Friday, June 24, 2005


Oh, I am sad in my heart. It's almost my birthday, and this year it's a big one. This is the birthday I do not want to have, for some very odd reason. I've spoken with several of my friends who are also hitting ths milestone this year, and they all say the same thing - this one is totally flipping us out. I can't quite figure out why it is that this particular birthday is throwing me for such a loop, but I think that it might just be the one that has the number that makes you sound like a grownup. Because it's not the husband, kid, couple of degrees, or career that makes you a grownup - it's the *number* that makes you the grownup. I have the strangest hangups.

So, this year I don't really feel like cake or candles or presents or singing. Which is great, because the only people who cared enough to make the journey all the way out here to Middle America are my *parents*. That's right, on this particular big milestone birthday, I will be celebrating with my parents. (Husband and I don't exactly have a boatload of friends out here in the middle of nowhere. We left them all behind with the decent restaurants and readable newspapers.) I really am feeling fairly sorry for myself in anticipation of this sure-to-depress birthday. I was sitting in my car today, listening to Wilco and trying to recapture my youth, and I couldn't remember what I used to do for fun when I was young and single. I am old, ladies and gents. Break out the dentures - I'm going geriatric on this one. And I'll *still* be the youngest one at the party.

To counterbalance the impending suckiness, last night was great. I have a friend who plays in our community band, and they gave their first concert of the season last night, along with the band from the school I will be teaching at in the fall. So, I took the Bear down to the concert to get some culture, and it totally rocked (as much as band of random retirees and bank tellers can rock). The concert was in the park at the end of our street, so I just walked the Bear on down there in her stroller and we parked ourselves on the grass. The bugs were not bad at all, even though the heat index was over a hundred at the time (6:00 p.m.). The Bear thoroughly enjoyed the music, and the concertgoers thoroughly enjoyed the Bear. She's such a people person - she charmed everyone there, and I spent a good half hour after the concert letting perfect strangers hold her and pet her and threaten to steal her. And the tree tops were rustling in the breeze (when there was one), and the sun was sinking behind them, and there were happy children on the merry-go-round, and the band was really quite good, and it was just a lovely little slice of life. I really detest living in a small town, but I have to admit that it was pretty cool. Yay for music - the Bear stood and bounced in place for the entirety of The Stars and Stripes Forever. It was cute. I have a great kid.

As a side bonus, she also discovered the Joys of Dirt. I let her crawl to the edge of the blanket, and she just pulled up fistfuls of dirt and weeds and leaves and grass and threw them in the air. This may sound odd, but she's never played in the dirt before*, and she absolutely loved it. She looked at me like, "Lady, what is this great stuff and why have you been holding out on me? Watch me now as I eat a worm, just to spite you. Ha!" Or something like that. It was pretty funny.

Warning - TMI (skip ahead as necessary)

So, ever since the miscarriage I had in February, I've had this chronic abdominal pain. It feels like strong menstrual cramps, but all the time. Day in, day out. Activity makes it worse, lying down makes it better. It goes all the way around to my lower back, and makes this lovely little Girdle of Pain. I've been ignoring it and drugging myself with prescription ibuprofen, and that's been working for a while. Anyway, yesterday I finally called the doctor because it was really cramping my style (get it? *cramping* my style?) and so today I went in. Let's just say that in over ten years, I have never had a doctor do an internal exam that left me in tears. Literally, I was crying on the table in the little paper gown, and I think the doctor almost cried too, either from sympathy for my searing pain, or from guilt for causing me the searing pain. Anyway, long story short, I have a raging infection all through my womanly parts. You know, if you leave these things untreated long enough, they'll spread. Lucky me! So, that explains the pain in my middle, but not how it got there. If I had had a d&c, it might explain things, but I didn't. I wonder if perhaps something was left in there, and nobody noticed it? Or, god forbid, an unsterile instrument of some sort?

At any rate, me=loaded with antibiotics, going for an ultrasound, freaked out that this is going to create scar tissue on my ovaries or tubes and that we won't be able to have another child... what if this infection was already present, and was somehow responsible for the miscarriage? I hate being sick - I usually don't go to the doctor until I'm at death's door, and then I worry that I really AM at death's door, and get all paranoid. More hangups.

The very worst part of all this? The big yellow label on my antibiotics that says "Do Not Drink Alcohol While On This Medication." Cause I didn't want to drown my sorrows on my birthday or anything.

The Universe is plotting against me.

*Remember, we rent - no lawn.


Julie said...

Mean universe. Don't you just want to tell it off some days?

But on the bright side, the Bear does sound like an absolute sweetheart. You did that, and she wouldn't be the same kid if you weren't you. So that's something.

Jane said...

I do tell it off most days. We're in the midst of a dispute.

The Bear is wonderful, and I like to think I had a hand in that. Now, if I raise a decent kid, does that mean I'm off the hook and may behave in whatever fashion I see fit? Cause that would be a great payoff.

Julie said...

I'd say you're entitled to at least a little latitude (how alliterative am I today?).

Julie said...

I just realized I never wished you a happy birthday.

So Happy Birthday! I hope you found a way to vanquish the suckiness.

Jane said...

Thanks Julie! Pizza and ice cream did the trick.