Carousel of the Damned

Metal chair and metal table.

Bright, disruptive light.

The bed is not a bed but a torture device of cold steel with a pallet of cotton on top.

It is freezing here.

Maybe I’m dead.

Could it be that this is the room where they drain the bodily fluids for the autopsy, just like on TV?

Maybe the next stop will be a drawer and a toe tag.

No, I don’t think so.

I wouldn’t still feel this shitty.

I would be floating above me and looking down at my plump little body and thinking, “Oh no! oops, I didn’t mean to do that.”

But I might also be secretly relieved.

That’s a horrible thing to say, to write, to think.  How utterly horrible of me.

But, it happens.

Because I see the metal chair, the bright light, the table with the thin cotton mattress all too frequently.

They frighten me so much that the thought of them makes me shake and cry and want to do just about anything to avoid them.

The next thing is the nurse and the needles and me-talking brightly- while she pokes me: over and over and over and over and calls in the next nurse, (the really, really good one) who pokes me: over and over and over and over and maybe two more (really, really good ones) and finally, a fancy ultrasound machine that helps them find my veins and they use a little harpoon to dive in under the skin, to the deeper veins.

I chatter and breathe deeply and they tell me how I am a real “champ.”  I always think they are going to say,

“Chump. You’re a real chump. You come in here and expect to get an IV in those crappy arms with all those blown, tiny, scarred veins!!!!”

The joke is on me, folks.

Most of the time they just get in there and take the blood and leave.  I get nothing from the exchange but bruises.  Nausea, pain, the rest of it, goes untreated.  Because I am ‘chronically ill’ I have to prove that I am in some sort of extra straits in order to get pain medicine or any real relief at all.

So I just lie there.

I count the ceiling tiles, over and over and over.

I try not to panic.  I try to breathe.

If I try to read my I Pad, they say I am not sick enough to be there.  This happens even when I have been ordered by a doctor to go.

I often feel I am on some carousel of the damned.  The horses and giraffes and other animals go ’round and ’round and they all have needles and trays and they beckon to me, saying “hold still, just a little stick.”

“The doctor won’t give you anything unless they know what you have.”

“You can go now.  We don’t know why you are so sick this time.”

“Here’s the door.”

“We are always here if you need us.”



Ahhh, Ouch and EWW,

I am here, it seems.  I have arrived at middle age with a great big hrrmph.

My knees are creaking and my hip is dipping and my back feels like it is broken.

Wait!  Is this the connective tissue disease?  Is it the CVID?

No.  I don’t think it is any of those.  It is a bad case of fat.

Yes, I said that.

I am over weight.  I fight it all the time and yet it is still a dirty fact.  I read about fat shaming and positive body image and about fatkinis (those are bikinis for big ladies) and all the rest.  I even looked over a bunch of nude photos of the late Leonard Nimoy’s that were a celebration of big women.  (Spock was a perv!).

I stared at those photos, wondering if I look like any of the fat women in them.  Am I the really roly poly one with the thighs like tree trunks?  Or am I like the slightly less voluminous one who has the lovely face and is kicking her leg way up high?

Why, in fact, do I care?

I do not hate fat people.  In fact, I am my own worst judge.

Like many women, I have been inculcated into the league of the imperfect woman.  I was never this or that or whatever enough to be beautiful.  But, I lived through it.  I grew up and I got over it.

What I am worried about now is my damned joints.  I know that the less weight I carry, the better.  And yet, my body does NOT like to let go of weight.  I have been on a lot of nasty drugs that have nasty side effects that include bloating.

I have also been on some that are supposed to be appetite suppressants: so what the hell?

Do I just accept this and move on?  Or, creak and wheeze down the road… as I am?

That has never been my way.

Instead, I start Weight Watchers for the upteenth millionth fucking time again tomorrow.  I have to.  I have to do it for myself and for my family.  My son, who takes after me in so many ways, is doing it too.

For him, I will make this work.

I will do whatever it takes.

No more creaking and groaning.  I’m gonna lighten the load.  And if WW doesn’t do it,  I am going to get a lap band if my doctors allow it. I am not sure it is possible but I am definitely thinking of it. I am not afraid.  I think the benefits might outweigh the risks.  (Pun intended).

We’ll see,   I really need to do it this way if I can.

Day by day is the only way….

Creak, grunt, groan eeeeek.