Saturday, September 25, 2010

Running in the Attic

I’ve had some pretty big changes in the last week.

I’m divorced. Scandalous, I know. Something that has been in the works for ages finally materialized downtown in the courthouse on Tuesday morning. One minute I was answering inanely simple questions in front of a judge and the next I was waiting for my lawyer to file the paperwork as I was chatting with my friend/witness in front of a bust of Casimir Pulaski.

“Here you go. Here’s your copy. You are divorced.”

I went home to wait for the gas guy, the one who was supposed to come the night before between 8:00 and midnight. He never showed, but I got so worked up on the treadmill at 10:00 p.m. thinking about the prospect of a strange man coming to my house at night I had my mom and dad on stand by to come over after I received his 30 minute heads-up call. I never got it.

Yes, I was on the treadmill at 10:00 p.m. And again last night. I want to say this is healthy adapting, but I have in mind the story I know of a woman who ran on the treadmill in the attic after her husband and kids were in bed. She also jumped rope. She ended up in the hospital for severe anorexia.

Well, I am a far cry from severe anorexia. And my spot upstairs with a view of the trees is a much better than the former in a concrete basement with brick pillars and an empty wooden tool rack. Every time I looked at the tool rack, while I was running, there was a blurry spot. I imagined that it was an apparition, but it never progressed from the foot radius fuzz into something more spectacular. I wondered if I needed to have my eyes checked – it lasted for years. But there is no parallel experience here in my new place on the second floor, so I guess it will remain a mystery.

Experiencing a move and divorce, all in one week, was not planned. That’s a lot of stress. But the kids and I weathered last weekend well, even had fun despite the fact that the movers were around until almost midnight and the house was swarming with moths and mosquitoes. Both kids were up half the night itching, but it was worth it watching Jack dance around the moving truck and help carry stuff in. The movers were so kind – even let him help put his bunk beds together. I tipped them heavily.

It’s my first weekend in my new house alone. I had a fabulous dinner last night with my friend/hair stylist and her 10 year old son Felex. Gifted him a book I just finished – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Gave her some brain candy from a couple of weeks ago – the autobiography of Jenna Jameson - How to Make Love Like a Porn Star. I needed some brain candy (boy was it!) after Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay and Marcel Theroux’s Far North. Both great reads.

In the divorce decree I decided to take my last name back. It’s a pretty unique and awkward one, one that I spent the first half of my life longing to get rid of, but it is strange how I feel drawn back to it desperately like an old familiar coat. I know it’s going to take months, even years maybe, to fully convert based on conversations with friends - and there are all these legal issues with cases - but I enjoyed trying it out on the dictation machine and love seeing it on the vacation and call schedule. I reveled in explaining the pronunciation to lab and office staff all week long. “On the last part – just remember I’m rude.” One of the transcriptionists laughed. “You aren’t rude. You cannot be rude.” I said, “Well, there’s always time to change, right?” She said, "I think I'll just call you Dr. Gizabeth."

New house, new name, new me. I think I need to spend the rest of the weekend alone washing my brain out and cutting off all my old associations and addictions. I need a nice strong disinfectant – preferably one with alcohol. Wine should do nicely. A cab would be perfect.

Breast conference at the University today. It was wonderful seeing old attendings and getting up to snuff on the latest developments in the breast. Papillary lesions. Columnar cell hyperplasia with atypia is now lumped in with flat epithelial atypia and columnar cell hyperplasia without atypia is no longer an entity. Things change so fast. I gained new insight into borderline cases. Nothing I had yesterday was borderline – it was all in-your-face cancer. Clear diagnosis makes a quick, easy day. I am grateful I don’t have to meet the patients.

I’m really excited about starting over. I have felt so much stronger since the separation in February, but I know I've still got a long way to go before I feel normal again. The kids and I are great, but busy. Yes, I’m still happy, Ramona!

Adios from the crazy divorced doctor mom running in the attic.


MomTFH said...


rlbates said...

I'm glad you are! Now to change your entry in my contact list to reflect your name change. :)

The Mother said...

I don't think I'd worry about anorexia. You've got a few more important things to worry about--like teaching everyone to pronounce your name.

Exercise is a great stress reducer--or at least that's what everyone keeps telling me.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

Definitely change in your contacts. Luckily it has been a quiet week - I've already got new driver's license and changed bank and credit cards.

No, I've never had to worry about anorexia. I like food way too much.

It is an amazingly wonderful stress reducer. I do it more for my head than for my body. I've needed it more than usual lately, so I get to eat more. Yippee!

Ginger said...

I have a difficult last name, too! Good Times! I always feel bad for telemarketers and new Grocery Check-out Clerks who are required to address me as Ms. _________ (comes out as something with 5 syllables) that in no way resembles my name which has only 2 or 3 syllables depending on ones region.

I hated my maiden name because it was too boring. HA!

I have high hopes for you Mme. Gizabeth. Keep on runnin'; keeps that ass smackable!

...*thought* I know you vetoed the pool boy, but perhaps we should get you a hot gardener... someone mute... who follows orders really well... JUST TO LOOK AT while you run and stare out that window....

BTW, the wordcatcher thingie says "Skinvan"

Gizabeth Shyder said...

Now there IS something about guys working in the yard. Especially when they fire up that gas-powered leaf blower. Mute sounds perfect. You are providing great fantasy fuel, DC!

I have no idea what you mean by skinvan and wordcatcher thingie. If you don't illuminate me I'm going to e-mail you.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

DC's comment that I accidentally deleted from my droid:

When one leaves a comment on your blog, you have it set so they must type in a secret code word, so it sorta weeds out computerized spambots from replying. It's called a Word Catcher, or so I thought. Anyway, it gives a different code word each time and sometimes they are funny, like Skinvan... Thought it went well with HOT gardner.

*Daydream* of the shirtless, tan, chiseled pecs and abs, gardener arriving in his skinvan to water your flower bed... *big grin*

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I didn't know that was called a Word Catcher.

Your comments are the best!