By Clare Almand
1 Aug

Summer Woes

Thursday, August 01, 2013

I’m not a huge fan of summer. Before you crucify me, hear me out—I like warm weather, sure. But I hate sweating. Sweating is gross. So to somewhat alleviate the summer heat, especially New York City summer heat, I try to wear light clothing that covers enough but is still the of the tank-top-and-shorts variety. And then just when I think I’m looking pretty good, I realize that I have purple bruises everywhere.

And I mean everywhere. I’ve bruised hips, ankles, knees, calves, thighs, and sides. I’ve even gotten a bruise on the back of my shoulder where it meets my armpit. How does one even bruise there? That’s the worst part—I have no idea how I got 90% of those purple eyesores. Is it just the Coumadin? Or is that just making the bruises that I have anyway a little worse? Do I have extra sensitive skin? Am I sleepwalker, bumping into walls and furniture in my apartment all night? Not that I want another issue to deal with, but that would actually be a reasonable explanation.

The real question I have is, how unsightly are they? Do I look like I’m getting beaten up? I’m not going to cover up because you don’t like that big blue splotch on my calf, but I certainly don’t want people to think that I was repeatedly kicked in the leg and I’m not hopelessly and helplessly trudging back to the person who provided the abuse.

I blame blood thinners for the bruising, but that’s not my only gripe about the summer. Traveling: I love it, but I rarely get to do it, at least by plane. This summer I went on this amazing Canadian adventure with my parents and brother to visit my cousins. I actually really like flying, and maybe my excitement for the flight was aided by the fact I hadn’t flown in five years, but I really couldn’t wait to get to the airport.

After checking in, I’d say the worst part is waiting in line for the security check. I always feel a little weird about telling the security personnel that I have an ICD and I can’t go through the metal detector, especially because I actually think that my ICD is safe for metal detectors. But after being told for 13 years that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GO THROUGH A METAL DETECTOR WITH A PACEMAKER, I’m a little terrified to try it.

Again, I try to travel wearing a tank top and shorts for a couple of reasons. 1) So my scars are visible enough to show that I’m not making this up and 2) there’s less clothing to go over during the always-awkward pat down. Just another perk of this whole congenital heart disease thing. But then again, it beats a cavity search.


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