I am a pretty, delicate flower blooming by the water’s edge.
I am a pretty, delicate flower blooming by the water’s edge.
I am a pretty delicate….. oh, who am I fooling??
Yesterday I almost hit someone. Two someones, actually. I almost went all Hulk Hogan on their puny little butts. But I controlled myself. Despite being under the influence of rage-inducing medication. I was very proud of myself but definitely not proud of them. Some people need a talking licence that they need to sit a test for because they really do not think before they open their mouths.
Let me explain.
I was put on steroids three months ago to shrink scar tissue on my endometrium (sorry, male readers, this is one of those girlie topics. I shall endeavour to be gentle. Haha) Prior to it I was in a huge amount of pain. One day it was so bad I fell on the kitchen floor and couldn’t get up. It was as if I was in Alien with one of those horrible alien babies waiting to burst out of my stomach.
I was going to write about all this but it just depressed me to think about it because endometriosis is something I’ve dealt with all my life and really, it’s not all that jolly a topic. I have had three separate surgeries and none of them have really fixed the problem. The only thing the gynaecologist seems to think will fix the problem is a complete hysterectomy.
My therapist is opposed to the surgery unless my condition is life-threatening (which it isn’t) because she feels I will not cope mentally with going into full-blown menopsause as a result of the surgery. They will have to remove my ovaries, you see, so it will be like falling down the well in that movie The Ring and never being able to climb back up again unless I become a weird Japanese child zombie with a nightdress on. (Why do Japanese ghosts and zombies always wear nightdresses? I don’t get it.)
Zombies and nightdresses aside, what’s prompted me to write about this now is something I observed as a result of the medication. As a result of the side effects of the medication.
Taking steroids/ cortisone usually leads to weight gain or bloating or puffiness in the face. I have been lucky to have experienced all three side effects. I’m thorough like that. I don’t really mind because I was in so much pain prior to the meds that I was popping ibuprofen like tic tacs just to get to a semi-functional level. Not good.
I felt like I would never recover so a bit of fluid retention and a few extra kilos is really nothing to worry about as far as I’m concerned. I assume that as soon as I stop taking the medication I will lose the weight and if I don’t I will just go on a diet. I wasn’t overweight to start with, so it’s like what’s the big deal here?
As far as I’m concerned the steroids are wonder drugs because I was so ill I really didn’t know what to do. I was losing so much blood all the time I was severely anaemic. I had so little energy that I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without stopping halfway. I was gasping like a chain smoker. Now I am bouncing around everywhere. My skin is clear, I actually have colour in my cheeks. Those cheeks may be a little puffy, but they are rosy. Just like Noddy’s.
Oh, Noddy, you are so freakin’ adorable….
Anyway, to get to the point.
When I was still very ill I ran into a couple of women I know and they remarked upon how pale I was, how unwell I looked. I ran into them again last week and the first thing they said wasn’t: Oh, you really look so much better. We’re so glad.
It was: You’ve put on so much weight.
And they almost said it with relish.
Thanks for noticing, I said. Just as well I don’t have an issue with my weight because I’ve been feeling lousy enough dealing with the fact that my blood is running into my shoes on a monthly basis without you two rubbing in the fact that I might have at the most put on 3 kilograms.
How mean-spirited to even mention it.
Admittedly, I look like I’ve put on more because of my puffy cheeks. I look like a puffer fish/ human combo. If this continues someone will make a cartoon about me. I hope they make me a superhero in it because me as a superhero – one of my lifelong dreams.
Luckily, I don’t usually have issues with my weight. I want you to know that. Most of the time I don’t care if I look like I just crawled out of a swamp after existing for months on a diet of ten cheeseburgers a day with deep-fried Mars Bars for dessert. I am raising this because it’s something I’ve noticed among groups of women I know. This focusing on appearance and nit-picking at anything viewed as a shortcoming.
I have to tell you that weight is not a laughing matter or an insignificant one for many people. I know this from firsthand experience. One of my sisters is seriously overweight. She has battled with her weight all her life. My other sister nearly died from anorexia at 17. My friend, Gina, while going through her divorce washed down sleeping pills with half a bottle of vodka calling me in a panic after what she had done. The trigger wasn’t the divorce. The trigger was the fact that she had put on ten kilos while trying to deal with the divorce and a mutual friend of ours had commented on it in a malicious manner. That mutual friend was one of the women I ran into the other day.
