Posts Tagged ‘videos’

New York State of Mind

November 7, 2021

It’s interesting what a little down time and sitting in my bed for, what now, twelve days?

What it will do to your mind.

I’ve been bed bound recovering from a surgery.

Third surgery this year.

Kind of crazy.

I have not had any surgeries in sobriety until this year.

I am no longer afraid of the pain pills or of becoming addicted to that shit.

I do not like them.

No.

I do not.

Ugh.

Gross, wonky thoughts, horrible nightmares, weird mind meanderings, drugged sleep.

Not for me.

When I was out there using and drinking and smoking and fucking around I liked the up all night kind of drugs.

Cocaine was my spirit animal.

This girl liked to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time.

I didn’t like the slow track.

Never have.

Likely never will.

I have a good girl friend who tells me I drive like her step mother.

Now in some vernacular circles that might come across as an insult, not in this case.

Her stepmother was a rally race car driver.

What my friend doesn’t know is that I slow down when I have folks in the car with me.

heh.

Anyway.

I will also add that pain killers, they do work you know.

I have found myself asking for them.

But only right after the surgery.

The first surgery this year happened in early February.

Burst appendix.

Well, it wasn’t burst until I was actually in the ER.

Then it burst.

Guess that’s a lucky place to be if you’re appendix is going to pop, might as well be where it will be taken care of.

I eschewed the pain meds, I said, no thanks, I’m sober, don’t want any, no way, no how.

Except.

Well fuck.

It was surgery.

And coming out of it was excruciating.

Apparently when I came out I still said no to the pain meds on offer, I have no memory of this.

However, after about twenty minutes or so, maybe more, maybe less, it’s hazy, I couldn’t take it.

The nurse who was typing up a note looked at me and said, “honey, you’re dying, let me give you something.”

Tear leaked down my face and I nodded yes.

Oh sweet God.

Was the relief immediate and welcome.

That was the only time I took anything.

I refused the rest.

But after having gone through that experience I realized I could handle surgery.

And not relapse.

Thank fucking God.

I also realized I was tired of my belly.

The loose skin from the weight loss.

Weight loss I’ve sustained for years and years and years now, twelve I think.

I was too old when I lost the weight for my skin to bounce back.

It just sagged.

I have always been self-conscious about it and it was disarming to lose all that weight and then be left with a body I still had to come to terms with.

I think that’s why a lot of folks actually gain the weight back.

The skin is depressing.

I did a lot of work.

I did a lot of praying.

I did a lot of acceptance.

And I had beautiful body experiences.

I have dated men who were stunning.

My ex for sure.

Gorgeous and hyper fit.

And I still felt self-conscious.

Not as much as I used to.

But it would happen.

No matter how many, “thank you God for this beautiful body” prayers I said, I still felt something.

Sometimes is was dismay, like if I hadn’t been messed with as a kid would I have drown myself in a sea of sugar to cope with the feelings that wouldn’t ever leave me.

Add weight to protect myself from the world, from the predatory gaze of men in my family or on the street on in school.

Would I have been just a normal size kid?

A beautiful body to match my beautiful face.

I used to wish that I could just cut off my head and put it on another body.

And yeah.

The work has worked and the acceptance has worked and I’m hella grateful for this body that I have been given to walk around in and ultimately, that it saved me, it took the brunt of the mental and emotional pain I was in and held it for me.

Thanks body.

And.

I also wanted something more.

Something transformative.

Like all my tattoos.

A new story for this body.

A new experience.

The appendectomy and the healing that happened and the focus on that part of my body pushed me to inquire about skin reduction surgery.

I have talked about it for years with my therapist.

I have dreamt about it, if I win the lotto type dreams.

So.

I talked to my GP.

And she agreed.

And she referred me to a plastic surgeon at Kaiser.

And I stood naked in front of a mirror and took 365 degree photos of my body and the sagging skin on my stomach and upper arms and sent a stranger photos.

My first naked selfies.

Probably my last.

And I met with the surgeon and he asked me why I wanted the surgery and I told him my reasons and I told him about all the work I have done and how long I’ve been abstinent and how much I wanted to do it, with tears on my face.

And he said.

“You’re the perfect candidate for this surgery, you really are, you deserve to have this surgery done.”

And he said.

“But your insurance won’t cover it, Kaiser won’t cover a dime of it, believe me, I have fought for this for many a patient.”

He asked me one other question, “does the skin on your belly prevent you from walking?”

Um, no.

And he said unless it was so much skin that it prevented my mobility my insurance wouldn’t cover it.

And he ended with, but I still think you should do it and I’m going to refer you some numbers of colleagues in the Bay, as Kaiser in San Francisco is not doing any cosmetic surgery at the moment due to the pandemic.

I took naked selfies for no good reason.

Ugh.

And for all the right reasons.

I called all the numbers and I got no after no because pandemic, because booked up, because on vacation, blah, blah, blah.

