Wow. Almost a month since I posted. Don't be hatin' me though. I've been sans thyroid and adjusting to life without it and to be honest, not much has been terribly funny.
So, I showed up in the Big City crazy early November 1st with no make-up on as per medical instruction, but with an overnight bag that was filled to the brim with make-up, various and assorted hair styling tools and a gigantic bottle of Joop. I was certain that although I was going in looking like Fred Gwynne, I was coming out looking like Yvonne DeCarlo.
It's interesting to note, it's that same kind of jacked up lack of logic and complete refusal to face any unpleasant reality that keeps getting me married.
After reminding Mr. Man to cremate me no matter what my Southern Baptist family threatened to do to him... even if he has to do it himself with some Kingsford and a match, it was time to go to the little room.
The little room before the big room. The room with medical things hanging here and there that both frightened me and made me want to sing "New York, New York" into them for no good reason.
Before I could say, "just kidding", they put me in a paper dress, slapped some old lady stockings on me and in case I had any pesky shred of dignity whatsoever remaining, they whipped out a paper hair net that was to complete my ensemble.
Not many women could carry off a look like that, but on me it worked.
"Hey," I said to the close talker Grandma nurse who told me how much she loved her job and how she would personally watch over me every step of the way. "Hey... I'm sort of crazy afraid."
The four or five people in the tiny room looked at each other now with obvious envy of the patient dressed in paper as Grandma said, "We'll give you the good stuff and you won't be afraid any more."
Baby, she wasn't even kidding. Whatever it was, it is number one on my Christmas list this holiday season. I'm all kinds of wanting a bonified addiction to it. I'd gladly give up my teeth and do time at Betty Ford ten or twelve years down the road for a steady supply of the "good stuff".
They wheeled me to surgery after the doctor drew a dotted line across my neck and Mr. Man kissed me, squeezed my hand and said, "You're my sweetheart". (How Lifetime Movie of the Week is that, kids? I can totally see Nancy McKeon and Barry Bostwick doing that scene in my head, only in the movie, Nancy would come out with amnesia and Barry would marry her sister.)
I can't be sure 'cause I was wasted and all, but on the way to the surgical suite, I may have told a few people in masks how much I loved them and that I wasn't wearing any underwear. Similarly, I may or may not have also shown any number of those same people my boobs.
I went to sleep at around 8:30 AM in a state of bliss like no other. I woke up at around 2:00 PM in a state of the exact opposite of bliss.
It was un-bliss.
Turns out my thyroid had been hiding behind my sternum and so was much bigger than they had anticipated. Excellent. Know what that means? That means the scar across my neck that was supposed to be small turned out to look like someone found my head on the floor and sewed it back on.
I felt sick, my throat hurt, my neck hurt, I had a nasty 80 foot tube in my wound sucking out stuff I won't even talk about for fear my dear readers may begin to vomit and oddly enough, my arms hurt. (I think the fact that my arms hurt so badly proves my theory that mean mask-wearing medical people get their jollies posing helpless patients in funny positions. There are probably pictures of me right now floating around the net with one hand behind my head and the other one with my finger up my nose.)
In short, I had absolutely no use for my make-up filled bag of denial for I cared not how I looked or smelled.
The good news though is this... during my weeks of recovery, I have felt loved like mad and that's felt all kinds of good. (Not as good as the good stuff, but good.)
Turns out Mr. Man really was awake at our wedding, 'cause those vows really kicked in. He babied me, loved me, pampered me and generally was the perfect husband. My son was my hero, loving and caring for me and rubbing my hands and face at every opportunity. My Kitten and her honey were at my bedside within hours of surgery with books she knew I would love and my favorite lotion in the whole, big world. My Mother came to stay a few days to help out with everything, my ex and his lovely wife brought food practically every night for a week. I received roses, lillies, daisies, and live plants. There were phone calls, messages of love and from my Berta Lou, (the only person outside my family I would let come visit), words of comfort that put it all in perspective.
"You may feel like hell, but you sure smell good." (If that's not a greeting card sentiment, I don't know what is.)
I'm still not really and fully me quite yet, but I'm getting there. And by the way, to those of you out there whom I have never met, but who have been bored enough, kind enough or just plain strange enough to show up here again and again to read my online therapy session, thank you for your emails. I was totally surprised at the number and that you took the time to think of me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (I'm not dead, Tidewaterbound! Thanks for the virtual kick in the pants to blog again.)
I'm totally ashamed of myself for loving this song, 'cause it's such a chick song. Can't help it though. Happy Chicken Day, Y'all!
Copyright © 2004-2006, Sherri Bailey
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