So get rid of those nasty, appearance-obsessed people in your life, you say. You don’t need them bringing you down. Easier said than done. We all know that. Those people creep up on you when you least expect it. They’re like chewing gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe. You think you got it all but the next time you walk on a wooden floor you hear the familiar squeak stick squeak stick. It’s how a teenage ghost would sound – no ball and chains – just sticky gum.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes when you’re down and doing what you have to do to get back up again someone will crawl out of their Mercedes SUV with the GPS set to one place only – the botox clinic – and try to slap you back down again. It’s as if they have some missile that seeks you out just so they can bitch about you for a day.
And sometimes you have to summon all your strength to slap them back not really for yourself but for all the people they could hurt much more than you for their catty, offhand comments.
Another side effect of taking steroids, a very well-documented side effect, particularly in the world of Pro wrestling, is a little thing known as ROID RAGE. I am pleased to report that roid rage actually exists and that when it is combined with PMT that never goes away and a general pissed-offedness at the world it is bordering on the spectacular.
I was going to go all chokeslamming and dropkicking and facebusting on these women. But I decided not to.
I had a pack of eggs in my shopping bag. Beautiful organic free range vitamin enriched brown eggs that I was planning to cook up in a variety of delectable ways.
I got one egg. I figured I could spare one. I put it in my hand and said: Before you open your mouths next time think about what a person might have gone through. Offer your sympathies, not your disparagement. If you can’t be nice don’t say anything at all. Or this might happen.
I then took the egg and crushed it with one hand. The yolk and the egg and some fragments ran down my arm and gathered in the crook of my elbow. I gritted my teeth. I may have grunted a bit. The women virtually sprinted off. I shook my egg-encrusted fist after them with such flourish the World Wrestling Federation would have been proud. At least now those hags have something legitimate to talk about.
Now they know that Puffer Fish Girl is not to be messed with. She might be wearing a nightdress and have egg on her arms but she is master of the Powerbomb.
However, for now she is –
a pretty, delicate flower blooming by the water’s edge…..
geez i can get that way w/o steroids. a flower indeed, a venus flytrap ha ha – i do hope you will keep feeling better, but i love your attitude and i’m certain it will keep you well, and even tho the ailment is a pain to put it mildly, you really made me laugh!
Ya know, I have NEVER been able to understand why women are such goddammed bitches. You’d think we would all want to stick together and instead, there’s this competitiveness, this need to feel superior. It freakin drives me mental. I always taught my kids that you never get in trouble for what you think, but when you open your mouth and it all comes spewing out, you have noone to blame but yourself for the trouble caused. Why? Why this need to drive in the knife? Does it make them feel better about themselves? They’re like sharks and hurray for you Selma, one for not throwing the bloody egg right at them, which is what I would have liked to do and two for standing up and telling them right to their faces!! Insecure little madams that need to bring others down to their level…grrrr it makes me furious.
It’s just as bad if not worse in the workplace, I’ve worked with all men for years and I’ll take them over other women any day of the week. They can be assholes, no doubt about it, but those type of women are EVIL.
Good for you, you can’t see me but believe me when I say I’m sitting here clapping and saying BRAVO!
So glad to make you laugh. I do find the whole thing quite amusing, really. What has struck me the most about this situation is how some women – even in their forties – haven’t got past the whole mean girl thing they did in High School. I just wonder when they are going to grow up. They are lucky I just had an egg and not something more fatal like potatoes. You can do a lot of damage with a potato 😆
I don’t get it, either. Whatever happened to the sisterhood and sticking together? Some women just seem to want to undermine other women whenever they can. It perplexes me. I also prefer to work with men. They are much more level-headed and just get on with the job. Thank you for the applause. It certainly was one of my greater (and more dramatic) moments!
You should see me POWERSLAM. OMG, it’s epic!!!!
Oh Selma: you are my superhero!
Oh Selma you are brilliant! I can see you as a superhero.
