Waterlogged††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† by Susan Mason © 2000

 

Loose ends.Unfinished business.Putting oneís affairs in order.Such ominous euphemisms for a life nearing its end!Thatís what I feel is happening to me.I feel my own mortality wrapping itself around me like a cloakóand for the first time in more years than I can count, I am not thinking about ending my own life, but rather having it taken from me.I donít want to die, but I have come to feel that itís inevitable, and all the measures being taken are going to prove fruitless.

 

I am drowning inside of my own body.I feel myself filling up, and my lungs ache as they did in my childhood when I spent too long in the ocean, or the pool at the Y.In those days I would swallow what seemed to be my own body weight in water, and Iíd carry an extra five pounds of sand in my swimsuit, and flip flops.My ears would be clogged with water, making everything sound far away.My sides ached from running and jumping into the surf, or off the edge of the pool.By contrast, what Iím now feeling now lacks the innocence of childhood summers, and the immortality that was part and parcel of those easy, active days.

 

Weíre in the right season for water-logged abandon, but this is not a game.Iím taking on fluid at an alarming rate, and my limbs and extremities are so swollen that I appear to have been inflated with a helium tank.My feet are several times their normal size, as are my calves, arms, and hipsóone hip is mushy and puffed out, while the other is enormous and rock hard.My abdomen is not my abdomen any more.Itís a huge, overwhelming belly that barely fits into my clothing, and is no longer able to fit behind the wheel of my car.I look like a doll made out of huge, link sausages, and the pain of my skin stretching and the pressure caused by the weight of all this fluid, is excruciating.My pain medication is barely adequate.