My chest's is on fire and has been since last night. It's a peptic ucler, a side effect of long term ingestion of large doses of Ibuprofen, 800 milligrams every 5 hours, for three days every menstrual period since, now that I think about it, I don't know. I can't remember when I started my period probably because I thought it was something to keep under wraps. I know that I didn't tell L'Erin until a few years in at which point I realized she too had started a period too but hadn't felt comfortable sharing. We were in her mama's van going south on I-5. We were beneath an underpass downtown; I remember that because it was an AHA moment for sure. A lesson in the futility of shame and secrets. I know that in a lot of folks eyes I started my period early. In fact, with C-cups in the 7th grade I was supposedly an early developer. Apparently, boobies and periods in late adolescence was/is odd. Apparently, I should have been skinny and flat chested (not that there is anything wrong with that). I guess I would fit the prevailing black girl body narrative (we're thick from drinking HGH milk and eating HGH beef and other unhealthy foods supposedly popular in black and poor communities). But wait my parents were progressive health nuts. They both played competitive sports on an international level in their youths and then engaged in vigorous athletic activity throughout our formative years and they forced us to do the same hence my stints with Basketball, Volleyball, Crew, Soccer and tenure at Ewajo dance studio. They both fed us organic foods. I been drinking soy milk since way before Silk. We shopped at the PCC in Ravenna. Then it wasn't a fashion statement. The Co-op's staff were grown folk with families and responsibilities and ascribed to philosophies of healthy living. My mother knew their names. They knew hers. Which is to say that a body that's not white girl thin (not all white girls are skinny but y'all know what I mean) is not the result of over indulgence and disregard for health and regardless I resent a lot of the talk about black girls bodies being too big or too voluptuous and somehow abnormal. I resent how society's perversions have indicted and ostracized our bodies. I resent that relative emaciation is understood as normal. I resent how thickness, if appreciated, is sexualized. I thought I was digressing but I'm not. This pain in my chest is another marker of the war I am waging with my body, the war a culture has waged on black girls bodies. Most folk that know me know that I'm a long time aspiring anorexic. My greed has inhibited my success. I think about food a lot whether I'm consuming it or not. I admire Mary Kate and other skinny white girls (I know eating disorders are no respecters of race so don't leave me no comments stating this fact) for their unfailing discipline. It's hard to abstain from food. A dear friend who's going through the fire told me how she hasn't been able to eat and lost 7 pound last week. I was jealous. It was an irrational response. I can't say that I envy her pain but 7 pounds! Damn, I think I could stand a little heartache for more svelte physique. And I am not trying to diminish her pain but communicate my stilted state of mind. I'm stressed about the summer. I would love to be 20 lbs lighter by its onset. It's an annual ritual. I achieved it in 2004 'cause I was still working part time and so I had plenty of time to hit up NYSC and in 2002 when I living a leisurely life in body conscious L.A. but my schedule is really tight now. I can't devote myself fully to that aim and it's difficult to accept.
The pain in my chest makes me feel that my body is working against me. Why the pain every month (and don't say Eve in the comments) shooting up and down my legs and back incapacitating me without the IB and sometimes even with. I've taken BC not to mention other anti-inflammatories. None work. IB's the best I got for now and even if the cramping subsides the peptic ulcer rears its head. I'm not sure what to do about it right now. I disdain doctors 'cause they disdain me. They don't listen. They appease me with BS treatments that they know won't work. They rush me out of their offices. They treat me like I'm stupid (i.e. I told a Dr. I was concerned about a mole I had-I have a lot and I have had pre-cancerous moles removed before-and this bitch just showed me her moles and said "I have them too. They're not dangerous" and refused to refer me to a dermatologist) They don't care and I'm sure there are ones that do but they don't accept my insurance and I won't revert to my mama paying for my healthcare 'cause I'm grown. I pay my own bills, which, BTW, is so overrated. I'm rambling..
I was in my other mothers office when this fire started 5 years ago. I slumped to the floor. I don't recall much of what happened after (I do remember what I was wearing: a Versace Sport fleece, Katayone Adeli
top procured from Saks
a few days earlier, DKNY low rise pencil leg stretch jeans and sleek DKNY leather moccasin/boots, a silver pendant of the Chinese character for love on a silver chain, some silver/marcasite drop earrings, a black Vestal
watch and a bunch of silver charm bracelets) except I didn't move for a few hours and kept my hand to my heart. I'd never experienced heart burn or any ulcer like pain so I was a little shook. It was years before I connected it to the IB. But that revelation hasn't seemed to matter much. It's still the only thing that brings me up the three days a month that I would otherwise be down. I gulp cold water to tend to the fire, breathe deep,