"Why, this tastes even fresher than the Hell I brew myself!"

Yesterday, somebody secretly replaced my regular Fresh Hell with two piping hot mugs of new, hormonally-activated Fresh Hell. Let's see if I could tell the difference!

"Tuesday was rather painful but - phew! - the worst is over and I sure am glad about it! Since I'm out of Calgon, I think I'll take me away by lying myself out on the couch in a completely prone position, immobile, barely breathing so as not to disturb my innards. But first, perhaps a soothing drink? Something warm, relaxing and - I know! I've two brand-spankin' new cans of Fresh Hell in the pantry! Why not make the utterly assclown move and get up off the couch, head towards the kitchen and POP THOSE BITCHES OPEN. Oh, my! This tastes like exquisite, bloody hell - more flavorful than I recall! Well, my - that is pungent! A bit...bit strongly-brewed, I'd say! Maybe I'm just TASTING IT WRONG. PERHAPS I SHOULD GIVE IT ANOTHER GO. THAT WOULD BE THE S-M-R-T SMART THING TO DO! So I'll just get up AGAIN and brew myself another ROILING HOT CUP OF HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE BECAUSE I SO ENJOYED THE FIRST BATCH. LET'S BREW TWO, TWO, TWO POTS OF PAIN on two separate occasions because gosh, it just tastes so good, I can't help but want to savor the AGONIZING flavor!"

Now, I'm thinking of two, two, two very apropos movie moments (when am I not?):

Orphan Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful!"
Daddy Warbucks: "You can say that again..."
Orphan Annie: "Yesterday was plain aw-ful!"

Smart-mouthed street urchin. The other:

"Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home..."

The Airplane! quote, obviously, the superior of the two.

So, yes, I'm a stubborn, stupid jackass - popped a cyst whilst innocently walking from my mom's kitchen back to my place (it's a whopping...patio-length. Don't ask me for feet/yardage/numbers - you'll get fucktarded Annie Math); thankfully, Mom was at my sore side, serving as crutch, helping hobble my stupid ass to my couch. She wanted for me to stay at her house, to take care of me; I refused. (Refer to section on "stubborn, stupid jackass.") Wrapping one strong, thin arm under my right armpit while delicately lacing her fingers through my left hand, Mom paused a moment to take in this picture of her emaciated, hunched over, moaning, Fluffy-Pink-Robed daughter. I could feel her prying, knowing fingers needling my ribcage.

"Jesus Christ, Annie," she groaned. "You look worse than Grandma did right before she died. I'm serious - it's not funny! She weighed about 87 pounds and the woman had Alzheimer's and you look worse!" Together, we took a timid first step and I let loose a low moan. Mom sighed. "What the hell am I gonna do with you, Little Girl?"

At the time, pain robbed me of wit which is ironic, given that had I my faculties, I would've responded with, "Dose me with some Alzheimer's so I forget that I'm in pain."

Mom's good people. She's also a retired nurse so only a real knucklehead would turn away her care. I mean, you'd hafta' be a real sicko suffering from a serious case of Assfaceious Syndrome to say, "No thanks, Nice Lady! This misery don't want no company!" What kinda' moron refuses the tender loving care of Mom, RN?

What has two thumbs, one ovary and a serious case of Assfaceious Syndrome?


Here's the straight dope, folks: as a recovering addict who cannot treat her pain with anything stronger than a heating pad and small doses of ibuprofen, I knew what was coming and didn't want anyone around to witness it. Not even Mom, RN, who's seen me bottomed-out at some really, really dark and ugly lows.

It's called screaming. Top o' the lungs screaming, howling, wailing, baying, mooing, expletive-weaving of such strange, off-colors one might think me speaking in tongues and really, with the snot streaming out of my nose what, with all of the crying - bawling, sobbing - and the contortions of body and face, baring of teeth with every new twist of pain... Yeah, you could call me The Devil. "Now kindly undo these straps!"

Thankfully, the battle against evil wore me out and I fell asleep. When I awoke two hours later, I did so with four thoughts in my head:

1) I have to pee. Really, really a lot bad wow now.
2) Something crawled into my mouth, shit on my tongue, walked into the back of my throat and died. Need water. Possibly bleach.
3) Madame Ovary has quieted herself into a dull roar; I can handle this.
4) The bathroom is...some feet away. Fifteen regular steps? That means it'll take me about 45 minutes to shuffle to the toilet. Nobody'll notice if I pee on the couch. Will they?

I didn't pee on the couch.

I should've peed on the couch.

By standing and walking, I awoke Madame Ovary who also felt compelled to rise and give a standing ovation of her own.


"Can I get you something?"
"'S'mofo butter layin' me to da' BONE! Jackin' me up... tight me!"
"I'm sorry, I don't understand."
"Cutty say 'e can't HANG!"
"Oh stewardess! I speak jive."
"Oh, good."
"He said that he's in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him."
"All right. Would you tell him to just relax and I'll be back as soon as I can with some medicine?"
"Jus' hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da' rebound on da' med side."
"What it is, big mama? My mama no raise no dummies. I dug her rap!"
"Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don' want no help, chump don't GET da' help!"
"Say 'e can't hang, say seven up!"
"Jive ass dude don't got no brains anyhow! Hmmph!"

Let's just say by 9 pm, Nurse Mom had brought to my couch-side a ginormous bottle of ibuprofen, a phone (I am phoneless - happily so), a fresh glass of ice water, two nervous, knowing, pulse-checking fingers, the suggestion that this time, the hospital might be in order whether I wanted to admit it or not (I didn't), and one last item...

Grandma's left-behind walker.

"Spirit of Pegasus." It has rubber grips on the handlebars, wheels and a seat if you need to pause for a rest, a bag snapped beneath the seat to hold personal belongings - just all kinds of fancy.

