Friday, May 9, 2008

Me Today

So here’s what’s happening.

Last Friday, I noticed that, between my belly button and the “cesarean” scar, my abdomen was expanding. It initially looked like a golf ball, then a lemon, and then an orange. I freaked out because I though my intestines were pushing through my skin, but turns out that, because of how they cut me for the surgery, a little cavity was left under my skin.

Over the course of the week, fluid started to fill this cavity, thus giving me the appearance of having a now-grapefruit hidden under my skin.

Not only does it hurt like hell, but it is mortifyingly disgusting to look at.

In fact, I showed my sister Ellen the other day, and she responded by making a gag face like she was throwing up.

I don’t blame her – I do the same thing every time I am forced to looked down.

Now, I know, rationally, that this will go away. I know this. Just like I know I will be able to run and swim and bike again. Soon. But it hurts, and it’s ugly. And when taken together with the lack of physical activity, I have never in my life felt so ugly. I don’t feel good physically or about myself.

The crazy part of this is that I know this was a good thing – I don’t regret and I am not mad or would ever complain about the donation itself. It was, in fact, the best decision I ever made. I have nothing but positive thoughts about the decision I made to do this. But part of me just wants my old life back, wants my energy, wants to not hurt anymore, wants to just feel good again.

I want to be IronMeg again.

I know that might sounds selfish, but I can’t help it.

And I know I just need to be patient. But when the pain claws at you for days on end, you start to just want to scream.

Las night, I had to go to the store to get another sundress (I can only wear dresses right now because it hurts too much to have anything touch the grapefruit belly). As I was standing in the aisle, the grapefruit belly delivered a stunning cramp – so bad it shot up my back, and I almost wanted to fall on the ground. I stood there, one hand on my sweaty forehead, the other on my belly, willing the tears not to fall and wondering if I needed to call my sister to come get me.

I waited, the pain passed, and I just gave up and went home – no dress.

And this is how it is. Everyday. All day.

Ironman was one thing– but this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Many times, I just cry to myself in my apartment, where I spend most of my time alone, laying in my bed. I cry for the pain, for the grapefruit, for the enormity of the whole donor thing. It has felt really lonely, mostly because I am physically alone.

I had no idea it would be this hard. All of it.

My brother has tried to reach out to me, but I have had limited contact this week. He is doing incredible, so happy and eager to live now, and I can’t let him see me like this – it scared him the other day to see me in so much pain, and I want him to feel all the happiness right now of being healthy. He doesn’t need any negative vibes around his new life.

That is why I tend to withdraw from this blog or emails – it’s just too hard to be that downer – even though I know you all say that it doesn’t matter, it does to me. Contrary to what I was recently accused of, I do not like to be sad, and it bothers me when I can’t shake it. Does it happen? Yes, to all of us. But does it feel good to be sad? No, so why spread that to others? I know I got a lot of shit in the recent post when I apologized for not feeling myself, so this isn’t an apology – more like an explanation of how I operate.

I am not doing a good job at explaining this. I sound like a selfish ass, like I am complaining, and that’s not what I am trying to get across. I think this is all compounded by other stress going on and weighing on me. It’s like when they took my kidney, they stuck an extra ovary in there to make me all weepy – like PMS only it doesn’t end after seven days.

On that note, I can’t say thank you enough for all the calls, instant messages, emails and comments. They do make me feel incredibly better, and like I will be okay – in fact, I kind of depend on them. The funny stuff makes me laugh in the moment, and talking about things other than kidney pain takes my mind off of the things here. I know I haven’t been great these last few days with returning some emails, but I will try to catch up this weekend.

So that’s me. Today.


Brigitte said...

why are you so hard on yourself?
Slow down!!! It will need time, this is not wasted time, this is good time. Think of it as training since this seems to be the thing that you can relate to.
Take your time to heal. Use others to do stuff for you ( there is no shame in that) and just heal yourself. Now watch movies, read books, listen to music and take time for you. Let yourself be pampered by your lovey, your family and your friends.
Eventually, this will be just a memory.
You are not selfish, you are not whining.
Say what you want on your blog. People that get offended or don't understand are not worth your time anyway.
Big, big virtual hug ( they don't hurt).

Anonymous said...

at approx 3 am baby Nolan woke up screaming in terror. We brought him in our bed where he proceeded to play "beep beep." Thats when he relentlessly tries to find our belly buttons and push on them. hence the "beep beep." he then fell asleep on me after the 15 min screaming fit he had when we tried to put him down again. so at 5:30 when he opened his little eyes up, jumped down from the bed, unscrewed his sippy cup, dumped it on the floor and proceeded to play in the 8oz of milkies, I laughed. Instead of crying I just started my day. Come live with us and we'll add a little sunshine to that citrus tree youve got growing in your tummy. love you. - smelly

Molly said...

I have been in that place for mental health reasons as opposed to physical reasons. That is actually why I started my blog was to reach out to a group who did not know me well enough to be effected (like I thought my famiy would be) by my feelings.Although my entire family now reads my blog now...
Time can really suck and pain can really suck and reality can really suck.
I worked my way out of it and I know that you will too.
And I learned to knit.
Take Care

stronger said...

If we aren't here to help you through the really rough spots...then the really spledid spots (like IM AZ) aren't quite as much fun!

When life throws you a grapefruit...make some ruby red :)

Go Mom Go said...

You know what -- I felt the same way after Ironman. I walked around pitiful. So with the combination you have thrown your body I can only imagine what kind of mess you absolutely beautiful mess! You will never be thought of as "ugly". It is ok to whine here...this is YOUR blog.

Please don't feel alone. Please - any one of us are here for you. Virtually or if you need to talk -- call or e-mail.

You are on a journey -- this is just one place. Keep moving forward -- just like ironman. You will get back to a good place soon.

Praying for you as always.

Alili said...

Okay, everyone else is doing an excellent job at being philosophical and insightful-we've got that angle covered.

Let me know if I need to be Susie Sunshine and come down to throw jelly beans at you:)

Prin said...

Hey, sexy, s'up with the self-bashing? You can be sad, but no self-bashing. We're here because we think you're awesome, and you're not going to change our minds about that, no matter how you feel about yourself.

So there.

You're still awesome, even though you're growing alien spawn. That just makes you more... unique?

It's temporary too, so don't go thinking that we're forming permanent opinions of you in the meantime. ;)

The Clyde said...

It could be could be heading up to northern Wisconsin this weekend for a bachelor party like I am. I mean, most of the strippers don't even have teeth up there....