Saturday, April 21, 2007

Here I sit in hospital all broken hearted....

I think spending *too* much quality time in the hospital qualifies as travelling to some foreign place. Like other countries, hospitals are anoter organism and society entirely. the people from 11:00 am to 3a.m shift are the worst to deal with. They are relentless, they want to stay awake so by virtue of being a hapless victim and being insured, you, too are requirired to stay awake. Alll night long they take your vitals: your name, d.o.b., why you are in the hospital *yes, they ask you thatm shit evvery two hours*, what your pain level is (scale of 1-10, nevermind you're hooked up to morphine and your total fadeouts have become the stuff of familhy mirth , they take your blood pressure, your temp blahblabhblah

at some point i thpught all this might have been more productive if there had been the been the birth of a child involed, then the sudden and cataclysmic loss of buckets of blood would have been expected or something. a coupkw days agp i hemorraghed and ended back in the operating room.. my mom says i went white a sheet. i dodnt rememberr feeling anything, just a little anger cause this could not be good and my annoyance because my mom was on the edge of freakingn and yeah, it was a lot of blood, but i reallly, really, wanted to take a nap or at least lie down.

my homegirl jennifer was walking into the room just as i lost those quarts so for 15 minutes i would have looooong blinks and in my line of vision each time, there was jenn. she looked stern, but unflinching and as they moved me to the gurney to return to the O.R. I asked her to come with - there had to be someone for my mom. i remember holding her hand.

i don't have a crapload of energy -but something jenn got in those 15 minutes is something most of the people around me havent caught on to (save my parents, they have been front and center) i don't need other people every second of every day and i would like to sleep the night thru (impossibnle since they need every vital on me since i was BoRN) but to open your eyes and see someone impassive who when you reach out your hand is there to hold it, well, those are the small moments out of which we spin lives most delicate bonds and delights.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mourning a Noble Sound

Ah, who gives a flip what the category for this blog was? I was thinking of removing my last post because I was angry when i wrote it, but in reading it over I don't see anything too bad in there. I didn't add "frog" to anyone's name and I have no need to do so.

I'm wearing the cutest little red armband that will help the people in the O.R. match my bloodtype should I have occasion to need a transfusion while on the table. It's a very long process getting your pre-operation legwork done. You have to see the docs - the colo-rectal guy let me keeep my pants on - SHOUTOUT TO THE COLO-RECTAL DOC!

I worried myself sick the night before not so much about the money, I'm resourceful and it's time for surgery, sticky relationship politics notwithstanding - but about whether I would face yet another signmoidoscopy.

If you don't know what a signmoidoscopy is you are probably under 75 and have a healthy colon. Lucky You. I've had 4 or 5 in my lifetime thus far. I didn't think much of the first one going in - you get undressed in a little cubicle and put on a paper bag slit up the back and little sockies. But the techh, who was the soul of compassion, asked 22-year-old me what I was there for and I replied accurately 'I dunno, they said they felt something...but I'm sure it's nothing."

Says the tech, "People don't come up here for nothing." That may have been misplaced professional pride, but the visit went downhill from there. It was such a complete violation, it was the perfect complement to the prep required the night before which was heavy on Magnesium Citrate. Yeah, if you know what that is you're probably ROLLING right now.

Go ahead friendly reader, roll to the drugstore and get yourself some Mag Citrate and suck on it for a little while. Rip me an email once you figure out what it does and how it goes about doing it. Rip *hahahahahahahahah* It comes in cherry flavor.

I'm warbling along with chanteuse of the moment Amy Winehouse. I have another voice I'm falling in love with - Philippia. I'm so glad to have heard and seen her before the changes I'm about to go through. She's one of my friends, find her and check out the music.

My mom comes in tonight for a two-week stay. Funny, I dont think I could get her to take a two-week vacation without me staying in the hospital for a week. it takes all kinds. Me and my papa partied and danced and sang and talked and loved each other and a whole room of people thursday night. I got shitfaced. Well, not quite, i don't even know if I'm able to get shitfaced, but i did get slurring intoxicated, which seems to be my limit psychologically and physiologically. Me slurring over something that is not dispensed at a pharmacy is kind of new and interesting. But I felt safe, I had my team K, N, J, and Papa and feeling safe is everything.

