Fabamy's Blog

Crazy life of a CenPho comedian & socialite

25 Things About Me (from Unmarketing) May 26, 2011

1. I was married for 10 years

2. I can wiggle my ears (withOUT using my hands!)

3. I have an older, half-sister who found me on Facebook after almost 20 years of not seeing her.

4. I loooooooove Super Mario World!

5. My favorite bands are: The Gap Band, Black Flag, Jane’s Addiction and Metallica.

6. I play Powerball every week.

7. I taught middle & high school Spanish for 6 years.

8. I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for 8 years.

9. I was a radio DJ for 4 years.

10. I detest “LOL.”

11. I play Mafia Wars on Facebook. I’m not kidding.

12. My siblings: an older, half-sister from my father’s first marriage; “real” sister (both parents same) is 22 months younger than I am; I also have two step-sisters (both younger than me.)

13. I have 5 tattoos.

14. I’ve been doing yoga for 12 years.

15. I have a quilt my grandmother made me 25 years ago. I use it on a regular basis for naps and when I’m sick.

16. I broke my nose once, climbing out of the back of a car when I was 21. My friends had to drive my car for me.

17. I once ran head-first, at full speed, into a tree. A bee was chasing me. I was 9.

18. I love painting: on canvas, walls, paper

19. I’ve never ridden the light rail, though I am a big fan of it.

20. Two dream cars: Lexus ISF or Audi A5.

21. I have a friend on death row for being a serial killer.

22. I’ve hiked half of the Adirondack 46. (The 46 highest peaks in the range.)

23. I was a foreign exchange student in college & went to the University of Costa Rica.

24. I’ve been fluent in Spanish for over 20 years.

25. I have a collection of books written by female comedians.

 

A week of huge highs, but the deepest low… May 21, 2011

Filed under: My crazy life — fabamy @ 7:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’d been soooo excited for weeks about speaking to 9th graders as a school in Scottsdale. Sometimes I miss being in the classroom (I taught middle & high school for 6 years) but I doubt I would ever go back to teaching. They kids were great and seemed to actually pay attention. I was hoping for more questions, but they were probably shy. Or shocked.

As I was getting ready to drive up there, though, I got a call from my mom. My parents are in NY right now on vacation visiting friends and relatives from my hometown. I rarely listen to her voicemail; I just call her back as soon as I get a chance. It’s a voicemail I will now never, ever erase.

She told me that the night before, my cousin Sara was found hanging in her closet. She had had a fight with her boyfriend (who I told her to ditch 6 months ago) and luckily, he called my aunt to have her go check on Sara. My aunt got there and found Sara. She had hung herself. Her heart wasn’t beating & she wasn’t breathing. My aunt performed CPR, got her breathing, but she stopped again and was revived when the paramedics got there. Once at the hospital, they induced her into a coma & put her body on ice. I guess lowering the temperature is done often, but I am not really sure why. She is not breathing on her own. She also had a heart attack. When they tried raising her body temperature, she started having seizures, so they are gradually lowering her medications. I am not entirely clear on all the details.

Sara is not even 25 yet. I remember the day she was born. My grandmother used to sing this song “Sara” to her by Jefferson Airplane, or whatever their name was at the time. I’m so sad. My family is very small. My father had no brothers or sisters. Sara is the daughter of my mom’s younger brother. In all, there are only 8 of us cousins in the family. There were 9, but my cousin David died almost 20 years ago when he was struck by lightning playing golf.

I am trying not to find blame, and I have a lot of it I *could* use. Right now, I feel a rock in my stomach and I haven’t stopped crying, except for when I had to present last night. It’s been tough. I keep going to her Facebook page and seeing the postings from her friends. I so want her to be ok, but I am trying to prepare myself for the worst. I can’t.

Sara was a really shy kid. We called her “Sara Loo-hoo” because she looked just like one of the kids in the Grinch cartoon. I so wanted to hold her when she was little! She was definitely the darling of the family!

I want nothing more than for her to be ok and get the help that she so desperately needs. I’m angry, too. I am trying to put that aside, though, and send positive vibes. It’s killing me. I don’t know the last time I felt such sadness. I don’t get sad often, but this is hitting me pretty hard.

My Friday started on another emotional note: Our story was featured on The Today Show. They flew out a couple weeks before the surgery and they were present at Mayo the day of & the day after the surgery. Seeing the story on TV brought on the waterworks. Donating has been the biggest thing in my life! The support from the airing was IMMENSE! I’ve gotten messages on Facebook & Twitter from perfect strangers, all positive. I just hope that our story inspires others to do the same. I never knew how much live organ donations were needed. This whole experience has been amazing!

