Monthly Archives: October 2014

16 Things Your Girlfriend’s Best Friend Wants You To Know

ALL THIS! SO MUCH THIS!

Thought Catalog

1. I’m going to know before you know. I’m going to come first with the stuff that matters: her successes, struggles, joys, bad moods, qualms with you. This is not to say you won’t come first one day, just that you shouldn’t take it personally that she’s discussed her personal crisis with me before you get a text about it. (Down the line, you’ll probably look back and realize you prefer it this way.)

2. She and I are already in a groove. We communicate entire thoughts with emojis, know what the other one is thinking from a glance, know when and how to intervene in a personal crisis, etc. So when we start hilariously cracking up over something you seem to be painfully on the outside of, just let us have that moment.

3. I am the only person she knows she has to respond to immediately (with the exception of…

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Class Act?

I was having a particularly bad episode of whatever this stupid thing is that I live with.  I don’t know if it’s depression or anxiety or both or something else entirely anymore and frankly, I don’t give a crap unless knowing the right “label” for it would bring me some healing that I have yet to find.  In any case,  I decided to go for a ride with my sister and my kids to get dinner and was waiting in the car while she picked up her order when I encountered a self-appointed member of the morality police.

As she got out of her enormous SUV that was parked next to my 20 year old Corolla in her speedo shorts and tank top she bent herself in half to look INSIDE my car (which had all the windows down) to STARE directly at me.  I looked over and faked a smile then looked away.  She walked toward the same restaurant my sister was in and continued looking back and starring.  She was inside for a bit and then came back out and continued staring.  I mean going OUT OF HER WAY to STARE at ME.  directly at ME. So about the third staring marathon, I finally looked at her and said “WHAT?”  “What are you starring at?”  She said “You’re parked in a handicapped space.”  I said “yep, that’d be because I’m actually handicapped thanks.”  I looked and realized that I didn’t have the placard up on the rearview ~GASP~ Then … I heard her mutter under her breath.. “I don’t think I believe THAT”.  I got (admittedly) irrationally pissed off at this incredibly rude and nosey (not to mention WRONG) assumption and said:  “You know what sweetheart here ya go.. here it is SEE HAS MY NAME RIGHT ON THERE PROVING THAT I AM INDEED HANDICAPPED.”  (while holding the placard as close to her window as I could reach from across the car.

She refused to look up from the seat of her enormous SUV so I LAID on my horn until she did and shoved it in the window again and said.. “Here ya go sweetheart, do you feel better, do I have your personal approval to park here now?”  I hung it on the review mirror and she said:  “You should have it hanging up” and I said.. “Your right I ABSOLUTELY SHOULD FORGIVE ME FOR ANNOYING YOU AND FORGETING TO HANG MY HANDICAPPED PERMISSION SLIP UP.  DO YOU FEEL BETTER NOW?”  To which she said the comment that makes me the most irrationally angry THAT ANY comment can:  “You should be glad someone cares!”

Ok, aside from the patronizing, nosey, insulting tone she took on from moment one, let me take a moment to explain why this type of comment pisses me off.

  1. NO ONE has the right to tell me or anyone else how to feel in ANY situation.
  2. Having a disability does NOT mean that I need someone else to speak or do anything else to ‘protect’ me unless I ask for it.
  3. Having a disability also does NOT mean that I am REQUIRED to feel ANY way about ANY behavior of anyone regarding my disability or anyone else’s.
  4. I don’t have to be constantly happy or sad or thankful for anything.  I have a right to MY OWN PERSONAL FEELINGS IN ANY GIVEN SITUATION JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE
  5. People with handicaps are NOT (contrary to popular sentiment) on the earth to prove to others how the only disability is a ‘bad attitude’.  That is bullshit.  Disabilities are REAL.  They are OFTEN painful.  They are OFTEN annoying and create regular disappointments and can also VERY OFTEN lead to depression and anxiety and other issues that are all legitimate reactions to being in a body that doesn’t look, feel or act like you or others want or expect it to.  I DON’T need special permission to be angry or sad or any other ‘negative’ emotions; and it doesn’t mean I should turn in my “happy handicapped motivational prop card”  (which by the way, I never asked for nor do I want).   In fact, if it is something that can be returned, consider THIS post my resignation from that RIDICULOUS STEREOTYPED position that other people put “us’ in so that they can USE us to motivate themselves by remembering.. “Hey, don’t get too depressed about your life!  Remember, it could always be worse, you could be THEM and besides, look how happy the little  “gimps’ are!  If they can do it then I can!”
  6. GAG.
  7. I am not required to be thankful for anyone sticking their busybody nose into my personal business or anyone else’s for that matter.

