Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Amazing Repulsion Powers of Stacy Without An E

I wish my desire for the gentler species could be controlled on a whim.

They transfix me with powers that are undeniable.

Deep brown eyes with short raven hair dancing just below the earlobe. Cascading blonde hair with full pouting lips.

Perfectly shaped posteriors attached to fully formed thighs. Milky skin that begs to be kissed from the interior of the nape to the tips of curling toes.

I should probably quit before this becomes soft core porn.

The point is, women have held a power over me that I don't full comprehend and have no control over.

And because of my condition and my strange little body, I've had to fight for that attention at the detriment of my own sanity.

I've discovered in the last thirty seven years that possessing a Hobbit like stature is nowhere in the vicinity of the zip code of the major thoroughfare of sexy.

In contrast, my sense of humor has developed to the point where I could make anyone laugh at a funeral on a rainy day.

I'm paraphrasing Pryor there, but you get my point.

As forty approaches and a mid-life crisis bears down, I'm doing everything possible not to become bitter.

It's a process that's easier than it sounds.

When friends allow me to share my fears of becoming the Crazy Middle Aged Dog Guy they all say the same thing.

"You seem like the marrying type."

I must admit I have quite a legacy to live up to. As of August 2008, my parents will have been married forty years. That is an achievement rarely seen today and will become even rarer as time goes on.

Fortunately my parents are not the type to pressure me. They know my plate is filled with the scrumptious side dish known as Dialysis.

I view couples from time to time at the Dialysis Clinic. The husband or the wife is suffering the indignity of another endless treatment and here comes their significant other to walk with them, arm in arm back to the safety confines of home.

I have no such individual by my side. And it scares me.

Since I was a little tyke I've wanted, no, desired what my parents have to this day. And I don't think that's asking too much out of Life.

A beautiful, funny wife. Two adorable kids with fully functioning kidneys. Man's best friend at my side. All under the confines of a little home that needs a lawn mowed every other weekend.

I know, it's all very old school Rockefeller.

I don't care. I've always been a simple guy with very simple wants.

So God, if you're listening, I don't pray for very much. Health and happiness for my friends and family. The strength and wisdom to learn from my illness.

But I have one last request.

Just send a cute little woman with a great sense of humor my way.

I think I can take care of the rest.

Thanks God. You rule. And thanks for all the Women. Despite their lack of interest in me, they're still your best creation.

And your most perplexing.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Point of My Dull Life

Each day meanders by and I sink deeper and deeper into a depressive funk. Sludge to work and then sludge to Dialysis again and again and again.

It's as though my soul is all clogged up with crap I can't seem to let go.

I used to love my job. I had passion and exuberance for each broadcast day.

But I think I've run out of anything witty or entertaining to share. That's a sad realization.

I attempted to ask out two different women who seemed to like me and they both turned me down. Dialysis is obviously not an aphrodisiac.

We're in a transition phase here at work with people being let go and others being invited in. I can't allow my depression to show or management will believe I don't desire to be here anymore.

I converse with my fellow employees and put on a happy face, but inside I'm rotting.

When I manage not to cancel Dialysis (I've been skipping treatments lately) I barely say a word. I completely shut down in an effort to put a stay on the impending traumatic pain that will plague my arm for two unbearable hours.

Sometimes you just have to step back, let the bell ring and throw the fight.

I have this dream where I give away all my possessions at work and at home, grab a couple changes of clothes, hop in the truck and just start driving. I have no destination or inclination to travel anywhere in particular.

The wind will brush through what little hair remains while sunshine will splash across my troubled face. People I once knew for a fleeting moment will wonder what happened to that Stacy character. Their concern for my welfare will quickly evaporate as I become a casual blip in their memory banks.

I don't really care where I end up.

As long as it's away from here.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Decline of the UCSF Transplant Clinic

Let's take a little trip down the Transplant Memory Lane shall we?

In May of 1983, while everyone was thrilling to Reaganomics and standing in line for the fifteenth time to watch "Return of the Jedi" I was preparing to receive a kidney from my amazing Mom, heretofore known as Amazing Mom. The staff always spoke calmly and clearly but never down to me. Everything was explained in hopes of delineating my impending fear.

Once the transplant was concluded and I was fortunate not to have any complications, I remained under the staff's care for three more uneventful weeks.

My memories from that time at UCSF were pleasant and one day I will compose my experiences so future generations of End Stage Renal Disease patients may learn how to deal with a child undergoing such an ordeal.

Flash forward to January of 1996. Bill Clinton is about to begin his eight year rein of booming economic expansion and closing of important and strategic military bases. The internet was about to explode with unbrideled information and sticky porn. My sister, who will heretofore be referred to as Amazing Amos (her given name is Amy, big brother's are allowed to give nicknames) volunteered to donate to her brother this time.

The frightening difference over those twelve and a half years is startling.

The nurses were rude and short. Any request was answered with a sigh and a huff. The doctors only referred to me as "The Patient."