I presented at Ignite Phoenix last night. Holding my emotions in, I did a pretty good job. I had been wanting to present for a couple years and I finally got the opportunity to present on the kidney transplant. It was only 5 minutes, but from the feedback I got, it really impacted a lot of people. One girl came up to me after and told me her father had gotten a kidney (cadaver) 22 years ago! He’s the 2nd longest living recipient from the hospital where he had the surgery. I’m amazed!

The support & love I’ve gotten from everyone from friends to strangers has been overwhelming. I don’t know how I would have gotten through all of it without all the special people out there. I am truly lucky!

So, it’s been a crazy week. I plan on staying in tonight, keeping busy with housework and regular work. I need an Amy day. And I’m hoping I don’t get the dreaded phone call with really bad news from my mother.

I love you, Sara. Stay strong. We’ll all be here for you!!!

Update: My mother just called, and Sara passed away. They have decided to donate all her organs…because of me donating my kidney. In some small way, what I’ve done will save more lives than just TinyMom’s.

RIP, Sara. I will miss you so very, very much.

My grandmother started singing this, we all followed:

 

A month after surgery & I feel great! May 19, 2011

I would say I am about 85% recovered from the surgery. My laproscopy scars are almost all healed. The incision where they took the kidney out has no more scabbing, but it’s still numb and a bit swollen. It doesn’t hurt anymore, though, to get up and down like it did at first.

I am walking a couple miles a day. I even did some lunges & calf raises the other day. I have yet to attempt yoga, because I can’t do any twisting yet, but I will try some light yoga tonight or tomorrow. I am eating normally. I do get tired, though, once a day. It’s enough that I need a nap. It hits me like a ton of bricks, too. Hey, I’ve always loved naps! Now I have a valid excuse to do it any time I want.

I am back to working full-time, too. The best part about my (new) job is that I work from home and I pretty much work my own hours. I do social media, so it’s not a 9-5 job, that’s for sure. I’m learning a lot and working a lot, but it’s what I love to do! The people I work for have been awesome and so supportive.

I am still a bit limited in the wardrobe, since my stomach is still a bit swollen and sometimes underwear is really uncomfortable. I really don’t worry about anyone saying anything about wearing the same thing they saw me in a week ago. I mean, come on. I donated a kidney!

I am speaking at a high school tomorrow about the transplant process. I am also presenting at Ignite Phoenix on Friday. If you’re not going, or haven’t even heard of it, it will stream live online at ignitephoenix.com starting at 6:30pm PST Friday. I don’t know what time I go on, but you will love the other presenters as well. I’ve also been asked to speak at other conferences/gatherings of surgeons and organizations about being a live donor. Some are even paid, which is pretty cool!

So, it’s been a month. A really incredible month! No more appointments for about 6 months. I’ve only been to visit TinyMom (my recipient) once since we got out of the hospital. Mostly because she’s still pretty tired and the last time I went out there I was pretty wiped out. I’ll try again this weekend or Memorial weekend.

I’ll be performing again starting next week. I’m getting back into the swing of things. The social aspect is a bit challenging for me because I really don’t last out in public for too long. I get tired. But, guess what that means? A nap!

 

7 years sober today and life couldn’t be better! May 10, 2011

Filed under: My crazy life — fabamy @ 5:03 am
Tags: , , ,

It was Mother’s Day, 7 years ago, that I decided enough was enough. The guy I was with, the love of my life, just wasn’t ready to quit along with me, so he was asked to move out. My father was an alcoholic and I have several others in my family with some sort of drug or alcohol addiction. I am lucky for this, because I knew what to do. I called a colleague of mine, who I knew was in recovery, to take me to an AA meeting.

I went religiously for 2 years, then sporadically for a couple more years. I started feeling like it was a cult. I appreciated with it had done for me, which is got me clean & sober, but it just wasn’t for me anymore.

The past 7 years have been incredibly painful and I’ve endured a lot. I’ve been through tougher times than while I was drinking, and I am glad I got through everything sober.

There is no god in my life that told me what to do or that gave me the strength to do it. I am not religious and do not believe in a “higher power,” which is why I started to feel so uncomfortable at AA meetings.

I got through it all because of me. Because of my inner strength and beliefs.

