Archive for February, 2009

The Surprise

February 24, 2009

My adult daughter (20 years old) started the day the other day out of sorts and ‘pissy.’ Ah, yes, how familiar. I am trying to use a positive approach to combating morning pissiness, with her and with myself. “Oh, you never know,” I said. “I bet the day will surprise you. Something will happen today that you totally won’t expect and it will be a pleasant surprise.”

Well, off she went. I dropped her off at her program (she has special needs and attends developmental therapy about five hours every week day). Albeit, she was dragging profusely all through the morning routine and I was taking in a lot of deep breaths to help me with patience in getting her out the door. All things considered, though, we got through it pretty smoothly.

Later that same day, I met some friends for a casual lunch at a restaurant that specializes in pizza, sandwiches, and salads. There were about 5 people ahead of me in line, none of whom I knew. We ordered and paid, and the cooks placed the finished orders up on the raised counter above their cooking area and announced our names: “Tom!”…”Sally!”…”Gerrard!” The place was buzzing with hungry patrons fetching food. “Jody!”… I bounced up to the counter to grab my half-chef salad, only it was a half-chicken salad. “Oh, I ordered a ‘chef’ not ‘chicken!'” I said to the cook, pointing at the salad.
“Are you ‘Jody?'” the cook asked.
“Yes!” I said.
“Well,” said the cook, pointing to the lady standing a couple of paces to my left. “This salad is for that ‘Jody,’ ”
“Oh!” I said, backing up a step to make way for the other Jody to fetch her half chicken salad.

About three seconds later the cook made a half chef salad appear on the counter. “Jody!” he called out, looking at me, his upper lip in a curl. We two Jody’s exchanged sidelong glances and self-conscious laughs as I reached for my salad.

What were the odds of two Jody’s being called up to fetch half salads at the same time in the same restaurant? It was a funny thing: My day had surprised me. I chuckled over the thought of two Jody’s with half-salads the rest of the day.

When I picked up my daughter later that same day, I asked her, “Did you have a surprise in your day?”

“No.” she said flatly.

Let Life Piss … er… Please You!

February 22, 2009

“Let life please you if it will.” I came across these words a couple of years ago. How novel the idea was! “Let life please you if it will,” was a complete departure from the stuff in my head, which was more akin to, “Let life totally piss you off because it will.”

And it did much of the time. I experienced a lot of “A-ha!” moments that confirmed it: The human condition sucked! Also there’s plenty in the news to confirm it, horrible things happening everywhere. “Humans are a sorry lot, myself included!” I would passionately declare to myself and to anyone who would listen. I had other mantras in my head that I would call to service during fitting situations: “AH yes, all the little things that are sent to try us!” or, “Some days, peanuts, some days shells!” Then of course, “Situation normal, all f_ _ _ ed up!” Let life please you, eh? To me the world was broken and I was broken. Verdict: “Not fixable.” We are born, we suffer, we die.

But somewhere along the way a shift in my thinking has occurred: What if the world isn’t broken? What if life could please me if only I would let it? Of course life can piss me off. In spades! Can it please me? Yes! But maybe it’s up to me to let it.

Things are pretty good in my life right now. And it seems like it should be easier to let life please a person when things are good, peaceful, healthy, abundant. But then, relative to what? How are these things defined? Life is what it is.

What if the universe has everything one needs – no matter how dire or desperate one’s circumstances? We are formed from dust, to dust we return. We all face life’s seemingly endless challenges, tragedies, losses, deaths of those we love, and ultimately, our own death.

Through it all, life is our friend, love is our companion. I am growing into this, shedding my cloak of ‘pissiness’ whenever I have the mind to and inviting life to please me – opening my eyes to see it: I have all I need.

Uterus IV – “Chucky”

February 16, 2009
This blog entry (one hopes!) marks the conclusion of  what I’ve come to know as, ‘my uterine distraction,’ in an otherwise orderly and decent life.  My son, who got me started blogging, has encouraged me to include links and other media in my blog. He called me over the weekend and allowed that he had glanced at my blog, but he just didn’t feel comfortable reading about his mother’s uterus – his “location of origin”.  However, he did send me a visual, a piece of art, something cogent to my current theme, to enhance my blog.

As with all works of art, this one is up for interpretation. I did have to solicit my husband’s computer expertise to get the visual up on my blog.   He was hesitant: “You aren’t really going to use this, are you?”  Why, of course I am!

