About Yours Truly
I am a middle-aged nurse with a hole in her chest.
My pectus excavatum was evident from birth, and I will be 44 years old in November, 2015
Haller index: 6.7
The art on the pages is all mine (except for the do-dad headers and such.)
I haven't painted in years, but that to the left is my sewing room. I'm hoping that quilt will be the project I am working on hand-stitching when I'm on FMLA next spring/summer. I hope it turns out well.
For decades, I wrote a journal. I had boxes of various-sized ringed notebooks or composition notebooks or plain sketchbooks. People would give me blank books as gifts, which was lovely and I never used them because I didn't think my day to day scrawl was important. (It wasn't.)
The week before I moved in with my husband, I unceremoniously threw them out. (Recycling was actually not as easy to find at the time. I feel shame for not recycling.) Four dialysis fluid boxes (which is sort of large), covering roughly twenty-five years of my life, of paper. I can't explain why. It's not that he asked me to do this, or that four more boxes made a difference in the move.
A day or two later, I saw a homeless guy standing by the dumpster, reading one of my notebooks. I didn't say anything; I just went to work. I hope he picked up one of the saucy ones.
Ultimately, most people's journals end up being a boring read. Sure, there was juicy stuff in my journals for the prurient of mind....I am quite proud of my colorful 20s and 30s. But there's also a lot of tedious "went to work and had an adjective day....had an adjective work out...went home and cooked noun, which was adjective, etc etc." Because that's our lives. That's okay, we should be (and I am) happy and grateful for this.
I had a blog when blogs were new, years ago, and then I found out an ex-boyfriend/stalker found me and I shut it down. I do have a cooking blog, but most of the time I hate to cook. Honestly, I just like to eat. So sometimes I put recipes there when I cook food I like.
I'm doing this blog because I am preparing myself mentally to have surgery. I will be unconscious on a table, while some thick metal pincers dig into my chest, and a pulley (a pulley) forcibly yanks my sternum several inches above where it currently sits. I think about this in a very visceral way. I hear it. My hands know what it feels like to crack a chest, so that sound, and that feel in my bones, my fingers... The color of deoxygenated blood, alizarin crimson from the tube mixed with linseed oil... And the smell of blood is actually more of a taste, of iron.
I'm sorry if that's creepy. I'm a creepy person. It's not that I'm looking forward to this. I'm hopeful, yes, that I can breathe, that I can move, that I can go up stairs without my chest hammering like I'm an 80 year old woman. But I'm not fixated on the gore for the sake of it. It's just a strangely violent thing that I'm planning to go through.
I am doing this for me. While it sounds overly precious to me to use the word "journey" (bitch, please), I am staring something that I think I may want to look back and remember. Maybe. Mostly, I just want to write. Through it. I wrote through a lot of other things in my life, and irrespective of the fact that I didn't keep those words, I value the act.
I have watched other pectus people's video blogs, and I appreciate them...and they tell part of the story, and I always want to know more. How was your breathing before? What activities couldn't you do? What happened the moment you woke up from surgery? How about a month later? A year later?
So it occurs to me that when I'm done, someone else may care to some small extent.
Or not. If I delete it and keep moving forward, I've been more mindful through the process through the act of writing.
That's really all this is.