Thursday, September 27, 2007


To find that an entire day spent chugging cup after cup of warm broth and snack cup after snack cup of synthetic fruit-like flavored jello, was a day pointlessly spent doing so, brought me to what is now the peak of pleasure of all of my healthcare related experiences thus far.

laust in lustin
laust in lustin © Laura Kicey and Dustin Fenstermacher. All Rights Reserved.

Juice fast day and pleasant purge night was a grand ol' time. Cos there is nothing I love more than waking up hourly to the howl of my guts screaming we are digesting ourselves! feed us! run, laura!!! Rolling out of bed at 5:30am to get to the hospital at 7:30 to be told that even though you put in a referral for this last week, it isn't any good at this particular hospital. Your insurance says, you have to have diagnostics done at this other hospital. Y'know, the one that you aren't at right now and don't have an appointment for. Oh but if you really want to do it today, you can for $900.

amour © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

In the intermediate mush and shuffle of calling doctor's offices, insurance people, admissions, etc. while incoherent from no sleep or food, unable to verbalize a thought clearly, I got slightly hysterical while attempting to straighten things out with Ass Doctor's administrative assistant. She was kind enough to hide me from the waiting room and ply me with tissues and reassurance.

The great news is, I got to go to Cereality for breakfast. The bad news is I have to fast/purge all over again on Sunday for a first thing Monday am procedure (fo'reals this time) at the hospital where I won't go deeply into debt when paying. Noting the complete and utterly wasted day, I decided after I partially refueled on a concoction of Cheerios, Special K, peaches and walnuts that I would go get my hair fixed. And so I did. Then I went to Jones and ate my face off, because when you forcibly hollow yourself out, you find that you are damn near bottomless for quite some time following. Next up, chicken noodle soup to fix, with one fell swoop, my disastrous roast chicken from Tuesday night and my cold that is still lingering onwards.

I took a photo on my way out of work on Wednesday, but I haven't even processed it, so I give you instead, my most recent wall and a holga double exposure from over a year and a half ago, one shot that Dustin took of me against the sky and one that I took of him laying on the ground, superimposed over each other, with Nardell's camera. He just got it developed and sent it to me this week. And I think it is pretty neat for being a complete accident/exposing us for having not an analog bone in our bodies.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

fast and slowed

It seems I misread my instructions for my testing for Crohn's on Thursday. Rereading last night, it appears I have to go on a juice fast starting Wednesday morning. The instructions also mention that I will be having a super-revolting test that no one bothered to mention at the doctor's last week. Super-plus-pleased. I wish I had something amazing to distract my likely-to-be-delirious self that didn't include looking at pregnant women at work. Since meeting with the Ass Doc last week I've had daily pain in my guts, which might be psychological or real. Who knows. Tomorrow might tell me.

weeds © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The weekend was a long winding trek through some of our old stomping grounds. Up to Trevorton to Mr. D's parents for a visit, back down to The Burg for some thrifting, practicing, sushi and a NTTT show at Small's.

the cramps
the cramps © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

It was an excellent show. I was shooting the band for an online magazine called Unsung Hero. Wish I had a link. The Night Train was headlining that night and in top form. Miraculously there was a very low level of generalized show assholery. And little alcohol-related violence. One braless dancing girl fell over on a slippy beer puddle. No randomly thrown punches or overzealous gyrating. But no lack of dancing either.

duo © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

The band was obviously enjoying themselves and the audience, likewise, watching. It was probably one of their best performances I've ever seen.

cmybalic © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Also of note, I have apparently not lost my general desirability in my time of aging and infirmity... not to say I am peaking in the quality of men I am piquing the interest of.

don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like him?
don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like him? © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Ahem. Cough.

I was sitting in an armchair and this gentleman pulls up the sofa next to me. And an ottoman. And faces me. That is the side of my face that was not turning to acknowledge him. At all. And he starts going on to my ear's dismay, about the comfiness of his seat. Then my phone rings. Its Dustin, calling from the back of the bar. To confirm that he see Monsieur Referee making his move. Simultaneously and obliviously, Mr. Referee continues talking to me while I am on the phone with Dustin, talking about him. Loudly. He scarcely pauses for breath, speaking to my hand holding the phone. It was quite a brazen feat.