So.

I decided to go out of pocket.

I found my own surgeon.

Dr. Kenneth Bermudez.

And he is special.

He is fabulous.

He was amazing to meet and he’s been a dream to work with.

He was not cheap.

I blew all my savings.

I’ve been saving to buy a house.

But instead I decided to remodel the one I live in.

I also used student loans.

I ain’t gonna lie.

I figure I’ve become a great therapist, I have a full client load, I have a lovely business that I have built and worked on and put my heart into creating.

I can afford it.

I will make the money back.

So we set a date, July 16th, to do a brachioplasty, belt lipectomy, and butt lift.

There were some complications which meant that I had to derail the surgery a bit, turns out I was anemic and the surgeon wouldn’t due the full surgery.

But we compromised.

He did the brachioplasty.

And I’ve been recovering from that, pretty well, too I think.

It’s been rather extraordinary to not have the wings of skin hanging off my upper arms.

My arms are still healing and it was painful to go through the process, but man, it was worth it.

After a month and a half of healing I got an iron transfusion to accompany the plethora of iron supplements I had started taking in July.

And my surgeon set my date for the belt lipectomy for October 26th.

hahahahahahahaha.

Right after my PhD dissertation defense.

Can I just say that whole thing was stressful as fuck.

I successfully defended.

I am a doctor.

Huzzah!

And I pretty much turned right around and started getting myself prepped for the belt lipectomy.

Big ass surgery.

And in hindsight I am grateful that there were complications with the first surgery, I don’t think I could have dealt with both my trunk and my arms being inoperable.

It would have been too much.

So I went in 12 days ago and got it done.

He removed 7lbs.

7lbs!!

Of loose skin and tissue.

Fucking amazing.

I’m still too swollen to see much of a change, but I am excited for getting healed up enough to see the difference.

And wear clothes and buy new clothes.

And walk outside of my house.

I’ve been pretty bed bound for the last twelve days.

But.

I am happy to say.

That once again, I got off the pain meds really quick.

I was on Percocet, which is basically Oxycodone.

I hated it.

I mean.

In the beginning I took it without thought because I was in so much pain.

And I slept a lot, a lot, a lot.

But after my six day post-op follow up appointment I felt ready to titrate off the shit.

I went one more full day on the meds, going longer in between taking the pills.

And I had a plan to wean down and cut the pills in half and be off of them by this past Friday.

But.

Ack.

I remember one night, Tuesday it was, one week after the surgery, where I realized that I didn’t need them and that I didn’t want to continue taking them and I was afraid I would become bodily addicted.

So I stopped cold turkey.

And yeah, it wasn’t fabulous, the first night, Wednesday, was hard to sleep and I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching videos, but I got it out of my system and I haven’t had anything since this past Tuesday.

Four and a half days now.

Just Extra Strength Tylenol, lots of bubbly water, and videos.

Movies, series, cooking shows.

And for some reason.

An awful lot of what I have watched has been set in New York.

I have always wanted to live in New York.

And in some ways I sense it’s a good thing I didn’t when I was till actively drinking.

I think New York might have been the death of me, San Francisco nearly was.

So I never made it there.

I never moved there.

But I have thought of it often.

A brown stone in Brooklyn.

A therapy practice.

Seasons.

Granted.

I know winter there is not the bucolic cinematic scene that I watch cozied up with my fuzzy blankent.

Winters are brutal.

But spring, summer, fall.

Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?

I am nostalgic for a place I have never lived in, though I have visited three times.

And I fit in.

I fit in quite well.

I love the characters, and the character of the city.

I also know it can grind a person down and I know a lot of folks that have moved away.

But there is something about it.

Even now, on the cusp of turning 49 I think about moving to New York.

Though I sense you have to be young to make it in New York and really get established.

I am too old.

I have my one bedroom rent control apartment in Hayes Valley and my office is a five minute walk away.

I have the fog and the cable cars and the trolleys, the ocean, the multitude of beautiful hills and vistas, the Victorians.

Sure.

Yeah.

There’s homelessness and rampant drug use and shit on the sidewalk and some guy in the neighborhood who walks around with a super huge sound system strapped to a rolling cart, but there is still beauty.

So much beauty.

And just like I fit in New York.

I fit in San Francisco.

I’m in year twenty of living here.

So.

I don’t think I’m moving to New York anytime soon.

But there is something there.

A life maybe, running parallel to the one I am in now.

That once in a while I can just see out of the corner of my eye.

So when I’m ready and fully healed up I think it might be time for another trip back.

Which might be a bit yet, I do have to heal and I am going to Hawaii in February for a conference.

Maybe in the summer.

A four day weekend.

A stay at some swank hotel or a cute Air BnB in Brooklyn.

Until then.

I’ll keep watching videos.

I’m still on bed rest.

But I’ll keep the dream alive.

New York, you’re so often on my mind.

