Summary of 2019:
- Returned from Christmas in Canada with the flu. First real flu since high school.
- January: so sick I finally decide to try light pilates at the end of the month in case lethargy and depression are causing this flu/backache. Can’t really digest any food, quit meat.
- February: still have the flu. Kick it. One of my best girlfriends gets diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Decide it’s time to see a doctor. I’m down to steamed vegetables, fruit and the baked potatoes. End of February: go to Palm Springs for Chris’s birthday…
- March: the flu is back again? Still working. Still slaying. Still taking on more responsibility. Uh-oh looks like açai bowls are now off the list, too.
- April: Chris’s dad passes away. No longer digesting any food whatsoever, I go to the doctor, emergency c/t scan on the spot, thus begins the spiral of losing 30+ pounds.
- May: it’s all a blur. Running out of things to eat, on a list at UCLA – despite paying $700/month for a PPO – for ultrasounds, interviewing gastroenterologists because sorry primary care lady but these ones you’re referring me to who have punctured a colon, even a solitary one, are just not going to do it for me. Still working – don’t ask me how. One day while walking in from outside in the yard experience a sharp pain in my left side, literally see white light, scream and collapse on the floor. Fainted in my own home, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. No telling how long I was down there. Come to in a pool of sweat, schedule urgent care appointment on my phone from the living room floor, drag myself upstairs to the shower. Can’t recall driving there. See beginning sentence in this bullet. Maybe it’s kidney stones they say. Three hours later go home and end up in the ER an hour after that. Down 15lbs at that point, no one can tell me anything. Renal ultrasound shows zip.
- June: Interview a gastroenterologist who finally hears me, finally sees me, someone FINALLY HELPS ME. Gets me in for a same day vaginal ultrasound. I just said vaginal on this blog, my how times have changed. Schedule a colonoscopy. Refers me to an OB/GYN. It’s gonna be a busy month.
- June: total my well-cared for and beloved car on the 405 on the way to see the OB who has squeezed me into his schedule after talking to the GI. My boss asks if I’ll still be able to make it for lunch to see the new office….while I’m standing on the side of the freeway next to my smoking car weighing 87lbs in the one pair of pants that still fit waiting for the tow truck in 98 degree weather while the CHP guy tells me I’m the most honest accident person he’s talked to in 20 years. Not sure what that meant.
- June: OB fits me in two days after accident but I have such bad PTSD Chris has to drive me. During vaginal exam (yep, went there again) OB says: wait, is Shamsi doing your colonoscopy? He’s the best in LA, he does mine. Get the propofol, you’re in the best hands. Two days after that: COLONOSCOPY TIME!
- June: getting a lot of bullets because two of my biggest fears have been 1. colonoscopy – my aunt died young of stomach cancer and we’re a lot alike and 2. getting in an accident on the 405.
- June: discover my boss has been paying his assistant my five figure bonus.
- June: down to 82lbs.
- June: after colonoscopy, at GI’s insistence, eat my first real food at Urth caffe in a propofol induced haze. Shop at CB2 in a propofol induced haze. Went somewhere else I can’t remember in a propofol induced haze. Stop by my local Audi dealer in a propofol induced haze and sit in updated versions of my car with a sales guy who is a dead ringer for Josh Swickard, someone I watch daily on General Hospital, and actually call him Chase and Detective Harris. Still friends to this day. There is a reason Michael Jackson liked propofol so much.
- June: buy a car after so much drama trying to find one because they stopped making mine but ended up in Monterey because as Chris so wisely put it: OF COURSE there’s one in Monterey. That’s how you know IT’S YOURS. #sage #followthesigns
- June: colonoscopy clear! GI reads me my mail. Maybe I’ll talk about it someday, maybe I won’t. Let’s just say there are still excellent, intuitive,brilliant, wonderful doctors out there. Don’t stop until you find one.
- July 1: quit my job. Rephrase: stuck up for myself, spoke my mind peacefully yet firmly, presented my case for the SIXTH MONTH IN A ROW and then enforced the boundary. Watched the blood drain out of someone else’s face for once. I didn’t have any blood left to drain out of mine.
- July/August: beach days, recuperation, work my way up to 12 foods I can eat and digest (victory!), read books, be with my cats, see little pieces of the old me from 5 years ago begin to resurface. Cry a lot. Cuddle my cats and feel grateful to be alive.
- September: My girlfriend dies of colon cancer. The bottom falls out. I go back to Washington State and remember so many things about my old life there. Not ready to talk about it.
- October: Monkey’s kidney disease goes to stage 2.
- November: Seriously wondering what I’m going to do for work.
- December 16: Monkey becomes incapacitated at the vet after they give him a shot he was too frail to have. It was the worst day of my life and I will never forgive myself for not thinking more clearly and just taking him home when I had the chance. My beloved friend and companion of 17 years, gone. Every day is a haze of sadness.
This isn’t even all of it
People come to blogs for fun, lighthearted things and to maybe click on the link to a pair of jeans. Wait, that was in 2010. Do people come to blogs anymore?
I had this thing redesigned two months ago and it’s been in maintenance mode ever since.
Maintenance mode, just like me.
I’m supposed to get on here and wax poetic about all the things I’ve learned about myself in the last decade, how I’ve grown and things have gotten SO MUCH BETTER, like, can you even imagine? No, I can’t.
The past 10 years have beat me to a pulp. I’ve lost so many people I love, barely recognize myself, my life or anything in it. I’m out of words. Out of thoughts. Out of energy.
There’s this belief circulating that you should never talk about or give thought to difficult/devastating things that are happening to you because it welcomes more in. I’m not sure I believe that. How can you be supported by your friends and family if you’re not honest about what you’re going through? How can you work through emotions if you’re not examining them in an honest light – alone or with people you trust?
2019 was the hardest year of my life. There, I said it. But it’s over now and so is the last decade.
If only I could take Monkey with me, I’d be glad to leave it behind.