Not Broken, Just Cracked

 

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Or a little bent, perhaps..  Maybe a LOT bent and cracked and scrambled and ready to shatter with one more shove.

So get out the glue.

A good life isn’t necessarily a big life, or a long life or even an “important” life.  Whatever it throws at me, I’m happy to be living mine.

Well, what a lot of blather that was.  I’m sure I could go on and on avoiding the point for much longer than this,  but here’s the reason I’m currently allowing myself to wallow a bit.

About six weeks ago I noticed some swelling just below my jaw on the left side of my face.  I thought it was a swollen gland.  I went on holidays and more or less ignored it.  Even convinced myself that it was going away.  Then I got more swelling up closer to my ear, and on the 12th of June went to see my doctor.  She suspected a blocked salivary gland, maybe even a stone, and told me to go home and suck lemons.  Really.  I love her.  She also gave me a lab requisition to book an ultrasound, but the lab told me this type of ultrasound is more specialized and has to be booked at a hospital.  I was eventually scheduled at a new clinic across from the University Hospital for June 24th.

I had the ultrasound done around one o’clock and then drove straight to work from there.  At four thirty my doctor’s office called to say they had the results back and my doctor would like to see me as soon as possible, could I come in tomorrow morning?  Yes I could.  And could I bring someone with  me?  What? Why?  Well, for support.  Dead silence while I tried to digest this.  Really?  Is it that bad?  I felt sorry for the person who had to make this phone call because they’re not supposed to tell you anything.  But sometimes by not telling you anything they tell you a lot more than you want to know.

I’ve already been through a very similar experience with my thyroid investigation, when I was called in to the doctor’s office very quickly to discuss the results.  That was over ten years ago.  I had to go for a needle biopsy after that.  Those results were fine, but because of some pre-cancerous growths I was given the option of having surgery to remove the unhealthy looking bits and ended up with practically all of my thyroid removed.

After this phone call I spent a restless evening (with the help of the internet) imagining every worst case scenario there is, and a few more after that.  I wore myself out.  So when I went in to talk to my doctor the next morning (on my own) and she told me the radiologist thinks this looks like it could be a cancerous lump, I was kind of numb to it all.  Yes, okay.  So what’s next?  Blood work and urinalysis, which I had done in the same building right away, and arranging for a CT scan to be scheduled.  There are two specialists she can refer me to when we have the results, depending on which one is able to see me first.

Then I went home.  And now we wait.

I phoned W and he says he will come home.  I know I must talk to my kids and my sisters, although I would prefer that they be oblivious to it all for as long as possible.  Worry is such a piece of crap thing, ruining your day with no good result because it doesn’t change a thing.

And it might be nothing.  IT MIGHT BE NOTHING.  I have no other symptoms.  I feel perfectly fine.  I admit I’m feeling rather sorry for myself and it feels therapeutic just to put it all into words for now.

But here’s some things that boost me up.  Maybe this is the glue I was talking about.  The morning of the 25th, (which was the day after what would have been my dads 100th birthday) when I got up to make coffee, there were three magnificent magpies strutting about in the backyard.  I have always considered magpies to be a very good omen.  They remind me of my mom and my family.  I haven’t seen any of these birds around here for weeks.  Just as I was leaving for the doctor’s office there were FIVE of them out there, on the lawn, on the garage, on the new fence.  Flapping and squawking and not flying away. They haven’t been back since, but they were there when I needed to see them.

I pulled out my type-written notes and re-read some of the things the psychic told me last July.  Things that didn’t really register at the time, but now seem to make perfect sense.  New female GP,  some problem with my neck,  June 2014, two specialists,  some sort of procedure, not life threatening, trust that you will be in very good hands, everything is going to go much better than anticipated.

Am I a superstitious fool to take great comfort in the appearance of some magpies and in these words?  I don’t care.  I do.

CT scan is now scheduled for the 7th of July.  That’s fast.  That’s good.  There are happy days to be grateful for in the meantime.

