"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eat it with a bite of ham

That's what she used to say when we complained about the side dish. Or when something was too salty. Or when something was too dry.

When something was hard to swallow.

Eat it with a bite of ham. Or eat it with some macaroni and cheese back in the day mac n cheese was homemade and special

Eat it with some mayonaise. that never went over too well

A few days ago, I got a text from Sister Melanie that said something along the lines of could you be the medical liason going forward with Dr. NewGuy cause it will all make sense to you. She asked very gingerly and used a big word for if it's too much trouble... onerous.

I try to be funny when I post. I try to be serious. But most of all I try to be honest.

I honestly looked at that text and the first thing I thought was godfuckingdammit sorry lo what excuse can I make to get out of this?

Honestly. My first reaction was to get the hell out of Dodge. Not that I've spent very much time there lately.

Then I thought come on cowboy up cupcake or pony up cowboy or however the fuck the saying goes

I took a deep breath and texted back of course no problem I'll call in the morning after they round

I had a vision of Sister Melanie and Sister Adrienne and Sister Halona sitting around a cauldron like the three hags in Macbeth
tho they are FAR from hag-like

fair is foul and foul is fair

oooh... guilt... oooh... responsibility... oooh... the right thing to do...

I told Bruce Sister Melanie shouldn't have had to ask me. I should have been doing this all along


I spoke briefly with her new cardiologist yesterday. Heart failure. He seemed confident but not in an arrogant way.
He works with a nurse practitioner. He called me. Nice.

OK FINE I'll go visit. I called her after speaking with Dr. NewGuy and said out loud I'll come see you tomorrow that way I couldn't back out I'll come early to catch them when they round.

She sounded happy that I was coming

I'm not sure when I last spoke to her, other than after Mother's Day. I saw her in February at a family thing. I don't remember Easter. I think I've seen her once since cause I remember saying to her Halona's not gonna make it to her due date. But I don't remember when that was. shitforbrains

She was in the hospital. Then she was out. Then back in. Then in a nursing home. Always in heart failure.

no call no show that was me

I showed today.
Dr. NewGuy came in and was straightforward with few words and not so easy to read.
But his labcoat was inscribed with Head of Heart Failure and Transplant or something like that

You gotta be good if you're the head of a heart transplant team in New York. Right?

The cocktail he prescribed yesterday to rid her body of the 15 lbs of fluid collecting in her lower half due to a broken and tired heart wasn't working.

hmmm... I'm going to be more aggressive. We'll up the lasix and add blah blah blah


Sister Halona arrived with baby and hubby to join the fun

About a half hour later Dr. NewGuy came back in. He leaned at the end of the bed and said
something's not right with you

I literally saw hearts. Like those cartoon puffy hearts that float around your head when the hero shows up

He said I looked back further in your history and something's not adding up. Something's not right. I think you may have polymyositis and it's destroying your heart muscle because blah blah blah blah I won't bore you all with the medical details

He has a plan

My mom's face kind of lifted I've thought for a long time that I might have polymyositis


Of course she never said anything, as Sister Halona pointed out.

My mom is really good at sucking it up. In a lot of ways. She's probably too good at it which explains why she sat in that nursing home wanting to go to the ER for 3 days and didn't tell anyone. Well, she told the dumbass doc over there who pretty much ignored her.

She didn't raise hell. That's so not her style. After her friend Lorraine kicked her butt and told her she had to stand up for herself she called 911 and had them pick her up at the nursing home and take her to the ER. I think she was pretty sure it was the end.

Her old cardiologist transferred her to the Medical Center where they take the challenging and difficult cases. Hence Dr. NewGuy. And it seems like it's not quite her end yet. He may have an answer.

He left the room and we googled polymyositis

Oh my dawg

difficulty swallowing I'm having a hard time swallowing my food I have to take every bite with a drink of water I have to put mayonaise on everything to get it to go down for years. She went to specialists. She had tests. blah blah blah

difficulty speaking my voice starts out ok but by the end of the day it's just a croak years

inability to easily get out of a chair or bed
inability to raise arms or lift objects over your head can you get that down off the top of the refrigerator top shelf in cupboard closet I can't reach over my head my arms are too weak

She said this morning she had to put a glob of margarine on each bite of scrambled egg just to get it down. I suspect she's lived most of her life in far more physical and emotional pain than we're aware. She sucks it up good. She raised daughters who suck it up good, too.

But we also raise hell

Cowboy up, cupcake.
Pony up, cowboy.

Eat it with a bite of ham


  1. I really like you
    I like how you tell such a sad story and still find a way to throw in some humor
    laughter in the face of tragedy is the ultimate way to suck it up
    that is what the sisters in my home learned to do, anyway..because you know..ham and mayo have too much fat...

  2. This is an amazing post... I am in awe that you could write so well in such a difficult time. It must be that honesty thing.

    Sending some positive mojo down to your mom and family. xo

  3. Wow, Michelle. In fifty-eleven levels of wowness. First of all- I don't know when I last talked to my mother. Secondly- she has medical problems that if I really was persistent I could probably get some doctor to give a rat's ass about.
    But do I cowboy up, cupcake? No I do not.
    I don't even think about ham.
    I just don't...call.
    I love you. I wish you lived next door.

  4. Nicely done.

    I puffy heart you.

  5. Michelle,
    Good luck with everything. This was a wowser of a post.

    You are in my thoughts.



  6. Just loving you from afar today.

  7. This is brilliant, Michelle. Strength and continued courage to you, cowboy cupcake --

  8. Utter brilliance. In both life and writing. Oh, I want to come live in the same street as you and Ms. Moon when you live next door to each other.

  9. I covet your house. I want to move in. Laugh.

  10. You are a cupcake. Cowboy or not. Sending you good thoughts for lack of anything useful.

  11. I think you write about these things amazingly fantastic. Hope you are having a good weekend.

  12. I love the way you write.
    I think you are a genius.


so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.