Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Pink Elephant: Where I'm At

The Pink Elephant: Where I'm At: Seriously you guys, I am really sucking at life right now. I'm losing my patience at work, with Ellis, with Aaron (this is not a new thi...

Where I'm At

Seriously you guys, I am really sucking at life right now. I'm losing my patience at work, with Ellis, with Aaron (this is not a new thing), with myself, my sweet mom, my sock drawer, my cellulite, my endless pile of post-its on my desk with little notes that have some relevance, may have some relevance someday, but maybe not, in which case they are just taking up space. I'm losing patience with the fact that my house is never clean. Like, never ever. I clean everyday but it's still not clean. I think maybe if we move out it will be clean?

I am aware of a few things that I have done/am doing that are adding to my general state of assholeishness:

1. I have an overactive nervous system. I have a million things going on at all times. I always have and when I don't, I feel agitated and lazy. The other day I told Aaron that the thing I miss most about being single and childless was staying in bed all day watching movies. Ironically, I've never actually done that. What's the best remedy for an overactive nervous system? Exercise. At least for me. It's my medicine. I'm not a psycho exerciser. As exercisers go, I'm a slacker. I do however have to do it at least every other day. Everyday is best. So, as you've probably surmised, I have not been exercising. 

2. I am lucky not to suffer from food sensitivities. I avoid certain foods because they make me feel like crap. Sugar, simple carbs, strangely, popcorn, are the three biggest offenders. When I eat them on a regular basis I become so grumpy. My body feels sluggish, bloated, I become hyper vigilant about everything I eat, and not in a healthy way. So, needless to say, I have been living on a diet of bread, Dove chocolate hearts, and wine. There's some bacon in there, a little of that $10 cheese from Cid's, and of course, green chili.

3. I have been actively and steadfastly minding other people's business. Always a recipe for disaster.

4. I am obsessed with making cushions for my breakfast bonco, refurbishing my great grandmother's hutch, ripping out the office in our bedroom so I don't stare at it thinking of all the work things I need to do while I'm supposed to be doing all the other things you do in bedrooms, redecorating the bedroom, fixing up the backyard, installing a pull-out shelf for the trash. C H I L L  Dorothy...

5. This is the hardest one to talk about. I have been a terrible parent for the last couple weeks. Ellis has entered a new phase and I feel wholly unprepared or blindsided or both and I have no time to catch up, brush up my parenting skills, deal with my lifelong struggle with, um, life. I am frantically reading my Circle of Security notes, while I eat Dove chocolate hearts, and it all seems like a really good idea but then Ellis has a mental breakdown because I won't let her wear flip-flops during the biggest storm since 1991, or this is a good one, she doesn't have a bra. I know that if I was taking care of myself, my reservoir of patience would be so much deeper.

So, these are my woes. Any advice on how to balance it all, how any of you have figured this out, I am all ears.

I know being grateful also helps so before I go, here is what I'm thankful for: My new 2015 Passion Planner, my handful of new highlighters for said 2015 Passion Planner, The Bachelor, Scandal, my new snowboarding boots that fit my feet like a DREAM, my uncanny ability to nail scrambled eggs like every. single. time., my beautiful child who is perfect, I am healthy, my family and friends are healthy, I LOVE my job. Today I met the man who saved Aaron from being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, so I'm thankful for him and for our guardian angels.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I know the exact moment it happened. Between the Strangler Fig and the Cahune Palm. I knew I was being bit, I slapped my back but it was too late. I instantly thought, "I hope I don't get malaria." 

That night, while I was frantically applying  antihistamine lotion to my badly bitten ankles, I felt a pinch in my back, in the same spot that I had been bitten in the jungle. Another pinch. "Hmm...mosquito bites don't usually hurt." As I cozied up in bed that night, I added "painful bites in Belize" to my hypochondriac web search, which produced the following: stingray, shark, and crocodile. Not helpful. 

While my Mosquito bites continued to swell and itch, the bites on my back continued to pinch. They itched a little, but more like something was crawling on me. Then it would stop and pinch again. It was subtle. Obvious, but subtle. I remember mentioning it to Aaron a couple times and he provided his usual response, "Hmm. Weird." 

It wasn't until I was back in the states that I started to worry that my little pinch was a botfly. I watched my first "botfly removal" YouTube video in the Dallas Airport, threw up a little in my mouth and decided it was most definitely not a botfly. Please God, no. 

Day 5, I noticed that a hole had formed in the middle of each bite. Not a good sign. They call that a "breathing tube." Seriously. 

Day 8, I'm noticing a pattern of behavior, wherein the bite itches at specific times, hurts at specific times, and feels totally normal at specific times. Everyday, the same. I grew a baby in my stomach, this is too familiar. Is it sleeping and then burrowing and eating? My flesh? 

Day 11, I KNOW it's a botfly. I'm an anxious person and I can make up some ridiculous shit but I know when something is living inside my skin. I'm totally dumbfounded by the people who don't know something is living in their skin and then their drunk friend pulls out a full grown worm. Really? You didn't feel that? 

So I made the decision to force someone at urgent care to cut me open. I walked in pumped and ready to sell my case. If the doctor turned me away I was prepared to cry, beg, chain myself to the door, threaten malpractice. It was going in that direction too. She started to mention that I could "go home and..." At which point I cut her off and said, brazen and annoyed, "can't you just cut me open?" Her face lit up, "well, YEAH!" 

Before she cut she called a friend who runs urgent cares in third world countries. She put him on speaker phone: 
Doc: what can you tell me about botflies? 
Third world Doc: do you have one?!
Doc: maybe....
Third world Doc: I'm coming up! [he lives in Santa Fe when he's not ridding the world of parasites]. 
Doc: no way! This is mine! 
Disappointed, Third world went on to explain how to triage a botfly site, how to drain it, and my doc finally interjected, "She [me] wants me to just cut her open." To which third world doc, stumbling over words, exclaimed, "oh! Well then cut her open!" I nodded enthusiastically. 

She drapped me, numbed me and then cut. I was laying on my stomach, both sets of fingers crossed. I prayed she would find a bug. A hair follicle. A tumor with teeth and a spine, something. Unfortunately it's not totally out of the question for me to dream up a botfly infestation. 
I once had a mental breakdown in the parking lot of public health because I had convinced myself I was HIV positive. And then there was the time I tried to talk my gynecologist into removing both of my ovaries because they were most likely days away from cancer.

Half way through canvassing my incision, Doc said, "I don't know honey, you might just be crazy." My heart sank. I panicked. "I effing posted this on Facebook!" A few moments passed. A mixture of depression and questioning Doc's competence was sinking in and then she whispered, "No fucking way." 

She pulled something out, stuck it on my face. It was little, sinister and unabashedly covered in my blood. She was excited, breathless, "I have to put this under the microscope! You're bleeding. Is that ok?" "Yes! Go!" From the other room I heard it, clear as day, Doc yelling, "YES! I love my job! Best day ever!" My clenched fist thrust into the air. Victory. 

She ran back into the room. "Get dressed! Come see!" She paused, "Wait, stitches." She sewed me up, threw my shirt at me and when I opened the door, there were two lines of urgent care workers. Like a processional, they led me to the microscope. I peered in. There he was, Bottie. 

I've enjoyed the pain of my incision far more than watching the other bite grow and increasingly itch and now, well, just know that it gets grosser. I have a random physical tomorrow that I scheduled a month ago. I'm hoping we can skip the physical and go straight to cutting Bottie 2 out. I'm ready for it to be over. Most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me. By far.