All the care and kindness had evaporated, replaced by a level of unprofessionalism unseen in my medical travels since.

We travel once again through the boundaries of time and space to nearly four years ago. May 16, 2004 to be exact. My first day of Dialysis along with my first day on the vaulted Transplant List.

Once in 2005 and again in 2006 I attempted to contact the UCSF Transplant Clinic in an effort to make sure my information was updated and that I could be contacted. I had moved again and possessed a shiny new cell phone.

"Why are you calling?"

"Well, um, I wanted to make sure you had my updated contact information."

"But WHY are you calling??"

"I just told you."

"Please hold."

You've got to be kidding me. Then the line hung up on me. This didn't just happen once, but twice as I called again a year later.

Today I received a letter from the heralded UCSF Transplant Clinic asking for a number of tests to be conducted.

Do you mean the SAME TESTS I DID FOUR YEARS AGO??

Why yes, those would be the ones.

I'm so dismayed and indifferent to these people now. My enthusiasm for ending my Dialysis tether is nearly muted.

I would really like to learn when UCSF turned from a wonderfully compassionate leader in transplant surgery to the lifeless behemoth it has become.

Much like in 1996, I'm once again a number to be shuffled through the system, tossed aside once my transplant fails.

The worst part is, I have no recourse. This is my only option.

Fortunately, the next kidney transplant will be from someone outside my family so they don't have to endure the humiliation that comes with giving your life to this once proud hospital.

You're right. Maybe I'm wrong.

Losing Faith in that which you once held in such high esteem is unbearably painful.

And so will enduring another kidney transplant at the UCSF Transplant Clinic.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

5 Reasons Why You Won't Date Me

1. I'm 5'7" in height.

Women today seem to be obsessed with men that tower over them. This leads to them suffering from debilitating neck strains. Wouldn't it be nice to keep your neck in a normal position thus allowing make out sessions and googley eyes to be relatively painless?

2. I'm only 135 pounds.

Dating a dude who towers over two hundred pounds and suffers from beefitis is usually someone who will be glancing in the mirror more often then they're adoring you. We of the slender persuasion possess amazing hugging and cuddling ability that far outreaches our heavier brethren. And we won't crush your spine in the process.

3. I make an average wage.

As a young man I observed my father slaving away at a job he tolerated, yet never enjoyed. I made a vow then and there that I would choose a passionate career over a lucrative one. I rise every morning to a day filled with frivolity and laughter. The salary is inconsequential. I will never have the desire to try and impress you with fancy clothes or a luxury car as some men do. I make enough for the necessities in life and that's enough for me.

4. I'm a geeky dork.

Or a dorky geek depending on your point of view. I Tivo "Star Trek" regularly. Fully entertained by "Heroes." Search endlessly online for spoilers on the new Indiana Jones film. All of these divergent forms of entertainment bring me untold happiness. Geeks have always known we're cool. American culture is finally starting to catch on.

5. I'm on Dialysis.

I could be having the best first date of my entire existence and then the topic of my illness has to rear it's ugly head. Zippy Road Runner clouds form once women discover this undeniable fact about my existence. I've been fighting renal disease my entire life so it's really no big deal. It's a part of me, but doesn't define who I am. I'm rather thankful for the experience for I can find happiness in the smallest moments life has to offer. Lying on my back in the park trying to determine why that cloud resembles a bunny smoking a cigar is one of my favorite activities. I'm a survivor and stronger than you'll ever know.

The preceding is merely what I have experienced in my thirty seven years on this planet and is in no way a criticism of women, nearly a reflection of what I have experienced personally.

If you respond, I will assume you're one of the following:
--- Also lean and wish to compare rib cage exposure.
--- Are also suffering a malady and would like to share medications.
--- Find Hobbit looking men delicious.
--- Adore a good Adama/Kirk debate.
--- Are criminally insane but allowed to use the internet.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Blood Hates Me

Dialysis was finally over for the evening and Sarcastic Tech (not in a bad way) was removing my needles and the arterial starting shooting Blood all over the chair. Fortunately the fountain of life missed my favorite pair of jeans and good luck Converse.

I often wonder if my Blood isn't a big fan of the interior of my body. You'd think it would want to stay and continue to ride the rollercoaster of fun that is my circulatory system. My Blood is never at rest, always pumping, always traveling to the far corners of my nether regions.

Blood spotted the chair and ran down the arm rest onto the chilly lifeless floor. It splattered my arm and caused it to turn a deep ugly red. During this entire adventure I'm getting dizzier and dizzier, a whirlpool of nausea forming in the inner recesses of my belly.

I want to go home.

I often feel bad for the Blood that escapes. It's remaining existence is less than pleasant and two shades near death. From the absorbable cloth, my former Blood gets deposited in the nearest biohazard receptacle. The cells will eventually wilt and cease to exist.

This makes me unbearably sad.