This hopefully won't be my last output before I go Demoral for a couple of weeks. I have more to say, but, mom is coming, i gotta clean the house!

Wish me luck (on the house and the surgery).


"You have to be willing to accept that pain is a part of the process."

Friday, April 13, 2007

I don't ever want to drink again - I just -oooh - I just need a Friend

Well, I just got the wind knocked out of me. I've been making all these plans for the surgery of the century or at least the last half-decade - I just learned that I would be footing the entire bill. I thought - oddly enough - that I was in a partnership and we would we partnering in getting me better, but I think my partner has decided to do something else with his funding.

I mean, there is property in St. Lucia and his retirement to think about.

"I'll be some next man's other woman soon."

this is an Angry Blog. No matter how many cliche's there are "you come in alone, you go out alone" when you tie your raft to someone else's it's hard to believe when you find out the other rafter has been hiding a store of beef jerky they don't want to share or something like that.

Look, even my metaphors are fucked today. It's 3:08 am est, midnight + 8 PST - really, for all of this i could have stayed in san francisco on someone's couch and figured things out without all the stress and the changing.

but i suppose the purpose ofthe exercise was stress and changing. and I am a better person. Though i'm disappointed, hurt, angry and probably won't get a lick of sleep this evening (he snores peacefully next to me) I can face this challenge without skipping a beat or delaying my procedure. And for a number of weeks I won't even be aware of his presence enough to really resent the position he left me in on the 11th hour.

"do me good and all this craziness will disappear"

well, i have to go marshall my resources. my final question of the night: why do men think women require less money than they do to enjoy life? that truly flummoxes me. And why do men expect women to do more with fewer resources.

specifically - why my man. and if i find myself in this situation, is he my man or just a warm body with a pulse that makes me laugh on occasion.

questions at 3 am...i want a drink and a darvocet and a valium. but i wouldn't even sleep then, its easier to be sleepless and see the proctologist in what can only be described as a truly *fine* mood.

"It's not enough you love blow and I love Poe"

GoodMorning Life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The guilt will kill you, if she doesn't first

Well, I came through my long passage into the heart of darkness and i'm back through the other side feeling pretty rosy. Thank god for friends who can know your emotions even when they seem too big for your own body! Kyle talked me down off the roof or fence or whatever sphere I was clapping around on.

I am still listening to Amy Winehouse. I don't know who wrote her lyrics and what siren had to die to bequeath her this voice, but she is singing my story over and over again. Last night I went through my poetry from high school - some was cringe-worthy but I knew it was cringe-worthy when I wrote it. Most of it chronicled the confusion of a girl growing up in a difficult environment, knowing more than she should about things many people never thought about. It was good to see I'm consistent with myself. Thank god I write or i might get the foolish notion that I go unchanged or that there are things about me that will never change. Neither is true - i change, I grow, I get the fucking hint on the second or third go-round and I occasionally run into people who intrigue me so deeply that I all but put ice hooks into them for a closer study. that's the camille.

"I stay up, clean the house, at least i'm not drinking" - Amy Winehouse singing again

I'm a little too deeply into this album, I think I'll just transcribe my writing for the day, read a little something and enjoy my darvocet.

Tootles to ya'll

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Long Dark Teatime of My Soul

Okay, here's the deal: My nerve is slipping. I was doing okay, I've been so happy about this surgery - about the direction my life is finally taking ("you can make the pain stop?! sign me up!") - wait testosterone break, maybe i'm just low on my Y-chromosomes BRB - okay, stocked up on the T, some phenagren for my stomach and pycnogenol to keep my blood circulating. Where was I? Right, hyperventilating.

There is something reassuring about having a rhythm, a routine. Just taking the pills calms me, reminds me I'm here now and that is always good enough and sometimes better than anything else. I've been working on refining my writing, to make a career out of stringing words together. This is no secret, it's the impetus for this blog and really the only thing I've wanted to do my entire life is make people feel good, to make people think, to have folks to sing along with, to have all the laughter I can gather.