Later Mr. Referee nearly got into a brawl with the obsessive sound guy who was marching back and forth between different parts of the bar, pausing to listen and then going back to his sound board to adjust. Mr. Referee, who was agitated at not scoring with me, decided that his displeasure with Mr. Sound might need to come to fisticuffs. Somehow, the smooth Mr. Sound manages to assuage him after some tense wrist grappling and sits down. Intense conversation, with wide open mouths close to each other's such that they appear to be skirting actual making out by a hair's breadth, ensues.

armed robbery
armed robbery © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Phenomenal. The one that got away. My other pseudo-suitors included a married guy sitting next to his wife, one guy who knew who I was from flickr, and a total Bro with a nasty stogey. What did all these guys have in common? They were all mostly hitting on my camera.

Dustin was kind enough to dedicate a "to the four guys who hit on my girlfriend tonight, you guys are awesome!" Made my week, really.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

hole in a whole

The more grotesque things become the vaguer I am forced to be. And the less I feel like I can discuss this with anyone, the harder it becomes to bear.

caption © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I met with the Ass Doctor this morning. He is a man with no sense of humor and no facial expressions. The examination was humiliating, but, uh, thorough. Most people with my particular condition actually have Crohn's Disease, which if you are not familiar, is a fairly horrible chronic autoimmune disease, where basically your intestines and or digestive system fails to operate properly. I am hoping that what I have is just a fluke and unrelated. Along with the condition, the past couple of months I have had some minor abdominal pain. Some weird feelings in my chest after I eat. And around May I was forced to stop drinking coffee and tea in the morning because they made me incredibly nauseous. This could be indicative of something. Or nothing. But to rule out Crohn's, I am going to have another exciting test with a vile name that is basically an xray of my intestines. Next week. Along with pre-op blood tests.

strains © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Then he said, I want to do another exam under anaesthesia on you. But. Depending on what they find and how my condition presents itself, I may or may not have a surgery also at that time. I may or may not have a device implanted in me to help ease the infection so we can get ready for either a rather dubious sounding surgery, or one of a number of odd quacky sounding methods for healing this, including filling it with glue. If I had known I could have fixed this with Elmer's in February, gosh I woulda gotten right on that, I had some on hand even.

tightrope © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

So one month from now, exam under anaesthesia, take 2, and possible surgery. Not, surprisingly, involving Hot Doctor at all. Which sadly makes me think that going to see Hot Doctor was completely superfluous. And yet another wrench thrown in the works by my Original Asshole Doctor. I feel utterly deflated. Exhausted. I hoped to get my hair fixed so I could at least redeem the ugliness I felt inside considering how long it will take me to heal when the real action is another month off. Alas, my hair woman is away getting trained. More fear when my mother offers to take me home with her if I need longer term care. She is an LPN. The idea of losing my life again makes me want to vomit. The thought of not being able to work and have a steady income... and be dependent on my mother is terrifying.

insular © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I try not to let it all sink in at once. Instead trying to preoccupy myself with other things that give me some joy. I let Miss Plum and Bruce Grant talk me into taking a walk to Gray's Ferry on Sunday. It was a perfectly stunning day and not only did I find loads of pieces to work with for my walls project, but broke from the wild uber-detailed project to create some super-minimal one off shots I was really pleased with. I might be swayed to go out again this weekend, since I should enjoy my mobility and the kind weather while I have both.

corset © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

They uncannily match my mood and feelings to a T....

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Its difficult to say why one should feel like they are recovering from something when one did not have actual surgery, well, not for nearly two months now. But this morning left me feeling a little emotionally dented. Its my 30th birthday, but really, I'm trying not dwell on that seeing as this day has been shit from even before I went to bed last night.

Last night I (yes, foolishly!) decided to do some reading about my condition. And treatment. Oh those Damn Internets! What a fucking horrible place for one with a hole in the wrong place and questions on the lips. I sat in slack-jawed wonder reading tales of really horrible things happening to people with the the same condition as I. Went to bed puffy-eyed and shaking, and eventually slept, dreaming of hundreds of strangers ransacking my parents house and flooding rooms in the name of "partying". This, little did I know, mirrored the party that this day has been. I went to the doctor this morning, whereupon I waited nearly two hours before I was seen. Inflated with grotesque notions, he played some of them out for me and the fears came back and I got slightly hysterical and then he joked about calling my boyfriend "my fiancé" and I wanted to punch him. And then he told me I would have to see yet another specialist. A colorectal surgeon character. And further did I fill with joy till I narry burst. Describing with a sketch, the wheres and hows of all the things I never wished to imagine being cut and rearranged, they were all there in ballpoint ink before me.

