overhaul / undertow

Friday, November 29, 2002

Hello all.

Er. Sorry, I've been sick.

I have this rare thingie called Sponge Medullary Kidney Syndrome. It means that when your kidneys were developing they formed with little microscopic spaces in the tissue. These spaces retain acid longer than they should; the acid solidifies and forms kidney stones. Therefore I'll be dealing with these things for the rest of my life. woo wee.

I pass one and sometimes more every few months. My body has become used to it--it's amazing what the body can do. I don't even feel them most times, which is incredibly lucky, or else--given the frequency with which they occur--I'd be effectively disabled, landing in the hospital every few months. As it is this is only the third time I've had to go since 1996 when I was diagnosed with it. But I did end up in the hospital; I passed about five stones but more are still in me. They can't do an ultrasound to shatter and remove them because I am also, coincidentally (to my great irritation) anemic. I am always fucking anemic. I do just fine, thankyouverymuch. Can we just get on with the damn ultrasound already?

So I have the next few days to pop as many iron pills and eat as many steaks as I can (ugh--I don't mind a good steak, but it has to be good to make it worth it--I just don't eat much red meat) so we can get on with the stupid thing.

I sound irritated and cranky, and I am, but underneath it all I'm really about to cry. This last week was hell. I could barely stand. In order to walk I found it easier to bend double at the waist. Every breath hurt. Five minutes would seem like an hour; I'd pass long blocks of time (once I was in the hospital) by just requesting demerol shots so I could escape and sleep. It was...words fail me.

It was very intensely awful suffering.

I see why some people become monstrous after enduring horrific suffering, because feeling terrible pain for long periods of time is an extraordinary thing. It alchemizes a small bit of your soul into something inhuman. A small bit of my blood turned to iron. It's not a good thing, not an "if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger" kind of thing. I feel kind of less...human. Less brilliantly alive. Maybe I will get that feeling back with a few more magical life experiences under my belt.

I walk out of the hospital exhausted and grateful to hear the sound of a fountain, to smell the rain in the air. But what I felt, what I went through, has been a subtraction from me, a removal, and will never be restored.

It makes me sad.

I'm very happy to be alive, though.


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