my PCP who I love and reminds me of the little man from UP has retired. I’ve been mourning him for 2 weeks now. What really pushed me to seek medical help was I got food poisoning the week before last, then I wound up with some viral cold/flu that kicked my ass and had me towing crossing over. I admit, after my time working for a personal injury firm and seeing hospitals in New York failing epicly, I’m sketched. The bulk of my treatment and my daughters is in Long Island with surgeries in Manhattan and Long Island. I’ve never been treated by doctors out on the other boroughs that are affiliated with any local hospitals. Its not to say that there aren’t amazing doctors, but the level of care is just vastly different. NYU compared to Woodhull before the purchase. If you don’t know, once upon a time, Woodhull was a nightmare. You might check in, crap shoot if you check out. You couldn’t pay me to check in there.
So the moral is that I know better. I don’t get injections from basement doctors or get medicines out of zip lock bags. Normally, I do my due diligence. When I was super sick last week I decided to call a doctor because I really felt like I was dying. I got ahold of an office that scheduled me for a week later. Mind you, I had searched for a PCP in my area. Time passed I showed up to my appointment yesterday. Of course, it wasn’t drama free. I looked like a crazy person exchanging words with the car service that picks up my dad from dialysis. My dad called and they were an hour late, telling him they’d be there in 15 minute increments. By the time I was done I had ripped them a new asshole and threatened them if something happens to my father in his condition.
I proceeded to go into the office. Hindsight is amazing. I filled out the paperwork which was unremarkable and waited patiently. When I was called in I gave the nurse my entire history. Food poisioning, etc. when the doctor came in I gave him the same run down. He asked if I had anxiety, I told him that it’s possible at this time. Long story short he proceeded to tell me to strip down and put on the gown. They were going to run a panel for HIV, STD’s and thyroid. This should’ve been my first clue that something was off. In fact for a minute I paused and repeated his instructions. Yet, I still sat down waited for him and the nurse to return and had a vaginal exam.
I went to work and told my bestie about it. She was hilarious because her first question was if there was a nurse present. I responded yes, I don’t think I was molested. Long story short, I had not made an appointment with a PCP. It was an ob/gyn. No wonder he was like okay crazy person, when I proceeded to give him my entire medical life. Today, I was cleaning out my bag and found the business card. Sure enough further evidence that I had gone to an OB/GYN. What throws me off is that the person that scheduled me could hear that I couldn’t talk. I had a hell of a sore throat and told her I was coming in because I was so sick. Maybe she thought I was pregnant and dying of a cold but we were clearly both mistaken… and that’s the story of how I got my vajajay checked when I was really trying to treat a god damned cold…
I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 1:00 am and my mind was racing. I’m not sure what to call him. I suppose after 7 years together there should be a more defined role or title except I don’t feel it. It would be a bold faced lie to say it’s my significant other. I have an engagement ring that lines my jewelery box. I’ve always been a free spirit. The ability to walk away from relationships and bad situations. Except for this nightmare.
In my 20’s I thought it was crazy for women to stay in bad situations. Especially when they had children. Then I had my daughter. Something become clear. The fact that my poor decision would now affect her entire life and I had to live with that. The weight of that was like atlas carrying the world on his shoulder. So I stayed. Knowing one day I’d take my passport and my shit let my daughter know I’m out. Catch me in Europe. I’d served my time. The irony between my plan and my own mothers disappearance does not elude me.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. My “partner” told me my dad fell out of the car when he was getting out for dialysis. He couldn’t get up. My stomach dropped. The stress has magnified. The pressure intensified. That coupled with a lunatic that you have to walk on egg shells with are the recipe for a stroke or a heart attack. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t speak with. I deal with difficult high strung professionals and even then, nasty or not I can communicate. I can peg them. I can asses who I’m dealing with and how to deal with them.
I’ve never been in a situation where I couldn’t express myself. Where it’s like North Korea. You can’t express anything outside of the designated permitted forms of expression. Trust me, I am expressive. The moral is that the anx I felt came from knowing my dad fell and he didn’t want me to know. My limited ability to be everywhere, and the argument that ensued with this so called partner. The partner proceeded to spout how this was his fucking apartment and he didn’t want a nurse here until it’s spic and span. The problem is he has shit all over the place. But in his eyes this is not a problem. When you deal with someone who’s issues are everyone else’s except his own, where everything is someone’s fault but their own, there is no winning.
I take great issue with people who have a need to try to exert their power. In my eyes, they’re weak. If you need to hold power over someone who can’t or just because, know that you are weak. A strong and powerful person doesn’t need to exert power over anyone. People will do your will because they respect you and you command so. Not out of force like a dictatorship where it’s done out of fear. Fear is the seed of resentment, after resentment anger grows. There’s a phrase I say all the time that I stand by. “Those who need to control are they themselves out of control.” That’s what I’m dealing with. A cyclone of a personality and my life.
I’m not complaining by any means. I’m simply acknowledging what I know and that’s the similarity between myself and my mothers decision to one day pack her shit and leave. Except one massive difference. My father was not a bad person in his entirety. He made poor decisions but I chalk that up to a lack of education. But he took care of us, made sure we lacked nothing. As strong as his personality was, I know he loved me. That his intent was never to hurt me. That’s the defining difference. The difference is that I’m genuine. This partner is selfish. He does everything for the added bonus. Oh here let me help you with this, so later I can hold it over your head. Sure if you need my help now you can’t say anything to me. Here’s a 100 bucks but when I need you there’s no out. And that to me is disgusting…
I’ve had moments of insanity. I call it insanity because for me personally children are cute but even better when they go home to someone else. I have occasionally thought about giving my daughter a sibling. For health for life a sidekick to share life with. I love my kid. She’s smart, hilarious, ambitious and the list can go on. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t have days this week I wanted to get my passport and sail off into the sunset without her. Does it make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s normal to think that and feel that way. I think women tear each other up over feeling like this but I think more moms think this than they let on.
