Sunday, October 25, 2009

Of Pancreases and Pinot Grigio

On my "hot date" with Belle last night, I ate fried chicken. I know better, but I did it anyway. Yeah, fried chicken. Dipped in blue cheese dressing. It was freaking amazing.

It also wreaked havoc on my pancreas to the point where I was biting belts and stuff to keep from screaming. No fun, but again--my own damn fault. I don't get a pancreatitis attack every time I eat fried chicken (or cheese or french fries or pizza or whatever might have a high fat content), but I'm aware that the potential is there. It's like playing Russian Roulette with a taser. I'll be really good for awhile and not have trouble, so I'll forget just how awful the pain is (multiply childbirth by maybe fifty--yes, I'm serious).

I feel bad for my Facebook friends--I posted asking for advice on whether to go to the ER for pain meds (my Darvocet was all gone :()or not since I usually end up being admitted (IV pain meds controlled through a hospital environment are far better for my situation)and I just don't have time for that. Anyway, my friends are wonderful--they kept me focused on their input while the pain was at its worst (I was also in the parking lot of Addie's school waiting for her to get back from a competition) and I went home and took a lot more Advil (and Valium and Ambien) and went to bed.

Not a pleasant experience, but it almost certainly wouldn't have happened if I'd been smart and avoided the fried chicken (and the blue cheese). I have to take ownership of that--sometimes I don't treat my body well, and there can be consequences.

Part of me wanted to go directly to the ER, get some fentanyl action going or a morphine drip, demoral mixed with the anti-nausea stuff that would have solved all of my physical problems. Bam, I'd be floating in lala land. I wouldn't have to worry about what I'm teaching tomorrow (emergency sub plans, and I'd be so out of it I wouldn't realize how much I was shafting my students). I wouldn't have to figure out how to get Addie and Belle to and from school--if I'm in the hospital, someone else (my mother, maybe my father and stepmother, aunts, uncles), but it wouldn't have to be me. Laying out clothes, driving to work, taking the dogs out, all the issues big and small belong to someone else while you're in the hospital. And most importantly, no pain.

Well, I decided that the hospital wasn't an option no matter how much it hurt (unless I lost consciousness, which has happened before). That was that. I told myself I could hold on until Monday when I can get some more Darvocet through my regular doctor (who understands the particular struggles with being my regular doctor), and I've managed to do it. I had chicken broth for dinner and a really great bottle of water for lunch, and I'm still in quite a bit of pain, but I did it. I balanced the pros and cons of the situation, and I realized that taking care of my girls and going to work was more important than feeling no pain.

So that's the pancreas part of the post. Now, onto the Pinot Grigio (have some for me--the pancreas is rather fussy about alcohol, too).

So, after going several days without a coherent conversation and three days with no contact at all, Pythagorus calls. He promised Belle a week ago that we would meet at the bowling alley today--didn't happen, along with more than half the phone calls he was supposed to make to her. Well, not to worry; Pythagorus has figured out what he needs. He needs--drum roll--to be hospitalized for all the stress and anxiety in his life.

The stress and anxiety in HIS life? I mean, is he shitting me? I know this might sound insensitive, but when you're over thirty and you've basically destroyed your relationship with your children and all you have to do--and I mean ALL--is go to work and not drink, wouldn't you think this would be doable? The truth is, Pythagorus' stress and anxiety come from two places: first, the fact that he screwed up badly, and he cannot handle the fact that he made a mistake. Second, he was raised by a family that belongs on Jerry Springer and, instead of going to counseling and dealing with it, he drinks and berates (and/or avoids) me when I hold him accountable for anything.

Yeah, so Pythagorus can't handle his own failures, so he wants to go to the hospital to hide. If the hospital saw my amylase and lipase levels right now, they'd force me in. And yet, I refuse to let that happen.

It occurs to me that this is an interesting metaphor--and in a way, the crucifixion-reminiscent stabbing pain in my stomach is like a scream of triumph, like Mel Gibson's William Wallace screaming, "Freedom!!!!" as he is literally pulled to pieces.

I wonder what Pythagorus sees when he looks in the mirror sometimes. He was not a lying, sneaky coward when I married him ... but somehow I don't think "hospitalization for stress and anxiety" is going to bring back the man I once loved.

Damn, I think my pancreas is laughing ;)