I've got red on me

Scroll down to the bottom of this post — if you dare — and then come back.

I’ll wait.

OK. Are you still with me? Or did you feel woozy and have to click away? I don’t blame you. Rather than post a picture of my actual eye or pictures I found on the Internet, I opted for a nice illustration. Wasn’t that nice of me to spare your stomach’s contents from an unexpected projectile journey?

So, this is what my left eye has looked like for going on two weeks now. It’s starting to fade.
I’m not sure what happened to it. Either I have high blood pressure and my days are numbered, or it is a delayed reaction to the corner of a hardcover book my eyeball accidentally jumped on two weeks ago. See, I remember the book coming at my head. I remember telling my eyeball to take cover. I remember my eye screaming. I remember putting an ice pack on my eye. What I don’t remember is my eye looking this creepy afterward.

It didn’t.

It seems I may have done something else shortly after that unexpected blow to the unsuspecting eyeball to send it into the freak-show zone. It may have to do with a certain 40-something woman channeling Ahnold at the gym.
Whatever the cause, I’ve been trying to accessorize one white eye and one red eye.

Turquoise goes nicely, I’ve found.

Meanwhile I ‘ve had more social events, networking shindigs and especial occasions this past month than in the last three put together. At each one, I’ve forgotten about “the eye” until someone stared just a bit too long, or came up really close and half-whispered: “You have red on your eye.”

And that got me thinking about  “Shaun of the Dead” and my favorite repeating line:  “You have red on you.”

Sharp stick + eyeball = bloody hell, people!

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Blame it on 'Six Feet Under'


by frostnova via creative commons

Blame it on a virus that zapped all my energy.

Blame it on a tight project deadline and a babysitter on vacation.

Blame it on watching three episodes in a row of “Six Feet Under” Season Four, including one in which the mortuary drains back up, spewing copious amounts of human blood onto the floors and up through kitchen sinks.

When I went to check on Girl from the East last night and found her face down in a small pool of blood, which had soaked a pillow, the sheets and her nightgown, I freaked.

And when I picked her up and it spilled out of her mouth and all over my sweatshirt, I really freaked out.

And when I looked at the clock and saw that it was 12:43 a.m. and remembered that my husband was in Massachusetts on business, that my closest friend to call upon was in Pennsylvania on vacation, and the doctor’s office merely advised me to call 911, that’s what I did.

I felt slightly irrational.

I mean, all that blood. Is that normal for a nosebleed? Was it a nosebleed? Had she fallen? Did she stuff something up there?Did the cats do something to her? My mind raced and came up short of any common-sense answers.  All I knew was that the blood just kept flowing.

I don’t like blood. Blood makes me crazy.

I told the dispatcher that I didn’t want a fuss. I didn’t think it was life and death. I just couldn’t get the bleeding to stop enough to get her to the car and drive the three and a half miles to the area hospital.

So they showed up, quietly, but with lights flashing, and further riled my already totally freaked-out girl.

Long story short, the EMTs seemed to think it was a severe nosebleed and that I should take her to the doctor soon and get the humidity adjusted in our house.

An already long day stretched taut. My frayed nerves nearly snapped. My mothering skills as useless and spent as the soaked wash cloth I’d used to pinch her nostrils.

Is it the adoptive mother in me that reacts so irrationally to even the slightest scrape with this Girl from the East? Is it the last-time-around mother in me that cannot abide by illness and accidents threatening our perfect joy? I am gripped at times by an uncontrollable fear and panic over this Girl from the East, who didn’t come to us easily, who didn’t really seem ours until we passed through U.S. Immigration gates, even though we’d fed, clothed, diapered and loved her for weeks in her homeland, who held out loving and trusting us until we had proven ourselves worthy. So many hoops to jump through to get to today, to this blood and fear.

I had a full day of work today, but I could barely part company with her, fearing the worst.

Her precious beauty tears at my insides. I cannot contemplate the worst. I cannot fix the worst. I cannot change that which is already predetermined. I cannot let go of the irrational worry and panic that fills my heart when even the slightest thing seems wrong.

I do not know her health history. I do not know to what she was exposed before she landed in our arms. I do not know what is hereditary in her family. There is no one to call, no records to request. It’s all a blank.

The blood tears me apart, but it bonds us together.

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Why I'm clean and not so rich

A recent report highlighted on Yahoo News*  listed dirty jobs that pay well.

Among the jobs that most likely require a hot shower afterward are:

  • Veterinarian (dog poop)
  • Waste management engineer (everything down the toilet)
  •  Trauma surgeon (blood, guts, poop)
  • Coroner (dead people, plus guts, blood, poop)
  •  Certified nurse midwife (blood, guts, placentas, poop)
  •  Podiatrist (foot fungus)
  • Oil drill worker (not sure about this one, just oily I guess)
  • Gastroenterologist (more of the same, except for the oil)
  • latex1

    Most of these jobs require a substantial amount of education, except the oil drill worker.  All of them require a cast-iron stomach and nerves of steel, which is a fancy way of saying you must control your own bodily fluids while performing your job.

    And it looks like they pay fairly well, too.  At the day’s end, you can scrub from your hands the bodily fluids, change your shoes, and head to the bank with your big, fat paycheck.

     So I was wondering if paid well enough, could I do any of these jobs?
    Could I keep track of the goings on in a waste-water treatment plant, making sure the poop and paper separated from the water?
    Could I grasp a fungus-ridden foot in my hands and scrape it for a sample?
    Could I slice open a dead body and dig out the contents, weigh and measure each organ lovingly as if they were baby birds? 
    No, no and most certainly not.

    I watched an autopsy once. As I stood by the glass window in the public viewing area, I wondered why the body of a young man with curly black hair still had a red bandana tied to its head? Wouldn’t they have had the sense to remove it? Then my ears began to ring and my knees grew weak. The Rice Krispies I had for breakfast started to churn in my stomach.
    It wasn’t a red bandana on his head. It was the underside of the skin flap pulled back to cut open his skull. Silly me.

    I put on my brave face, but inside, I couldn’t wait to get away from that cold, antiseptic place that smelled oddly like a  butcher shop.
    So you can keep your scaly feet, your severed limbs, your spurting oil wells and exploding colons. I’ll take the simple road, the one that pays in small change but smells far more like a bakery.

    *http:// blogs.payscale.com