Posts tagged health
Perfectly Flawed

When I was a small child, my grandmother took me to see The Elephant Man, a movie about Englishman Joseph Merrick. Joseph was born with severe facial deformities and was exhibited as a human curiosity in the late 1800’s. The depiction of Joseph Merrick shocked me, but not for the reasons it shocked others. For me, the shock was recognition. I knew Joseph Merrick. I was Joseph Merrick.

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Tired

On those rare occasions that I venture out into the world and interact with other humans, common courtesy makes people ask how I’m doing, but I never know how to respond. I’d say “I’m tired,” but my mind says I haven’t the right, haven’t earned that descriptor. When ‘tired’ is for marathon runners or physical laborers, when ‘exhausted’ is reserved for working 100 hours a week or a harried mom of 3, I’m not allowed to be tired. When the adolescent me had aches, they were ‘just growing pains;’ when youth me was feeling down I got reminded that there was ‘nothing to be sad about;’ and teen me falling asleep in class was labeled ‘bored’ at best or ‘lazy’ at worst.

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Retouching the Corpse

Part of me didn’t care what happened to the body. Mom had spent years abusing it, drinking and smoking, eventually producing the bloated, blackened cadaver before me. I had spent the past week alternately praying it into miraculous recovery and begging Mom to leave it because it was a completely useless thing now. On about the fourth day of her coma Dr. Carvahlo had suggest draining the infection and running tests on the pus. My argument was: who cares what the disease was, after it had shut down her kidneys, gangrened her legs and hands, and rendered her lungs useless? Two days later, Mom’s only working organ slowed to a stop - her heart.

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