Sunday, May 2, 2010

What A Long Strange Trip...

Good Lord. What a week I just had. It all started last Saturday when I was picked up by two friends for a road trip to the Bay Area. I had had a bad cold earlier in the week, but by all indications I was over the worst of it. So off we went. My friends are both sports nuts and had discovered that their two favorite baseball teams would be playing the SF Giants back to back. We bought tickets to see the Cardinals on Sunday and the Phillies on Monday. The drive down was a lot of fun. We laughed a lot. But by the time we got down to Oakland, where we were staying with a friend, I was exhausted and went to bed at like 9 o'clock.

The game on Sunday was great. The Cardinals won, so one of us was happy. The weather was spectacular and we all came away with just the right amount of sunburn. But as I was sitting there, baking in the sun, I could tell things were getting worse. I wasn't sure if it was the head-cold or the heat, but I started feeling dizzy. I ended up spending the last couple innings under cover.

After the game, we met up with another friend of our host because we were shopping for sperm. The friends I was traveling with are lesbians who have been together about 7 years. They want to start a family but obviously need some male DNA. Our host had found a willing donor, so we met up at a bar to interview him. That was just about the weirdest thing I have ever been forced to participate in. I should have gone to another table because I was pretty uncomfortable with their "hey-we're-all-family-here" attitude, but I was so morbidly fascinated, I couldn't bring myself to leave. I'm not judging them at all for wanting to find a sperm donor. I believe strongly that we should all have access to the same opportunities for marriage/family/etc. I was just really weirded out by how casual they were about the whole thing. I tend to over romanticize everything though, so of course I thought it deserved a lot more weight. After the interview, they all seemed to think it was a good idea. So he came back to the house, jerked off in a cup, and was on his way. The ladies used a syringe to finish the job. All the while, there's a house full of people cracking jokes, drinking beers, and just hanging out. Surreal. But I guess a lot of kids are conceived under even less formal circumstances than that!

On Monday I woke up with a head packed with snot and a fever. It appeared that Sunday had set me back significantly. While my friends went off to explore Alcatraz and see the Phillies game, I spent the day under the covers waiting for death to finally take me. I lived through the night, and on Tuesday morning we headed back to Oregon. Once again, the drive was a lot of laughs, but I was so sick. Driving through the Siskiyou Pass was particularly bad as the force in my sinuses turned my head into a pressure cooker. By the time I got back to Eugene, something had to give. I tried to blow my nose, and with a loud pop, my eardrum ruptured.

I took a bunch of Vicodin and tried to make it through the night. By the time I got to the doctor on Wednesday, I was a mess. I was dizzy and vomiting and blood was draining out of my ear. So gross. She takes one look and says, "Oh, that's a mess." Gee, thanks doc. Anyway, it turns out that eardrums will often heal themselves without any medical intervention necessary. The bad news is it can take two months to heal. Meanwhile, I have lost hearing in that ear and my balance is bad. Luckily the nausea has gone away, so it's more irritating than anything else.

As a strange side note, I have been experiencing Griffin's world for the last few days. Griffin was born deaf in one ear; his eardrum doesn't vibrate. I'm getting a taste of what his world sounds like. It's pretty interesting because there is no stereo, so no depth to sound. Crowded spaces are particularly confusing and frustrating. We went to a restaurant and every sound hit me at the same level if that makes sense. Everything (the people at my table, the other tables, the kitchen noises) all sounded the same distance away. Although, if I had been born this way and I didn't know any other way, I'm not sure it would be frustrating at all. I tried to share some of this insight with Griffin and he didn't seem to think it was all that profound. :)

Here's hoping that life calms down and gets boring soon.


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