So, my interpretation, you ask?  To me … receiving this visual (below) was an act of  Divine Providence.  An epiphany, a vision, if you will, of complete clarity concerning my follow-up appointment with Dr. Gross, scheduled for tomorrow, during which time he will examine  my uterus to check and see how it is doing a week after the D&C.  And what will Dr. Gross be greeted with during that examination?  The face of Chucky!

I say this because, first of all, I’m pretty sure my uterus is not happy about being scoped and scraped by Dr. Gross.  It’s been cramping and spotting all week in unmuted protest.  Second of all, my romantic life has not been happy either, since I was sent home from the procedure a week ago wearing a virtual chastity belt to be worn at all times until I have the okay (at tomorrow’s appointment, I hope) from Dr. Gross to take it off (take it all off!).

Meanwhile, here comes Valentine’s Day. Or shall I say, our 28th Valentine Anniversary Valentine’s Day, this past Saturday,  surrounded by eight full days of forced celibacy.  There have been worse Valentine Anniversaries for sure, but off-hand, I can’t remember any.  I did don a v-neck red sweater, subtle, not too suggestive, and gave my husband a Valentine sound card that growls like a baby tiger when you open it. He gave me cards too, and made breakfast.  We had friends over for dinner.  And otherwise, we sat in separate recliners all day. And when we crawled into bed that night we fell into a familiar cuddle, spooned, and then I … rubbed my nostrils into the sheets to inhale their freshly laundered ‘mountain breeze’ scent, before drifting off to sleep.

Anyway, well, after 28 years of marriage we still aren’t hurling things (insults, threats, obscenities, plates, etc…) at each other, so that’s pretty good. And right now I’m having fun with “Chucky” since he serendipitously (not sure that’s a word) arrived to grace my blog; he just seems perfect at this juncture.

Mostly though, I am in the mood for laughter, since, by Divine Providence, the tissue biopsy from the uterine procedure came back with everything fine.  Hooray!

Except I do think my uterus might still be angry.  Maybe I’d better warn the doctor before the examination tomorrow…


My “Special Day” (Uterus, Part III)

February 11, 2009

Well, I’m baaack!  It’s Tuesday evening.  I had the uterine procedure thing done yesterday, which I’m calling my “special day,” as I pretty much spent the whole afternoon and evening sleeping and resting.  Of course,  I spent most of today catching up, albeit with no lifting, or exercise. After all, I am recovering, you know.

The nurse called me at the end of today to see how I was doing.  I allowed that I was cramping a little but otherwise “okay.” She said, “Just remember, no vacuuming or dishes for six weeks!”  Man, it’s worth a try.  I really haven’t talked to my husband about it – he’s been too busy on the home front (yesterday) and making up missed hours at work (today).  Now he is asleep in his recliner, although I need to wake him to remind him to do the dinner dishes.

Yesterday, about noon, the milk was delivered. I almost had to give my husband  written instructions as to how to get it from the front stoop into the fridge. Not really, but I was expecting a frozen bottled milk explosion by 10 PM when he finally remembered to bring it in:   Four half gallons, or twice the weight I was allowed to lift.

So all in all, the day surgery experience yesterday was, well, better than I expected.  First of all, I had crammed hours of reading into my bag, prepared for a long wait.  I was told to check in at 9:30 AM for the surgery, which was scheduled for 11:30 –  if Dr. Gross (my pet name for him.  He’s nice enough, and I could change it, but what the heck) was not delayed. I was told that the procedure (D&C and hysteroscopy) should take about half an hour,  and allowing for flexibility along with recovery time, I should be ready to go home by 2:30-3:00 PM.  That’s what I told my husband when we parted at the nurses’ station in day surgery just before 9:30 AM.

The next thing, I was sitting at the admittance desk, facing the clerk, calling out “yes … yes … yes,” as she read off my personal information from the  computer screen , the whole thing ringing in the air like some off-beat demented rap song.

Within 10 minutes I was sent down the hall clutching my paperwork and plastic ID wrist band.  A nurse stopped me. “Are you Josephine?” she asked, and as I nodded she hustled  me onto to a seat and slapped a blood pressure sleeve over my arm.  My blood pressure measured thirty points higher than it ever had in my life.  But she was wearing one of those lab coats, and registered it as “normal.”  I was up again and urged onto a free-standing scale. “The doctor is ready for you, NOW!”  She exclaimed.  “So we have to go as fast as we can.”  She weighed and measured me fully dressed, glanced at my shoes and declared, “5’4″ height.” (I’ve apparently grown a full inch.)

