Pre- La Perla Scully

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.

9 thoughts on “Pre- La Perla Scully

  1. I’m sorry you were forced into the club. Truly sorry, but seriously you seem to have such a great perspective about it. You kick ass.


  2. Oh, Kari.
    If we hear you say, “I’m fine, Mulder,” we will Know You’re Lying.
    And, if you need to drive to Cincy, stop in Nashville on the way. We have plenty of spare bedrooms, good food, and margaritas.


  3. I read this post and was sad, because I think I know exactly what feeling you are describing, and it sucks in so many ways. I’m sorry you are having to deal with all this.
    Part of me just wants to reassure you “it’s ok.. no long-term club membership… you’re just driving past ‘the club’- getting the scenic tour for sure- but not stopping to stay.”
    But when you are in ‘the club’ (even just for awhile), it is a sad awakening- any way you slice it. You’re in excellet company. Most people never imagine(d) that they might be card-carrying members. (‘The club’ can be a strange place- a place that where it seems like everyone else has more info, is more of a member, and just belongs to more).
    The silver lining is that ‘the club’ is probably just other “mamas” …who feel the same way. (There’ll be a few “pros” – and you’ll know who they are).
    I guess this is just my long way of saying.. ‘the club’ is ok. I mean, it sucks, Bad. But it ain’t the bad part. You’ve already dealt with, and are dealing with, the bad part.Beautifully I might add.
    Your membership to this new, (um, “Abducted-Person-Metal-In-Your-Neck”) club is absolutely temporary. Ike will get bigger and stronger and you WILL wear LaPerla. And that club has way better snacks.
    PS. I know I’m not offering any real gems of insight (pearls of widsdom?), or saying anything you don’t already know- any not very articulately at that- I just hope it helps to know you are supported, Scully or not.


  4. hi – just checked into your site today and hope it’s okay to comment. i sent you an email the other day and now see that i shouldn’t have!!!! i suppose what i want to say after reading your post is that you CAN have a “normal” life and that after a while the extra medical stuff will just become something you do that you don’t even notice (most of the time anyway). you just have to see a pic of isaac to see how fantastic he is šŸ™‚ honestly just from looking at your blog is seems you are doing bloody well so far and you’ve only just started this all.
    would you believe it if i said that our daughter is waiting for decannulation this summer and we almost don’t want it because life is great just now and the thought of the operation is too scary.


  5. “Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”
    Good analogy (even from a non-X-Files watcher)! I’m sorry about your club.
    I’m a member of a club and it sucks. But I felt better when I just internally stated the obvious, embraced the elephant, etc.


  6. You don’t know me, but I’m in the club too (I got my membership while I was still pregnant). Membership gets better — you get used to it, until it is just background noise, just another fact about you. And, if you don’t mind me getting all Hallmarky for a moment, the joy you feel with every milestone achieved, every great day (and there will be lots, someday), is extra special.


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