“tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon”.
~ Richard Feynman (the story behind this quote)
There is an infinitesimal moment in certain kinds of situations that have about them a sense of the surreal, of suspended animation, of some sort of unexplainable something that detaches you from your surroundings and yet manages to implode you into them. Everything makes sense, yet nothing does.
Getting told gut wrenching news can be one of them.
I had wanted to come here and put into written posterity my fight with Hello Kitty that lead to a paisley shaped second degree burn. A story such as this had elements of the absurd coupled with a funny anecdote about managing pain, discomfort, and numbness after surgery.
I’ve been pondering, as well, putting down the why… as in why I share this “journey” in the way I do. (side note: I hate the word journey in this case… Journey is a beautiful word, cancer should never be a part of its etymology)
But really, all I “feel” like I want to do right now is to throw things and break them while cussing like an angry drunken sailor… at least until I see that in the whole scheme of things I’m pretty lucky and behaving like that impulse, is pretty self-indulgent and whiney so I don’t and just end up having to tell my husband that I’m talking to myself again.
I do talk to myself quite a lot now, primarily because I start thinking of people who have expressed some dislike towards me and it’s me asking them if they’re happy now that I’ve got cancer… again. It’s a crazy conversation I am having with myself. I figure it is how I am processing the whole fault of this situation – as in it is my fault while trying to understand why – I must be a terrible person, but I don’t think I am but maybe those who do think I am can understand this and I am, I guess, trying to see it through their eyes. Again, I can see this is a clinical process, but it is one I am going through – it is so weird.
May be that I need to be appropriately embarrassed by my “fight” with Hello Kitty, and get my mind off of this sinking hell hole of self-pity or self-loathing. The “why me” is a constant battle in managing a chronic disease such as mine, even more so this second go around. I fight it through humor and laughing at myself.
So, back to Hello Kitty, and this popsicle eating dollar store Hello Kitty gel ice pack in particular…
In a nutshell, I wasn’t thinking one single bit.
I sleep on my side, and on the side where I had my surgery in particular. I am one of those people who turns in to a heat emitting furnace when sleeping which made my incision sites (yes, there are two) feel warm, too warm. So, I would wake up and stumble to the kitchen, open up my freezer and take out one of my perfectly sized Hello Kitty gel ice packs and put them in my sports bra and head back to sleep. The instant cooling felt wonderful and in such a state nary a consideration was given to the fact that I put a gel pack straight on my skin. Please take this as a warning, doing this is unbelievably stupid and I know better and still did it.
The resulting second degree burn is paisley shaped and about two inches long and an inch wide, its blister has popped. I will admit that I have to fight the urge to draw on it and make it pretty, if only to be a distraction that I jumped up a whole stage in cancer.
All of these distractions I give myself feel like I am tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon, because the medical news I get never seems to get any better, just gut-wrenchingly worse.