I’ve done my research, hitched a ride on the internet information highway the on-rounds residents didn’t have time for save where Wiki claims I had to be an alcoholic. (Wiki’s prevailing leading cause, the daily resident room tromp had a death grip around that scapegoat’s neck.) I read about the mountain of stuff my primary care doc outsources and I read a ton of opinions backed by science and debunked ten ways from Sunday by science—if you’re going to put it in writing you gotta pencil in a side door exit.
Sure, I cry every day. Going on three years come mid-August if you don’t count that first ICU unconscious stretch in never never land. Nitty gritty: only so much pain and fear can be inflicted on a person before they crack.
On any given day my symptoms line up with PTS, anxiety disorder, grief and a paralyzing I know what will kill me disengage. I’m the woman on the tv commercial whom upon meeting an acquaintance in the grocery aisle holds a smily face mask up to hide her “been to hell and back” face. I’m the woman who went from Southern Baptist to agnostic to “give me an effing break.”
It’s a chronic disease they fumbled around and left me with. Granted, something horribly wrong had occurred with my immune system but still, the lot of them (I still see their inept faces) had fumbled around for nine months with little to no expectation that I would survive—efficiently sealing my fate. The torture touted as medicine goes without saying. Just my luck to live in the wrong time in the wrong place with the wrong doctors. C’est la vie little sister.
Type 1 diabetes complications (with an MIA pancreas) are long as my leg. And it’s a certainty if one don’t take you out, another will. The odds of me succumbing to drowning, cliff fall, plane crash, tied to a train track, falling piano, ten car pileup, shot, shanked, bludgeoned, poisoned, chocked, or while saving Private Ryan pale by comparison.
So what if I cry every day. So what if I’ve kicked god to the curb. I’ve done my research. I know what will kill me. If it doesn’t blind and maim first.
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Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native. Over 363 pieces of her work appear or are forthcoming in 129 print and electronic journals and anthologies. Her debut book This Same Small Town in Each of Us (Edgar & Lenore’s Publishing House; 2011). Read more here: edgarallanpoet.com/This_Same_Small_Town.html
Photo credit: Terri Malone