“I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.” George Bernard Shaw
1997-1998Mel had decided at some point in this period she needed a hysterectomy.
So first she had the laparoscopy - an operation where they filled her stomach with gas to see if she really needed one, why they bothered was beyond me.
She didn’t need one, but she insisted. She was a lesbian, why did she need that gear anyhow? Her periods were not that bad, but she was quite beastly beforehand and gave a whole new facet to PMS. You see as a rule, Mel was quite placid in demeanor. As I have said, we never fought. Others she had been with found this to be quite unbelievable.
But we loved each other with respect. We talked, very seldom raising our voices. That is one thing Mel could not tolerate, and that was “screaming”. Lesbians call screaming anything that is negative to how they personally feel. It is rather difficult then to know when one is in the throes of offending. After a while you can get the feel of it.
I truly felt that Mel and I could solve issues within our little household. I could discuss anything with her, so why tell others only for them to distort the facts and possibly/probably cause problems? I never had the need to go to others to discuss issues regarding our relationship. And it wasn’t like she was such a treasure that I had no issues. Later I would find out EVERYONE knew our dirty laundry and no one was offering to wash it.
She spent way too much money on way too ridiculous items, some never out of their carton, constantly putting us in the red.
She slept all the time and did very little around the house, but if I followed suit, she would cry foul, that I wasn’t the wife she had thought she committed to. She did cut the lawn, but had a rider mower and it really was more sport than work. She went into a deep depression when the landlord took that duty away from her.
She had health problems that didn’t exist and some that did, she exasperated until they interfered with our physical relationship.
She missed too much work which put her in a bad light with her coworkers causing them to shun her. She would claim she did not understand why, but I think she knew. This led to depression.
No matter how wonderful our life, she was depressed until I would agree to extravagant spending sprees, or trips and vehicles.
She was a funeral groupie. I think she even registered at Wal-Mart. She had to go to every funeral of every person and relative she could find on the internet supposedly in her family tree. Trips cross country costing money and taking more time from her work. Now, all of this could maybe have been stopped. These funerals brought to her a sort of compassionate attention from her coworkers. She thrived on this sort of pathos. The VA had generous personal leave time...apparently.
If just once one of them would have said "Really? An Uncle you haven't seen in 40 years? Who you hated? And abused you when he did see you? Really????"
Mel would go these funerals as a meet up with her sister who at the time lived far from her. They would perform their necessary functions, all of maybe one hour of the entire 3 to 4 days and then the rest of the trip was for them to visit, party and shop.
She had the desire to appear to be the all giving, unselfish friend. Without the work. So when others needed someone to take care of their household, or children, she offered to do so, and then assigned me the task. I took care of her mother until she died and then her father – until he passed. She insisted I quit my job to do so. If she had issues with co-workers or friends, she assigned me the task of complaining to them less she risk their friendship should they not agree. Even if I too didn't agree, I was still assumed to take her side unquestioned. And I did.
Her last venture was to pick up a fellow Coast Guard buddy and bring him to our house for me to take care of. He was so very awfully sick, and he lived in Florida. He really didn’t have long, he had AIDS and I knew the different stages, he was at the worst, something I could not wish on an enemy. She drove to Florida to bring him back to New Hampshire. I could not imagine how she intended to do this. The trip alone would shorten any time he had. When she arrived home she told me he had died before she got there. I did not chose my words well.
I used the unfortunate word “Good”. I was relieved to hear the poor soul was free of the pain and suffering. She interpreted this to mean I wasn’t up to the task, and maybe I wasn’t. She also took this as me being callous, but truly, who was the callous selfish one here? Who could wish for anyone to suffer like that?
But I never saw these things. I loved her unequivocally. I didn't need an excuse and I surely did not look for approval. When people would ask me why? I would tell them it is for all the reasons that love exists. It just is. The world is round, the sky is blue and I love Mel.
So they did the hysterectomy. Her sister was livid, because the tape the doctor made of the surgery, showed a healthy uterus, ovaries and tubes. Mel's sister Candee had a daughter who was trying to get pregnant without success. So Candee took this as a personal affront. What the hell was Mel supposed to do, carry a child for her? That would have been very interesting and dangerous for all who knew her. My God, 9 months of melodrama.
Mel showed the footage of this surgery to anyone who would sit still, much as one would do with a vacation video.
I was always sick with concern when Mel would have procedures. Anesthesia is the most dangerous element in surgery and I was concerned she may not come out of it, or worse, be handicapped in some way. But at least this time, everything went ok and she could have been discharged in 48 hours but Mel made certain she stayed in long enough for every nurse and medical technician in her phone book to come a sit bedside holding her poor hand. Then after a while she would jump up all better because she needed a cigarette.
Mel decided I too needed a hysterectomy. Maybe so… What’s the worst that can happen?
I could collapse in on myself like a dying star.
Mel had her hysterectomy with little savoir faire. Something she didn’t care for... seamless hospital stays.
