This day in Rosie Maynard history
Today is May 17, 2006.
18 years ago today, my awesome nephew Michael was born. I was a junior in high school and I can still remember getting the news. He was born in Georgia and my mom couldn’t wait to go see him, to hold the son of her son. She got to visit when he was just a few weeks old. She brought me some trinkets back from a gift store called Rosalie’s. Still have them — parts of a desk set. Now, Michael is an awesome young man about to graduate from high school. He is brilliant and talented and wants to go to film school. I can’t wait to watch him tear a path in this crazy world.
Five years ago today, at this hour, I was sitting in a private family waiting room in a hospital while my three week old daughter was being rushed to emergency surgery to repair a coarctation of the aorta. To underscore how significant this was, I found a statistic from a medical paper published in 2005 that states, “Since 1972, surgical repair [of aortic coarctation] has decreased the mortality rate from 65% to 35%.” As I write this, I suddenly remember that most of our family made it to Indianapolis by the time Colleen went into surgery. However, when I think of that day, I can only remember being alone. There is definitely a haze that surrounds my memories of that day. Over the years, I’ve come to think of that gray fuzziness as a cushion that protects me from the raw pain I experienced. Most of the time, I don’t even think about it, even though the story of Colleen’s heart surgery is told regularly in our house. The retelling is like a different chapter to me, completely separate from the original horror. She can tell you how she rode in an ambulance to the hospital and how the doctors made a scar on her back to get to her heart to fix it. She is proud of it because, as we have told her, it means she is a strong girl. Recently, the story has come up quite a bit as Grandpa now has a heart surgery scar of his own to share and Colleen likes to compare notes on the two stories. Since I brought up this awful memory, I’ll also share with you that Colleen’s heart is strong and healthy. There is a possibility she will need work done on a narrowed valve when she is a young adult (after she stops growing), but the work might be as simple as an angioplasty. She has no physical restrictions, except she is not allowed to participate in competitive weightlifting or football! (Although she can do these activities on an amateur level if she likes.) She has to take antibiotics before any sort of medical procedure, including dental visits, due to the narrowed heart valve which puts her at risk for bacterial endocartitis. Otherwise, she’s pretty much a normal kid.
Finally, two months ago today, I was diagnosed with stupid breast cancer. It seems like it was last week. My life has been an out-of-control mess since that day. It’s been on high speed and I hate it. There is a new Adam Sandler movie coming out, Click, about a guy who gets a remote control that can control his life, only it malfunctions and everything happens on fast forward. Every time I see a preview for it, I want to cry. Somebody needs to find my remote control and fix it.
You’ve never seen dust bunnies like these
My hair started falling out on Thursday. I wasn’t sure at first, but I’m positive now! After almost two weeks of marveling about how little one’s hair sheds when it is really short, on Thursday I suddenly noticed several hairs stuck to my clothing. Running my fingers through my hair, I would come across a stray hair or two. My husband didn’t believe this was significant, but I did. Seriously, I had been totally amazed since the day Natasha cut my hair at how little hair ended up on my bathroom floor and drain. I was considering it a real plus for the whole short hair business. So, to suddenly have a need for a lint brush again was noticeable.
On Friday, the “fingers through my hair” trick resulted in five or six hairs each time I did it. The problem gradually increased until Monday, when Troy could no longer deny it! When I would gently run my fingers through my hair, they would come out looking like a wooly mammoth. I wanted to shave it yesterday, but it got too late and we didn’t get it done. Today, I have a bald spot and the razor is coming out as soon as my main man gets home and can help me.
Yesterday, my parents were over for a visit and we were talking about the fact my hair was really starting to fall out. Colleen heard us talking and yelled, “Yay! Your hair is falling out! Yippee! Woo hoo!” She was also dancing around like a monkey. I couldn’t quite fathom what was so exciting about this, but her exuberance was contagious. I laughed and asked her why she was so excited. She said, “Because now you get to wear wigs! Woo hoo!”
I knew to expect an odd sensation on my scalp when the hair started coming out because I’d heard it described in a survivor’s group I participate in. It really was very strange and continues to be. I would say my scalp hurts, but it’s really more like it is very sensitive. At first, there was a sort of creepy-crawly feeling, like my hairs were wiggling out of the follicles. This feeling intensified until now it feels like my hair hurts. I don’t know how to describe it other than that. It seems like I can actually feel my hair. And it ain’t happy.
I have hair falling out in other places, too, though I’m not going into details. I’m surprised that my eyelashes, eyebrows and forearm hair seem firmly planted in place. I’ve heard that these will go, too. I need to buy some eyebrows. When I first saw these, they made me cry! Now, I think it’s funny in a freaky kind of way.
Any knitters out there?
Does anyone reading this knit? I really want one of these caps. They crack me up. I will buy the yarn if you will make it for me! That link goes straight to the pattern. If you want to make it for me, I think I would choose a beige, soft brown, light blue or navy blue. I might go for a light purple or light turquoise, too. But I’m sure any color would make me happy! I have a big head, so make it a large. I’m also really digging this pattern. I think the key to this one is using a really soft, natural yarn. My head hurts and with summer coming on, I’m guessing the old scalp is going to need to breathe!