I was then escorted down the hall into a curtain-lined cubicle to suit up in my backless “prada” gown (that’s what the nurse called it, they were all quite fun).  And the big thing was to get the blood drawn ASAP,  and over to the lab to be tested and ‘okay-ed’ for the surgery.  But first! … to the bathroom for the urine sample, which, at this point, in my backless gown, stripped of everything except my socks, (including my glasses and all jewelry, which, I wasn’t sure where I had shoved my wedding rings) … pee-ing became difficult. I had saved my pee, had been holding my pee, but darn it, I just couldn’t pee. If only I could … relax … Ahhh … imagine a bubbling river streaming  through the bathroom faucet; it’s gushing over the sides of the  sink now,  splashing violently, flooding the bathroom floor … Ahhhh … there we  go!  Tinkle, tinkle … Okay, just a wee bit …

Then, “Quick!” exclaimed the nurse with the needle as I emerged from the bathroom.  She nudged me toward the bed: “Get settled now so we can draw blood and hook you up to the IV!.”  Then she nailed a vein beautifully on the top of my hand, but it just wouldn’t release blood into her vial. “Ohhhhh, come on!” she coaxed my vein.  “Hold still, Josephine!” she urged me.  I told her I went by “Jody.”

All the nurses were in a huge rush to get me prepped and on down the line, declaring,  “The doctor is ready NOW!”  Asking at each turn, “Are you Josephine?”  Confirming my birth date.

Well, I have to say, I met at least 5 nurses and two anesthesiologists before the surgery, but I never saw Dr. Gross, not before, during, or after the surgery.  I was suited up, IV dripping away into my arm, waiting in my  pre-surgery holding cubicle when my lab report arrived.  I believe this to be about 10:30 AM. The very next moment the anesthesiologist is there with his needle, explaining, “I am putting something in your IV to relax you while we wheel you to surgery.”  Sounded good to me!  So he did. We started out, he and the nurse wheeled me down the hall through some doors, turned right, then left, surgery area ahead, and I said cheerfully, “Sure looks busy!” as I spotted a swarm of blurry moving figures in blue lab coats …

That was it.  I was now awake talking with the post-op nurse, it was a little after noon, maybe.  I was wheeled to another area to prepare to go home.  Which, I was told, I was free to do after I pee-ed.  Great.   Well, I was a tad more relaxed this time.  No problem.  My stuff had followed me to my recovery room and I dressed and called my husband.  He met me at the front of the hospital at 1PM.

Oh, and I took a whole Percocet tablet before I left the hospital.  The nurse had offered something for pain and I said, “Yes.”  Which explains why I was pretty much worthless the rest of the day, which really made it special.

…Uterus, Part II

February 6, 2009

To continue the saga of my uterus…um…let’s see, I left off where I had stormed out of the doctor’s office pissed off at my wait (that wouldn’t be “weight” because they never got around to it) and pissed off at my uterus for getting me there in the first place. However, I quickly recovered from my angst toward my uterus.  Because I remembered: Your uterus is something you don’t want to piss off;  it could turn on you.  I remembered that from when I gave birth to our third child. I said horrible things to my uterus (when my husband wasn’t there). The pain was so bad I thought I would die.  But then, maybe that wasn’t my uterus’s fault.

Then again, I can’t be too unsure about that.

So, I saw the ob gyn today. We (that would be me, the receptionist, the 3 other patients who were waiting, the nurse, and the doctor) were all on our best behavior, the perfect picture of punctuality and manners.  Sure enough, the doctor confirmed that “something is up there” in my uterus, a polyp or something, and he has to go and investigate it with his scope. Afterall, the biopsy which came back a week ago indicating ‘normal cells,’ was only a two per cent sampling of the lining of my uterus. So I am scheduled for a D&C this Monday, four days from now.

The doctor asked me if I had questions. I checked my notes.  He had answered them all.  I was mum.  He said I could call the office if I thought of questions later.  I did think of questions for the doctor:  If you remove a polyp could you put it in a pan so I can see it before you send it off to pathology?  Can my husband be there during the procedure to take pictures?

Okay, so I realize this is not funny because of the big looming question in everyone’s minds:  What if the pathology report comes back positive for cancer?  Of course I had asked this question.

“Then you will need a hysterectomy.” the doctor replied.

“What if it comes back precancerous?” I asked.

“Then you will need a hysterectomy.”  He replied.

“Even with precancerous cells?”    I inquired again.

“Yes, because the cancer will come back.”

Gees.  Okay!   The doctor also said that the chances of a polyp being cancerous are about 10 per cent.

I’m showing up Monday for the D&C:  A ‘hysteroscopy,’ is what the nurse called it.  For now, better than a hysterectomy.  And what better time than now to think kindly and lovingly of my uterus?

Just in case…