Big girl

Currently: wet and unhealthy. A bad combination. 

I’ve walked more in these 5 days than the entirety of my summer break. No excuses, I have an excess of my entity that must be eliminated. 

So here I am. Staring at the image of myself in this supersized wall mirror. Watching the calories  burned tick upwards far too slowly… 15 minutes, 3 miles to nowhere. The kid is on a treadmill stomping the track at a steady fast pace.  I’m sliding off my seat to reach the peddles. This could be easier if I were a little bit taller… 86 calories, that’s what, half a soda? I’ll be here all night to counter that beignet!

Accidents and Photoshop Magic

The other day, Ya wanted to try his hand at photo editing. Specifically, he wanted to edit a few photos of himself from Thanksgiving Day.

You see, he’d had a rough break from school. On Tuesday, he was preparing to race home against the darkness and the street lights (a race he always loses). Just before he began, however, he had one more play of alley football. And it was that play that ended in a collision. He came home bloodied and in pain, having split the corner of his lip from front to back with his teeth.

His dad took him to urgent care, where the doctor confirmed what I’d already said: stitches. It took two numbing shots and five stitches to close the large wound. I was told he was a trooper – – he didn’t cry and was quite the tough guy despite a fear of needles.

Then, on Wednesday, he insisted on helping with the hamburgers.

Side note: My track record with the patties is a little sketchy. Chi would say I’m a bit dangerous with them, as I pan fry the suckers and it usually results in smoke. One time, it set off the fire alarms, and Chi grabbed her then-infant brother and raced down the stairs and out the house to save him.

So, Ya molded the meat into patties, and seasoned them. When we had a stack ready, I turned on the burner and heated the pan. Several patties into the cooking process, Ya stood over the pan watching them sizzle when the grease popped. It hit him just above the eyebrows in the center of his forehead – an odd little circle formed where it got him.

The resulting appearance featured these two injuries prominently.  There was no hiding the large cut on his lip – which appeared even larger when the stitches popped the day after they were sewn.  And the circular burn shown a light cream patch on otherwise beautifully brown skin.

Our traditional Thanksgiving pictures took place anyway.  So when I opened up our family pictures, Ya joined me to polish them in PhotoShop.

We opened up his portraits and, at his request, I walked him through the spot editing features that would minimize the appearance of his newly-earned temporary blemishes.

And then he broke my heart: “I wish I could jump in the computer and edit my face, too.”

Healing time

I haven’t been able to sleep through the night lately.  Health issues have once again hindered my efforts to be a normal functioning adult.  I wake several times a night and fight to return to sleep; or, I struggle to find rest and will myself to pass out from exhaustion. Of course, I usually crash in the middle of one of the few shows I enjoy watching out of the hundred mindless broadcasts on TV.

I forced myself to follow the ER doctor’s orders, taking a week off from work to heal from a nasty reaction to yet another simple medication supposed to cure an equally simple ailment.  CIPRO attacked every joint in my body, stiffening my limbs and making mobility difficult . The anti nausea headache pills meant to quell the dibilitating migraine behind my right ear left words on my screen swimming. My vision was so skewed at one point, that I scrapped up my car’s hood when I misjudged the turn to our gated community’s card scanner — it bounced and scratched a deep line on my last new car. No, I wasn’t supposed to drive, but Ri’s school had a gas leak and I had to pick her up within minutes of her dad’s drop off. 

It’s hard to stay home.  There’s a guilt that plagues me when I’m not in charge of my classroom.  I struggle with relinquishing control.  But I’m getting older, and I’m coming to realize that the job doesn’t care about me or the long term issues I might face.  

One colleague reached out daily and I craved her “how are you?” texts .  It sucks to hope someone cares that you’re missing from the building.

 I mean, I replied to an email from work the other day agreeing to use of my class during planning and the colleague was flippant and terse when she said her need was met already.  There was not even a “by the way, hope you’re  ok” aside.  No one should ever wonder why I choose to isolate myself during lunch and free time again. I prefer to be in the company of someone who is genuine. 

I’ve been working at home.  Slowly, I’m reading through essays and stories. I’m commenting extensively on each paper.  the majority will scan for a grade and trash the paper, but some might read suggestions and improve. I hope.  

A parent stopped me in the hall on Thursday as I made my way to the Boundary Committee meeting — she said her daughter was growing concerned and that they were praying.  It was exactly what I needed to hear. 

I’m returning to work for this next short week, mostly to plug in grades . I feel better. The dehydration continues,  but the headaches are minimal.  I am not relying on medication — watching the clock for when I can get my next dose as pain creeps up stronger. This is what progress looks like.


​I can feel it like the remnants of a spider’s web; Tickling the base of my head. 

But unlike the web, it’s pure electricity building a charge and preparing to immobilize- seconds, sometimes minutes of attack. 

I wince at the aftershocks, thankful they are the lesser evil.

 Involuntarily, my head nods – hello? Okay, I surrender.

 I stare out at nothing in particular,  closing my eye as the tickle begins again. 

No point in crying out, they don’t hear me anymore. 

And I’m already aware of the agony.

Waiting too long

I sit on this bench,  looking across at my husband. He’s bound to a fluid IV, pumped up with insulin and morphine. He’s moody – delivering a mixture of frustration, panic and self pity in random sequences.

If he sleeps, the monitor beeps; it flashes its red APNEA warning and the oxygen levels countdown to… I don’t know.  I hold my breathe, just as he has done, and wait for the warning to go away.image

It took forever to get a room, and yet we passed a dozen empty ones en route to his assigned quarter. In the cold little space, he lays covered in blankets, staring at the tiny television  and listening to the foreign sounds of hospital workers.

Tests were ordered, but not completed. An ultrasound for kidneys has yet to happen, but could be a determining factor to his going home. Blood pressure and heart monitors tick away the seconds.


They fill him with medication  (the ones he should have been taking, anyway). We wait for answers and release.


Perhaps if he’d heeded the warnings his body gave him – the lethargy, the irritability, the aches – he’d have sought help sooner. But the drop in clinic said “viral infection,” let it run its course. And the medication he was prescribed for his diabetes makes him feel awful before he feels great again (so he won’t take it). Now, it’s too late to prevent illness. We are here in the hospital… waiting.

Waiting on the street

I’m sitting here watching the traffic speed past. A sewage truck is a few car lengths ahead, it’s driver pushing a metal barrel toward it, his face contorted from what I assume is smell. A partner joins him and they insert tubes into the can, sucking away the foul contents. Nearby, the jack hammers tear apart concrete. Clouds of dust bloom around the worker’s head.  The lady behind me parks too close – and crooked, her car jutting into the bike lane that runs alongside the cars.  I’m surveying the area, again, looking for the officer who assesses tickets in this two hour spot I’m occupying. If I pay now, I’ll have to run out mid-appointment to pay again. The clock ticks ever so slow. A few more minutes, and then I’ll head into the doctors with the usual uncertain feeling that accompanies visits like this one.

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