Embodied

Elongated vowel groupings slide out of the technician’s mouth most unprofessionally. It is not what anyone in such a prone and vulnerable position (ultrasound wand up nethers) wants to ever hear.
What, what is it?
Shifting awkwardly, searching strange woman’s face, heart double-timing.
A very large mass…
Heart going to detonate in chest of sudden glass.
Reassuring, It’s not cancer…

Things the body does on its own. It operates optimally given the circumstances. But its hows, its whys. Body and conscious mind run at nonparallelifiable levels – the mind everlastingly awash in abstractions. Thus the body’s mysteries mount. The whims of tissues, their paths. Tics, torn and stretched things, broken things, oddly morphing molecular conglomerates. Tired fighting cells burning out, being gulped by frenzied foreigners. Microscopic invaders bringing their lock-and-key codes, usurping, overwriting.

Embodied. See these softly curving lines? This is where I end and the rest of the world begins. This body is central orbit for my consciousness. The mind seems so distinct a thing, but it is housed just like the rest: like the organs, fluids, neurons, lesions, bacteria, viruses contained within. I am but muscle and fat, blood and bone. There is no more and no less to me. The mind is not more. When the body dies, it too dies. Weird pieces, inside me – irregularities, abnormalities – are not less. They form a part of the unit, whether I wish them to or not (I wish them to not).

Mine is a case of curious tissue. Escaped. Endometrial. The uterus wasn’t enough. The tissue had its own aspirations of greatness. Largeness. Now it’s there, massive. A kidneybean-shaped thing on the screen, with three times the uterine volume. Why don’t I ache? Bleed?
What is it? What’s the problem?

I go medically into unconsciousness. They stick three probes in my belly – left, right, center. There is a struggle to extricate the unwanted thing, for it clutches and intertwines with my ovary (like our minds clutch-intertwine with their soft round delusions of uniqueness). When I emerge from the fog my head is huge as a puffer fish. Under the skin of my face, chest, arms, and legs, it’s crispy like puffed rice. They must keep me in the hospital overnight for monitoring.

It is a night of intense discomfort. The incompetent Indian nurse, the catheter, the pain, the crazy lady on the other side of the curtain (with whom I must share the room) who laughs and grunts and self-talks into the wee morning hours. A minute’s drifting-off or two is my pitiable attempt at any sort of slumber before they check my vitals yet again, before they poke and prod once more, before arrives a super-early tray of coffee, orange juice, sticky pancakes overdone.

Finally I am home to convalesce. The first few days are an internal thunderstorm, miniature lightning agonies ravaging my abdomen. Whimpering, I drift among the corridors of hydrocodone mist. When upright I move like a nonagenarian – for each step a century passes. I feel like a husk.

But the surgical sites scab over, fall off, begin scarring. I heal. The problem is taken care of. Oh, the marvels of modern medicine! Wait. Is it taken care of? I was offered the word ‘chronic’ – a grim term unintentionally gifted by three residents nodding their lotus heads in sympathetic union.
So what’s the problem?

The problem comes later. Soon? When the egg and sperm say hello, try to form a wider love. A fruitful love. Will I be unfruitful? Escaped tissue does its thing. Exists, embodied. It has nowhere to go, and gets trapped. Will I be trapped by the body’s goings-on? Will they make my life decisions for me? I want the disembodied choice. The dignified choice of a consciousness beholden to no less-than-ideal corporeal solution. But the body and mind are wedded:
‘Til death,
‘Til death do you part.

~ by kingzoko on January 27, 2015.

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