About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Chunk that Matters

What’s the difference between a “slice” and a “chunk”?  Depends on what that particular adjective is in reference to.  Either way, the words refer to a portion, a part of something.  The dictionary refers to a “slice” as a smaller cut taken from a larger portion.  I cut the chunk of cheddar cheese into slices.  A chunk is a considerable amount.  I want a chunk of chocolate cake, but I will only eat a slice.  
The surgeon originally told me my muscle biopsy would require the removal of a “slice” of my muscle.  An out-patient procedure which would leave me sore and uncomfortable but with the ability to walk.
My surgeon lied.  
Okay, maybe “lied” is too strong a word.  Maybe my surgeon wasn’t being intentionally malicious or evil, but he did withhold certain information.  Because now, after the fact, I’m told a “chunk” of muscle was removed from my left calf.  I’m told that some patients feel discomfort for extended periods of time, and for some, the healing process takes weeks.
None of this information was shared with me at our pre-op appointment.  If it had, would I have gone through with it?  
That’s a good question without an answer.
Because right now my body, specifically my legs, are out of my control.  This mysterious ailment began in July when swelling in my left calf led to an inability to walk, which led to a  four-day hospitalization, which then led to months of doctors appointments, various x-rays and scans, and blood work.  And still nobody knows what is wrong with my legs.  
My legs do work; thank goodness.  I can walk, tiptoe, dance, stomp, climb - all things I couldn’t do a few months ago.  But I do these things with daily pain.  Sometimes I do these things while biting my lip or my sleeve, with a grimace on my face. 
During the past seven months, I have had appointments with my primary care physician, a vascular surgeon, and a rheumatologist.  Different doctors, and none with a prognosis to offer.  The general consensus - something is wrong with my legs.  Inflammation shows up in every test.  
But what is wrong and how do I fix it?  That’s what I want to know.  So I’m waiting.  
And in the meanwhile, I’m trying to walk again.  To climb stairs again.  To stand after sitting.  
All because of this missing chunk of muscle.


  1. Honey,

    I am so sorry you are going through all of this pain.
    It is very upsetting the huge difference in what was said and what was done to your leg.

    We all love you and want you to feel better soon!



  2. I will never understand why it is taking so long for all these doctor's to figure out what is going on with your legs.It kills me to see you going through all this pain and discomfort.I certainly feel you were misled on the whole procedure and the aftermath of it all.I certainly hope you will soon be free of pain and feeling yourself again.I love you very much and I don't want to see you hurting anymore.

  3. No parent likes to see their child suffering. I pray that a solution will be found. I know you are a brave person. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  4. I agree with everyone's comments. Hope you feel better pronto!

  5. I am so sorry they were wrong. They should have been more honest with you and clarified what a slice was to them. I hope you are feeling better. I love you.