Sunday, June 3, 2012

Welcome To The Funhouse!

 Good morning! Welcome to the “Funhouse!” Yes, today we enter that oh, so awesome Carnival trip…where nothing is truly as it seems! It’s “life” as seen through the eyes of illness!
 As you enter you see the infamous Room of Mirrors to your left…we know we shouldn’t enter, but we always do! The warped distortions of reality stare at us from every angle…we’re too fat, too thin, our color is WRONG. Our body parts are reflected back at us from every possible angle in every possible way, except the clear, correct view.
 And as always, we linger too long here, caught up in the horror and confusion of it all…
 Eventually we pull ourselves away, passing into a room full of strobe lights where the floor is uneven and grotesque Clowns pop out of hidden doors, scaring the turd-muffins out of us! We’re confused…we trip, maybe even fall a time or two. We jump at the popping Clowns (I flippin' HATE clowns!) and turn in circles, looking for a way out.
 Our final stumble takes us through the impossible-to-find door into a seemingly peaceful, shiny room…too shiny! (GREAT!) This one is apparently constructed of slick, well-polished metal surfaces where we slip and slide, unable to get the traction needed to move on. No matter what we try, the ice-like floor mocks us, leaving us running in place for what seems an eternity…
 If we persevere, we eventually make it through the crazy, WRONGLY-named House of Fun and back outside. We stand in the warming Sun as the gentle, afternoon breeze calms us and carries the anger, frustration, and border-line panic far away from our “here and now.”
 This, my friends, is so similar to living with a chronic illness that I doubt I even need to go on explaining it! (But I’m going to anyway, so there!) The only difference? It’s not an actual “house” but our minds and bodies that create the ride. (And the price of admission? So NOT worth it!)
 Today I will admit that I’m currently trapped in the Hall of Mirrors…everything distorted and made ugly by pain, worry, and fatigue. It sucks! (Wait, it doesn’t just suck, it sucks on toast! It sucks on ice! It’s suck-a-tude on a cracker!)
 Ahhh…but the worst part? It would be so very easy to stay here. So effortless to simply close my eyes and allow my back to comfortably rest against the gentle curve of the mirror behind me…the cool surface feels lovely and welcoming. The air is pleasantly warm with just a slight hint of the disinfectant they used to clean…
 The hard part is fighting my way out of the lies that surround me. Fighting my way back through all the confusing bullshit, back to the sun and the breeze and freedom!
 About now (or three or four paragraphs back) you’re saying, “This is really NOT funny! Why are you telling us this crap?”
 Because it’s a normal part of our lives. Because no one (unless you’re possibly assisted by the much-sought-after “happy pill”) can be a Positive-Polly or Optimistic-Oprah all the darned time! There are days we’re trapped in one room or another, and that’s OK…as long as you keep working your way through. (Even if you gotta call in the troops to help you find your way to the Exit!)
 And this? Is one of the MANY reasons I love the “Fight Like a Girl” memes and stuff…Because it reminds me to not get too comfy and lay down on the job!
 And guys…let me put your mind at ease about the “sexist nature” of the whole “Girl” part of it…Think about this a minute. Most of the “guy fights” I’ve seen are pretty straight up. Punches are thrown, maybe a few kicks to the ribs, but nothing too ugly…knuckles and flesh…(and possibly blood.)
 Now, have you ever watched a couple of girls go at it? (There is a reason they call them “cat fights.”) It is an all-out, free-for-all, no-holds-barred, ass-kick fest! Scratching, biting, hair-pulling…you name it, they’ll do it to win! And THAT is how I fight! (I mean metaphorically speaking…I’m WAY past the age of street brawls…) (Umm...if my kids are reading this, then I NEVER got in fighters...ever...REALLY!)
 So…to all of you out there this morning who may be feeling a little on the “down” side…it’s OK, just don’t quit! Call in for back-up, dust off your knuckle, tie the hair back (it’s harder to pull that way) and let’s start fighting our way back to the sunny-side of things!
 May your day be filled with beautiful sunshine, no freaky Fun Houses, and lots of Girl-Fight moxie!  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cat Pee And Me!

 Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the post that should NEVER have been written! I feel it’s important to point out, now that you’ve been warned, any resultant face-palming or uncomfortable groaning is NOT my fault. (See how that works? Now I’m TOTALLY off the hook.) Today I offer up for your reading pleasure, "Tales Of Mammo-Groan Horrors!"

 Picture, if you will; there I stood, in a stall the size of a child’s toy box, changing into my functional and oh-so fashionable, front-closing vest.
 To occupy my brain while I drug the disrobing process out as long as possible, I re-read the directions someone had been kind enough to tape to the mirror, reminding me to not use deodorant or lotion on the day of my smoosh-n-crush. (I was rather pleased with myself for having remembered. Yeah, baby! No need to scrub the girls with alcohol today.)
 As I carefully folded my clothes, waded them into balls, and stuffed them in a plastic bag, I got a whiff of something oddly familiar…like…oh, I don’t know…wait. Is that...CAT PEE!?!

What smell? I don't smell any smell...

 CRAP! I yank all my carefully folded-wadded-stuffed clothes back out of their pretty, pink bag and begin the sniff-and-find game. Did I accidentally grab something a cat had “decorated”? (Hey, when you live in a petting zoo, it occasionally happens. The decorating part, not actually wearing it.) Nothing. Whew! That was close.
 I stuffed everything back in the bag, this time without the waste-of-time folding part. SHIT! There it was again. Had I stepped in something? Was it my shoes?
 I suppose a normal person would have removed said shoes to play sniff-and-find, but normal is pretty subjective and I prefer not to subject myself to it. Besides, I figured I was still pretty darned limber for a chick my age, so I grabbed the left foot and executed the yank-n-bend maneuver, where nose and foot meet in the middle. *sniff* SWEET! All clear. Next I grabbed the right foot.
 Here is where everything sorta switched to slow-motion, third-person perspective for me…
 She grabbed her right foot and gave a yank. The first thing that caught her attention was the nuclear strength fire-works happening in the inside area of her right hip. Then she noted the white-hot lava suddenly materializing in her thigh and how strange the sensation of it oozing its way down her leg was.
 As she damn near bit through her lip in an attempt to muffle her scream, she suddenly realized the world was no longer being viewed from an up-right position. Things were now being seen from a slowly rotating angle. What…the…THUD!
 With a thick jolt, my out-of-body experience ended with me oddly wedged between a tiny, built-in bench and the inside wall of the cubicle. In pain. LOTS of pain. And still holding my right foot.
 It occurred to me that I might not be as flexible as I thought I was. (At least. not on the right side.) I had not only managed to torc the shit out of my hip and knee, stretching the tendons to the point of pulled taffy status, but I had quite literally pulled my feet out from under myself. Like a cartoon character, only worse. Because appeared to be working just fine.
 Fortunately, the wall had caught me and prevented a landing-on-back-like-a-sad-turtle experience. (As small as that cubicle was, I seriously would’ve needed someone to lift me out like a roped-up, rodeo calf!)
 The one good thing that came from the pretzel-pose landing? I found the smell.
 Personal hygiene tip- When you are NERVOUS about a smoosh-n-crush do-over AND you’re not allowed to wear deodorant for the test? Your body has the ability to do BAD things in your armpit region. VERY bad things. UNHOLY things!
 Which is why I’ve already decided that next year I’m wearing car-style air fresheners for ear rings. Because pine-fresh will trump BO every time.
  I hope.
PS As far as the do-over goes, It turned out to be Calcium deposits, so the Mommy-Sad-Sacks are hanging (sagging) in there just fine. Whoop! Whoop!
 Illustration created by BruceBlaus. The word “Mammogram” originally appeared at bottom of illustration where “smoosh-n-crush” now appears. The file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unreported license.