So I made an appointment to see the Ass Doctor. Next week. Just to chat and sign consent forms, as Ass Doctor and Special Crotch Doctor will be ganging up on me for surgery together, hopefully before the end of September. Special diet forthcoming. More antibiotics. 6 weeks to recover. Blah blah. Bah.

copper age
copper age © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

I'm terrified of missing a lot of work. Of things not healing. It coming back. The word mutilation. That is me up there, scowling or looking tough or something. On Monday. When I didn't feel tough at all. Actually I think under the hair I look like a wuss. Probably.

There are still a few hours left to this day. Mr. Dust is taking me for Korean. He hates Korean. But I love it and I need to stock up on spicy for while I can still eat solid things of any description. And there will be ice cream. I hear it makes almost everything better. Remaining hopeful of that.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

wrinkle in time

Before I got better, everything had to get a bit worse. Last time I showed my face around here, I thought I was on the upswing, however flu and an ear infection had to have their way with me, pushing up my exam under anaesthesia up another week, as I was still coursing with antibiotics. In desperate need of a bit of air, Shanners, Mr. D, Daniel and I revived me by trucking me out for an afternoon of tacos and public abandonment at Eastern State Penitentiary two weekends back.

guard © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

As Shanners is set to be photographed by myself and Mr. D at her wedding in 2008, we are priming her for being un-shy about having her portrait taken. So we took some stabs at her, and she left standing.

prisoner © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

This week was marked with the excitement of finally checking into the hospital to have myself examined by a doctor who knows what he is doing. Hospitals used to terrify me, despite the fact that both of my parents have in past worke and again now work in hospitals and health care. Some point in the past two decades I have managed to mellow out. Perhaps it was the outrageous French anaetheseologist. Or perhaps it was the fact that my brain went numb after they drew all the blood and made me pee in one too many cups. 16 hours after I had last consumed food or beverage, I went into a state of extreme calm , lulled by the one television playing reruns of Emeril and Rachael Ray, dazzling me with foods I silently was able to fantasize about but not eat.

Fortunately my modesty left with the first round of sedatives, seeing as when they rolled me into the operating room, there were no less than 10 people present. It was only the next day that I realized that the audience contained there in, was privy to my privates in all their unhappy glory. When I regained consciousness approximately an hour later, I started weeping uncontrollably for no reason I could determine. The nurse told me that happens quite a bit. The Hot Doctor strode out while I was still puffing and flustered, announcing the confirmation that I indeed have what we thought I had and that my fiancé had been called to collect me. In between the tears I started laughing that I really must have been busy to have gone and gotten myself a fiancé while I was knocked out, cos when I went under he was just my boyfriend. And then I cried some more. Underneath it all I was most worried because when my man and I parted ways, he was under the assumption I would only be away two hours, and then I would be back on the road home. Now five plus hours later, I was not yet standing and still connected to IV and monitors. This was most worrisome to me. I had also deprived Mr. D of his parking ticket, thinking I could get it validated.

I was deposited in my own private hospital room, ass flapping out the back of my gown, nibbling on graham crackers and in strode Mr. D to pour me ginger ale on ice. Never has soda tasted so good. I started crying again, apologizing for having him stuck there for almost six hours running now.

After drinking a bit, my strength and hunger returned in mostly full force. We started pressing buttons until we got a nurse to come in and take out my IV and then we made a break for the hospital cafeteria who could only serve us rice mysteries or cheesesteaks. No contest. With fries.

sargasso © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Now up to speed, I continue building walls and plotting plots to unleash when I am feeling my whole self. I've had some other possibly bad news, but I am waiting for confirmation. I've also been asked to have one of my photos appear in a design book being published next year which is nice. My 30th birthday is on Wednesday and I am planning on being a Libra this year instead of a Virgo so that I will feel more celebratory and mended for the big day, rather than a frail old lump. Gotta start things off on the right foot. Or the left, whichever seems most natural.

craft © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

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