Mine's not this fancy. This one's slicked-out in "Death-Defying Black" and mine's glazed over in "Death-By-Boredom Beige." Also, my walker doesn't come equipped with emergency hand-brakes. Why something called a "walker" would have hand-brakes mystified me so I checked it out and, sure 'nuff, this is the manufacturer's "Blade Runner" model. Built for speed. Me? Built to bleed. So far, I've only made use of the seat; it happened to be right where I needed it when a gut-punch shnockered me, so thank you, winged Pegasus - spirit me away to absolutely nowhere!

But why not use the walker for its actual purpose? Why stubborn myself to death (anguish)? Just grab the Pegasus by its rubber horns! Quit being so thickskulled, Assface, and accept a little help! Why not?


Because I'm a stubborn jackass and refuse to use my dead grandmother's goddamn walker simply because I'm a reproductively challenged 33 year-old - that's why!

If I'd gone to the hospital last night and they'd ripped out what remains of my dysfunctional reproductive system then, yes, sssoitenly, this Stooge would be happily pushing her way around hospital corners. But - Hey, Moe! - that ain't the case. I've had to live like this for a long time - too long - and a lot of that time, I lived alone. Don't know how much longer I'll have to live like this but hopefully, soon, I won't be living with my mom; rather, on my own, alone.

I don't want to learn to depend on anyone - or anything. People leave, situations change, things break and so on. I know many if not most of you are judging me right now and that's fine, but this is what I've come to learn over my lifetime experience with chronic illness. This isn't to say that I don't want help, that I don't think to ask for it because I do. Yesterday, alone and screaming on the couch, there were a few times I allowed myself to cry out - Christ, this is hard to admit - "I want my mommy!"

Yup. As basic and primal a cry or yearning I can think of. More so even than "I'm hungry" or "I'm thirsty" because who do we first turn to when seeking out comfort for those needs?

I want my mommy.

I want to be a mommy.

I don't want to admit defeat.

I don't want to spend another 9 weeks locked up in my house because I am unexpectedly, painfully, at every turn, defeated.

I don't want to lean on a body, a crutch, a handle, a pegasus because I've leaned on people, on love, relationships and I ran with synthetic horses, dragons and all of them taught me: learn how to stand on your own two feet, goddammit - even if they take away your legs.

For thirty-one years, I depended on everyone, everything else to get me around, get me through. This month, I'll have two years clean. Two years new. That's toddler age.* Walking's still a relatively new thing, but now we've hit the milestone of walking unaided - well, it's an entirely different type of flying altogether!

"It's an entirely different type of flying!"

19 to 24 months
As your child becomes more sure on his feet, he'll start to feel more comfortable walking while holding something in his hands, such as a ball or a stuffed animal. He'll also challenge himself by carrying heavier loads, so don't be surprised if you catch him trying to lift something too heavy for him, such as a briefcase. He's also thrilled to discover that he can run, not just walk, from one place to another.

I may not know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies, but I do know a thing or two about challenging myself, carrying heavy loads and - unsurprisingly - trying to lift things that are too damn heavy for me. Never a briefcase. Lotta' suitcases. And one lifelong mental case that - Sweet Flippin' Slippin' Freud! - you'd need to haul by semi into a weigh station to total the sheer tonnage. That ain't Annie Math - that's NASA Math.

Recently, I was thrilled to discover that not only can I walk from one place to another...but I can also run.

Well, not literally - I'm staring at my dead grandmother's walker parked...some...feet away from me and it ain't for decoration - but the writing, writing, writing and submitting, connecting and so on... Stretching my metaphorical legs.

I've rambled incoherent (and with good reason you're soon to discover) but yes, I'm hardheaded and bullish but no, I won't stubborn myself to death. If I really need help, I ask for it (usually) but c'mon, man: I live with my parents, they allow me to live here rent-free, they feed me and provide me with every necessity because I'm in such piss-poor health and because my mom knows I want to write and get back into teaching and I'm doing all I can every day towards that end how much more help should a person ask for I mean, The Great Fact of Life is:

"Shanna, they bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash."

I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.

Which would you choose: to fly a whacky, unsteady Airplane! ride piloted by a man with a drinking problem, or push the boring beige limits of The Spirit of Pegasus? Well?

"What kind of plane is it?"

"Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol!"

Trans American Airlines it is!

"Excuse me. I happened to be passing and I thought you might want some coffee."

"Oh, that's very nice of you, thank you. Oh, won't you sit down?"


"No, thank you. I take it black - like my men."

Black - and fresh...


*Cyst numero tres popped after I completed that sentence and made the utterly assclown move of getting up off the couch, stepping outside to chat on the phone with my concerned little brother, then returning indoors to sit back down on the couch. Wailed/writhed/cursed obligatory period, tried to rest and leave this alone, finish it later. You see how that worked out. This is my treatment, my dope, my junk, my pain-reliever, and I'm so terribly sorry if you're unlucky enough to have been wasted by it.

"You'd better tell the Captain we've got to land as soon as possible. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital!"

"A hospital? What is it?"

"It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now!"

NO, I'm not going. This, too, shall pass. And if it doesn't...well, then, maybe I'll go. BUT I AIN'T USIN' NO GODDAMN GRANNY WALKER!

1 comment:

  1. having alzimers would rob you of any memory or moment when you were not in pain. Imagine knowing only pain as a life experience. It's like a goldfish, a memory of only 30 seconds - I wrote a poem about this once - if I find it I'll send it. but mainly I wanted to say, I weep for your pain. Only people in pain know 'pain is indifferent to pain' - I think about you now, I hope the pain ends for you, me, us; mainly you, I want you to be well. I know though what hope gets you... more fucking pain.