Sunday, November 29, 2009

TMI Alert. Colonoscopy in t-minus eleven hours. After which I will be able to eat some damn food. Because you know it's gonna be fun when having a flexible tube inserted into your lower gastrointestinal tract (so as to avoid the obvious and vulgar descriptor, 'shoved up your ass') ISN'T the worst part of the overall experience.
So what is? Could be the colonoscopy prep (if you don't already know what that entails, don't google it. I would say it's something like amoebic dysentery, but as I have recently learned in my GI Pathology course, amoebic dysentery would actually result in LESS voluminous diarrhea). Could be the fact that the prep solution--of which I had to drink two liters--did NOT taste like ass. Ass would have been a profound improvement. It was somehow simultaneously salty and sweet and sour and after the first sip I felt certain I was going to vomit--which, fortunately, I did not. Just retching, which is like vomiting without the catharsis and satisfaction. Overall, though, it was just as well. Because, as I discovered later in the evening, I really couldn't have afforded to lose that fluid--or those electrolytes.
Could be that I've been on a clear liquid diet all day, which originally sounded like a good thing to my ED, but has now left me guessing at what precisely defines clear liquid, not to mention getting headachy and bitchy (more so than usual). Thus far that has meant: Coffee, yes. But with no skim milk. Vegetable bouillion, yes. But with no saltines. And, of course, diet coke. On the plus side: no abdominal pain this evening, which I'm attributing to the lack of food. On the minus side: dude, did you read this post at all?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Things I'm loving right now

The Sixth Glass Quadrupel Ale from Boulevard Brewing Company (from Kansas City--woot). You've heard of the Belgian Trippel Ale...this is a step above, as I discovered when I had two glasses while reading Martha Stewart Living magazine, and suddenly started thinking that maybe I really COULD make a nativity scene out of pinecones and glitter. Also I couldn't walk a straight line when I got up. Sure enough--checked the bottle, and it's 10.5% alcohol. Full-bodied, though, delicious, assertive without being overpowering.

Martha Stewart Living magazine. Not just because I have a crush (she's really the ultimate power femme, isn't she?) but also because I love seeing the insanity that they come up with. Consider a recipe for a Croquenbouche--a tower of pastry--that has you make 200 pastry puffs from scratch and hand-fill them with caramel cream. It takes HOURS. They come right out and say it in the recipe. They admit it; they're not even trying to hide it. HOURS. Also, I started reading the latest issue today, and I was drinking at the time.

Waffles. I've been on a Kashi waffle kick lately. Eating them daily. They have tons of fiber and protein, so they're good for you, too.

"Are You Being Served?", a British comedy from the 70's. I've been watching the first three seasons (which I own) on repeat lately. I don't know why; there's just something about that era that's oddly comforting. And I've always liked British comedy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So it begins.

I know it's starting when food in my fridge starts to go bad...because I'm not eating it. When working out only once a day suddenly seems insufficient. When I start sizing up everyone I see (every woman, anyway) not in terms of friend-ability or date-ability, but literally--guessing at what size jeans she wears and comparing us (generally not in my favor). Everyone has certain twitches and issues that show up in times of stress, and food-and-body-weirdness is one of mine. The period around the time change, and segueing into the holidays, is always difficult for me in this respect. Maybe it's a way of dealing with a seasonal affective type issue; maybe it's something to do with the clash between Norman-Rockwellesque holiday expectations and the realities of a live, dynamic and (like most people's) dysfunctional family. Or, hell, world.

To be perfectly honest, it's not just a tic. It is, in fact (speaking diagnostically, clinically) an eating disorder. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's also not something of which I feel inordinately ashamed. I've been living with it for too long: more than half my life at this point. It's been worse than it is now--I've been hospitalized multiple times; I've ended up in the ER with electrolyte imbalances and arrhythmias. It's been better, too--for brief, shining moments, anyway. What's really alarming, though, is how easy it is to blend in--how similar I am (or manage to appear) to the Average (Middle Class) American Woman. Bitching about having a 'fat day' (I think almost all women will know exactly what I mean when I say this, even if they've never heard the term before): check. Though perhaps not to the same extent; if I'm having a fat day, it negates everything else that happens in those 24 hours. I am chagrined to say that the day I found out I got honors on Exam X was still a 'bad' day overall because I got an unfortunate view of my ass in the mirror at the gym. Speaking of which: Going to the gym every day? Check. Buying fat-free cheese, fat-free milk, fat-free butter (WTF, by the way)? Check.

Of course I know better. I can name drop all the slogans, watch: Health at Any Size, Riots not Diets, Fat Dykes are Revolting. Yet as we learned today in our 'Motivational Interviewing' exercise, knowing better and doing better are often separated by a large chasm, one that has to be bridged with patience and compassion (yes, I know I'm a hippie; I want to go into psych. So sue me). Here's hoping, forr all of us.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Autumn and what comes after

Death
is the richest breeding ground
for life.
The gardener knows
this, piling loamy soil
thick with last year's harvest, over roots,
The soft scent of decay which underlies
the sweetness of the blossoms that will come;
The surgeon knows it too, at 3 am
lifting out the liver or the heart
from the body which outlasted life
for one at least, but which will surge again
with blood and gladness in some other chest,
another waiting, ribs splayed apart like hands
opening to receive the gift at once
both horrifying and magnificent,
and to close,
as hands and circles do.

-AG, Nov 2009

Wrote this, perhaps not so oddly, after talking to an acquaintance about her time on the transplant surgery rotation. The first few lines just came to me as I was walking home from school afterward, in the November dark with fallen leaves all around.