Because I didn’t want to be a drunk loser anymore. I spent a night in the “horseshoe” as is used to be called. I was a teacher and went to school hungover. I’d pop a movie in for the students to watch, just so I didn’t have to teach.

My last real bender was a weekend of smoking heroin, snorting coke, smoking pot and drinking. I didn’t sleep all weekend. I went to work Monday, still with no sleep since the Thursday night previous. How insane is that? How unfair to those around me?

I don’t feel guilty, because I am human. I do, however, feel grateful for the help and support I got from everyone. It’s funny that most people don’t know that I am a recovered alcoholic. That I am RECOVERED. That I am not ANONYMOUS about it. I don’t want to go on a rant about AA, because I have family members who have gone for over 30 years and it works for them. Whatever works, do it. Swallow your pride and just do it.

It beats being a drunk.

 

How can anyone say or think this was done…for publicity??? May 5, 2011

Filed under: The kidney donation — fabamy @ 7:38 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It saddens me that people think I donated my kidney for attention. It’s been over two weeks since the transplant surgery, yet I still see it being said. Wait. This doesn’t sadden me. It hurts. It hurts really badly that anyone could think this. It also makes me extremely angry that anyone could say such a thing. Obviously, they are people that don’t know me (or Kirti) at ALL. Yeah, we’re shameless in promoting our cause. But that shame has already found a kidney for someone else…that we don’t even know. We’ve had so many people asking us both questions about the surgery, and that is what makes it all worthwhile.

For publicity???? Let’s get something straight here: I donated my kidney to a friend’s mom because there was a need that ANYONE could fulfill. Guess what? I’m not the type of person to stand by and not at least TRY to do something. I would have been CRUSHED if I hadn’t been a match and had to sit by waiting for someone else to step forward. Yeah, I guess I’m a gutsy broad but I’m also a nice, gutsy broad who would do ANYTHING for the people in my life who mean so much to me.

For publicity???? For 4 months I have physically and emotionally suffered through all of this. Actually, almost 5 months. I have been poked for blood over a dozen times. Though I have to have a yearly blood test anyway, the feel of a needle going into my arm every 3 hours was NOT pleasant. Could you do it? I’d gone through 8 weeks of testing (I could have done it all in 3 days, but I was afraid to lose time from work. See where THAT thinking got me???) that I did ALONE. I was terrified during the CT scan. I had never had health issues in my life and here I was, having iodine shot into my body. But as I lay there, all I kept thinking was “TinyMom hasn’t had pizza in 10 years. I can do this.” I went in for what I thought was a simple blood test one Saturday and was checked into a hospital room, because it was a 3-hour test. I had no idea it was going to take that long. I broke down in front of the nurse and told her “Just get it over with. I need this done for TinyMom.” Those were my exact words. And I cried. Alone. In a hospital room. For 3 hours on the day of my birthday dinner and FnB fundraiser. I couldn’t really enjoy either celebration because I was still in pain from the testing that day.

My testing wasn’t even done yet when I lost my job. There are several reasons surrounding that, but the testing was so stressful and time-consuming, I couldn’t concentrate at work. I am 40 years old and I was unemployed. Not only that, but I had to go on-camera for a few news stations and talk about it. I had to hold in my emotions, even though I wanted to break down and scream and kick and cry, to get the word out AGAIN about kidney disease. I do not like the publicity which everyone seems to think is the driving factor in all this. I may be a performer, but once there’s no mic in my hand, I am an introvert. I have to recharge by being alone at home quite often. Every time we were on the news, I watched. And cringed. The attention wasn’t always welcome. My phone, Twitter and Facebook blew up and I couldn’t keep up with it. I wasn’t taking care of myself in order to answer everyone else. I didn’t sleep or eat or shower or leave the house for 2 days after I was fired. Does that sound like I did all of this for publicity???? (By the way, the “publicity” got me an awesome job, doing what I love, because of someone following me on Twitter.)

For publicity????? For 5 days after my surgery, I didn’t shit. That’s right. I didn’t take a shit because of the pain killers I had been on. My stomach was bloated as if I were 3 months pregnant. I couldn’t stand up straight and it hurt to sit down. I also got my period, after it had JUST ended 5 days prior. So, as I am bloated, swollen and in pain from not shitting, I got to attempt to change my tampons. Once I finally got my body going (I mean ONCE I TOOK A SHIT), the pain started to subside. I had to take two stool softeners a day, drink Miralax AND shove a suppository up my ass. I did THAT for publicity, mind you.