My boyfriend's ex is in the ICU right now and the situation is wearing on me. My first thought gets the selfish/fucked-up award for the week: "Shit, now she's in the hospital before me! I'm always second!" I laugh aloud at it, but that's really what I thought. Her situation is serious. And so is mine. So tonight he mentions the chance that I could end up in the ICU - you know, we were talking about how my mom would be in the hospital with me for every moment that I spend in the hospital. That's my mother, maybe not your mother, but it's my mother. She watches me breathe and I love her for it. Night nurses are demon spawn - I'll take my mom any day!

So, anyway, he's like "yeah, well, if you end up in the ICU she won't be able to be in there with you." I'm sure he didn't mean to slip a razor into my happy veil of upcoming surgery, but damned if I haven't been having problems breathing since then. Amy Winehouse's bluesy gritty voice and sharp lyrics help me laugh, but the laugh is a little pneumatic still.

Going into surgery I don't care to think about the downsides: I know when I wake up I won't feel anything for a while and then the pain will slam into me like a Mack truck and I'll have to start dealing with Recovery. Here is a hint: Surgery ain't shit when compared with recovery. Recovery is your body launching full-on attack because it's come under heavy artillery fire, but you were sleeping and could not respond at the time. Recovery is a war - all internalized. And in my case, all my organs will rearrange themselves over time to where they were supposed to be in the first place if I'm lucky.

Keep me out of the ICU. I have no desire to be intubated - it screws your throat. Will my insurance pay if I end up in the ICU? okay, really, that was a joke, but No ICU for me, please. No death. Just the major surgery and let me suffer all the indignities of recovery. let me recover. let me recover.

Right now Amy Winehouse is moaning "do me good and all this craziness will disappear." I'm pleading for a Mulligan, a do-over, a Get Out of Jail Card from the ICU. I can do club med for 7 days of demoral and an additional $23 hours per day for a private room (the hospital repeats that on their "holding" message), but no ICU. I'm not too young, just let me be too lucky.

Okay, she just vamped through Me & Mr. Jones and let's be real: I can't ask the universe to promise me anything except a few laughs. I think I'm going to call it a night, have a nightcap, and see what tomorrow brings. I've got to laugh at myself, it's not yet time for crying.

A final thought from what I'm listening to: "I want to touch you, but that would just hurt." Makes me hug myself, gives me a chill.

Oh shit!

I'm having major surgery in a week. So far I'm cool, I'm looking forward to Club Med - I need to iron out the hospital's policy on my Ipod and Bose system in my room, but I'm certain we'll reach an arrangement. And i can't lie, looking forward to having a week of my life erased by prime pharmaceuticals, though I wish it could be a week of my choosing, like "apply the demoral to that week when i finally figured out I did not want to be married" or "that week when i didn't get the Fulbright" as opposed to the week when I'll be in so much pain everything else will cease to exist.

it's been a couple of days since I logged on to bore the masses with me drivel. Superhomie Kyle rolled through San Fran style and we maximized our chill/girl time. We checked in on each other. Kyle is getting married, Camille is getting cut - we are ladies with things going on in our lives, ya know? So we had massages (shout out to Jenn who's table is as BIG AS HER and she carried it up three flights of stairs, then gave each of us a full hour of hands-on relaxation). After that we all went out to eat and then hit up a networking event that probably qualifies as the "first time i've been out for a good time in Atlanta" since moving here. Since my memory is always a little foggy, I can't give it that designation officially, but it's definately the best time i recall having in three years. For one night I felt free and open to the world of possibility. I heard phenomenal singers, the mother of the featured singer got up and did Summertime by the Gershwin brothers.

She started out so downtempo...I mean, you could have gone and eaten dinner between the notes she was singing. Then the band kicked in with a solid samba for the rest of the song. Reminded me of an arrangment Al Jarreau did on his Tenderness live album. Speaking of, I could have sworn someone told me he would be in town recently. Je t'aime Al Jarreau.

Then Sunday, since it was too cold for Eastering, I hung out with my newest homie Kym E and we just bummed around. She g'd me for some brand-spanking new lime green asics Kyle had just bequeathed to me, so now we are friends for life. it was nice having a day with nothing planned other than somehow eating and catching a little sunshine. I walked out onto the deck of my apartment and noticed a gaggle of guppies lined up with easter eggs that jingled. I like things that jingle, so I inquired as to whether they did an easter egg hunt for jewelry (can you think of anything more rewarding? i mean REALLY!) and they said no, it was mostly change though there were a few plastic easter eggs hidden with dog shit in them. Not cute. They were a friendly lot who were happy to take on a few more revelers, so Kym enjoyed the libation of the moment (vodka and lemonade, who knew?) and then we made our way to my new favorite Chinese place - The Ricebox. We ate and chatted - it's so beautiful not to have a schedule.

