Saturday, January 19, 2013

An Anthropomorphism is a Good Thing

Well. Y'all and John, I'm sure, can rest easy now that my furniture is moved around and moved around and moved yet again. And is covered in junk tasteful decorative accent pieces.

 Red: my nod to the certain Oscar award for Le Mis. C'mon! Sing along with me: "RED! THE BLOOD OF ANGRY MEN!..."

Nothing -- but nothing -- screams tasteful like a clump of fake tulips.......  

........the theme of which is repeated here in the nearby tastefully painted fake oil painting. 

Now that my living room isn't screaming "REARRANGE ME FOR GAWD'S SAKE!", I feel so much better. Whew. A happy room is a happy Julia.

So do y'all think that the fact that inanimate objects speak to me strange? Be truthful here. I can take it. I suppose it may be a bit weird; but then each of us is given special abilities, I think....  My talent for dialoguing with statuettes and dogs and other unlikely things --  or anthropomorphizing --is just one of those kind of gifts.

I remember one instance in particular when this talent came in mighty handy when Daughter#1 was tiny. She had a terrible case of barf-everything-right-down-to-the-socks flu. I think she must have been about five or so. I felt so terrible for her: she was absolutely miserable, and as long as I knew she was not dehydrated and that it didn't continue for more than 24 hours or so, she'd be fine. But in the meantime the poor little kiddo just wanted it all to stop.

I did too. I hate feeling helpless in the face of my kids' pain. So I frantically thought of some way to divert her attention, and did the first weirdo thing that came to mind: I put her on my lap, told her to open her mouth, (hoping that she wasn't going to spew in the next minute or so) and told her I was going to have a conversation with the germs in her belly. The look on her face was a mix of terror and amusement as she scooted closer to me. I tilted her head back and took a deep breath.

"All RIGHT DOWN THERE!!! Listen up, you bugs! I know you're having one grand old party there in my baby's belly, but I'm here to tell you that the party is OVER. Right now. Yessirree! Don't make me come down there! Move out!"

She giggled and pushed me away, which was good because her breath was awful, poor thing. I asked her how she thought germs would decorate her stomach for a party. She's my artist kid and gave this some serious thought. I wish that I would have kept the picture that she crayon-ed for me of a flu bug party.

Unbelievably, she did not vomit once after the germs and I had this little Come-To-Jesus moment. And unfortunately, this maneuver didn't work that well in the years that followed with all of the kids as they had their share of the barfs. But. Many years later, as she was a sophomore in college and very, very ill from a mononucleosis type disease, I had to harness my special skills yet again. This time I directed my conversation to D#1's spleen.

Yes, spleen. It was very enlarged, which was not a good indicator of the severity of her illness. Yeah. I told the on-call physician that she had an enlarged spleen as he examined her. He adopted a very patronizing tone and look: "Well. That's a pretty advanced set of assessment skills for a mommy."

I could have slapped him.

But then as he palpated her abdomen and felt the margins of her enormous spleen, he looked up sharply at me and said, "Where do you work?"

"I'm a NURSE," I hissed. What a jerk he was, but I needed his body to remain unbruised and intact long enough to complete his exam and order some labs, so restrained my desire to strangle him and through gritted teeth told him exactly which labs I expected him to order. Which he did, and a few others just because I think he wanted to appear less stupid.

Where was I going with this.....grrr.....makes my blood pressure skyrocket just remembering it.....oh, righto.

So D#1 watched this all rather fearfully. She was one sick little puppy, she hurt, she was running a very high temp, and was just told that she was going to probably take some serious time off from college. Not a happy coed.

After Dr. DopeyHead had left and the lab person showed up ready to draw blood samples, D#1 burst into frustrated tears. I thought frantically how I might be able to comfort her and divert her attention from the needle. Isn't it interesting that  sometimes tactics that work with a five year old also soothe a very irate and ill 19 year old? (OR a cranky 55 year old autoimmune diseased woman, actually?)

I told her that I wanted her to lift her shirt up, just a bit over her bellybutton.

"Mom." she said between sobs. "Don't poke on my stomach any more, please!"

"No, no! I won't touch you, I promise! I just want to have a little conversation with Sophie."

D#1 looked at me as if I had three heads but at least quit crying. Momentarily.

"Yes. Your spleen's name is Sophie, did you know that?"

She rolled her eyes in the way that only a 19 year old girl can. But she became quiet, and didn't seem to notice that the phlebotomist had grabbed her arm and put a tourniquet on it.

I had to think fast. The needle was next. So I bent over her abdomen and spoke softly.

"Helllllooooooo, Sophie....."

D#1 couldn't restrain a bit of a grin. She tried really hard but ended up smiling goofily."

"Now, Sophie, girl. You simply must behave yourself. Settle down, Missy. We'll take good care of you but you have to mind nicely. Your human is going to get all better but you have to cooperate!"

This time the phlebotomist was the one to roll her eyes unbelievingly. I didn't care. D#1 had quit crying and the blood samples were in their tubes.

WOOT! Weirdness wins! I'm going to have to ask someone to yell at my misbehaving immune system next time I flare.


annie said...

I say use whatever works and whatever makes you feel better. Here you've used flowers and color in a great combination☺

Anonymous said...

Oh so glad to know that I'm not alone. I've been having conversations with my immune system lately along the lines of "I know you've been working hard--too hard, actually, and I really need you to just chill right now. Take a day off. There's nothing to attack, it's just me."

Annette/@Anetto said...

I was a Spenser fan. Not the poet the private eye. So in the last conversation I had with my immune system I had Spenser and Hawk going through my body and picking off the bad guys. Hawk is remarkably effective in general

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! Made me laugh so much! I'm enjoying following your blog even though I'm not a Sjoggie. Our D#2 has Celiac, so we understand about autoimmune disease issues. I'm dealing with ALS which is beastly and makes humor an absolute necessity, as far as I'm concerned!