member of the club
maybe not the club you'd choose
it has chosen you
I'm going to get all X-Files dorky on you for a minute (don't worry, it has a point). This might be a good time to daydream about the vacation you're planning, or Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights or both. Combined. Unless you, too, are an X-Files dork, and if that's the case… enjoy.
OK. So you know how Scully was all uptight and dressed in dark pantsuits and compartmentalizing the fact that she had been abducted? She was just like, "Nope, not going to acknowledge it, let's just move on." And then, she and Mulder were working on this case. She went to a house and knocked on the door like she always did, and she identified herself like she always did, and the ladies in the house were all, "Hey! We know you!"
Scully was like, "Uh-huh. No you don't." And they were all, "Yep. Yep, we sure do. From the place where the dudes stabbed a little metal doodad into all of our necks. Remember that?" So, completely freaked out, Scully scurried back to the strong arms of Agent Mulder.
But she knew.
She knew she was part of their club. She knew she had the scar on the back of her neck. She knew there was a metal doodad. And she also knew the women with the metal doodads were dying.
As I'm sure we can all understand – this is fucked up news. And when you are working very hard to move yourself forward from the trauma of being abducted by government agents or possible aliens, you don't really want a room full of smiling women dragging you back to that freaked out place.
Except that, the more she resisted their club, the more she knew she needed it.
This is just like me!
When government agents abducted Ike and narrowed his airway, that was a pretty shitty thing to happen. I have mourned the need for the trach. I have to not think about how things were before, compared to how things are now. I have to not think about what would have happened without the trach. There are a lot of things to compartmentalize.
One of the big things I haven't wanted to think about, or embrace, is the new club we're in. The however-you-want-to-put-it club. Special needs, medically dependent, whatever. I have avoided the message boards. I have read the emails, read the comments, and until now, I have been telling myself I will just file those away. I've been rationalizing that we're not part of that club yet. Maybe we won't have to be part of it. Maybe, somehow, we can avoid it altogether. It doesn't apply. We are not that. There is no metal doodad in the back of my neck. I do not recognize those women.
But then I look around. I have to sleep on the sofa so that my baby can sleep in his bouncy chair all night. Only I don't sleep, because I have to be able to use the suction pump to clear out his trach so that he can keep breathing. There is an oxygen concentrator two feet away from me. An air compressor powering a humidifier, attached to tubing, attached to my baby. There are so many cords and wires it is not just chancy that I will get up one day to check the oximeter and break my ankle, it is inevitable.
I look around me and the realization takes my breath away like ice water to the face. Just like Scully had that little scar on her neck – a mysterious metal doodad removed and in a vial in her purse – I see the reality and have failed to keep it tucked away. I know this is our life now. I know I am part of the club I don't want to be part of. I see the virtual smiling faces on the tracheostomy boards. On the special needs boards. I don't want them to smile at me. I don't want them to welcome me. I don't want them to recognize me. I want them to say, "Move along, there's nothing for you here."
But that's not how the story goes.
We are trying to get Dr. Cotton's assistant to call us back so we can start planning our first trip to Cincinnati. We are researching how you fly with oxygen and food thickener and extra carry-ons with life-saving and life-sustaining equipment in them. We are knocking down the door of the GI doc to try to get in to see her as soon as possible. We do trach care everyday, cleaning Ike's stoma, inspecting the trach. We obsess over oxygen saturation levels and weight gain. We are part of the club.
So now I try to embrace it? I guess I join the boards and look for advice. I begrudgingly sit down in front of a regression hypnotist so that I can remember the abduction. No wait… that one is Scully.
I really hope that things get better one day. I mean, five season later, Scully had a smart haircut, tailored suits and La Perla peeking out from her fitted blouses. She had not aged one bit from her neck doodad incident. And her belief was stronger in the world around her because of the club she was in.
So I will be like Scully. I will be forced into the club. It will make me a better person. And it will earn me some really expensive underwear.
Or something like that.