More than a few times in the last six years, it has gotten back to me that acquaintances or any numbers of people groaned about how they were sick of hearing about my medical ailments. How fortunate for them that I at one point went an entire year without any emergency hospital or doctor visits; how fortunate for them that more recently the attention turned to my husband who had a major heart surgery. Sure it turned out he was slowly dying (a secret the surgeon kept until the cardiologist let the cat out of the bag) and he would have been dead rather soon, but thankfully he’s doing great, now.
Trust me when I say I’m sick of hearing about my own ailments. In fact, I’m fucking exhausted. So exhausted that I’ve never had a fully functioning immune system and I never seem to get time to recover from all the things surgery does to a person. Not even six weeks out from my husband having heart surgery, was I informed I have the beginnings of cancer — this time in my ovary. The ovary that shouldn’t have been left behind when I underwent a botched hysterectomy that sent me into kidney failure. I thought I was done. I was supposed to be done. I was supposed to get an additional minor surgery on my cancer and radiation ravaged leg and that would be it, I would be done. Now I don’t know if I’ll have a straightforward operation, or if more organs will be taken. Either way, it’s a very dangerous surgery and I think the prospect has finally broken me.
Surgeries never scared me; even after the one that nearly killed me I went in like a mildly inconveinenced housewife who had to get her manicure all over again because she chipped the finish of her nails. The surgical teams and nursing staff always think I’m a tech or a nurse. I can put my own IV in if I wanted to. Many nurses remember me from previous visits because I’m usually in goth-chic attire and they ask about my cats Ike & Tina. Each time I’m rolled into the operating room, I fuck with the anesthesiologists telling them I ate a Scottish breakfast a few hours prior, and then ask them to tell me funny stories about the idiot patients who eat before surgery or have family members try to hide food in their blankets (you wouldn’t believe what people do). I know the layout of every intake room, waiting room, and hospital floor. I know what pain med cocktail works and what doesn’t. I know which gowns are itchy and suck (the DvF designed ones) and to always bring my lip balm and dry shampoo.
I can honestly say I’m finally tired. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t bring out the sunny disposition or humor and I have never felt the stress the way I do now. My hair is falling out and the thought of food is disgusting. I’m glad when I’ve gone out and socialized — I need it to feel normal — but there have been many times I just don’t want to talk or be around people. I don’t want people helping; they just get in my way. I don’t want to hear anyone moan about how stressed or tired they are from their jobs, as though it were a badge of honor. Lately I just sit in silence; I can’t even stand my beloved trash TV or Judge Judy.
My husband is forcing himself to get better faster on my account, even thought he’s still not 100% himself, but we’ve had a lot of practice. This is the second time I’m working on a solo show with a nearing deadline, while sick. Hoping I come out of this surgery alright, unlike the one in 2014. Expecting the worst is all I can do so that maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I have a lot of plans and really don’t want to change or alter them.
My apologies to those who tire of hearing about how my 30s has been a non-stop narrative about what’s wrong this time — I have bad luck, I guess.