Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I've sprung a leak and got an itch

What a weird last few weeks this has been for me.

Each year I wait in anticipation for the beauty pageant brigades - Miss USA and Miss Universe. I don't care what the feminists say - I grew up on these things and I enjoy every sexist minute of it. I have fond memories of the family gathered around the TV set watching the pageants and picking out our favorites. A few of my girlfriends and I have carried on the tradition - we get all the reasons why these pageants objectify women but when else do you have a chance to sit with your girlfriends and make comments about a gaggle of gorgeous women while eating highly caloric foods? Am I proud of this tradition? Well, not always but it's damn fun and will continue as long as people like the "Donald" make it TV entertainment. Oh, by the way, I can usually pick the finalists during the opening walk and place them in the winning order when they're down to the last five. It's a gift.

Anyway, it was the night of Miss Universe. I already knew it was Miss Japan all the way. I was sitting in my wheelchair and I touched my pajama pant leg - it was soaked. I thought maybe it had sat near my water bottle before I changed so I didn't pay too much attention. But my leg felt funny. I asked my Dad to help me with my shoe - he noticed my sock was wet. I mentioned my pj leg was wet, too. We looked at each other. I lifted up my pant leg and we looked at my leg. Water was leaking out of my leg. We watched it again. Counted, "one, two, three..." water leak. This was new. Freaky, freaky new. Water was coming out of my skin. Blood would have been less surprising. Mom and Dad busted out the flashlight and pinpointed the opening. The leak wasn't one of those drip drip drip things, either. It was more of a
driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip. It soaked a handtowel in about fifteen mintues. So, off to urgent care we went.

It wasn't bad. The hospital staff acted as if they hadn't seen a drippy leg in awhile. Maybe they were trying to make me feel better because for some reason I had a really horrible hospital flashback when I entered the little examining room. One whiff of that floor cleaner/alcohol scent and my stomach turned. A glance at the bed, machines, the sounds - I started shaking. Not little delicate shivers, more of the harsh body jerking kind of shakes. If my body had been able to move on its own, it would've been outta there real quick. Unfortunately, I had a leak to stop.

Basically, it was easy to diagnose. I had a buildup of fluid in my leg and nowhere for it to go, so it pushed out. We got home that night about 1am, tired and emotionally drained. The leg, however, took another two days to stop. Just like that, it stopped. Weird.

Itchy, itchy, itchy. During my lengthy hospital stay, I developed an allergic reaction to adhesives. Medical tapes and bandaids make me breakout in a rash. For the past six months, I've had to wear a bandage on my back and I've been cultivating the most interesting rash. It has been with me for so long sometimes I feel I should name it. I just don't want the rash to think it's laid a flag on my back and claimed it as their own country. Isn't that scary that I am beginning to assign life to various indignities? Those who know me well would probably say I do this all the time. And I guess they would be right. Back to the itch. For the last few weeks the itch has become so unbearable that any object that I come upon is analyzed for possible scratching post possibilities. Pasta remover utensil, oh baby!! Ink pen, not so good. Long serving spoon that was supposed to go on the dinner table - gold! Handtowels, hairbrush, portable phone, cd cover edge, manila folder....I've become such a pathetic creature. Scratch my back and I'm yours.


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