Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Day in the Life of Humans

Went to bed Monday night with tooth pain. Took some tylenol and thought it'd be gone by the AM. Um, no. Woke up at 2 am in agony. Took some vicodin, little relief. Woke up three hours later, in serious pain. Tried to wait for that last hour to pass before I could take more vicodin. Lasted 15 minutes and caved. No relief, couldn't go back to sleep, so it's time to find an ER dentist. Realized I had a meeting that couldn't be rescheduled and had to go to school. Called around to find a dentist, found one who said walk in this afternoon after 1. Perfect, my meeting is at noon, office is near the school. I go to the meeting and by this time I'm swaying with pain. I'm nauseous from pain. Very close to passing out from pain. Didn't mention that by noon I had already taken another 1500 mg of Tylenol and then 2 Excedrine migraine because of course at this point the pain is no longer confined to my mouth, but to my whole face and head. Then it started to swell. Meeting went quick enough, she asked if I was ok, said I looked "faint." I said "yep" and promptly went to call a cab to take me to the dentist's office.

3 hours, 1 minor surgery to remove two impacted, infected teeth (1 of which was a wisdom tooth) with stitches and everything, and $618 later, the whole right side of my face was numb and I was told to make it to Walgreen's for my prescription and home safely. But of course I had to go to work right then, so I took some vicodin because I didn't have time to get my prescription filled. Left prescription for the man. Went to work, drooling, but numb and therefore pain free. I took the vicodin at 6 pm, I had to work until 10, so I figured the pain pills would wear off right when I was getting off work and that I'd still be numb anyway. No problem because the man would be there to pick me up and I could take my real pain pills and go to bed. But what I hadn't accounted for was the numbness wearing completely off right as the medicine was wearing off...oh. my. goodness. Tears.

But it's ok because I get off in like 15 minutes, no problem.

Except 15 minutes...25 minutes...35 minutes...45 minutes later I am STILL at work...waiting on the man to pick me up. I could've gone home 30 minutes ago, except I don't have any keys (which he knew when he dropped me off) so I'm waiting because if I go home, I still can't get in and it's COLD outside...and when the cold hits the side of my face...oh my. I'm thinking he's out gathering the items I need from the store (soft stuff...which I don't each much of, so it means sorbet, basically, some kind of heat source and my pain meds) cause that's where he was going when he dropped me off, and he'll be here any minute. I kept hoping. All the while, no more numbness, no more pain pills. Tears. Finally I get on a bus home. I figure I will sit at my neighbor's place until he comes home. OH! And he did not ONCE answer his cell phone. I called a million times, and then I thought...Oh! It's probably dead because I knew he hadn't charged it the night before. So I get off the bus...and there is our car sitting in the parking lot.

Tears dry up, FUMES commence.

I ring the doorbell a million times. He comes to the door. Groggy. I don't speak, I just walk to the kitchen looking for bags and pills. There are none. Looked in the oven because I asked him to bake me some sweet potatoes when he got home so I could also have something HOT and soft to eat. Oven ice cold. Still no words. Then, I look in the refrigerator, hoping to find something...anything. Something is leftover Chinese food from yesterday. Now, it's 10pm, and I haven't one morsel of food since 7pm the day before. Tears, tears, tears.

Then quiet RAGE:

"Am I to understand that you have not only not baked me a potato or picked up anything else soft for me to eat after I have come from having my gums sliced open, teeth removed and then sewed back up...but that you have actually eaten what was left of the food I did have knowing I haven't eaten since yesterday? And that not only did you forget to pick me up, but that you also have not even attempted to pick up my percocet? I just want to be clear."

"I fell asleep."

"Oh but not before you ate my shit though." I laugh, and that's the end of the conversation because I am too angry. too hungry. in too much pain to keep yelling.

I say "Ok" and exit to Walgreen's.

Today I dropped him off at work and he didn't get out. The cold has hit my swollen face to bring him there, and now I'm in pain again and I'm pissed.


"Are you picking me up today?"


He gets out the car.

And I will be there because I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of not showing up on a day when he's expecting it and therefore prepared with a back up ride. The vindictive me says wait until a month from now, when all is forgotten.

When it's 20 degrees outside, and he has no bus money.


Pamela said...

quiet rage.

you're much more controlled than I am.

I can't believe you went to work like that.

you are fucking HARDcore.

Sarah Stewart said...

I have never heard anything like it in my life!!! If that was one of my students, she'd have been off sick for at least a week!!

Ashley said...

LOL, the life of a married nursing student!!! You could have told him how mad you were and he would have looked at you like you were crazy so congrats for channeling your anger into something productive like getting your pain meds. Don't forget you love him to death...even if it is you that kills him ;)

Dark Daughta said...