I add to the applause for saying something to them and the whole egg thing (and thanks for making me laugh too). x
All credit to you for being able to hold back, especially after everything you have been through. Some people just never grow up, or always think that they are better than anyone else.
I would of loved to have seen the egg incident, and their faces.:)
You are too sweet *giggle*
I still can’t believe I did it. The steroids have made me lose my sense of self-restraint. Not that it was very firmly entrenched to begin with. Ahem….
You are just wonderful, real and funny and an absolute pleasure to visit … if ever Puffa Fish Girls needs a side kick, I was born with puffa cheeks! LOL :o)
OH MY GODDESS!!!! That is the best thing I’ve read in a million years. I especially like the possible grunt. In my mind, you TOTALLY grunted.
I just wrote a long impassioned response and think it needs to be a blog post. In the meantime, I’m standing with you in solidarity – in my nightie with eggs in hand, ready to open up a can of whup-ass on the stupid women. How else to get them to know we’ll never truly be free of cultural shackles unless we band together?
As long as we’re divided us, we’ll always be conquered.
Ps – shouldn’t have cut out this beginning part:
My friend, I know of which you suffer. Some one I know and love suffered terribly with endometriosis. She had the hysterectomy. My sister lived with Crohn’s and had to take steroids which gave her relief from itense pain. I have been severely anaemic. Big hugs girl. You’re very brave.
Oh Selma you delicate flower at the water’s edge- Crappola- and crappola on those stupid women! I hate women like that, mind your own business! In the last few years I’ve lost weight, and I even hate when people mention that. MYOB! My weight is not me. I’m me- look at me.
Selma, all that matters is that you feel better.
I am so proud of you! Delicate flower? Bullshit. You might feel that way, but look at yourself! Your story revealed strength of balance. You recognised what was going on and you could have pulled out the Glock I kow you always pack and blew them away. But no, you took out an egg, sorry, a free range organic egg and crushed it right under their surgically enhanced noses, in front of their myopic little eyes and scared the shit out of them with the strength of the symbolism!
I am sitting here laughing, not at you, but for all the poor dumb poeple like me who could never think of the appropriate squelsh! This is soooo good.
PS. yes, I did have string theory in mind.
Stafford told me I would LOVE this … and he was so right on! Turn 69 tomorrow so those days of gushing are way behind me (a lot on my behind actually) …. hang in there, you go girl and power to the good women people!!!
You are definitely in. And you wouldn’t be my sidekick. In the Puffa Girl world we are all equal. And bad ass. 😆
I am pretty sure I grunted. It was such an effective touch. I would recommend the power of the grunt to anyone. It completely disarms people.
That is so awesome. I am cracking up at the image of you in your nightie with the can of whup-ass. That is priceless.
And on a serious note – it is so true. We cannot conquer if we are divided. Or even live to our full potential. Why do women do this to one another? We should be united.
Hope your anaemia is under control now. The fatigue is hard to cope with.
Whup-ass – I love it!
I know. It’s not about anything else but the person inside. Some people are so obsessed with the outside they can’t see the inside. I bet if I were to find myself in their heads it would be terrifying. It would be like a vacant warehouse with no colour or light. No thanks. And yes, feeling better is very important and very good!!
I wonder if they saw the symbolism. I doubt it. The squelsh was amazing. When the egg started to run down my arm they actually recoiled. It really was a cool moment.
Aaaah. I wondered if you were having a string theory moment. Many musicians I know are into physics. It’s just a little observation I’ve made. How interesting!!
So glad you stopped by. I am so glad you no longer have to put up with this nonsense and it makes me feel better to know that maybe even my adversaries might grow up in the end. POWER TO THE GOOD WOMEN PEOPLE!!!!
I totally sympathize with you, I understand what you are going thru – I have been dealing with side effects of my medications and one of them is basically wight gain and bloating and puffiness among others. I have gotten the same response from many people – which does not make you feel great! What these BITCHES don’t seem to understand is that I would rather look a few pounds heavier and be alive than maybe anorexic looking and dying. After all I have been through I am starting to recognize myself again and feel more confident. Who cares what I look like – I am alive!
Selma, no matter what you rock in my book!
