Diagnosis Memory 3

I had visitors during my hospital stay.

My parents told me they were impressed that so many friends visited me. I just remember my bandmates visiting me. Maybe there were others.

I remember my bandmates most clearly because: 1.) One of them cried, briefly, and there are not words to describe how this made me feel. Softened. Touched. Kind. Sad in a kind of Virgin Mary way as I beheld his suffering. 2.) Another bandmate looked so serious. I tried to cheer him up. I think he visited more than once. 3.) The third bandmate and I made outrageous jokes about my situation.

I looked like h/ll and felt like h/ll. I dropped a lot of weight. No wonder I shared serious looks, tears, and jokes with friends. I was attached to monitors. I was in bed in a gown. I was not slinging my guitar, not screaming into a mic, not chewing on French fries. I was making photographs though, and I have photographs of some of my visitors.

The experience was otherworldly. I felt disembodied. I felt out of my body. Maybe that’s why my friend’s tears were so memorable, we were all crying for this lost person. It is certainly why I made photographs. I was trying to stay me.

Diagnosis Memories

How could just a few sentences be all they could say? Nothing more? Wasn’t this the most monumental set of sentences someone had ever said to me? Not wanting the most monumental conversation of my life to also be the briefest, I asked questions. Not because I wanted to know anything else but because I wanted the thread connecting me to the people that were going to help me to be strong. I asked not monumental questions, just any question I could think of to keep the conversation going, hoping to feel some human connection.

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Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine by Michele Lent Hirsch

I’m reading Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine by Michele Lent Hirsch. The subtitle describes the content. It’s kinda making me emotional. I’m re-navigating, re-immersing in a time long ago when I was ‘sick’.

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Forgive me, Father it has been quite some time since my last confession.

It has been so long, I will reintroduce myself. I’m Rachel. I write. I make photographs. I grow plants. I am married. I am a mother. I live in a house. I like traveling. Being home makes me cranky sometimes. I noticed.


Been busy, what can I say. Not feeling too reflective. Just cranking out plants. Sending out some invoices. “Generating the paperwork” as my mentor, Tony, once said. Loading up the truck with plants and driving. Carrying. Digging. Unloading empty crates. Getting f/cking rained on.


Just got back from the Outer Banks. My, I love the beach.


Went to the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Herbal Conference. Went with my plants, my truck, and tent. I camped out alone. Actually, I was in a grassy field dotted with other tents. Not really alone but not with my family. I’ve not traveled alone in some time. Actually, some deep time, like never, not since I met my husband. Haven’t traveled alone.

I considered asking a friend to camp with me, as in, in my tent. I decided against it. Being alone sounded so wonderful and anxious. It was pleasant and fine. Not monumental but freeing.

I attended talks by Rocio Alcaron, Tammi Sweet, and Kathleen Maier.

Dryer, Broken and in the Basement

Dryer, Broken and in the Basement

9:06 p.m. We’re on our way back from the grocery store. As we drive down the rainy road, I notice a mother in a window illuminated by florescent light. She loads her dryer. Her hair is tousled. She our neighbor down the way. Don’t really know them too well.

A partly dried lump of laundry waits in my dryer. When I arrive at home, I will run downstairs and turn the dryer back on. I will haul the groceries in on multiple trips through the never-ending mist and rain.

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