Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When you really hate something about yourself

One of the things I try to do on this blog is speak the truth - my truth - in the hopes that someone else is thinking the same thing, that I am not crazy, or the only one feeling this way. I have, admittedly, very little filter. I am not afraid to be really honest, to acknowledge my flaws and weaknesses, and perhaps in the process find healing and strength. I love the internet.

Internet, I have a confession:

I hate my nose.

Does that make me superficial? Is it even acceptable for a modern, empowered, healthy woman to admit that there are aspects of myself - from personality traits to physical characteristics - that make me unhappy?

I blame it all on Facebook. It had been easy to avoid looking at photos of me.....until Facebook. For years, I was the one behind the camera, which helped to eliminate any chance of getting my own picture taken. "No, no" I would demure "I am the least photogenic person EVER." It was easy to avoid - until every phone became a camera, and every picture was a 3 second upload away from Facebook. For the first few weeks I was on that damn site, and seeing photo after photo posted, I thought: "This might be a good exercise for me to help me get over my issues." They can't all be terrible, right?
Candids, posed, day and night, light and dark, grayscale and color. And everyone else always looked so cute...why did I have to ruin every damn photo I was in? I was further justified in deleting all photos of myself when I posted a profile photo, and a friend commented on my narcissism.

I was mortified. I didn't know how to respond to that, besides taking that photo down and replacing it with a photo of my kids. Which I did. But newsflash, I'm pretty sure Facebook is, like, narcissism central.

However, she wasn't wrong. The truth is, the photo I posted was chosen because it wasn't so bad. I thought, in a very narcissistic way, that I looked okay for once. That photo - the angle, the light, something about it hid the flaw that has bothered me for 25 years. A flaw that is undeniable every time I look in the mirror, see a photo, or catch a reflection of myself.

It's not "something I would like to improve" or "something I wish was different". It is something that makes me feel ugly. My reflection does not match the person in my mind. When I picture myself, I look different than I do in real life. It's not a question of being self-conscious - I'm past that. This is straight-up self-loathing.

It's like hearing a recording of your voice. It always sounds different from the way it sounds in your head, right? But for me, this is more than a squeaky voice on an answering machine. The longer I have lived with this nose, the more time I spend waiting to grow into it, or get over it, or get used to it, the more unhappy I get. It is something that makes me unhappy every single day - and there is nothing I can do myself to change it. I have been hit square in the face countless times, and I am always hopeful that maybe this time it's broken and I can get the damn thing fixed. But no, that lump on the bridge of my nose must be made out of titanium. It's not going anywhere. "It's a roman nose!" My mother said."It has character." "It's the family nose." my uncle Bob told me. "It's how we know you are one of us." And he is right. They are both right. This stupid nose is my birthright.

First world problem? Sure.
But it is still a problem.

So I wonder: should I do something about it?
Will I know when the time has come to stop hating part of myself so fiercely and just get it "fixed". And what if I get a nose job, and hate my new nose just as much? What if I still look terrible in photographs, and have trouble finding glasses that fit properly? What if the problem is much bigger than my nose? And what if, as is the case sometimes, I keep going? A nip here, a tuck there, the teeth straightened and filed, the boobs lifted, the butt tightened, the chin shaped to balance the new nose, the lips filled to flatter the sounds like a slippery slope to me.

My husband refuses to discuss it. He is terrified that I will look completely different "like that chick from Dirty Dancing. I don't even recognize her now."

Personally, I think her new nose looks great. And I totally understand why she got a nose job. I *want* to look different. Maybe not totally unrecognizable, but different would be fine.  Great. It's sort of the whole point, actually. My concern is more selfish than that. I don't want to have "cosmetic" surgery. I just can't imagine having voluntary surgery purely for cosmetic reasons. I never thought of myself as particularly high maintenance, but maybe I have been fooling myself. Maybe I am just a waddle and a frown line away from a facelift, regardless of the risk to my personal safety or what other people will think.

The bottom line is that I am afraid I might hate myself even more if I try to make my outside look like what I see on the inside.

That doesn't keep me from wishing away this nose of mine, but so far it has kept me away from consultations with surgeons and running into walls face-first. For now, I'll keep myself busy cutting out photos of "good noses", wearing glasses to cover the bump, and thinking about how yucky and dangerous nose jobs are. And dreaming  of deviated septums, which may be the only HMO-approved way to the nose of my dreams.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reasons why you should not honk your horn.

The other day we went to the beach. I know, I know......"You live in Hawaii." you are thinking to yourself. "WHAT ELSE IS NEW."

But as we were packing up the car to leave right around noon, the most extraordinary thing happened.

Now, when you go on vacation to paradise, you expect to see lots of amazing things. Beautiful things. Jaw-dropping things that you describe over and over again when you get home.
And these tourists I am going to tell you about got all that and more. Lucky bastards.

The beach that we were leaving was one of a string of beaches that extend all the way down the southern coast of the island - a series of coves, swaths of white sand, swaying palms....and some traffic. Not a lot of traffic, mind you. But there is one road on which to get to all the beaches, so, you know, there is a little traffic.

As we loaded up the back of the car I heard a sound I hadn't heard in quite some time. There was a car honking.

People do not honk here. You almost never hear honking. You know how, in cities, the second a light turns green the drivers start honking? We don't do that here. If you honk, it is because you are about to die. And not necessarily from a car accident, as we shall learn in a moment.

After the first few honks, I became concerned, and walked towards the roadway to look down the street in the direction of the honking. I was joined by perhaps a dozen other people, from families picnicking in the park, to the homeless guy who wandered into the lane of traffic to get a better view.

There was a small silver compact car pulled over to the right, about halfway out of the lane of traffic. There was no parking, and they were probably planning to drop off their coolers and gear before looking for a spot further away. Their signal was on, and they were pulled over as far as they could be.

Behind them was a larger black car. The source of the honking - which was still going on, by the way.
Have you ever stood next to a full sized car blaring it's horn? It is really REALLY loud. Have you ever stood right next to a full sized car blaring it's horn repeatedly? How about when that car - as if to make it's point, pulls directly up on your back bumper? How about when the full sized car, still blaring it's horn, attempts to pass you as you are opening your door, and finds itself behind the open door, with oncoming traffic, and is unable to get around? AND CONTINUES TO HONK IT'S HORN. What would you do?

You would get all Hunter S. Thompson on that shit, is what you would do.

Now, it all happened pretty fast, but that is the nature of the beast and all I can say as a word of warning is DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (especially if your home is in Hawaii, as you will see shortly).

First, the big guy wearing just a pair of swim trunks will approach your car with his beer in hand (clearly not the first of the day) and punch the roof of your car while screaming at you through the window that you have wisely rolled up. If you are lucky, he will have relatives that pile out of the car and drag him away, while allowing him to continue to punch the car and scream.

Please note: He did not spill his beer.

Then, the women take over. They surround the car in their bathing suits, screaming through the closed windows about how there is no need to honk (which you have stopped doing for the moment - wise choice, that) and that they are just unloading, and to show some Aloha.

At this point, you might want to just keep your mouth shut. But if you say anything in response, THERE WILL BE MORE SHOUTING and MORE WOMEN WILL APPROACH YOUR CAR. At this point you may be saying to yourself "Is that a damn clown car?" No less than 6 adults have gotten out and it looks like there are still a few in there. You probably wish you could leave. You are probably starting to regret not just honking, but pulling up so close to that open front door. Because they can't close it now, and the traffic is backed up behind you and the guy in the monster truck right on your back bumper is enjoying watching you squirm. We live surrounded by tourists all the time, and usually we have to be nice, because tourism is the business here in paradise. The customer is always right. We put up with a lot of shit on our little island, and on our days off the very last thing we want is to put up with any more shit. And this? This is glorious. This entire situation is amazing. Beautiful. Jaw-dropping, even. We have all dreamed of this moment, where we just get out of the car and walk back and start screaming at the jackass who cut you off / is tailgating / refuses to signal / just pulled an illegal u-turn / is driving the wrong way down a one way / is honking for no fucking reason at all.

We are all enjoying this IMMENSELY.

So. What do you do? There is a crowd gathering. People are standing on the street. On the sidewalk. On the grass. They are watching from cars and bikes and surfboards. Young and  old, big and small, it seems like the entire island has stopped to enjoy the show. You are an ant under a gigantic magnifying glass - and in this sun you are burning up.

You are cornered. You cannot do anything until they move their car out of the way - which they will have to do with their door still open, a fact that several of them are explaining at top volume through your closed window while you pretend they are talking to someone else..

You are advised in no uncertain terms that you - yes, you - are indeed an asshole.

Your family in the car with you is horrified. Out of every window looms an angry face. This was not the view they had expected. Your wife consults her map, turning it over and over in her hands as though it will show her how to get out of this situation.

And so, you do the only thing you can think of to do.

You gun it.