First off, I realize that the white wimmin might not get what happened with you, but FUCK! Pain? And you kept going? The legacies of our mothers and grandmothers. People don't know what black people, what black WIMMIN will go through and just keep going. I'm so so so very sorry. I'm sorry you didn't get any support. I'm sorry you were in so much agony. I'm sorry sorry sorry. I'm thinking about men and about how mothers play such an important role in training their sons to be sentient, feeling, nurturing human beings and about how most, many mothers beg off and just content themselves with making sure their sons are men and don't get sent to jail and are educated. It's not enough! It's not fucking enough. Papi is eleven years younger than I am. He didn't understand much about the mechanics of maintaining relationships when we started. It's meant daily conversation and struggle about every single aspect of what we do. I haven't had this tooth scenario. But I remember not eating all day, calling ahead and coming home to find a few dusty zucchinis just starting to be chopped, when I had called hours earlier. :) He does well now. But, I realize that many wimmin would call me bitch for not at all, not even once, not even when I was tired, not even when he was tired, backing down. He's been a jarhead in training for years. I think that now we're finessing. But some days I feel the weight of what we've been through, all the numerous stupid conversations, too heavily and i just have to look at him out of the corner of one eyeball as if to say: I know you're not coming to have conversation with me abut something fun right now. And then he goes about his business and I focus on myself, on my work, on my thoughts without having to debate or explain a thing. All this to say, when are you gonna have a conversation with him about your expectations and about what you would like to have happen in the future. Revenge would be a dish best served cold at 20 degrees outside. But do you actually think he was present enough to realize what he did wrong? Do you think he's learned anything? I bet you not. I'm not suggesting you be his learning tool. But I do think that you need space to let him know how badly he let you down, how painful it was for you, how enraged, disappointed, saddened, did I mention ENRAGEd, you were. You have a right to some tears and some overt displays of upset. I don't mean rip up the house. But why protect him from being able to see the emotional impact of what happened for you. I think this is one of the ways that men are allowed to exit from responsibility. People fix their faces around them. People pick up slack around them. They don't get to see the impact of what they do or don't do. I think that taking revenge ends up being a pattern in many people's relationships that eventually poisons whatever they have. I think it poisons their children. I think it demonstrates particular ways of dealing to children. But I know, you don't have kids. :) But, I'm just thinking that talking won't change anything immediately, but it shifts things over time. Oh, and for the record? I think your ass should be on sick leave. You've been through a physically, emotionally, psychologically traumatic experience. What would the caretaker in you suggest if you were one of your patients? :)

Dark Daughta said...

Thought some more.

I don't think he fell "asleep". If he's like a lot of people I've seen, he dealt with the stress of what happened to you by shutting down...sleeping. There are a lot of people, who, when overloaded by stress respond in this way. You'd be a better judge of how he deals with stress he can't fight or bargain with. You'd be a better judge of whether he might have been triggered into a memory of some experience with someone close to him who had a medical emergencey that perhaps resulted in death? or in him feeling really useless and pathetic. This is the second layer that came for me after I talked to Papi...who habitually falls asleep when he hits a place of fear or extreme pain or sadness or confusion. His eyes just get heavy lidded and he goes under.

I'm not trying to offer your male partner a way out of the choices he made. I'm just offering up the possibility that there might be more here, given the trauma you were going through, than meets the eye.

There's a lot of information in what you've relayed. If you wanna get at what happened and get past it, there's gonna be some excavation up ahead.

Morag said...

I'm so sorry you had such a deeply shitty day, for so many reasons.
Hugs to you.

that big girl said...

i'm wincing reading this story, and nodding reading dark daughta talk about sleep and also about the need to pin this slippery thing down and look at it.

most of all, I'm wishing a fluffy soft, dark, sweet smelling place for you to lay down for a while without pain.

off to go light some incense and flop into my own bed.

Myra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dark Daughta said...

"I keep typin up my response to say thanks for checkin in on me last week, but somethin always happens and I lose it. I don't know what's up. But anyway, for the third? time...I want to say thanks for stoppin by and checkin in, and especially thanks for the comments you left. In short, while I was typing the post I kept thinking, they won't have any idea of what the hell I'm really saying...the gravity of it...then you came over and left those comments and instantly, within the first few sentences I knew that you knew...that you got it..and that felt so damn good. Only a few times have been as angry with the man as I was that day, and I notice that my response in those moments is also to shut the fuk down...probably afraid of what I might need to revert back to those days :o) your comments about him shutting down, and me "proctecting him from the emotional impact" of what the hell had just happened were helpful in starting the dialog that had to ensue between us. (The dialog always comes with us, but usually not so soon) But also an internal dialog about the cost of shutting down (for whose benefit?) in times of extreme rage and the cost of not allowing myself my full range of emotions, especially when inside my own damn space, since I'm so *careful* (yep I read that post ;o) everywhere else.

Yeah, it was a lot, and I'm still processing...thanks for pushing me toward the work of it.


Just bringing it on back so as to give context...

It felt disjointed to not respond here, where it began.

I appreciate you attempting to rise and share. Yeah, I saw you, felt you, heard you loud and clear and had to write. I worried that I said too much. So, thanks for the reassurance.

You're a midwife. You deserve some back up. So, anytime.

s2 said...

I REALLY NEED TO RESPOND this! But I need to turn to the store!!!!!!!!!!
Talk to you in a sec...