Tomorrow I return to being a Camille with a Schedule. I think my nervousness about surgery is that I won't get completed what needs to be done in time to beat the clock. There is a date and time when I'm going under anesthesia - can I get a physician credentialed in under a week? Only time will tell. It's my real-life version of Where In the World Is Carmen San Diego.

Anyone else remember that game?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Preciso Me Encontrar

The translation I've figured for the title is "Necessary to Find Me" and it's from a song by Brazilian songwriter singer Cartola, who received zero recognition until he'd been dead for 20 good years. The song has always mesmerized me, maybe i will try to add it to this blog so it will play while someone reads.

But I especially like the idea of necessary to find me. My dearest friend Kyle decided to spend her spring break at my casa. she's downstairs watching The Devil Wears Prada and thoroughly vegging out. We've eaten out, spent more money than I actually have and laughed and talked and had a raging good time. But at a slow pace. She was there for the first surgery, she knows the clues when I'm flagging and she doesn't like to see me going down so we keep it simple.

Today, in spite of myself, I bought an Easter Dress. At every turn I try and try and try some more to reject my traditional middle-class black upbringing but it's like kicking the white horse or something, i can-not do it completely.If someone is coming to visit me I HAVE to clean the house. I HAVE to clean it, it's a compulsion i fight by leaving the house, shopping, reading books, driving aimlessly but within 30 minutes of my guests' arrival I am a whirlwind of industry - shooing out dustballs, vaccuming, dusting, washing dishes, wiping down all surfaces and extra-sanitizing the restrooms. I put on new sheets and open the window so the breeze airs out any odors. I spritz a bit of Lemongrass Linen spray on the bed linen and berry spray in the air. 30 minutes, without fail, i cannot and will not stop doing this.

Anyway, I went tot he store to buy jeans or shoes or towels or anything EXCEPT an easter dress. my poor grandmother, i know she wants in her deepest heart for me to be with her in church as proof positive that not all her descendents are self-centered asses, and I found myself today in the store gravitating toward the dresses with the excuse "well, i couldn't find any shoes and they did have a cute dress last week." it fit like a dream and then i declared it my Easter Dress. No forethought, but now i'm spiritually committed to going to Easter service and being Christian. Again. Catholics lapse, what do Christians do? I'm more of an amalgamation of Christian (by indoctrination), Buddhist (by exposure), Taoist (by choice), and Catholic (cause it's complex and has lots of holidays!).

In celebration of my buddhist and catholic traditions i also bought two new rosary necklaces and bracelets from some monastery dedicted to St. Benedict in Rome. You gotta love Ebay. I get Chooka rainboots from China before they hit the stores in the U.S. or Europe because someone threw them off the back of the truck (euphamism for they went missing from the factory's intended shipment) and now i'm gettin gmy holy relics straight from the source - patrizia. That's her name. Oddly enough, the majority of the time I've spent in St. Lucia has been at a Benedictine Monastery run by nuns. Mother Superior is Italian and oh my god, her cooking makes me believe in a higher power! never do I eat better and they only cook what they can grow. the wine - well, i'm well accustomed to cold red wine at this point. Those holidays at the monastary helped me keep my sanity and once i even met a delightful priest who was on holiday, Father Tom - if i looked in my journals i could give you his URL. He's always got something stimulating up, some dissertation on the heavens and god's will and human frailty. He used to be an engineer and left the field because it was cold and heartless. Then God Found Him.

So, we're back to the beginning - necessary to find me. Right now I find myself in a nervolous place, there are people depending on me do accomplish things I no longer believe i can do before I have surgery and take at least 3 weeks getting over anesthesia and the terrible shock of seeing where they cut me open (for a girl this vain it's a real deal killer. i didn't mind surgery as much as i minded the sutured incisions, I kept repeating "they cut me! they cut me!" in my head, of course.) I do have quite a bit of writing to catch up on, I just got my first edits back from one of my readers and they are exactly what I needed, just a push in the direction of making the writing cleaner, clearer, less dependent upon what is in my head and better translated for the recipient. Go Reader!