With the tires on that rental car squealing, and the enormous engine roaring, you rip that open driver's side door right off the hinge and flatten it against the side of the car.
You scrape the passenger side of your door.
The pedestrians that have gathered in the roadway scatter like leaves from a leaf-blower.

A few details to consider:

You are on a small island.
Six people saw your license plate number.
Your rental car is now wrecked.
All roads lead back to the airport, or to a dead end. - Any way you turn, you are well and truly fucked.

But you aren't thinking about that. Which is why you drive a few miles down the road and park the car in a public lot and go to the beach. Where the cops find you shortly thereafter. You are surprised at their ingenuity. They are surprised that you thought you were going to spend the day at the beach after that dick move.

The moral of the story? Hunter S. Thompson is required pre-departure reading.
And don't honk at the locals.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I can't be your friend right now: surviving the election season

I'm still relatively new to politics. In the last few years I have started listening to a lot more talk radio, reading transcripts of debates, perusing political websites, and researching ballot items that will directly affect my life. This year will be my 5th presidential election, and looking back on my experiences thus far they are pretty divided - I have voted for a president 4 times, and half of the time, my guy won. There has been the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.

I am competitive by nature - and as it turns out - a very sore loser when it comes to politics. I have spent weeks walking around in shock and distress after an election. I have contemplated leaving the country because I was in strong disagreement with more than half of my countrymen and I just didn't see the point in sticking around to watch everything go to hell. It felt like Armageddon for a while there - all that was missing was a bathtub full of water and some canned goods.

Needless to say, politics are not fun for me - and it definitely isn't a game. I don't think of myself as a Democrat or a Republican (and to be honest, I am not sure if I chose a party when I registered to vote, or if I am registered as an Independent). I don't have signs in my yard, or bumper stickers on my car. I don't vote down party lines, I don't completely agree with either party's platforms, and I try to see both sides of every issue. I try to educate myself, and if I don't know enough about the question on the ballot - or if I don't feel strongly one way or the other - I don't vote. But when you talk about the Presidential election, almost everyone has an opinion - and sometimes their beliefs can come as a total and complete shock. When a close friend or relative reveals themselves to be in total opposition to your personal convictions, it can be hard to understand - never mind accept. And if you aren't voting for my guy, you must be batshit crazy.


My thoughts on politics are shaped not just intellectually, but also emotionally. When I make the decision to support a candidate sometimes my reasons for doing so are very personal, or deeply rooted. Because of that, when I do have a political conviction one way or the other, I can be very.........passionate about it. But I try not to assault everyone with my point of view. This means that I spend a lot of time carefully not posting things on Facebook, and I avoid political conversations like the plague.

So when someone comes right up to me and says something totally horrible about the candidate or issue I wholeheartedly believe in, my heart breaks a little bit. Because it feels like a personal attack.

When you make a statement about a candidate being stupid, or (as happened to me) saying that you wish a candidate was dead, or if you say something like "I can't believe anyone would ever think (fill in the blank) was a good idea" - even if it is not intended as a personal attack, it totally is.

And in the reverse - if you truly believe that your candidate is not just the best option, but the only option, it can be so very hard to come to the realization that someone you like/love/respect/interact with on a daily basis has such a wholly different point of view. Even without meaning to, it can change how you feel about that person. You can agree to disagree, but inside you may find yourself thinking "I can't believe they think that is a good idea. How could anyone think that is even an option?" I have had to interrupt several conversations recently and pull my husband aside to remind him quietly that not everyone agrees with his politics. "WHAT?!" he said incredulously. "They voted for him? But how could ANYONE think that guy did a good job?"

He was blindsided - people that seemed otherwise rational were on the side of the devil himself? HOW COULD THIS BE?

I know how he feels. And as much as I want to take my bean dip and go home when I find myself in this situation, I am trying to figure out how we can all get along - not just before the election, but afterwards.

In my efforts to be a more educated voter, sometimes I find myself horrified, disgusted or amused by candidates or ballot items. I am not above casting my vote just to vote against someone or something that I strongly disagree with. And when I do, I feel like I am not just checking off a box on a piece of paper - I am also defining myself.

I take my vote seriously. I take it personally. And it means a lot more than a party affiliation. My politics reflect the person that I am, the person I want to be, the world I want to live in. How am I supposed to keep them to myself? And more than that - how can I put politics aside and agree to disagree about something that defines me?

