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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Mars to Venus and Back Again 

I finished the last few pages of Middlesex this morning. It wasn't easy: while I sat reading at the kitchen counter, I was a bit distracted by Sophie and Emma taking turns mounting each other. How appropriate.

Now that I've finished the book, I can heartily recommend it. Jeffrey Eugenides puts a very human face on the issue of intersexuality and the idea that gender is a continuum not restricted to a 0/1 designation. There are a number of nice observations in the book. I especially liked, "...the tilt of his head communicated defiance and even hate. That was when I realized a shocking thing. I couldn't become a man without becoming The Man. Even if I didn't want to."

That's one of the things I've always wondered if FTM transgender people consider before they make the leap. Well, that and the drawbacks of using men's rooms. On the topic Eugenides writes:

...I began to use the men's rooms. This was perhaps the hardest adjustment. I was scandalized by the filth of men's rooms, the rank smells and pig sounds, the grunting and huffing from the stalls. Urine was forever puddled on the floors. Scraps of soiled toilet paper adhered to the commodes. When you entered a stall, more often than not a plumbing emergency greeted you, a brown tide, a soup of dead frogs. To think that a toilet stall had once been a haven for me! That was all over now. I could see at once that men's rooms, unlike the ladies', provided no comfort.

A few years back, while we were at a software conference reception in which the male attendees far outnumbered the female (as is true at this year's TechEd, as noted by Iffy), Joe mused, "Why do women's rooms have sofas?" My immediate off-the-cuff liquor-infused response was, "That's the wrong question. The question is 'Why don't men's rooms have sofas?' and the answer is because they'd piss on it." Joe considered this a minute and then agreed with my assessment – which is certainly rare enough :-)


Tuesday, May 25, 2004

She's B A A A C K... 

I picked up Emma this morning. She was ecstatic. I suppose we're both missing everyone who's off at TechEd – too quiet around here!

Emma tails Sophie.

Back in the Saddle* 

I'm back at work today (expecting results on Friday). I'm still a little fuzzy-headed so it's a good thing that a keyboard is the only machinery I have to operate. Things seemed to go fairly well. At least, I had no problems with the anesthesia, including no 'awareness' problems, which I have had while in recovery rooms after surgeries in the past.

However, although the surgical staff was apparently mindful of my neck, I feel like they tried to use my legs as a Thanksgiving wishbone. All the progress I've made toward gently extending my range of motion through months of physical therapy seems to have been undone in one short unconscious moment. I once read somewhere of a patient advocate program in which someone designated to speak for the patient accompanies her into the operating room. I'd like to participate in a program like that. It would have been nice if someone had said, "Hey, take it easy with that hip joint, would ya?" Until we have such a program, I think I'll mark instructions all over my body before the next surgery so that I go in looking like Guy Pearce in Memento.

Obviously I haven't done any writing during my stay on the Padded and Flounced Island, as I'd expected to, but I read a lot. I finally got through the bulk of Middlesex. I'm now down to the last few pages, the dénouement, and I hate for it to be over. It's been a really good read and I'm so glad Jolie sent it. She'd also sent a care package that included some mindless trashy mags. But it was Eugenides' fascinating novel that really got me through, even as it resurrected deeply buried memories from my own painful adolescence.

* Ouch! bad image.


Friday, May 21, 2004

Planning a Short Stay on the Padded and Flounced Island 

CCSP Spring 2004 is over; I have a minute to write again. I expect to have more time to write during the next 3 days.

I'm undergoing the knife scope and blade this morning. It's considered "minor" surgery but I'll be under general anesthesia and that always makes me a little nervous. It didn't help that the anesthesiologist told me about a patient he'd had who'd forgotten to mention that he'd had whiplash at some point. Apparently they mishandled the patient's neck while he was under and he awoke with "diminished function". Geez, that was comforting: I've had whiplash 4 times.

Nevertheless, the surgeon considers uterine perforation the greater risk (I was much relieved when she told me they would be leaving everything in place). I wish they understood that I have no fear of death, only of pain and diminished function. I read my chart recently and was considerably peeved with an orthopedic surgeon's notes regarding my "teary" concern over his prognosis: "perhaps her primary care physician can console her that the condition is not life threatening". Dolt. Had he told me my condition was terminal and I had x weeks to live, my eyes would have been dry.

At any rate, the beasties are acting like I'm leaving for a trip. Tonka's being clingy, Sophie's more territorial than usual, and Nora braved the bedroom door this morning despite Sophie's hunched-down ears-back intimidation tactics. It always amazes me how attuned 4-legged companions can be to their humans.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Beating Dead Horses Birds  

Dr. R telephoned me again. It was the weekend before I posted the last entry. 1:06 in the friggin' morning. On a Saturday.

Although I was still out on my Friday night, I went scrambling for the phone, panic-thinking (i.e., not thinking clearly) that the only person who would call me at that hour would be my daughter. Of course, as soon as I reached the phone it stopped ringing, and I simultaneously realized that my kid would wait until morning when I might be able to do something about whatever unlikely situation could possibly make her want to call Mommy.

I didn't recognize the local number, so I didn't return the call immediately. The next day I tried it and knew the voice answering. Apparently he has a new number. And what? He wanted me to have it?

The man I'm seeing says I should make it clear that he doesn't appreciate Dr. R's calling me – well, actually his comment had something to do with feet connecting with backsides that weren't yet burning. But the amazing thing is, we're talking about someone who knows what I'm capable of when I'm genuinely pissed off (see earlier entry, I'm Just Crazy About You). One would think that should be enough.

About 9 years ago I did a print about people who, like Dr. R, hedge their bets in relationships. I called it Killing Love because love dies when you try to develop a second love interest while you're already in a supposedly 'committed' relationship – when you try to keep what you've got while trying to find something "better". Not only does it not work, it "kills 2 birds with 1 stone", to continue the bird clichés.