Preciso Me Encontrar is a love song by the way. It is necessary to find the one whom you were born to love, but jesus, you may have to look long and hard and a little past yourself to get there.

best of luck.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Made You Look

You're just a page in my rhyme book! yeah, quoting Nas is always on top. My other favorite quote is when he and Jay-Z were having beef over who was Biggie's lyrical heir and he called Jay-z "you tae-bo hoe." shit kills every single time.

Today I went to work ( I work in a medical office) for an early-morning staff meeting. There were tears and posturing and all manner of sapian behavior. I reflected on the number of years I'd been leading the rag-tag group, fighting the physicians for athe ability to manage and reward behavior so everyone got on the same page. And now, I'm out of the office and suddenly everyone wants the things I've been whinging about for the past three years.

Life is perverse like that.

I'm perma-sleepy and expecting a houseguest tomorrow. Which means i have to clean my office so she has a place to sleep, which means I'll be displacing my tax info yet again and i do actually need to file taxes sometime this year. Yes, I said "this year." I happen to be of the opinion that I'm better making interest off of my tax dollars than the gubment is. So, i keep my duckets, there aren't that many anyway, and every couple or three years i pay the least amount possible based on my ongoing medical care, contractor status yadda yadda yadda.

Like i said, I'm sleepy. Thre isn't too much deep thought happening around these parts. But I am planning to re-start my writing compilation, the transcription was going fabulously I felt, but I needed a break to attend to other matters.

Keep it easy Greasy.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Things Fall Apart

Well, I just returned from a truly draning trip to Chicago. In retrospect I probably should have just stayed my butt at home and saved everyone the trouble, but I called myself wanting to see people before surgery. I like some people, I enjoy their company, but I cannot dictate what kind of mood or energy they will have when we get together.

Enough to say I had to make alternate sleeping arrangements after the first day. I ended up at one of the starwood hotels (if you're gonna run, run to something good) and commenced to sleeping. I didn't see any of Chicago, but that was by choice.

A new friend named Walter swung by and listened to me kvetch for an hour or so while we ate at one of those marginal eateries that always pepper the blocks around an airport. It was Italian and surprisingly good. I should hav asked if there was a cathedral nearby, I need a new rosary. I've rubbed all the shine off of one I bought 5 years ago. You know what would be extra hot? A Jade rosary. I'm gonna Ebay that and be all about it.

I didn't think any deep thoughts while I was gone, I was pretty drugged most of the time. But i did meet a very interesting girl. I just kind of walked in on her so it was a "stranger" situation and she was a childhood friend of the person I was staying with. There was a lot of anger around her so I didn't know what to think for the first 30 minutes, it was one of those "should I say in the roomor give them some space" deals.

Then the girls starting talking about being a CEO and starting a foundation to raise money for children and young adults with neurological disorders i.e. Lou Gehrigs disease (okay, there is a hilarious Family Guy skit on this, but I'll resist putting it up...or not). Her whole deal was that she didn't need the money for her illness - really the number of young women in the western world with serious disease is nutz - but she knew of so many people who could not afford treatment or care, even on the most basic levels. So, although she is suffering mightily herself she's fighting and organizing a fundraiser for others.

That's toughness and a whole lot of moxie. I took my notes, there may be some ways to be of assistance - if anyone who reads this blog would like more info hit me up and I'll give you what you need.

I think for summer vacation I'm getting my hair cornrowed, old school style like I used to when I was 5. I don't know why people spend so much time getting botox and restalyne and face lifts - one good headful of cornrows and your entire hairline moves up - skin is instantly tightened! Voila!

Like I said, no deep thoughts. I still have a couple more days before I'm back to myself, it takes a bit for the drugs to cycle out of my system. speaking of...time for a refill.

Here's a parting shot from Zap Mama that sums up what it takes to get over little disappointments:

When the day gets too long
when its so right now feel so wrong
Listen to what i say
See if you dont agree
Theres something i learned long ago
Down where the blu waters flow
Something people do to et their spirits free

oh, and I have to give a shoutout to for wanting to know where Jungle music got off to. Really I'm hunting down Ghetto Life by Goldie Tonight!