I don't have the answer yet - but in the meantime, I am switching a whole lot of people to "restricted" on Facebook and trying to think of new topics of conversation that are less emotionally charged, like who's going to win the Super Bowl / whether to circumcise/breastfeed / how to hang the toilet paper / who's a better driver / why RUSH is the best band in the history of music  what's your favorite flavor of ice cream? And I am preparing myself for life post-election. My passport is renewed, the pantry is stocked, the bathtub is ready to be filled, I have my bumper sticker on my microwave, and the Mardi Gras beads are stashed in a kitchen drawer.

It could go either way, but it better go mine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't bother watching your language

Early Saturday morning, we were awakened by shouting coming from outside. I held my breath as the man's angry voice got louder and louder. Eventually it faded again, and Sam said in the dark "What the hell was that?"

"I don't know. It's happened more than once. The first couple of times I thought he was on the phone or something." I looked at the clock. 5:07am.

"Weird." Sam said as he rolled over and pulled the covers up to his ear.

The next evening I was making dinner when I once again heard the angry, low voice outside, getting louder and louder. Boston licked my calf and whimpered.

I went to the window and peeked around the curtain, the phone in my hand.

And that is when I realized what was going on. There was a guy, walking up the street, cursing loudly to himself. He wasn't on the phone. As he approached our house he got louder. As he passed us and moved down the street, the shouting faded.

Great. Just GREAT. As if this neighborhood wasn't wacky ENOUGH, our new neighbor has Tourettes, or something to that effect. He wanders the neighborhood spluttering and cursing at all hours. He sounds very angry, but just walks steadily, avoiding eye contact. He is dressed in clean clothes as he makes his route up to the end of the street and back. He fits right in with the guy who backs up his work truck at 5am with the reverse alarm blaring, and the guys who come back from hunting trips at least once a week and butcher gigantic boars and goats in their driveway, and the guy we just refer to as "That asshole with the powerwasher" and don't even get me started on the dirtbikes....... Anyway, it's just par for the course, and instead of being annoyed, I find myself relived that I don't have to call and report a domestic assault. At least, not yet.

I went into the bedroom to tell Sam what I have just seen.

"FUCK ME." Sam roared from the bed. He is a really soft-spoken man, most of the time. The curtains swung in the breeze and I shushed him. "The neighbors can hear you!"

"I've got it. Right there. Hang on. HANG ON HERE HE COMES."

"Take it easy. Don't hurt me with that thing."

"I'm going for it!" Sam says forcefully

"Give it to me baby. BABY GIVE IT TO ME!"



Just a typical Tuesday night at our house. There's another fly in the bedroom. Sam is standing in the middle of our bed brandishing a dish towel in each hand. I find myself standing in the doorway as "the lookout", until I finally tire of being dive bombed by the little shiteater and grab one of the towels from Sam and beat the crap out of my bedside table.

The room suddenly goes dark. And then the blind rattles and I am reminded that the window is open for our entire neighborhood to hear.

"Oh shit. Imagine what that sounds like outside. They are going to report us as unfit parents."

"They won't be able to hear us over that other guy."

He rights the lamp I just broke, wanders out into the hallway and digs through the linen closet, coming back with a new bulb.

"Good shot, honey." he says sweetly. "I married a KEEPER."

A zookeeper, apparently.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bitter Adult Children of Divorce, UNITE

I have written and erased and re-written this post, and left it sitting. I may take it down later but for now, what the hell. Lately, I've been going through........stuff. I know that other people go through the same stuff and they have chosen to keep it to themselves - which I can totally respect. However, if you don't talk about it, you can't support each other in those moments when you are thinking to yourself "is it just me, or is this totally not okay?" The load is much heavier to bear, and it is easy to feel alone. Worry, fear, and shame can eat you up inside. Besides, this is free therapy. Pull up a couch.

Here's to sharing the good, the bad, and the tawdry. Solidarity, man.

Another daughter might be delighted to receive an invitation to her father's birthday party.
I am, apparently, not that child.

Have I mentioned that my parents are divorced? Possibly not, it's not my story to tell and I doubt my mother will be thrilled that I am even mentioning it. But hey, I'm divorced too, and I am not ashamed. (At least, not anymore. It took a while to be okay with it.) Unfortunately, their divorce involved a third party, and as a result I have absolutely zero contact with my father's new wife.


I have spoken with her 1 2 3 4 ZERO TIMES. I managed to photograph her during a family wedding - the only time we have ever been anywhere at the same time - without communicating in any way. Not even eye contact.

Because there just wasn't anything to say.

My father left our family abruptly when I was 23 - he was gone when we woke up on Christmas morning all those years ago. I asked mom where he was and all she could say was "He left." He definitely left all of us that day - not just my mother. He was gone baby gone. Leaving on a jet plane gone. We have never had a face-to-face conversation about it. He never sat us down to explain what was going on. He didn't leave us a letter, or give us a call after the fact to try to repair the damage done. He just left.

(sidebar: all you parents out there who are thinking about leaving your family: it would be cool to give your kids the heads up. Even if they are grownups, they are also human beings. They deserve a few minutes of your time, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.)

 I was disgusted by his behavior, which may explain why he has never asked me to come meet "the other woman". I was also, it must be said, disgusted by her behavior. And not just that she was sleeping with an old guy (she is younger than I am). I feel very strongly - a feeling that has only strengthened in adulthood - that I want to surround myself with kind, honest, compassionate people who live by the golden rule. In general, hanging out with someone who behaves in a way that seems dishonest or hurtful just doesn't appeal to me. Divorce doesn't bother me - but cheating on your partner sure does. In fact, I prefer a good old fashioned divorce to years of sneaking around. And I hold a hard line on sleeping with married people. Don't do it. Just don't do it.

I told my father as much in a letter I wrote. I explained that I do not have time for people who treat others as "expendable". People who ditch their friends for whoever they are dating these days. People who are married, and pretend to be monogamous while being TOTALLY NOT MONOGAMOUS. I explained these things, and we have agreed to disagree. I also explained that because I have nothing nice to say to his wife, I will say exactly that. Nothing.

So when I saw the email last week, my jaw dropped.
The sender's name, in particular, was........surprising. How the f@%& did she get my email address?

Listen. I understand - my parents have been divorced (and remarried to other people) for years, and I should really just grow up and move on. But you know what? No.

If you think an evite is a suitable olive branch, you have got another think coming. An evite is something you send out to your friends when you are having a Bunco party. It is not something you send via b.c.c. mass email to your spouse's estranged children to invite them to his 60th birthday celebration. It's too little, too late.

Especially when the kids live overseas and the party is in two weeks. But I digress.

It did get me to thinking: even if this had been handled with kid gloves, even if Miss fucking MANNERS had written the note on linen cardstock and sealed the envelope with sealing wax and had it delivered on a silver tray, I would still be pissed off.

You know why?

Because he's MY FATHER and my father chose to leave me and my brothers and my mom and our home.

I'M NOT DONE BEING MAD YET. I may never be done.

So it's been years of silence, punctuated by this evite with a cheery "No gifts please!" Trust me, I will not be sending a gift.

The photo on the invitation is of an old man I do not know.
I hope he has a nice party.
And since he clearly doesn't have any, I send my regrets. For everything.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Peeing standing up should be an Olympic sport

This post is not my usual  "she so crazy" bullshit post. For now I am just going to bitch. I haven't even edited it. Feel free to skip this one.

"Max is having a snack of peanut butter and apples. I'm going to go outside and work in the garden." Sam stood in the doorway of the bedroom at noon on a beautiful Saturday.

That all sounded so nice. I was starving. And desperate to get out in the sunshine.

"Do you need anything?"

I lay with my back facing him in a darkened room, curled into a "c" shape, with a pillow between my knees. "No, thanks." I tried to roll over to look at him and smile, but the pain took my breath away. I tried frantically to roll back to that last position as I gasped audibly, shifting my weight almost imperceptibly as my muscles clenched involuntarily. I wouldn't have been able to sit up and eat anything anyway. Why bother. And as tears slide silently down my face, I wish it was different. I wish I was different. This can't be good for my marriage.

Endometriosis has ruined my life
I know, that is a really negative statement, and it may sound dramatic (I can hear you rolling your eyes) but let me tell you something: there is nothing fun or funny or positive or enlightening about this disease. Endo is a piece of shit.

You don't catch it. You don't cause it. You can't fucking STOP it. And there is not any medication to make it go away. The most horrific part about it (for me, anyway) is that it flares up during times of stress. So in other words, when I am already at the end of a very frayed rope, exhausted and impatient and frustrated and confused, suddenly I find myself bent double with this unspeakable, paralyzing pain. I have similar experiences with migraines and over time I have learned to deal with them - but endo has been a tricky bastard. In the beginning, I was told the pain was all in my head, part of "being a woman". Then one night my husband woke up out of a sound sleep to find me lying on the floor next to the bed screaming. And so they finally operated, and discovered the sticky bits of tissue scattered liberally all over my insides, like sprinkles on a sundae - from my diaphragm to my knee - and wrapped thoroughly around my ovaries forming cysts, one of which had ruptured. A few months later, my marriage followed suit.