She Keeps Us Civilized

January 22, 2016

The mom said to her guests as they thanked me at the end of my shift this evening.

Well.

I try.

Sometimes though, the five year old is just going to stand on his head and fart on his friend and giggle wildly.

Fortunately the parents were outside in the back yard enjoying daiquiris.

I was inside with four boys: 5 3/4; 51/2; 4; and 3 1/2.

I add the halves and the quarters.

They are very fierce about their age and the hierarchy of who sits where in accordance to what age.

They were lined up left to right, oldest to youngest, along with two stuffed huskies, one stuffed cat, and one very, very loved teddy bear.

Four cups of milk in sippy cups and four graham crackers.

And.

Pengu.

Man.

There is nothing funnier to this age group than Pengu.

Nothing.

There is just something about the claymation little penguin that tickles the funny bone.

I find it endearing and cute and about the only video I can stand watching with the boys.

It’s a special night when the boys get videos, when I’m there we don’t watch videos.

I have been told by the boys that they do watch a lot of videos 0n the weekend.

I know they do and that’s not my business.

I am in no position to criticize or judge any one and their parental style.

I have in the past and it did not serve me well.

Glass houses and stones and what all.

The boys had a play date and I made pizzas.

I had to laugh at one point.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and here I am rolling out pizza dough–spinach and mushroom, pepperoni, plain cheese, and cheese and mushroom–and navigating around open containers of sugar and booze.

Not my normal.

Even at work.

But no matter.

I did my deal and took care of the boys and was grateful for my own lovely little abstinent meal and my extra time to get done laundry and pick up all the different sets of train tracks that had gotten pulled out to entertain the boys.

Three separate sets.

I pondered my psychology reading and was happy to use some theory on the boys.

I mean.

Come on.

I’m in the heart of family.

And I’m going to be a therapist.

Gold mine.

It’s like doing field work all the time.

I mean I got an A+ in Psychodynamics using a scene at the dentist office where one of the boys had a temper tantrum and I was able to apply Freud and Melanie Klein theory to what was happening.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am also a very lucky girl to have done some work today before work.

That’s the funny thing about work.

I work before it and I work after it.

Sometimes the work I do outside of work is more work.

But I digress.

I did some reading.

I checked over a couple of my syllabi.

Specifically I read the entire seven pages for Applied Spirituality.

,

I was resentful, wildly so, the first time I read it.

Hey, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know what I do?

I am special.

I already apply spirituality to my life.

Don’t tell me what to do.

Which.

When I took some time to reflect.

Was a rather unspiritual stance to take.

After doing some inventory on it and discussing it with another person at length I realized that I was, once again, being inflexible about my schedule.

I have a certain way of doing things and a certain time and don’t bother me while I am.

And.

Don’t even try to get me to do anything else.

It’s a matter of life and death.

Motherfucker.

Ah.

Yeah.

So, you can see, not so spiritual at that.

I recognize the fear behind the thoughts, I’ve been doing it this way for years, and I’m doing just fine, and I’m going to hold onto this way of doing things and you can pry my practice from my cold, dead, but still fucking spiritual, hands.

I laugh at myself.

I had a small epiphany–the poetry epiphany–and decided to not change up my practice so much, as deepen it.

I’ll grab some new spiritual readers, I will change out my daily readers, I’m still going to use conference approved literature, there is a really good reason I stick close to the original message of recovery.

It works.

But there’s more than one daily reader, so I will try another.

And I went for it this morning.

I wrote a full sonnet after writing my regular morning pages and doing my gratitude list.

I’m using a notebook that I bought at the museum store at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

I’m calling the series.

“Love Letters To God.”

I debated posting the first sonnet here, but I am not sure how I am going to incorporate them yet for the class, and since that is the reason, the impetus to do the writing, I’m going to wait until after my professor gets back to me regarding my proposal.

That may not be for at least a week.

I got word today that my professor was under the impression that classes started this upcoming weekend, he has not officially posted the syllabus and sent out an apologetic e-mail this afternoon giving some suggestions and saying basically, just wait for a week and I’ll be ready for you.

I find this extraordinarily unprofessional considering this is a graduate school program and I am paying graduate school tuition out the fucking ass.

But this is not the first time that something wonky has occurred–readers not ready, etc.

And frankly, I don’t bear a grudge.

It’s just humanity happening in front of my eyes.

I can get fussy about it or I can be grateful for an extra week reprieve from the start of another round of grad school work.

It will all work out.

And.

I have no complaints.

I mean.

I wrote a delicious sonnet.

It made me happy to write.

Happier to read.

The next thing to explore is to see if I can link a sound byte to my blog or if I should do some sort of podcast on Youtube.

Which I know nothing about, but I do feel quite compelled to have some voice recordings out there.

It feels like the next thing to do in this evolution of being an artist.

Yup.

Me the artist.

How lovely that is to claim.

I am a poet.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

Hell yeah.

Bring on the spirituality.

Bitches.


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