Sure, I can always make more red blood cells and manufacture more plasma, but it just won't be the same. That Blood was part of the experience of my Life at this particular moment, which will never come again. It was supposed to stay with me, continue to the next experience, the next adventure waiting just ahead.

It deserved better than to be discarded with all the other bio-trash.

I will mourn my lost Blood friends until they're joined by others of their kind.

With the way my arm is acting, and the frequency of my Dialysis treatments, won't be long.

Heavy sigh.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Inequity of the Stacy Universe

There are individuals wandering this planet who believe that the Universe, with all its many squiggly creatures and spectrum of bountiful Creation, eventually balances out.

If only that were insanely true.

I have taken the time necessary to calculate how many needle sticks I have endured since May 16, 2004. That fateful day changed my life in traumatic and psychological ways I will never recover from.

To clarify, each time I allow Dialysis to infiltrate my body, that's four needle sticks: two for the lidocaine injections, two for the sixteen gauge needles.

I don't know about you, but needles the size of ball point pens possess pain comparable to taking your scrotum and slamming it into a car door for a good ten minutes.

Three years, seven months and two weeks of three days a week Dialysis. That equals 432 needle sticks.

Add another six weeks of six days a week Dialysis. That's an additional 144 needles ticks.

522 + 144 = 666

You may believe that I fudged the math, but the numbers are staring back at me scribbled on a serene little yellow post-it in bold black Sharpie lettering.

For a moment I was startled. Now that I've had time to muse upon the results, it makes perfect sense.

The Devil and Dialysis are in cahoots.

If you were to visit my Dialysis clinic (and no one ever does...ever) you would find Death in the lobby eating the cookies and reading "People." Every once and a while he drags his sickle along the clinic floor, overwhelmed by the wealth of souls that are simply waiting for his consumption.

The Devil enjoys the taunting. He'll infiltrate your lines and cackle for a good half hour. Cramps will occur and he'll devour your screams.

Sometimes on Thursdays the Devil and Death will grab a heaping pile of misery, slap it on sourdough toast and allow the crumbs of despair to violate the last vestiges of hope that remain.

This is where I wonder endlessly where the balance to the Universe is hiding.

If the Universe, in all it's vast wisdom and splendor, had any fairness to it, the hours upon hours of pain I've endured would be countered with nothing but pleasure.

Once again, I've done the calculations.

The first 432 needle sticks were for three hour treatments, that equals 1296 hours.

The remaining 144 needle sticks for two hour treatments equals 288.

1296 + 288 = 1584 hours of non-stop, unadulterated Pleasure.

So Yoo-Nuh-Vurse here's what I want:

--- An endless supply of the most delicious, mouth-watering, scrumptious BLT's you've ever created. And keep them coming.

--- Lots and lots of short haired women in tiny, tiny bikinis.

I'll take care of the rest.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Official Stacy Vice

I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes to vices. I drank so intensely my first year of college that I used up all desire for its effects. An ashtray full of cigarette butts make me want to choke. I balance on the edge of truth when it comes to drugs because I try not to count the first eighteen months of Dialysis when I was hopped up on Vicodin just to survive.

As I reach forth and attempt to grab age thirty-eight, there is only one vice that controls every fiber of my being. This is a vice that I could enjoy each and every day for the remainder of my life and pass as a fulfilled human being.

That's right. The BLT sandwich.

You're right. I should probably explain.

The BLT is the perfect sandwich. Bacon all by it's lonesome is an elegant meat. Greasy yet chewy, tasty but filling.

But when I order an extra side of bacon with my scrambled eggs and tall orange juice, my stomach starts to make alarming sounds. It grinds and twists and bellows in a way that only small animals do moments before their demise in the middle of the highway.

Thus, B needs L and T.

Take two large slices of sourdough bread and lightly toast each side. Add a thin layer of butter and allow it to melt evenly into the bread. Add two slices of tomato cut a quarter inch thick and then slice them into equal halves. Only a small, crisp slice of lettuce is needed or desired.

Slather on a small amount of mustard on one slice of toast, a smidgen of mayonnaise on the other.

Take three long, delicious, tantalizing slices of cooked bacon and place them firmly between the two slices of prepared sourdough toast along with the lettuce and tomato. Please note: the bacon must stick out from both ends of the bread to dominate the sandwich.

The Bacon is and always must be the star of the BLT. If the L or T try to dominate, the perfect balance of the BLT will be disturbed and taste will be sacrificed.

As you take the first half of this delectable BLT into your hands, allow your eyes to take in all the colors and textures. When you approach that first bite, take it slow and savor every moment.

As you chew, close your eyes and smile. For this BLT's moment will never come again.

If you wish to barter with me, offer a BLT.

Need to apologize for an error in judgment, bust out a BLT.

Can't afford to pay me all the cash you owe me? You better pull up with a wagon full of BLT's.

I'm secure enough in my manhood to say this with utter sincerity and honesty.

I love you BLT.