Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Greater Fool

I just finished watching season one of HBO's show "The Newsroom".  The show is about believing in the pursuit of truth.  Will, the anchor, is called a greater fool for doing so.  A greater fool is defined on the show as someone who thinks they will succeed where others have failed.  Think Don Quixote (the ultimate literary fool).  It is about going for your passion and doing what you believe in, no matter the cost.

It made me think, am I a greater fool?

Some would say by being a public defender I am.  Being the voice for the voiceless is one of my passions.  I love and believe in what I do.

Yet, I have to ask myself, is it my greatest passion?

I think not said the cat.

When I was five, I used to dream about being a writer, not a lawyer.

When I was the editor-in-chief of Mt. SAC's newspaper "the Mountaineer", I considered applying for a degree in journalism.  After looking at the average pay I changed my mind.  I could make more money bartending and waitressing.  I applied to UCR and chose English Literature as a major because it seemed more practical.

My newspaper professor Gina, who was a former journalist for the Washington Post, never spoke to me after graduation.  Gina had higher hopes for me than I had for myself.  Gina had entered my story in a national journalism contest and when it won second place, she told me she thought I should be a journalist.  She urged me to apply to the journalism school at Columbia University.

I couldn't visualize it.  New York?  It seemed impossible.

Sometimes we make choices in our lives and it takes us down a different path.  Would I have found my greatest passion earlier if I had went down the scary road rather than the safe one?  Where would I be?

You cannot second guess your life.  I cannot change the past.  But, what I can do is visualize who I want to be and what I want to be.

And, I have realized that I want to be a greater fool, no matter how desperate and foolhardy it may be.

My pen is my only sword.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If humilation is good for the soul....

If humiliation is good for the soul I am set for life.  A couple of Fridays ago, I had a hemorrhage at a conference in Irvine.  From my butt.

That's right.  From my bunghole.

The blood poured my asshole as if I had hit a vein.  The truth is, I had.  Hemorrhoids are a type of vein and as I learned later from a kind rectal surgeon, my hemorrhoids were at the stage four thrombosis stage.  Stage four didn't sound too bad until I learned there are only four stages.  Stage four equals surgery.

Earlier, right after lunch, I had to use the bathroom and as I sat down I saw the toilet was filled with blood.  I stood up and blood splattered on the floor in a puddle.  After ten minutes of me trying to staunch the flow of blood, the hotel bathroom looked like a murder scene from a slasher flick.  I am going to pass out and someone is going to see all of this blood and think someone tried to kill me.  Eventually, they will realize it was just my butt bleeding out.  

I was at the Hyatt in Irvine for a Veterans' Court Conference and had tried to ignore my worsening bathroom issues all week.  Every morning, I would wake up and use the bathroom and see blood filling the toilet.  I would grit my teeth through the pain and put pressure and the bleeding would stop.

But this time the bleeding didn't stop and I grabbed paper towel after paper towel and stuffed them in my jeans. 

I called my husband crying and told him I was going to leave the conference and drive home.  "Are you fucking crazy?' he yelled at me.  "You're hemorrhaging, call 911.  It could be internal."

I walked back out to the conference room and sat down with a grimace.

One of my colleagues, a female probation officer, asked, "Are you OK?"

"I am not OK at all", I whispered back.  "Can you go with me to the restroom?"

We had went to the fair the night before and danced our asses off to "No Duh", a "No Doubt" tribute band.  She could never have foreseen what getting friendly would mean the next day.

I walked out of the conference room and ran to the bathroom.  The paper towels were soaked through.  I felt dizzy as I watched more blood splatter from my anus to the bathroom tile.  

My probation officer friend handed me some more paper towels over the bathroom door which I stuffed in my underwear.  Hobbling out of the restroom, I said, "I am going to pass out.  We need to call the paramedics."

The District Attorney on my team was waiting outside the restroom for us.  He said, "Let's go sit down."

I replied, "I can't sit down."  The face he made showed his confusion and I said, "That is where my problem area is," I said.  He nodded.  The hotel staff walked over and told us that the paramedics were on their way.

Within three minutes, a paramedic who looked like a cross between Owen Wilson and Bradley Cooper was taking my vitals.  His partner, a Matt Damon lookalike (I know paramedics are cute, but these Orange County guys were ridiculous looking!) asked me what the issue was.  

I was so exhausted and dizzy that I was blunt.  

"My ass is bleeding out."

The humiliation did not end there.  I was rushed to the hospital where I had to tell multiple nurses, an ER doctor and a rectal surgeon my hemorrhoid issues.

The rectal surgeon stopped the bleeding with table sugar.  My husband said it is the osmosis whatever that means.  

Today, I am on my way to the hospital for a colonoscopy.  The first step to treatment is to make sure that there is nothing else wrong.  I drank two liters of a vile liquid yesterday.  And fasted.  That may account for why I am stupid enough to blog about this.  It is not bravery or a need to share, it is food deprivation.

In the end, what I have learned from this experience, because as all my readers should know, my goal is always to make this blog like an after school special on ABC (cough, not!), humiliation is relative.

It just depends on your threshold and after a month of (finally) dealing with my hemorrhoidal issues, I no longer care what people think.  It is my issue.  We all have them.  And the scary part is, I suffered for ten years because I was too embarrassed to talk about it.    

But, fuck it.  I am a bare ass, sugar on her butt hole (aka sweet ass) girl who has thrown all caution to the wind.  

Go ahead and stick your scope up my butt and look inside.  Just be gentle.