Posted by: alainnneart | August 17, 2010

and I sang, “holy holy”…

She walked, in a daze, into the emergency room.  Looking around, late this Saturday night, the waiting room was as deserted as she would see it.  A man sitting holding ice on his face, a Latino mother, pacing restlessly, is holding a small sleeping child.  No more then small blimps on her radar and she swiped her pass to gain entry, bypassing the waiting room.

Her heels clicked on the floor in uneven tunes and melodies, one of the shape stilettos was broken, causing her to limp sideways.  The graveyard crew peering over computers at the triage station, curious faces wanting to know why she was there, for she is not on call tonight.

She scans the board to see who is working.  It has to be the right person.  Not someone unfamiliar, not some one male.  It has to be someone she trusts.  She needs that trust.  Ignoring the nurses staring at her and asking her questions, she noted that Liz was the on call doctor.  She pages her.

She sits and waits.  The nurses begin to buzz around her, whispering softly to one another.  It’s apparent that some thing has gone wrong with their colleague.  When Liz arrives she smiles inquisitively at her, wondering aloud why she is there at such a late hour.

She stands and leans into the doctor, whispering softly.  Liz’s face changes, soft smile wiped from her face, eyes becoming hard, serious grimace masking her mouth.  She takes her into an exam area, closes the curtains.  A few minutes later, the doctor comes out and tells the lead nurse to call the police.

The exam is simple, clinical and cold.  Her legs in the stirrups, staring at the ceiling, wondering about the crack that leads down to the wall.  Someone should get it fixed, she muses to herself and she is swabbed, prodded and combed.  She knows the drill, she knows what the details are, but still, she takes a sharp breath in, the speculum is cold and foreign.  While never pleasant, it is increasingly painful and she gasps.  There is something assaulting about it.  The night was surreal until that very moment, when the rape exam became very real.

Her nails are scrapped and her clothes are collected.   There is swelling beginning to give way to bruising on her wrists and it is photographed as is other parts of her body where the medical staff  are suspicious.  There are teeth marks on her neck and breasts. She is given the paper to chew and gauze to spit on, all to collect samples of her saliva.  She moves through the motions of the exam in a zombie state.  All along, questions are being asked of her, those that she cannot answer.  She cannot, because the night is blank in her mind.

The police arrive and ask the same questions.  The officer is familiar to her; she has probably spoken to her before in a professional capacity.  Her eyes are like honey, she notes, and she is a tiny officer.  The officer smiles and touches her hand.  She flinches.  She can’t answer the questions.  Her blood is drawn and taken to the labs with a rush order.  The officer sits quietly with her, calming her.  She cannot answer her questions.  Finally, she leaves and she is alone.

She’s brought upstairs by the doctor, admitted into room 119.  The doctor tells her to sleep and gives her a sedative as she leaves.  But she does not take the pills.  She lays in her bed and stares at the ceiling, trying to figure out the night.

Yes, I went to an art house party.  I didn’t have anything to drink.  I looked at the art.  There was that man I was talking to. What was his name?  So smooth. So confidant.  Alex? Andrew?  He was a charmer.  What was I drinking?  Coke?  We had such a good time.  He was tall.  He had brown hair.  He had hazel eyes.  What was that smell?  Cologne?  He was funny.  He seemed to be interested in me.  Did he get me another drink?  Did I lead him on?

She stared at the ceiling, as night made way for the day, unmoving, silent.  Questions echo in her head.  They remain unanswered.  The night was a blur.  The party was loud.  The artwork was phallic.  He seemed to be the only non-pretentious one there.

Eventually, she turns and slips into an uneasy slumber.  Her dreams are dark, images of worm like tongues coming out of no where, the heavy pressure placed on her chest, his mouth hard on hers, his teeth chewing on her skin, the feeling of being dragged to the bottom of and ocean. Always, her mind goes blank before it can recall the worst, blacking out as a giant penis comes towards her.  It comes in flashes, the night, and when she is awoken by the daylight, she finds Liz asleep on the chair next to her.

Liz comes to and offers to get her a coffee from the cafeteria.  She agrees and as soon as her friend leaves, she begins to pour through her chart at the foot of her bed.  Ignoring the bruising that is darkening on her fair wrists, she finds what she was looking for: gamma-hydroxybutyrate in blood work and urine.

She settles back into her bed.  Drugged and raped. This in not genre for a woman of her age.  Women her age are aware of their surroundings, of their choices, of their lives.  Echoes from the memory of that night in high school, so long ago, begin to stir.  But back then she was stupid and naive.  She would like to think that in her twenty years since being raped she had grown wiser.  And yet here she was, twenty years later, back in a hospital bed, trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

It’s the shock that registers first.  How did this happen?  It’s followed by the fear.  Fear of losing yourself and your memory.  A whole night, blank in her head, no memory of it.  It’s a dark place, where faint flashes come in pieces.  The tongues of her nightmares, coming out of nowhere.  The hands on her shoulders.  The crushing weight.  The giant stiffness of the man coming towards her face…

There is a feeling that she cannot shake.  Helplessness.  Like an animal backed into a corner, nowhere to run to.  There is no escape.  There is no way out.  She slowly thinks of the night so many years ago where she lost her virginity.  Violent and painful, she was in the hospital for several days.  What would this be like?

The door opened and she turned to look for Liz and the coffee.  Instead, there was a mousy young lady at her door.  She introduced herself as Sarah from Rape Crisis.  As Sarah explained her role as a crisis counselor the woman spaced out, nodding her head, agreeing at the right times, but not focusing on a word that Sarah said.  She knew she meant well, and she knew, from being raped as a teen that she would need to talk to someone soon.  But it’s hard when your place of work is where you have to be examined.

“Do you have ways of coping?  Of dealing with this trauma?”

She pondered this for a moment.  A chronic writer and artist, she simply told Sarah, “Thank you.  I have my own counselor for work and I have a blog.  I will be discussing this with both” Sarah smiled and said, “many technological advancements today have opened up a whole new work of therapy.” She continued on talking but the woman was lost in her own thoughts.

I could blog about this, she thinks, but how does one describe something horrible?  Something she doesn’t really want to talk about but knows that she must?

And then the answer comes to me. You write it in the third person.  And when you get to the end of the first day, you see if you can write in the first person.

Posted by: alainnneart | August 29, 2009

And we are back…

and my world sort of imploded on it’s self a little bit, in a good way.   More to come.

Boobies are fine., BTW

Posted by: alainnneart | August 21, 2009

I’m outta here.

I am leaving now for Carmel for 4 days.

It’s a mini-break!

Posted by: alainnneart | August 19, 2009

The dangling conversation and the superfical sigh.

If this is what we put people through then we just suck.

I am waiting for my biopsy results.  waiting and waiting.  I suppose the old saying, “no news is good news” is a good way to look at this whole trying time but not really.  the suspense is killing me.

Work today was the typical work day.  five people came in.  one death was announced.  the world keeps going.

I wonder how to stay attached.  or maybe I need to be detached to stay sane.  it’s unclear.

nothing else to say today.

Posted by: alainnneart | August 16, 2009

Come on baby, I’m much stronger then you know

It’s strange really, when you realize when your two worlds have collided with a deafening crash.  The sound echoes and resounded in only my head, spooking me for a minute, wondering if anyone else heard it.  But no, it’s all here in my head.

Laying on the table waiting for not one but THREE BIOPSIES of my breasts, I note with amusement the ceiling above me.  In this room, it looks like old-fashioned white ceiling of med school dorms, where after being awake for 36 hours you find yourself dumbly throwing sharpened pencils into the air, hoping one or two will stick erectly in the ceiling.  Ahh yes…. Good times people, good times.

Laying there, I looked at the ceiling and then at the tech taking the sonograms of my breasts.  Quiet and serious, she stared intently at the screen.  I glanced at the screen.  It was a maze of grey and black streaks.  There was nothing at all as she ran the scanner over my breasts.  Just when I was about to chalk it up to my hyperactive and paranoid mind the black mass appeared in it’s grotesque form, awakening in my head dormant worries and anxiety.

“Gotcha, ya lil’ bastard” said the tech.

I like her style.

She found the other two lumps in my left breast faster.  I hadn’t even known they were there but that is what a mammogram does: picks out things you may ignore.

The doctor came into the exam room next.  She went over the lumps, mumbling to herself, barking at the tech and generally ignoring me.  I don’t know her and I am not sure if our paths have ever crossed at any trainings or conferences.  Interesting to note, as my world in the medical field overlaps with many.

Eventually, the doctor looks at me and starts talking:

“Well, Alainn, we are going to perform a biopsy.  Do you know what that is?”

“Yes”

She continues on as though she has not heard me and now she is talking to me like I am a child.  “First I am going to put some soap on your breasts.  It’s going to feel cold.  Then I am going to give you lidocaine.  It’s to numb the area.  You may feel a prick and a burning sensation…”

At this point, my eyebrows are raised and I have a bemused look on my face.  What I am thinking as she drones on is “are you kidding me?  I know all this.  Why are you talking to me like I am a ten year old?”

“… And finally there will be some loud noises.  That’s me taking samples.  Understand?”

I smile at her and look like I am concentrating as I reply, “So what I hear is that you will be performing a CNB and that the procedure will be using a needle that has a wider diameter and is equipped with a cutter that removes cores of tissue up to a half-inch long.  Yep, I think I got it.”

Needless to say, the doctor just stared at me for a few seconds.

For the past few weeks I haven’t been gong to the gym.  I used to go and work out every Thursday night for an hour.  My next-door neighbor John would come and sit with SC for an hour as he fell asleep.  I would pay him five dollars. Cheap, I know, but by the time I left to work out he would be in bed dozing off.  All john needs to do is be there in case he wakes.

But, as I stated, I have not been going to the gym.  Instead, for the past month, I have been going to the local bar.  Please let me explain before you pass the “Irish=drunk” stigmatism that I have fought my whole life (because with my name, it’s pretty obvious I am from the old county) I go to the local Irish pub and have a cider.  Or two.  I write in my dairy a bout everything that has happened in the week and let’s face it; I have a lot of things happen in the week.

I sit, in the corner at the bar, and write and listen to my iPod.  I don’t bother anyone.  Daniel, the bartender, knows me and knows my drink.  He also no longer cards me, after finally accepting that I am not an under age drinker.  (That took awhile.)

This is my one hour to myself a week where I can really and honestly relax.  I don’t have to answer med orders.  I don’t have to deal with children.  I sure as hell don’t have to deal with ex appearing suddenly with no reason.   I can just relax, enjoy my cider, and write everything down.

What I don’t want is the sleazy 40 years old to shimmy up to me and hit on me.  Sure, I will take your free drink, but no, I will never give you a straight answer.

“So what do you do for a living?”

“I work for lawyers downtown as an admin assistant.”

“Wow.  Do you like your job?”

“Sure I do long hours and I don’t get to see my four kids.  John, my 16 year old, is raisin hell now”

“Wow, so you have a man in your life to help with the kids?”

“No, he died six months ago.  I would rather be single”

It seems like no matter what I threw at creepy man, it didn’t work.  Finally, he asked where I lived.  OH HELL NO.  There is no way I am telling creepy man where I live!  What kind of idiot do you take me for?  I told him I lived far enough away to catch a cab.

He asked my name

“Jennifer”
Because I am not stupid.

Posted by: alainnneart | August 13, 2009

Father of mine, tell me where have you been?

yes, as I eluded to yesterday, SC’s father has waltzed back into our lives.  I could get into the reasons why we are no longer together but let’s just summerize it like this: not a nice guy and mentally ill.

SC sees his father now about 1.5 days a week.  That’s what the judge gave him a long time ago but it’s only recently that he has become interested in taking it.  It makes me a little worried, the sudden interest.  But, whether I like it or not, he is SC’s father.  SC is also very smart.  Guess he takes after me there, because he already can see what his father is.  He calls McG dad sometimes and McG is fine with that (or at least I think he is)

But it’s the nightmares that are bothering me.  Not that I think that anything is happening at his father’s house, but it’s the lack of communication and absolute blank of 1.5 days that bothers me.

Posted by: alainnneart | August 12, 2009

Sleep, don’t weep, my sweet…love.

SC.

He used to love going to bed.  He has a bunk bed he would jump on several times and then settle down, say prayers (“OH GOD! THANK YOU!”), and snuggle his rabbit to sleep.

No more.  Recently, it has become a challenge for him to go to sleep.  He needs the light on.  Not the nightlight, but the LIGHT.  He begs me not to leave the room.  I sit quietly on the floor, letting him hold onto my ponytail for comfort, until he passes out.  I sneak out of the room and go to my office to finish charts or notes from work, followed by a quick shower and then bed for me.