The April Post

Because holy crap, I knew I was away from here for quite a while, but thankfully it appears there is still time to get in that April blog so my little list of months looks to be intact.  I’ve had pneumonia.  Not for all of March and April, although it kind of feels that way.  So that’s a pretty damned good excuse for staying mysteriously silent, wouldn’t you say?   Being sick did not stop me from sitting at the computer playing Facebook games while hacking my brains out, or from reading on my kindle until my eye’s wandered aimlessly all on their own and closed for hours at a time.

april fools 2010

april fools 2010 (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It’s been a long hard haul at work (when somebody shows up and we’re actually open).  Margaret had her knee surgery 3 months ago and is just now (next week in fact) coming back  part-time, short hours.  Laura’s dad passed away before Easter and it’s been a hard and stressful time for her.  We tried to keep things going, but consider this.  A couple of months ago we had two full-time and two part-time licensed opticians and two CSA’s on staff.  That’s six people.  Suddenly we were down to one full-time, one part-time (moi) and one VERY part-time CSA.  That’s like two and a half people.  Got a little help from other stores, but in the grand scheme of things, not enough.  Many times one or the other of us was there alone, trying to stay sane.  So now I know exhaustion makes you sick.  Doh.  Had to give my head a few shakes to stop caring about the stupid job long enough to focus on my health instead.

So now I’m on the last couple of days of monster pill antibiotics, still using my heavy-duty cortisone infused nasal spray and inhaler.  Next week I’ll  make a trip back to the doctor to make sure things are clear.  Like my lungs and my nasal passages.  I’ve been back to work doing as little as humanly possible because things like walking from one end of the store to the other to swipe my badge on the time clock can leave me feeling short of breath and drained of energy.  I have had MANY days off.  Like today.  Then I work two days in a row, and then I’m off again for two.  W. has been doing the grocery shopping and making me eat.

april

april (Photo credit: kygp)

Nothing I looked up about pneumonia mentioned anything about it destroying brain cells, but I’m wondering if that’s a side effect.  The doctor asked me if there was any family history of asthma before he sent me off for a chest x-ray.  I said no, not that I was aware of.  Then he said he was going to give me an inhaler and I said ‘Oh!  my daughter had one of those!’  I don’t remember what it was for.  Allergies or something.  So I didn’t offer any further information because I’m pretty sure he prescribed it to her so he could look that up if he really needed to know.  It was a long time ago.  Mother’s can’t remember every little detail.  After a short confused-face pause he popped into the next room and  returned with the little puffer thing and began explaining how to use it.  ‘Oh!’ I interrupted him.  ‘My MOM had one of those!  But I don’t know why.’  Poor man.  He didn’t ask me to expand on that thought, perhaps realizing the futility of such a request.  He  just explained slowly and patiently and in minute detail what he wanted me to do next, probably hoping I would retain the information at the very least all the way back to my car and at most, all the way to the x-ray lab.  I got there.  They told me to take a deep breath.  Then they repeated the request.  I told them I DID take a deep breath.  And that’s when it dawned on me that lately I’d been quite incapable of doing any such thing.

But I can do it now!  I can INHALE, baby!  It’s a heady feeling, being able to breathe.  Not hearing rattle-y chest noises is good too.  I’m very thankful for these things.  You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.  W. is headed east in a couple of weeks.  He threatened to stick around until I was completely better so I’ve been acting completely better for his benefit.  His brother has just been moved into an extended care facility, and W. needs to get down there to deal with some things.  Staying here to look after me seemed like an excellent excuse for not going, but I’m not going to co-operate.  Time to face the things that need to be faced.

On a pleasant note, my fish, Phineas, is still alive.  He seems a little neurotic for a Beta, since they’re supposed to just hover and laze around.  Nobody told him that, apparently,  so he flits around like a demented little spaz most of the time.  In and out of the three-holed pottery thing and into the leaves and up to the water filter tube into which he is too large to be sucked up I hope.  He attacks his food.  Let’s face it, there’s a limited number of ways to amuse yourself in a 2.5 litre fish tank.    But, like I said, he’s alive.  And so am I!  Life is good.