I am an only child. Because of this everything falls on me. I’m not complaining but what I am saying is it’s hard. It’s hard to juggle your life and become your parents caretaker. No one tells you these things. You go to college think about a career but who prepares you for your parents ailing health. Was it a given? Did I skip that lecture? If I had a sibling maybe I wouldn’t be playing circus like I am right now.
This is what makes me feel like I should’ve given my daughter a sibling. So that the day I am gone she is not alone. So that the day I am not well she has someone to help support her through it.
Because life is hard. There are no easy choices, and even harder challenges await and as the adage goes: “life waits for no man.”
Being a caretaker for a loved one is challenging. It far exceeds or at least matches caring for a child. Except it’s an adult. My father died litterally and came back. The miracle in that isn’t lost on me. What I am however is overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with my work responsibilities, my motherly responsibilities and my responsibilities as a daughter. Normally my weekends are lax. But since my fathers critical condition I’ve been running ragged. To the point I opted to not see him for a few days so I could sort of rest. This weekend I tore my house upside down to try to make more room for my dad and make it more comfortable than it was. He has now reached end stage kidney failure and has stage 4 heart failure with high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension.
He started the road to dialysis. It’s a long road and a hard one. One he adamantly did not want. For now, he’s complying and taking his meds and I’m happy. But as I think of the daunting work week and treatment week I know we’ve still only just begun. Although I’m at home today, I can’t help but wonder how he will manage tomorrow.
My first inclination is to run. Break out into a full on sprint, music blasting while the sidewalk pounds the soles of my feet. I’m far from conventional by any means. People say that but I mean it. My emotionless state is what makes my life so easy to deal with. If I sat there and drowned myself in emotions, I would be a hot emotional mess. So I opt to shut it down reign it in and as I tell myself suck it up buttercup. I’ve had many challenges. I’ve always surpassed them.
My fathers health is ailing and a lot of it is a result of his own doing. This doesn’t make it any easier although my strength and resilience make it seem as though it is that simple.
What I didn’t know when I wrote the paragraph above is that my dad would flatline and come back. That I would realize a hospital to be a place of a lot of sadness for those who are ailing or passing, some hope for those who are saved and some joy for those that are born.
I couldn’t do what they do on a daily basis. I couldn’t stare death in the face every single day. It’s not that I fear death necessarily it’s that I want to live. In the face of mortality I pale. I pale at the thought of what I hope to do, what I want to do and what I haven’t done. I think of death like the times I’ve had surgery. Where they give you an anesthetic lights out.. not here nor there just out…
And I don’t want to be out..
I woke up amped up and ready to go. I went to the bathroom, started brushing my teeth when I saw it. For a second, I froze. Then I stared at it. I’ve got to admit for a second I panicked. I’m not even 34. But then I was elated. Elated that I had just seen my first of hopefully many gray hairs. I take it as a sign of wisdom. A sign that I’ve officially lived long enough to see my first gray and hopefully will live long enough to see a head full of grays and grandchildren.
I know there’s a lot of dread over aging. I still see it as the best day ever is any day above ground we’re winning. I’ve officially survived 18 years of challenges and adversary. Maybe I’ll let my hair go devil wears Prada or salt and pepper. I’ve always loved that look. All I know is I’m greatful to be alive today and to get to see my daughter one more day.
It’s been a while, I know. The elections hit hard, life kept going it’s like a runaway train. One thing that’s the same is the bathroom at my office. The public bathrooms are worst than the gas station ones. They are disgusting. There is never toilet paper or soap and they smell like theyre cleaned with dirty mops. It’s literally disgusting. Sometimes, the tenants I can presume pee the seats or do other vile things. The first thing I do when I walk in the bathroom is asssess if it’s safe to enter the stalls.
Then I proceed to Spider-Man in the stall by using the potty without touching an inch of the cell. It’s like a remastered game of twister. Yesterday, I inspected a stall and it passed. Until I looked down on the floor. I saw a smudge of brown. This whole time I start having my own conversation going, it can’t be. No fucking way. Is that shit? So yes I’m in a stall having this conversation outloud. I gather my strength and move my left foot just an inch and that’s when I see it. My foot left a mark. Now I’m like omg! Omg! There’s shit on my shoe.
I hurry along to get out. Only to check my left boot. When I lift my foot, there is shit on my boot. Yes, human feces. Now I understand accidents happen, people have bowel issues. But how the fuck do you miss the big ass gaping hole meant to catch your bowel secretions? But then the kicker is how do you just drop one shit pebble 2 inches from the bowl? How does shit fall out of your pants or underwear? I mean is it an explosion in your pants? Is this a game of point the asshole and shoot? Oh I get it, you were going for the 3 point shot! Silly me!
What kills me though is this is a women’s only bathroom. How the hell do you do this? If you miss clean it up! I’ve never been in a men’s restroom but I dare to venture women’s bathrooms are far worst. All I can say is I’m not happy. I’m sure the other patrons thought I was nuts talking to myself, but you know what fuck off. I had human shit on my shoe.