I’m with Cathy up above. And I’ve worked in both types of environments too, men are just not as petty and competitive in my experience either, I hate to admit. It would be nice if we could all be as supportive in real life as has been the case for me online. I really am sorry that you had these nasty experiences Sel. How sad that people can be so cruel and just plain stupid, not considering your feelings.
You rock in my book too, and you are always beautiful!
Hugs my friend, G
Wrote this just for you!
There once was a Helen called Woonie
Some called her quite loony tune-y
With head so high
Without batting an eye
She let loose with a lemon meringue pie!
(woonie is my grandmother name)
Oh I so agree with you. YOU ARE ALIVE. For other people to not even consider what you might have gone through and what the meds might be doing to you just makes me sick. I want to punch them, I really do. But you know what? It doesn’t really matter what they think because YOU ARE ALIVE. And that is a truly wondertful thing. Luv you XXX
Aww, thanks, hon. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of lovely people out there in the world too. But it’s the ratbags who we seem to get their voices heard more readily. It seems to be the way of things.
Hahaha. I love a good pie-in-the-face moment. You ROCK. 😆
I cannot believe you did that! Love it! (And really if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it.)
My mother had a hysteroctemy done about 10 years ago for massive fibroids that were causing massive bleeding. She said it was the best thing she’d ever done. (But, as she said, she wasn’t ‘attached’ to her uterus.)
Funny how you always think of a witty come-back after the person as gone. I’d paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill:
‘You’re ugly, but I can go on a diet!’
Me, I get the opposite … ‘You’ve lost some weight!’ … I know I have; I put it on dramatically when I gave up smoking, and have ben gradually reducing it ever since. That’s why most of my clothes fit like a clown’s trousers.
I really want to have the surgery but I am such a chicken. I wish I wasn’t such a wimp. I’m glad your Mum had such a good result. I can’t believe I crushed the egg, either. Sometimes I surprise myself!
Hahaha. Winston Churchill was such a wit.
That’s great that you’re losing weight. Giving up smoking will put it on as we all know. At least you haven’t got clown shoes. It’d be hard to stop people commenting on those!
Sorry to read about the health problems. But well done on the fight back to meanness!
I laugh and cheer reading this, I think you’re right to tell off these woman and “Puffer Fish Girl” sounds like a good superhero name, I would definitely make you my hero ’cause I wouldn’t have the guts to even tell anyone off and you did make your point quite well
I really think that even if people were a mere 1% less mean the world would instantly be a better place. I live in hope that it will happen.
I think Puffer Fish Girl would make a great superhero. She would stomp out meannness all over the world. 😆
This is brilliantly written and sooooo funny!!!!! You sure have to put up with some horrible stuff – a good friend of mine suffers (really suffers) from endometriosis – it’s so unfair. Better to be puffy with personality than to have a personalitylobotomy – you are the winner all round. If you wrote a book a long this type of lines and this style, I’m sure it would be a big hit – just an idea.
Oh Man! I feel your pain. I was placed on Steroids for crohn’s disease. And I am all-too-familiar with the ‘pumpkin head’ and weigh gain side effects as well as the ROID RAGE! I commend you for your restraint. I wouldn’t have been able to control myself.
Oh, my sides are aching from laughing. Tam is looking at me as though I’ve lost my mind. Probably because I keep puffing out my cheeks, waving my fist in the air and grunting.
As a heavy woman, I’ve endured a LOT of nasty comments, and to have you stand up to someone so beautifully made my day. You are my hero, m’dear.
I am loving the way you express yourself. I think you’re a little entitled to some ROID RAGE and if more mean people were popped in the mouth maybe they’d finally learn to keep it shut. Gah!
I do like writing this kind of stuff although I don’t know how I’d make an entire book out of it. However, it is a good thing to take on board. You’ve got me thinking. Thanks for the ideas!
Aaaah, the pumpkin head. It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? I still can’t get used to it. It justy bugs me that people wouldn’t recognise it as a place where people normally gain weight. Wouldn’t they think that maybe it was medication doing it? It’s just crazy!
It was a very funny moment. I do the dramatics quite well, let me tell you. I really hate it when people criticise others for their weight. It’s just not any of their business. I am glad to be your hero. My cape is blowing proudly in the breeze 😀
Oh yeah. I’d love to do a bit of poppin’ 😆