Ok, now that I’ve explained that:  My response to her was “Well, surprisingly I’m NOT thankful and would prefer you minding your own f***ing business actually, thanks for asking!”  To which she responded: “You’re a class act.”  I thanked her of course.  lol

Now, I will be the first to admit that this was indeed an overreaction and most certainly not the classiest way it could have been handled.  I will say however, that it was an honest reaction.  It was a real reaction and it was actually a restrained reaction.  If I’d had my way I would have gone through this entire list with Ms. Busy Body and asked her if she had obtained permission from her eco conscience friends to drive that gas guzzling beast of a status symbol she was smugly sitting in while waiting on some underpaid employee to make her over-packaged food.  I also would have asked her who appointed her the morality police.  Or, for that matter, the “class” police because I would say that sticking your nose in a total strangers business and assuming the worst about them is pretty classless.

I discovered when my sister came out that this gem of a human being had also verbally accosted her in the store. To which my sister had politely replied, that she was driving a placard holding disabled person who may or may not decide to come in the store, thank you very much.  The woman was so bent on correcting us she STILL came out and ‘confronted’ ME and I’m the “class act” in this situation.  Really?

Most people who know me know that I am generally a very happy person.  Glass half full, sunny side up, bright side finding, sun shining out of my ass kind of person.  This is just who I prefer to be.  It makes life easier and more fun.  However, there are times where I am legitimately sad, angry, depressed or annoyed and I am allowed to have those feelings as well.  You know why?  I am a PERSON with a disability.  NOT JUST a disability or a prop for others to be motivated by.  I love you people.  It’s why I share this stuff.  Especially the not so pretty stuff.  I really think down in the foxhole (so to speak) is where you find out who people really are. You learn the lessons that make you a better person and your life and  your world a better place.

Thanks for meeting me in the foxhole.  I’ll see ya when the bombing ends and it’s safer for me to come out.
KP

Terribly real

Miracles Happen on God’s Time, NOT Ours

*His name was changed, because frankly, I can’t remember what it actually WAS!  lol

“Hey Kandice, you have a phone call!”  I locked up my cash register and ran down the incline to the customer service desk where the phone had been pulled up to reach the desk and grabbed the receiver thinking: who on EARTH would call me here rather than just waiting until I get off work.  I looked at my manager, a man I’d known about two years, and suddenly didn’t want the phone call after all.  He had a look of sheer panic worry on his face as he pushed the reciever in my direction.

“This is Kandice.”  “Hey Kandy, it’s *Michael from from the doctor’s office.”  “Oh, hi. What’s up?”  “Can you have someone drive you to Vanderbilt right now?”  “Um, well no I’m working but I’ll just walk over when my shift is over.”  “No, I’d really rather you come now and don’t come alone.”  “Wow, ok I’ll ask about coming now but you have to tell me why so I don’t worry all the way there please.”  “Remember we drew blood when you told us you had missed two periods and the pregnancy test came back negative?”  “Yes, and are  you about to tell me I’m the next recipient of immaculate conception?”  (no laughter from him… this CAN’T be good)  “Ok well, you’re blood test came back and I need to see you.”  “Are you going to tell me or make me suffer?”  “You have a brain tumor.  Can someone drive you?”   “Um, no, I’ll be ok.  I’ll just walk over.”  “Ok, I’ll wait for you at the ER door and we’ll walk up to the MRI room together.  Ok.?”  “Yeah.”

I handed the phone back to my boss and stared blankly.  He asked me if I was ok and I said rather matter of factly, apparently I have a brain tumor and need to go up to Vandy right now for an MRI.  So, I guess the answer is no.  He said he’d drive me there but I really felt like I needed the walk and the quiet between the small grocery store where I worked and the hospital where I was going to have the MRI.  I don’t really remember the walk.  I do remember walking into the ER and not seeing Michael, the intern anywhere so I just asked where to find the MRI waiting room and went there.  I sat down and waited.  I had the impression that the MRI was waiting for me, but was told once I arrived that I actually would need to wait until a spot opened up between emergencies.  So, I decided I didn’t really want to be there alone after all and called my friend Shawn who seemed to arrive within seconds (although I’m sure it took her at least an hour to get there from Murfreesboro where she was in school)  We sat together silently (the word brain tumor at 20 tends to silence most people)  Then, Micheal arrived.  I didn’t recognize him in his street close and backpack, as I had only ever seen him in his “intern clothes”  (read scrubs).  He walked up and smiled at me and sat down saying, I didn’t want you to be alone.  Sorry I missed you at the ER.    I just smiled.  “So, brain tumor huh?”  Not exactly sure the response I was expecting.  “Well, yes, but let’s see what the MRI shows us before we talk about specifics ok?”  “Ok then”

