The time has come for a personal reckoning, and since I have this little slice of the internet to bleat on, you – the reader – are going to be my witness to my testimony.
After this weekend of another health emergency, I’ve had it. I’m drawing a line. I am putting myself back together after a year of falling apart.
Just so it is in one place, I’m going to indulge in a laundry list of what has occurred over the last eighteen months. Feel free to turn away at any point; this will be the blog equivalent of a burning car on the freeway by which you are both compelled and repulsed.
• In February 2011, I get the worst kidney stone of my life, taking a week of my life away while we were moving, and going beyond pain into psychological terror.
• I get strep throat for my birthday. In all, I get strep throat four times.
• In addition to strep, I test positive for both flus despite having the shot, leading to four sinus infections. My otolaryngologist looks at the chart: I’ve been on 18 antibiotics in four years.
• In September, random metal dust from a Dremel embeds in my forehead, giving me a staph infection that bloats up my face like an alien.
• After Christmas, I get a stomach flu while also having strep.
• I finally have deviated septum surgery that turns out to be far more dreadful than I imagined.
• With a slight spring in my step, we come to New York for my birthday last weekend, and without going into any details, I end up in the hospital getting emergency colonorectal surgery.
my amazing surgeon today: “tell your wife you impressed us, and we’re never impressed.”
Bored yet? Oh god, so am I. I’m worse than bored; I’m demoralized, scared and numb mixed together in a froth of unending tedium.
Every single event above was a MOTHERFUCKING TEST OF MY ENDURANCE. During all of them, I kept saying to myself “just another five minutes, anything is bearable for five minutes” before spiraling off into delirium. But that shit stops NOW.
I am not content with merely surviving. I am not “thrilled just to be here.” I want my fucking life back. Like Greg H. sang, “I want to love and hate and kiss and kill” and I just don’t want to think about this shit anymore.
Yes, there are people suffering through much worse, and many of our close friends are going through things I can’t imagine. But this is my only vessel, and it has long since gone past ridiculous.
The worst part is the lack of self-sufficiency, the lack of manhood, the feeling that you would disintegrate were it not for the kindness of the world around you. I need to thank you. I need to thank Lars Lucier, and Monica Nordhaus, and Jamie Block. I need to thank my brother Sean, and my sister Melissa, and my mom. But most of all, I need to thank the Lulubeans for being such a stalwart little soul, and of course, my wife Tessa – no words can capture her spirit, her patience, nor the size of her heart.
How did I get to be among such people? How do y’all put up with this crap? Perhaps Julie Andrews got it when she sang the second-worst song from “The Sound of Music”: “maybe in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.”
I need some sort of silent, fundamental shift. I will point in a slightly better direction.
I will not fall apart.
I will not fall apart.