There’s something I fear more than the boogey man. At a recent school assembly of insect and reptile presented by the Lizard Wizard, there was a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. One of my students said, “We have lots of cockroaches in our house.” I immediately flashed back to my 1980’s house in Arkansas in the bathroom in the middle of the night going potty. As I flipped on the lights, the cockroaches scurried to every corner. Some just hung out, just to creep me out. I was afraid they were going to get me. People would always say, “They’re just water bugs.” (Uh…no, they’re Cockroaches!) There was something so disconcerting about these invaders. They weren’t supposed to be there.
In Texas, in the mid to late-1980’s, there was a whole other kind of Cockroach, the flyin’-Texas-run-for-the-border-Cockroach, because everything is bigger in Texas. In our humble trailer home, these Cockroaches would appear and run lickety split in any direction and scare the crap out of you. It was especially frightening when they were anywhere above my head because they had adapted to fly, (yes, fly) when threatened. I would freak, chase, and kill them. Instead of STOP DROP & ROLL, it was FREAK, CHASE, KILL. Exterminators are a luxury, people. When you’re poor, you find the nearest shoe and smack the hell out of an invader. This scenario of shoe smacking happened, like almost every day.
So now, unfortunately Steve has witnessed this, when I see an especially large Cockroach, in my house, I FREAK. And then I’m paralyzed. I call Steve to CHASE & KILL. This has only happened about 2 or 3 times since 1999, but it’s 2 or 3 times too many. I insisted we call an exterminator.
I have other fears too, fear that in this commitment to stay put in San Dimas, that I might not be challenging my children enough. They have no idea of what unmet needs are, what scarcity feels like. I want them to experience hardship and struggle, but I don’t want to manufacture it.
Another fear, dying. My dad passed when he was 50. I’m 43. I have the same body type. I don’t have high blood pressure, like he did, but I think that’s only a matter of time if I continue eating and living like I do now. So, for me, gastric bypass seems like the best solution. Back in July 2015, when my primary care doctor talked to me about diabetes, she said, “These are a list of foods that you need to cut out to control your blood sugar with diet: beans, rice, bread, all sweets, limited fruits, fatty meats, and any kind of junk food or high carbohydrate food.” (Why don’t I just stop eating now, then?) Then she said, “Or you could elect to have gastric bypass, and your diabetes will likely be cured.” (Well, that sounds better. ) From her perspective diabetes related complications are all too common. I feel fine now, but let’s look ahead 20 years. I don’t want to be sitting in a mobility scooter as I shop at Walmart. (Yes, I do shop there, I grew up in the south, remember? I know Target is way more hipster, but Walmart folks are my peeps. And Walmart has Rollbacks, which is something you won’t get, if you don’t shop there. Jealous, huh.)
Unlike my strategy for taking down Cockroaches: FREAK, CHASE, KILL; my strategy for making the decision to have gastric bypass has been, FREAK, CHANGE, LIVE LONGER.
Until tomorrow. Love you loves.