|The Girls Contemplate Our New Home|
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Now, however, I want to work. Okay, world? I want to work. I work hard. I'm good at what I do. Let me work.
Except not for the last two months while I sorted our immigration paperwork, got DrC all spiffied up and off to work himself, and scrapped nearly 8 months of indescribably icky goo off our bodies and out of the boat.
And not this month while my Mommy is in town.
And apparently not next month while I have a good chunk of my face reassembled.
It turns out that the little bump on my nose which initially appeared like the world's most persistent and slow forming zit is actually not a zit at all. It's a zebra case of a tumor which is going to just keep growing until I either cut it off or I can't see past it and run my car off a cliff. The medical definition of a zebra is a disease or condition that is so uncommon that a doctor only learns of it because medical schools engage in a form institutionalized hazing which in any other context would be declared a felony. Any given zebra only shows up in the average medical practice once or twice in a doctor's entire career, if that. Such cases are shared with colleagues over a slice at lunch or at the annual Christmas party after a few drinks. Professors make presentations about zebras, others make a living doing research on them and publishing the results in esoteric journals.
This zebra tumor has -- as is usual in such cases -- an unpronounceable, unspellable name which I promptly forgot but which DrC rattles off with élan whenever the topic arises. It apparently has been there for years and years… maybe even since childhood! … just waiting till the perfect moment when lack of ready cash, a high deductible insurance plan, and extraordinarily pent up demand to get back to work combine to make this the worst possible moment to erupt into sight. Now that it's growing, however, the thing is on a roll. Depending on my mood, the girls either refer to me as The Two Nosed Witch or Rudolph, the Double-Nosed Reindeer. It just gets bigger from here. Fortunately, there is just about zero chance it means death to Toast unless I am foolish enough to allow it to grow so large as to block my ability to eat.
Unfortunately, getting rid of it is fraught with all sorts of horribleness. It'll be expensive. It'll leave a really nasty scar. And, I am not shitting you, I am going to spend three weeks with an "elephant trunk made out of skin" stuck gobsmack in the middle of my face. Explaining how this works may require a diagram. The idea is the plastics doc cuts a strip of my forehead, backs it with a chunk of belly fat, then without detaching it, twists it over and down and attaches it to my nose where the dermatologist has left a great gaping hole after cutting out the tumor. Then we let the thing sit there for nearly a month while the skin grafts together after which we "trim the tusk off". You're damn right you are going to trim that off.
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Tonight, I'm glib about this, able to tell jokes and contemplate the whole thing with some degree of distance and equanimity. I have to be honest, however. After leaving the plastics consult, I just sat down for awhile and cried. I don't want to do this. It's expensive, painful, and scary. I have no real hope I'll look like Nicole Kidman after my surgery is complete. I'll probably look like someone who has been through a far worse experience like a car crash or the collapse of a building in an earthquake. It'll take a long time to heal and might require several additional surgeries before I don't look like someone grafted a piece of my ass on to my face. I had a real zit on the other side of my nose this morning which almost sent me into hysterics. I want to be brave and strong and reasonable, but my inner me appears to just want to scream and jump up and down and bitch about the unfairness of it all. Fairness, of course, has nothing to do with it. Our own troubles touch us more profoundly than the most terrible trials of others, because they are our own. That doesn't make my trouble less to me, the thought does help me with the reasonableness of it all. It's a benign tumor. While I can't see how it could possibly make me stronger, it isn't going to kill me. I am not a great beauty to begin with and this isn't going to make me less so.
Getting down to brass tacks, what I really need is some work to do for the month of February that does not involve seeing people. Reasonable or not, I don't think I can shake hands with a client and keep a straight face when my face isn't.