Way waaaay back in 1995, when Alanis Morrisette misunderstood the meaning of irony and we had to endure hearing her whining growls about what she did to her ex-boyfriend in the cinema blasted out of the speakers of every shop and pub in existence and my workmates thought that 'Ace Ventura: when nature calls' was an intensely witty cinematic experience, I was diagnosed with a 'macro-adenoma', also known as a Pituitary Prolactinoma (or 'Poo Poo' for short).
It wasn't cancerous, but was a jaffa-sized (as in the Australian 1.2cm diameter inedible chocolate balls used to throw at annoying people in the cinema, not a real orange) little planet with a mind of its own feeding off my mind. Luckily for me, the specialists soon stopped talking about yanking it out via my nose and were relieved to see that it shrunk itself to the size of a single grain of rice. My nostrils were no longer in danger of being raped and pillaged because the magic medical pills were received as gratefully by me as OJ Simpson with a not-guilty verdict. As my regular specialist put it, "Look, you'll never be normal (which explains my life thus far), but you're about as normal as it's ever going to get for you."
Despite this tantalisingly close proximity to normality, one of the specialties of this arse of an adenoma is its production of prolactin. As in breast milk. Yep, if we were living in 1709 instead of 2009 I could be making myself a rather handy living being the village wet nurse. Or idiot, but at least a few babies' lives might have been saved if my restless rack was restoring them. In a third parallel universe I could have been blind (prolactinomas make their presence felt by squashing up against the optic nerves as they grow in size) and insane; again, the similarities are eerie.
Back to today. The tumour may be rice-sized, but Poo Poo still makes an effort to keep the breast milk production up. So yes, I have the enviable capacity to be able to politely lean over and offer to whiten your cup of tea during a meeting if you need me to (although no-one, yet, has been brave enough to ask). All it would take would be a quick lift of the top, an armpit-fart type of motion and voila - white tea!
During karate classes we were often required to hold our closed fists in front of our faces and have our elbows pressed firmly up against our chests and my 'ol mammaries would leak mutinously in protest. Thank god the karate pajamas were white and the hall was hot because it just looked as though I was extremely sweaty.
Bountiful boobery aside, Poo Poo also sets itself up as the nerve centre for all things annoying (apart from Dancing with the Channel Seven Staff and heaters that die one month after the 12-month warranty expires, that is). Poo Poo will contact my old enemy, Mr Migraine, on a regular basis to come out of his lair and do his obscene version of Riverdance wearing barbed wire stilettos behind my eyeballs, or send Technicolour Yawn Man down into my stomach to force-fill up my sick bucket. If Poo Poo isn't on the ball, it will send someone less drastic but still bloody annoying to remind me of its existence: Acne Man, for example, or Sleepless S**t Stirrer.
I've had a migraine for the last five days. Every damn time it seems like the Malevolent Mr M has decided to go and try his staple gun practice behind someone else's right eyeball he rushes back to my head, laughing uproariously at my confusion and disappointment. He waits behind a corner or the kitchen door frame with one of those punching gloves on an extended arm, ready to thwack it forcefully into my face, thus causing me to stagger back to bed or the bathroom for more self pity and pain relief.
This evening finds me more than 85% percent certain that Mr M seems to have finally lost interest in me and is hopefully off torturing someone who could well do with being out of the public eye for five days. (Mr Sandilands, please answer the door willingly when Mr M knocks on your thick skull and takes residence inside the echoing, draughty halls of your head, okay?)
Love Chunks has endured tears, crankiness, wakefulness (due directly to my insomnia and overt turnings over and sheet-stealing), whining, an increase in sick bed time and having to shoulder our childcare, cooking and household responsibilities on his own, including cancelling a Saturday night dinner party that he'd spent most of the day preparing for. He took Friday off so that Sapphire made it to school in one piece and provide a watchful eye over me at home. I'd stupidly get out of bed and do something 'to help' like hang out the washing or make the bed and then Mr M would punch me down again, delaying the whole 'get better and get over it soon' process.
What I worry most about is how Sapphire sees me: am I a sick and grumpy Mum who spends a lot of time in bed and not with her? Someone who doesn't have the energy of other mums?
Earlier tonight, we sat on the lounge. She was crocheting a scarf for Grandma's birthday present, and I was struggling with my 'monkey see, monkey do' plain knitting of squares to be sewn together for homeless shelter rugs. I quietly said, "I guess it's a drag when I'm sick a lot and don't spend much time with you."
There was a pause as she concentrated on hooking the wool through.
"I'm sorry about that Sapphire." What else could I say, with the past five days being all about me in bed or slumped around the house, feeling sorry for myself?
She looked at my glum expression and patted my knee comfortingly, in exactly the same way that my mother does. "You're great fun when you're well and I love it even when we just sit here and talk. But don't worry Mum, Dad and I always find stuff to do. We eat chips or buy our lunch from Subway, go to school to throw some basketball goals and watch movies like 'Star Wars'. "
Fair enough. I'm feeling almost as grateful as my nostrils were way back in 1995.