Monday, November 17, 2008

Looking for closure and resolution with some of my organs

Dear Appendix –

Hello. I know you’re probably surprised to hear from me. It’s been what, almost two years? Wow. So much has happened in that time, but I won’t get into all of that right now. I just want you to know that I wish we could've parted on better terms. When you so abruptly decided you wanted out, I admit I was totally caught off guard. I didn't even know you were unhappy with me, let alone about to burst. One minute we’re at a fancy party eating Brie and socializing, and the next thing I know I’m politely trying to excuse myself without drawing attention to what was going on between us. I harbored a lot of anger over your inability to express yourself, and the communication breakdown that I put squarely at your feet. But I also recognize now that I was taking you for granted. I never even took the time to actually learn about your basic functions. In fact, surgeons and immunologists at Duke University Medical School just last year announced that they’re pretty sure your actual function has been found. But I guess it’s too late for that information to help us, huh? I’m sorry about that. I really am. Despite how painful (and ultimately expensive) the separation was, I want you to know that I've processed that pain and that I've reached a healing point. Sure, there are scars, but I'm in a good place now. I hope you are too appendix... I hope you are too...

Your former partner (host? I don’t really know… you were always so weird about labels),

Dear Kidneys –

Hey guys, what’s up? What’s going on back there? You’ve been awfully quiet over the past 6 months or so… I would love to believe that the reason is entirely benign. But as they used to tell us in Kidneys Anonymous, “Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.” So, have you really kicked the habit, or are you about to go off the wagon again with the whole stone thing soon? Man, I would love to believe you when you say, “Seriously Laura, we’re totally done with that shit, ok? We’re like clean and spiritual and stuff and into charkas or whatever-the-fuck.” I’m sorry, I’m sorry – I realize that my mocking your past forays into bullshit fads instead of maybe actually dealing with your stone addiction might come off as a little flippant and frankly, that’s not a good way to communicate. Let me strike that. Because really kidneys, the bottom line is we’re going to be stuck with each other from now until the grave. Unlike some other people’s kidneys, even if I get into a horrendous automobile crash and the only thing left for my mangled body is the hope of organ harvest, ain’t nobody gonna want you two broke-ass, degenerate kidneys. Ok? So you may as well resign yourselves to this fact and shape up your act. I want to trust you again kidneys – I want to believe that you won’t ever again leave me flat on my back, writhing in agony just so you can pass a little stone. I suggest we start going to KA again. It might really help us. Just think about it ok? Think about it.

Until the end,

Dear Liver –

I will get right to the point liver: I’m worried about you. I’m worried that, despite lack of malice or intent on my part, that I’ve done irreparable damage to you. You’re so strong and stoic – it’s hard for me to get a good read on your actual state. But with this letter, I’m breaking the silence and hoping to open up a dialogue between us. Now, I know many people might think my concern is just overly anxious – after all, I hardly drink very much. But cirrhosis via alcoholism is only one of the ways I could screw up your life (and ultimately mine).

I’m more concerned about all the ibuprofen. I mean, I eat it like candy and you never complain. Let’s face it – those kidneys have not helped the situation with their penchant for pain causing. But despite my inclination to do so, I know I can’t blame it squarely on those degenerates. Simply put, when my body hurts, I take some pain medicine. I want you to know that I do take the prescribed dosage, and I even looked on the internet to make sure I wasn’t killing you. Google Answers said, “There is an increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, but long-term use of ibuprofen does not seem to have any important effects on the liver...” Though I would love to have a deeper conversation with you over what counts as an “important effect,” I did take some comfort in this news and hope you do as well. Now, that hydrocodone stuff is another story, and although I know that long term use could mess you up, rest assured that I don’t take it nearly often enough to badly damage you. I am pretty sure of this.

Well, I hope this check-in will prove useful for us. I feel good about it. I want us to just touch base more, you know? Don’t be afraid to speak up and let me know what’s on your mind. Thanks for all your hard work excreting toxins from my body all these years. It makes me feel anxious and guilty that I am unsure if you’d be useful or wanted as a donated organ. But I will keep my fingers crossed that you would be eagerly harvested from my body should it ever come to that.


PS – Don’t you think it’s weird, considering your job that people like to eat the livers of other animals? I just don’t really get that, do you??


Laura said...

Oh, before I forget - this piece was inspired by Elle! Thanks Elle -remind me next time we see each other to sing Peter Cetera's "You're The Inspiration" to you.

Seth Boulton said...

I think the real underlying massage of this blog is that doctors think they're so smart but what do they know??!! The appendix is useless?? And then they decide in their infinite wisdom that they were wrong this whole time and it actually might serve a function!!! Oh, but NOW they have it all figured out, don't worry, you can trust them!!! Ha!!! I don't think so, Dr. Smartypants! Everybody knows the only reason you became a doctor was because you couldn't get a girlfriend any other way! I couldn't agree with you more, Laura! You tell 'em!!!

Elle said...

that was so emotional to read...
I need to go apologize to my liver now.

Seth Boulton said...

I know I put "massage" earlier and I meant it. Computers are so impersonal these days but if each email came with a massage then the world would be a better place.

...And I resent the repeated implication that I eat drugs, Laura. You know I can't stop the thoughts in my head like that guy in that movie that time. See?

And the little security word picture I have to type for this is "mantrato" which I think will be my Mexican Wrestler name when I get that carreer off the ground.

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