I have a 4-inch scar that is still healing, in my PUBES. That means I can’t shave “down there” for quite awhile. I have 4 laproscopy scars on my stomach, with scabs the size of nickles and dimes. That itch. That hurt when I bend over. The incision below is still swollen and I have just now begun to wear underwear because it’s been too swollen & uncomfortable. I am finally weening myself off the Vicodin, which I hate taking. I can’t wear any of my normal clothes yet because of the swelling.

I get really tired still, which is normal because my remaining kidney is growing. I can only go out in public for about an hour at a time and need a nap right after. This means I’m missing out on a LOT of comedy (which has been my life for 8 years), birthday parties, going-away parties and social functions. I am lucky to have the friends that I do and I get visitors, but it’s not the same as being surrounded by people.

My sleep patterns are completely fucked-up. Because I have to nap a couple times a day, I rarely get to sleep at night before 3am.I have a job to do. I have an Ignite presentation to do. I have Dexter to take care of. I have laundry to do. I HAVE to make myself get up, often after only a few hours of sleep, because life goes on.

The word “altruism” has been shoved around a lot the past few months, in regards to me donating my kidney. Here is the definition of altruism, from dictionary.com:

“–noun

1.

the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others ( opposed to egoism).”
As the oldest in my family, I’ve always taken care of those around me. I was the oldest being raised by a single mom. So, for about 33 years, I *have* been altruistic. And damn fucking straight I donated my kidney because I’m altruistic. I happen to care about others. I have often put others’ welfare before mine. I’m not a saint. I’m not forgetting myself. I’m wanting the people around me to be happy. As happy as I am. Yes, I am an extremely happy person with an amazing life. Even more amazing now.
So, for those of you who don’t realize WHO I am and spew your ignorance about doing things for publicity, or thinking I did this for any reason OTHER than wanting to help someone else:
FUCK YOU. You’re ignorant. You don’t know me OR Kirti. And you can suck my fucking left one. ALL of you who have said it. Eat a fucking bag of dicks, as my friend Arik has said. EABOD. And choke.
 

Kidney donation recovery May 1, 2011

Filed under: The kidney donation — fabamy @ 4:37 am
Tags: , , ,

Well, it’s been 11 days since I donated my kidney to TinyMom. I am finally moving around better. For the first time in 11 days, I wore underwear yesterday. I couldn’t wear it until now, because my belly was so swollen from the incision they made to pull my kidney out. I’ve got 4 laproscopy scars on my stomach/rib area which still have the meditape on them, though one fell off finally today. Everything is itching. The scabs from the laproscopy are about the size of a dime. The incision down in my pubes is about 3 or 4 inches across. It’s like a mini c-section. It hurts a little still, but I am only taking pain pills at night for it. There are yellowish bruises around it. The stitches are dissolving, thankfully.

I went out yesterday for lunch for Yelp Office Hours. I was only out for 90 minutes, but it pretty much drained me. Because my remaining kidney is growing to compensate for losing the other one, I get tired easily. I also went to dinner with Kirti and that pretty much did me in. We went early, 5pm, and I was home early, but I was exhausted. It’s really hard for me to NOT go out and do social things, especially since I am not really driving much yet. That’s been the hardest part: not driving. I’m single, I live alone, and I’m extremely independent. Relying on others has been tough, but I am so thankful for my friends and neighbors who have been carting my ass around.

My neighbor Nancy took me to Whitfill today to get some plants for my patio and apartment. That’s about all I could do today. I napped for 2 hours this afternoon and that NEVER happens. I love naps, but I rarely sleep for more than an hour.

I have to step back and try not to push myself the next week or so and be thankful that I have the opportunity to relax.

I’ve been working everyday, which I do from home on my laptop, so that’s been pretty easy to get back into. My job is not a 9-5, M-F. I work whenever I can. I’m grateful for my job and I love what I do, so it’s easy to get back into it.

The support I’ve gotten from people is just amazing! Then again, there are some people I thought were truly my best friends that I haven’t heard from once since deciding almost 4 months ago to donate my kidney. I guess I am realizing who the really, truly genuine people are in my life and who the flakes are. Maybe some people aren’t comfortable with the subject, but no matter what, I would support my friends in something this big. It hurts that I haven’t gotten that back from some. Oh well, right?

I am still sooooooo happy with the decision I made and I am glad to be bouncing back. The pain is almost gone and I can deal with being tired by sleeping. Would I do it again? Yes, but, thankfully, I only have one kidney and can’t. Hahaha!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: