6:39 Bella stirs, and wakes me up. She does this every morning, without fail. She'll realize that, oh no! Annie is in the bed! Shock! Horror! She'll jump out of the bed, so that she can bark and huff and puff at Annie from the floor, then whine to get back into bed. What she has Here and now isn't good enough, not quite realizing that what she strives for isn't any better than what she has now.
I head into the bathroom. As I leave I hear mom stir. I try to go back to sleep.
7:30 I must have succeeded in sleeping, because I awake to Kris poking me. poke-poke-poke. I open my eyes. Kris is standing there smiling, dog leashes in hand, making sure I'm up before he leaves.
7:47 I've avoided waking up as long as I can, yet still need to be ready by 8, I need to get up now. I need to get up now. I walk into the bathroom and realize I stink. If I can smell myself, it must be bad. I'm worried. I jump in the shower thinking, well, at least I won't have to shave for a couple of days.
8:00 Mom and Kris come back. I am standing in the living room naked, looking for new clothes to wear today. I need clothes I can bleed on and not worry about. I hear them walking up, and run from the living room to the bedroom.
8:15 We leave the house for the Starbucks, Kris in another car.
8:20 We arrive at Starbucks, to discover a line out the door. Kris comments he never sees the line this long. I reply, sure, but you never arrive before 9:40 am.
8:30 We leave to drive to Palo Alto. We catch each. and. every. single. red. light on Central until we arrive in Palo Alto. The world is trying to tell me to turn around and go home.
9:14 We check in at the reception. I have time to sit down, arrange all my crap around me, and open my orange juice before my name is called by the nurse. I drop my orange juice bottle lid.
9:20 We go back to the procedure room. I have to pee.
9:27 The doctor begins the procedure by numbing my face next to my right eye. My face goes numb. It feels like a migraine starting. I start quietly crying as I lie there.
9:30 Crying doesn't help, and is making things worse.
I stop crying.
9:49 I'm done. Mom and I head into the recovery room to sit for a couple hours. We're told to expect to head in for either another round, or repair surgery around 11:45.
I'm given an ice packe to put on my face: 15 minutes on, fifteen minutes off for the next few hours, to keep the swelling down. By this time, I have to pee, and pee really badly. I head into the bathroom, and go. As I'm finishing up, I note, once again, that my poop smells like my maternal grandparents'.
Gah. My period just started.
9:52 I put the pice pack on my face after my mom takes a few picures of my face. She says I look like a a beatup drunk. I laugh, and ask for more pictures. She compilies.
10:07 I take the ice pack off my face, and mom and I talk about sewing machines, quilting and needle point. I make it fifteen minutes before I need to pee again.
We talk about the new sewing machine, how it's $600 more expensive than Mom realized, but how she's really interested in getting it.
I am saddened by the fact that I can't afford to just buy it for her. I feel I should have been successful at this point in my life. I feel as if I have let her down.
I have let myself down.
I feel so young.
I feel so out of place.
I shouldn't be here.
I wonder what I could have done differently. The other patients are male. One has a spot on his ear, the other on his nose. Both agree he is glad he doesn't have his where mine is. I smile, and wish I didn't, too.
10:22 I hold the ice pack back up to my eye, and try dictating my experiences to Mom. Hearing the words come out my mouth, instead of in my head is hard. I edit myself.
I lose my voice.
10:27 I balance the ice pack on my face while typing blind, hoping the editor stays open and the focus stays on the editor. I hope my words aren't lost by a computer glitch that my fingers don't notice.
Mom continues to embroider. We talk about nothing.
We start talking about Mom's mom.
Third of eight children. An athlete, she played baseball. A tomboy. She had a birthmark on her face that was the source of endless teasing. When something wore out, she threw it away. She threw away anything that reminded her of her failures.
My aunt immediately called her dermatologist when she heard my news.
11:15 The nurse comes in to tell me I'm one of the lucky ones. One in four people are clear after the first check. I am one of them. I'll be going in for repair surgery instead of another procedure.
I am glad. I start packing up myself.
The doctor gives me my options, and her preferences. I can leave the wound alone, allowing it to heal naturally. The healing process will take about three weeks to close, I may have an indent on my face.
I care little about the potential indentation. I care more about the healing time. Stitches means the the wound will heal in a week.
I should not exercise for a week.
I am allowed to walk.
I am not allowed to use stairs.
I look as if I have been beaten up. My eye is puffy.
I choose the stitches.
I can begin playing ultimate in a week, provided I wear safety goggles. I am not to do any exercise for the next two days. I can take Tylenol for the pain. She offers me a prescription for Vicodin. I say yes, thinking I can use it for the laser hair removal treatment.
After the stitches, I look exotic.
I look like Cleopatra.
I am still beautiful.
I am healthy again.