A Strangling Winter

Other things
When the sand turns to glass, and all that's left is the past, I will love you still.
Other things
Take from me my disbelief
I know it should come easily
But it remains inside of me
It battles and devours me
It cuddles up beside of me
In whispers, it convinces me
Other things
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
Other things
As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment. And then the moment was gone.
Other things
If love's a word that you say Then say it, I will listen.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Friends and Family Friday #1 -- Ethan
"A therapist once told me that we're born alone and we die alone. It's not true. We all have an extended family, people whom we recognize as our own as soon as we see them. The people closest to me have always been marked by a peculiar difference in their makeup. They are the walking wounded..." -- James Lee Burke, American Author

While the above quote applies to me and the majority of people I hold dear, there is one notable exception: My boyfriend Ethan.

He is the antithesis of the walking wounded, with tranquil blue eyes and an easy smile that spreads across his lips at the slightest provocation. While the darkness has invaded my life, hugged me close to its bosom, and changed me in ways I can't begin to define, it has barely touched the fringes of his life. He is eternally light, foolishly optimistic, the owner of a laugh so constant I'd swear I hear it echo in my dreams.

It is difficult for him to identify with my pain. The torment that has touched my life throughout the years is foreign to him, written across my heart in a language he is unable to understand. Yet while he cannot translate that pain into something palpable, he is one of the few people consistently able to drive it away.

In a journal entry written over four years ago, I described the following event:

I called Ethan last night while droving home from a friend's house, with the rain pounding at my windshield and making it impossible to see. The roads were unfamiliar and further obscured by the storm that raged outside. By the time he answered the phone I was nearly hysterical, a note of terror echoing in my greeting. His voice was a beacon of light, steadying me, guiding me to safety. He talked me through my fear and, by the time I'd made it halfway home, I was calmer, less skittish, stronger.

In my melancholy moments, I've considered that a metaphor for our relationship. I am the stormcloud and he is the silver lining. I am the darkness and he is the light. He may not be able to understand the pain, but he is always able to help me through it.

I can't help but wonder if the darkness has an effect on the light, dimming it with its opaque touch. I hope not. I never want to change him, my bright, innocent, happy boy. The strong man that I have loved for the past six years, and maybe even before that. When I chose the name "Ethan" to represent him in the blog world, I'd forgotten that it meant "strong" and "firm." It fits him perfectly.

Ethan. My Ethan.

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posted by Aurelie @ 11:59 PM   0 comments
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Doctor's Visit
"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as the expectation of something better tomorrow." -- Orison Swett Marden, American Writer

I awoke to an e-mail from my boyfriend Ethan, written when he'd returned home from work after midnight. While I realize that the private jokes may defy understanding, I still want to share the lovely sentiments with you, dear internet. And so, without further ado:

Dear Aurelie:

First things first: MOO.

On a more serious note, I love you. You are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. You are the reason I strive to better myself. We both have our good and bad days but the one thing we can both rely on is each other. When I need an ear you are always there for me, when you need me to beat up your brother...well we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Almost every night when I am driving home from work I think about what it would be like coming home to you. Although it would be late and most of the time you would be sleeping, just having the opportunity to be close to you is exhilarating. I want you to know that whatever the test results are, nothing will change. I will still love you with everything I have.

Love always,
Ethan

My parents drove me to the doctor's office, while I sat silently in the backseat. It had already been decided that my father would remain in the car, as parking at the physician's office is often difficult. My mother, on the other hand, would accompany me to the actual appointment. Despite being a doctor myself, sometimes a girl just needs her momma for moral support. When my name was called, we walked back to the examining room. I undressed, while my mother took a seat on a nearby stool. The assistant handed me a consent form, which recommended that you reconsider the procedure if you have heart disease, a clotting disorder, various other medical conditions and extreme anxiety. Extreme anxiety?! Aren't you testing me for cervical cancer? I'm not exactly in a calm and serene state at the moment, you'll have to forgive me.

The doctor entered the room and asked my mother to vacate the stool near my feet and take a seat near my head. I was glad she requested this because, as much as I love my mother, there is no need for her to watch the doctor poking around in the ol' bajingo. And poke around she did. I'll spare you the gory details, dear internet, but it is my firm belief that the speculum is actually a medieval torture device and any time a doctor tells you you're going to feel "a little pressure" you should brace yourself for some pain.

After peering through the microscope, the doctor indicated that she'd found two spots she'd like to biopsy. I will get those results sometime within the next week. In addition, she explained that the previous test had categorized my abnormal cells as "high-grade", the type that are most likely to lead to cancer if left unchecked. As a result, whether it's high-grade cells or cancer, the odds are favorable that I will need to have a cone-shaped piece of my cervix removed. So, as you can imagine, I'm more than a little freaked out about that.

I truly covet your prayers and positive thoughts as I begin another week of waiting. I am so thankful to have the support of my family, friends, and hopefully faithful blog readers like you!

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posted by Aurelie @ 6:57 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Health Scare
"It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver." -- Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Philosopher

Well, the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions. The day after my last blog post, in which I detailed my plan to be a more active blogger, I received a scary report from my doctor that left me speechless for over a week. Nevertheless, I've emerged from hiding to comment (albeit briefly) on what's been going on.

My immune system appears to, once again, be slacking on the job. This is nothing new, as my medical track record had been filled with interesting incidents such as:
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) beginning at 7 months old.
  • Wolff-Parkinson's White Syndrome (WPW), a genetic condition that causes SVT.
  • Two catheter ablations, the heart procedure that eliminates the accessory pathway common to WPW.
  • Thalassemia minor, an inherited blood condition that impacts the hemoglobin.
  • Arthroscopic knee surgery in college, after sustaining several tears to the cartilage.

And those are just the highlights! At 27 years old, I am often the youngest patient in my cardiologist's office when I arrive for my twice-yearly checkups. But back to my story...

I received a call from the doctor last week, and immediately knew something was wrong. Am I psychic? No. But at the appointment she had mentioned that she'd only call if something was wrong. Seeing her number light up the 'ol iPhone was enough to have me on edge. I answered the phone and was told that the lab had found some "abnormal" cells on the screening test they use to to detect premalignant and malignant (cancerous) processes in the cervix. She asked me to come in for further testing and promised to discuss the results further when I did. That appointment, dear internet, is tomorrow. Any prayers or positive thoughts would be very much appreciated.

I'll keep you posted!

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posted by Aurelie @ 11:35 PM   3 comments
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Name: Aurelie
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