Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fruit Stripe Flaws

Hullo peeps,

I'm working on the final bit of the PPD saga and writing it all out has led to many revelations about myself. Like how I really, really, really love milkshakes (of course that's a revelation). And am terrible at conflict. And sorta kinda hate myself for no good reason at all.

I also tend toward randomness, which makes for awkward social situations. I found this out last week  when a Lowe's guy practically ran away after my lengthy disquisition on the myriad uses of window plastic. Some people just don't understand.

I'm also supposed to be figuring out big picture stuff like "who I am" and "what I want to do with my life."

HA. Good one.

Anyway, I've had a mystery sore spot on my leg for about a month ... and that's way less random than it seems, I swear. There's a connection. But I'll go ahead and give you the opportunity to run like the poor traumatized Lowe's guy. I mean, I probably shouldn't have said anything about storing body parts, buuuut ...

The pain started in my calf, then moved to the back of my knee, and I woke up on Tuesday and it had migrated to my thigh, so I decided to get it checked out. I wore a skirt to my doctor appointment to avoid the awkwardness of trying to pull skinny jeans up past mid-shin. Don't try it. It's impossible. In fact, I'm pretty sure it violates the fourth law of thermodynamics. Physics is not my thing.

The doctor comes in and introduces herself and we shake hands and then get to questions. I lay down on the examination table on my stomach and she starts mushing my leg around. She can't find anything unusual, but decides an ultrasound would be prudent because blood clots aren't really things you want to mess with.


I'm sitting there feeling the phantom tightness of a nonexistent pulmonary embolism in my chest and she stops writing notes in my (super crazy thick) file and goes, "Have you gained and lost a ton of weight recently?"

Uhhh, no. Why would she think that?

Oh yeah.

Stretch marks. Evvvvverywhere.

On my calves. On my thighs. On my stomach. In my freaking armpits. In fact, the only parts of my body that have escaped pregnancy unscathed are my upper back and my forearms ... okay, and my hands and my toes and mayyyybe my neck. The rest of me is comprised of stretch marks and mush and weird random freckles.

I respond, "Nope. Just pregnancy." For the record, I gained 25 pounds with T, 45 with G, and 40 with K. Substantially less than a ton, thank you very much. Like, 1900-something pounds less. SO THERE.

I'm embarrassed. I blush. I think about cracking a joke about how I had to stop stripping for a living.

And I realize the ridiculousness. I'm wayyy more concerned about my scarred skin than the possibility of having to ingest prescription rat poison for the next six months. (Did you know blood thinners and rat poison are essentially the same thing? :O My ultrasound tech was quite chatty. He also told me how fast I would die if my femoral artery was severed. Two minutes. So yeah. Not freaky at all.)

Why does it matter so much?

I mean, what is lost, really, in the grand scheme? Nothing.

And how utterly inconsequential is it in the light of what has been gained?

I am not defined by stretch marks or saggy skin (or wonky eyes or a zit on my chin).

I am not my flaws.

Even 87 percent stripey, I'm still me (and also blood clot free, hooray!). Not that I know what being me means exactly, but I'm working on it.

I know what I'm not, and that's a start.

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