But everytime I open the bathroom door, I quietly whisper my own secret prayer.  Sometimes it’s answered.  Other times, I find wound tightly in my patchwork quilt, SC.  He dozes with a look of concern on his face, drool spilling onto my pillow.  I know that he will enevitably awaken with a nightmare, so i let him sleep in my bed.  It’s the steady breathing out and in that lulls me into a restless night of dreamless sleep.

And sure enough, as dawn approaches, he cries out.  It’s another nightmare.  I lull him back to sleep, whispering softly that everything is all right.  The monsters are not real.  and then I ponder, why the sudden change?  It doesn’t take my long to put two and two together.   All his fears started when Daddy dear waltzed back into his life.

Posted by: alainnneart | August 11, 2009

This could get messy…

So there is a change in the way I am thinking.  Well, not really

Today I had an interesting co-worker at work.  I am usually very guarded about my personal life.  In fact, a lot of my co-workers of several years now don’t really know about me.  Sure, they know I have a child.  They know I have an ex that isn’t really involved.  But other then that, my personal life is just that: it’s personal.

Imagine my surprise when I started talking about McG to one of the younger nurses.  I have no idea what triggered the big “opening up” emotionally.  It’s strange, really.

McG is my…. Thing.  How can I explain?  I dated McG when SC was very, very young.  We broke up about 8 months later because I didn’t want to date him. He never referred to me as his girlfriend in 8 months.  Never met any of his friends.  Nothing.  I figured it’s time to cut the strings now, before SC gets attached.  (And just so you know, he didn’t meet SC until we had been dating for a few months.)

Anyway, that was a few, years ago now and McG has always been in my life.  And yes, I have slept with him a few times over the past few years.  Was it because of attraction?  Desperation?  Down right needs?  I have no idea.  But he is also my best friend and yes, SC loves him.

Imagine my surprise today when Jack asked me if I was in love with McG.  I looked at him, taken aback, and said, “why would you ask me that?”

“You get a small smile on your face when you talk about him and blush a little”

I stared at him, my usual “impending doom, I am going to kick your ass” glare I reserve for people who really anger me.  Jack stared right back and smirked. “Yeah, that look doesn’t work on me,” he chuckled as he walked off.

This makes me wonder what exactly McG is to me.  I thought about it in depth for the rest of the day and even now late into night.  He’s always the one I call when I need help.  Or am bored.  Or want to do something.  Yes, our relationship is sexual at times.  Yes I date other people, all who have never met SC, and eventually say they have a problem with me being a mom.   But McG never says that, he only compliments me.

So what is he to me?

Love sounds too old fashioned.  I think of women in the 1940’s
Fuck buddy sounds too young.  I am not a teenager anymore
Friend with benefits sounds too college aged.

And if he is just because I need companionship and nothing more, then why can I not stop thinking about him?

Posted by: alainnneart | August 7, 2009

Song for a winter’s night…

Now, don’t panic.

I lost my blackberry.  Uh-huh… you heard that right.  I lost my blackberry.  Now, it’s not even that I am worried about my phone book being out to the whole world or anything.  No, I think most people would be worried that I have a calendar on the blackberry that, well, has my patient’s schedules in it.

Now, anyone who works in the medical field can tell you that this could be a massively huge lawsuit and HIPPA violation to the extreme.  But have we not already determined I am not your typical medical person?

I will come off sounding conceited, but I am smart.  How smart? Erm… I have skipped a few grades.  I have a few degrees.  My brother calls me Doogie.  You get the idea.  However, being smart has been a real pain in my ass.  Why?  No one takes you seriously!!  Why?  Because you are young and look even younger then you are.  People have trouble taking me seriously.

This has changed in the past few years as my hair grays a little and those wrinkles begin to form more in my forehead, but still… I find my child patients like me a lot because I am “young and hip” (oh yeah, if only you knew…)

There is a reason why I am explaining all this.  And yes, it does bleed into the massive fuck up of losing my blackberry.  All my patients are on my blackberry.  All the times I see them. No medical information, of course, but when the appointments are.

However, legal is not worried at all.  Why?  Because I am smart. As we have determined, I listen to a lot of music.  Naturally, I am always humming songs. Every patient I have is assigned a song in my head that describes them.  So of course, my schedule looks something like this:

Friday August 7, 2009

9am- angry any more
930am- save me
1015am- playboy mommy
1045am- handlebars
1130am Say hey
12pm disarm

You get the idea.  Legal thought it was the best idea they had hear in quite awhile.

See, I told you that I was smart.

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