Turns out, I did, in fact, have a benign pituitary tumor called a prolactinoma that is basically an uncontrolled growth on your pituitary gland that stops your periods and can cause you to lactate and without successful treatment can lead to infertility, vision loss and or total blindness.  After some research on my part and the very real and appreciated support of my wonderful intern (doctor) we found the right medication for me. It shrank the tumor (which meant no surgery..YAY) reinstated my periods and had no impact on my vision whatsoever!  Talk about blessed!  Finding the right medication was no walk in the park but we did it.  This left me with only one bit of bad news to swallow:  Thanks to this tumor I was going to be unable to have children.

To know me NOW is to know that was like a death sentence to me.  To know me THEN was to not realize how devastating that ‘life sentence’ was because I felt I wasn’t allowed to say that all I really wanted was to be a mom and every single thing I studied was toward the goal of making me a better wife and mother when the time came.   I studied social work, I studied the facts about this tumor, I took my medication and began spiralling into a very dark, quiet, angry depression.  I broke up with a young man whom I loved very much b/c I felt that I could not give him what he wanted anymore.  I dated other people who were a waste of time and energy because there was no point in being choosy now.  The depression worsened and went undiagnosed and untreated.  In fact four years went by the last of which I was dating a man whom was kind but dishonest at first.  Later he wasn’t so kind and I still couldn’t bring myself to leave.  I stayed on birth control despite the ‘infertile’ diagnosis because I knew WITHOUT A DOUBT that in spite of how much I wanted children I did NOT want them with him.  We used protection as well.  Then, one night, after having gotten back together after yet another attempt at a break up we slept together and (without getting too graphic) when it was over I knew the INSTANT I was pregnant.

Absurd, I suppose it would sound that way to some.  Nonetheless, I KNEW.  When I was a young teenager I knew for weeks before I started my period that it was coming.  I could feel things happening in there that I’d never felt before.  I could actually FEEL my ovaries ‘revving up’ as it were.  Same here.  I could FEEL the change.  I could feel what seemed like electricity inside my womb.  I remember thinking: “what the hell was THAT?”  I felt a little sick and a little worried and a little excited.  I just KNEW.  I pushed it out of my head thinking.  NO WAY!  You know what the doctor said and for goodness sake you are as protected as a human being can be in the situation (having been on the depo provera shot for a year, and having used condoms as well as having been told by this partner that he was also infertile).  Some time passed and I started having symptoms of pregnancy.  I bought something like 10 tests and brought them to the house I was dog sitting in.  I used three or four before I finally sat on the edge of the tub staring at four plus signs and thinking: “Holy Lord Jesus, there is a BABY inside my body.”   Then thinking: “DAMN IT! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW while simultaneously thinking HA!  SO MUCH FOR DOCTORS!”.

I called my best friend Jenny, we had a good cry while we talked about what in the world I would do.  I briefly considered not telling the boyfriend, thinking I wanted to make the decision on my own and I DEFINITELY didn’t want him parenting with me.  Then almost in the same breath said, no, he IS the father and God MUST have a plan for this little one that includes the man who helped create it.  I don’t want to start anyone’s life with a lie.   The next call I made was to the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment to verify the painfully obvious.  Then I called the (by now) ex-boyfriend to tell him the news.

It still amazes me how in a split second the blinders of depression and loss are wiped away by an unexpected, unplanned, undeserved and undeniable MIRACLE.  God, gave me the baby I wanted all my life.  Now, I had to start the journey of trusting Him with it literally EVERY single step of the way.  I was nothing, I had nothing, I could give nothing to another human being beyond what He gave me to share which was Love.  That is LITERALLY all I had.  I sat on the edge of my bed once I got back to my dorm (which not for nothing, was in a southern baptist university, in whose values I did not agree or live)  I sat on the edge of my bed and I got out a notebook and a pen.  I started a journal which was ultimately one very long prayer to God and love letter to the baby He gave me.   Page one says nothing but: “I have NO IDEA what Your plan is, but I trust You and I THANK YOU for giving me a dream come true, a miracle I could never deserve and a dream come true.  Please, Please help me know the right thing for this baby and do it.  No matter what it is.  Amen.  Life as I had known it had changed forever.  Again.