She invited all the same guests; doctors and nurses from the hospital she worked. She was out of it for the duration, so I had to give her a minute by minute synopsis. She expected to be handled with care by everyone she knew. Mel's changeable reputation, the Rambo patch doll turned infirm.
"Did so and so look upset? Did they peruse my chart? Did they argue with the nurses that I wasn’t getting the proper care?"
And of course I gave her all the answers she wanted to hear. I would throw in a few more "tolerable situations" for good measure.
Mel decided I too needed a hysterectomy. And she was within reason saying so.
(Caution men: Menstrual Repartee`)
I had been at work one month and it started. Within 15 minutes I could not rise from my chair. It is an awful moment in womanhood when you work on finely upholstered chairs in a company of all men, (where is that crappy faux leather when you need it) and you know you are going to be stuck there until everyone leaves. Luckily I had on a very beautiful deep plumb ensemble down to my ankle, closely fitted around the hips. Lucky because of the color. After everyone left I got up and decided right then and there I was in Mel’s court on this issue.
After cleaning myself up, I used every product I could find in the janitor’s closet to clean up that chair. This was in November, it was cold thank goodness, and I wore a long coat. I made it to my car safely, just in case someone saw, I was covered.
I got home, Mel was lying in bed with her leg up “Hi hon, your home so late!”
I turned around and showed her my beautiful outfit, ruined. Before she even commented I went into the bathroom and ran a bath. I wasn’t one of those vile PMS and even MS people.
Robin Williams said “If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
With me no one would see this coming.
“That’s it Di, you need a hysterectomy.”
I was 45 years old. It was a very odd feeling thinking I could never have children again. Mine weren’t so happy with me and maybe I needed one more as a reserve. But I would be pushing my luck with Mel. After all, she had told all the women she had been with before me that she never wanted kids. Hers or anyone else’s. I was lucky she accepted mine so willingly. In retrospect, she was lucky my kids accepted her. And after all Devon’s crazy friends called us “Mom and MoMel”. What could be more gratifying?
I made my appointment with Dr. Birken our Gynecologist. He was an exceedingly good looking man. I say this because I had a concern. I would be given Versed prior to surgery. Versed is a strong opiate/narcotic, it has a way of making the patient reveal their thoughts at that given moment. Truth Serum.
I was scheduled for a laparoscopy and true to form I made some overt statements to my doctor, some of them concerned him. He thanked me without going into detail, then said some of my chatter was about Mel and that is all I will say on that.
The following day we discussed the results of the surgery. I was on pain medicine for my neck, so I doubted anything they could give me would work without compromise. He decided that, as opposed to Mel, who got the pump; he was going to try something new on me. Oxycontin.
I knew nothing about the drug, but I was concerned about trying anything new since I have drug allergies. But he insisted. I was going to have a hysterectomy and bladder suspension (us ladies who demand a natural birth compromise our bladders and fall into a category of do this or wear diapers. Now the men who are reading this do not stop. You deserve to endure this if only by expression and description.
I decided to have the surgery around Christmas so I wouldn’t miss that much work. I was hot on a contract job with Total/Fina. Gas prices had dropped to $0.99 during this time and the company was anxious to start tapping wells. This could mean big bucks for our household, and being after Christmas with the bills we would no doubtedly incur especially so. Ahhh the sweet smell of success intermingled with the rancor of forced convalescence. The doctor said I would need to be off work 6 weeks. That wasn’t going to happen. My plans were to be off Christmas week and one week after.
I had the operation and was to have a 24 hour stay in the outpatient surgery section. Unlike Mel, I had every intention of getting home the next day.
I didn't have the steady stream of visitors as Mel would. As a matter of fact only Suzy my friend from the Renaissance Faire came to see me. That was ok, but Mel only came for glancing moments and that hurt. Everybody wants somebody to lean on during times of duress, even me.
The pain was far worse than expected. So they started me on the Oxycontin and I immediately threw up. Violently. 24 hours later I am still in the day hospital. Christmas Eve was in two days. The nurses were slowly dispatching patients. But I was violently ill, my bladder suspension was about to come undone and I was some sort of pissed, literally. I felt like a drowning woman holding on to a razor blade and the anger I felt. I had warned the doctor.
Here it was almost Christmas and I was the last patient in the “outpatient” venue. And it looked like I was going to be there for a while.
Beginning of Book
Yes, this is absolutely positively true. If you lived this wouldn't you write about it? Some of the names of characters in this blog are fictitious. This is an account of actual events. Some of the events have been compiled together for the flow of the story. Even when I read my own work, I wonder how it could be so. But if you study your own life and compartmentalize it into less than 200 pages, you would be surprised how interesting it really is!
TRUTH HAS WITNESSES (Dianne Lindsey) This material is the copyright Dianne Schuch Lindsey and cannot be duplicated in any fashion without the express permission of the Author. All rights reserved ©