When I remarried, Sam was well aware of the issues. Before we even started dating he saw me at my worst - hobbling around bent at the waist waiting for my next surgery - and at my best - dancing on tables with my skirt around my head. He knew the vows "in sickness and in health" were going to be tested. He is clearly a saint. He, too, has been living with chronic pain - but in a different way. He's carried me to the bathroom, been my advocate in the emergency room, gone for weeks without having a date night - or even a conversation that doesn't involve me sobbing into a pillow.

I am terrified that some day - sooner rather than later - he will tire of the cycle of pain and depression. He'll stay out late to avoid listening to me cry myself to sleep, and leave early so he doesn't have to spend an hour shuttling me in and out of the bathroom. Who could blame him, really. Today, when I was in bed sobbing because I had sneezed unexpectedly and the pain had hit me like a truck, he came in to tell me he was going to town with his friend. They were going to Home Depot, and to KMart to get a kiddie pool for me to soak in. And despite the fact that he was going to town TO GET SOMETHING FOR ME I was convinced that he was going to have a few beers and plan his exit strategy while his friend shook his head and said things like "I don't know how you've made it this long, man. She's nuts."

And maybe I am crazy. Living with chronic pain since the age of 15 has shaped me, my relationships, and my lifestyle, (Such as it is. Right now it's hardly an enviable one.) But this week I reached a new low. After trying several times to sit down on the toilet, I actually had to move to plan B - pee standing up. And when my daughter caught a glimpse of what was going on, she clearly thought I was out of my ever-loving mind. I, on the other hand, gave myself a mental fist-bump for ingenuity and perfect aim. Not a drop on the seat or the floor thankyouverymuch. Huzzah! Sure, it was awkward. And yes, it's not a skill I was looking to master. But the truth is, I'll do whatever it takes to keep the pain at bay.

Here are a list of things I have done (with varying success) in the pursuit of pain management:

various birth control pills
surgery (laparoscopy, laparoscopy, laparoscopy, laparoscopy, laparoscopy, laparotomy, laparotomy, laparoscopy, laparoscopy, hysterectomy #1, laparoscopy, hysterectomy #1b, etc.)
And almost every form of pain medication you can possibly imagine, from ibuprofin to morphine.
faith healing.

Yes. I went to a faith healer. I'll just let you sit with that gem for a minute.


May I continue?

I also changed my diet numerous times, variously omitting meat, wheat, dairy, soy, gluten, sugar, processed foods, and coffee. I gave up COFFEE. I am currently sipping on the most disgusting smoothie ever concocted - with almonds, flax, molasses, cocoa, yogurt, peanut butter and god knows what else. It's awful. Really, really bad. But apparently it is also loaded with Potassium and Magnesium, which are supposed to help cramping.

I have tried yoga, pilates, strength training, swimming, and massage.
I took a senior citizen water aerobics class.
I own my very own mineral lamp.

I went through fertility treatments to get pregnant in the hopes that pregnancy would "cure" me of the endo - The pregnancy ended in a c-section that took several hours, because they had so much scar tissue to remove. "This should do it!" the surgeon said cheerfully, up to his elbows in my abdomen doing god knows what to my insides. But just in case, I breastfed Max for 18 months for good measure.

I even breastfed Lucy when we adopted her.

And still, this disease continues to literally eat me up inside.
This week it has taken hold - once again - and I am back in bed almost exactly one year since my last surgery, which is pretty much par for the course. And so, here I am. Curled on my side under the mineral lamp with a pillow between my knees, flinching and grimacing as I move gingerly, staring for hours at the laundry on the floor that needs to be picked up and washed. I have given up on changing the sheets this week. I soak for hours in the tub or let hot water beat down on me for far too long in the shower until the steam starts setting off the smoke detector which I then smack with a broom and break in my efforts to get it to stop.

I just want it to stop.

I know I am not alone. I know lots of women (and coincidentally, many of my friends from childhood) who have endo or some other type of intractable, incurable, unbearable chronic pain. I know my case is not the worst one, but it is really fucking up my life right now and I am angry and frustrated. I am going back to the acupuncture and homeopathy because it worked in the past. I guess I have to stay the course, and stick with it. Maybe forever.

But if you have other ideas I am open to suggestions. Clearly, if I have gone so far as to see a faith healer then I have a very open mind. Well, pretty open.