Thursday, October 01, 2009

What's the Deal? Chapter One - The Canker Sore

"What's the Deal?"
"What's causing this?"
"Have they figured it out?"
"How do they fix it?
"Anything I can do?"
"Did they find out what was up?"
"What the heck is going on?"
"Have they been able to "rule" anything out?"
"What is going on?"
"!!! What is the diagnosis?"
"Fill me in when you get a chance." (photo credit)

These are actual quotes from real friends. I'm so thankful for each of you. I've tried to get back to people as best I can but have honestly been so exhausted by talking with doctors and going to appointments and having tests and thinking about all this stuff that I have barely had energy to talk with my family. Plus, we didn't know what was up.

Yesterday, the thoracic surgeon seemed to think he knew and has what he sees as a fairly simple, straight-forward solution. I've been wanting a solution so that's great but it involves cutting through my breast bone, days in the hospital and months of recuperation.

He's confident about what should be done and ready to take action. The other doctors I've been working with recently seem to agree with his assessment. I'm inclined to go along with the plan.

Although, I'd rather just be better and not have to have surgery or give myself injections or take medicine or avoid crowds and fresh fruit and flowers but they say I'm currently very vulnerable and I don't want to get sick again or get sick with something I'm not able to fight. (photo credit)

We've been joking about "death by grape" but yesterday I heard that if I ate a bad strawberry or some unwashed lettuce and got salmonella it could be "lethal" so maybe it isn't really funny.

I'm still being vague. I know. Still processing but maybe if I try to tell the story that will help. Here goes...

Let's flash back a couple of months to early August. You can use this Brett Dennen song as a soundtrack.

I was enjoying the warmer weather, riding my bike to the ferry for work, eating red pears and fresh figs, having margaritas with friends after work, riding home in the sunset. I was listening to music, working out with the Wii Fit, roasting kale and laughing at silly movies. In response to the question, "What is your biggest annoyance right now?" I answered, "I'm feeling peaceful right now. Ask me later."

On August 8, we hosted a birthday party for Sam and survived twenty hours with six 12 year old boys relatively unscathed. It was even fairly enjoyable. I don't remember being tired and stayed up past 1:30am. Our bikes were stolen, which was a bummer but whatever, that's part of life.

We dropped Sam off for a week of overnight kayak camp and I was feeling like a good mom. Cam & I saw Tim Linsecum pitch at a Giant's game. I was happy, relishing in this wonderful life we're living.

On August 12 (a Wednesday), I went home sick from work. I hadn't felt that great on the way in but I had work I was supposed to be getting done before vacation. I was supposed to be in court that afternoon & I had a meeting with my boss that morning. I really felt it was important and necessary to be there.

After our meeting, my boss said that I should go home as it was obvious that I wasn't feeling well. She said the work could wait and that she'd cover court for me. She said she didn't want me getting anyone else sick and that I should rest. I was running a fever, one of the lymph nodes in my neck was swollen & I had the beginnings of a canker sore in my mouth. (I don't get them normally.)

The first bus home doesn't start running until mid-afternoon and I couldn't wait. I called Cam insisting that I needed to go home right away. He swung by my office so I could drop him back off at work and drive myself home. I was so happy to be home.

The next day, I decided to stay home and rest. I didn't remember ever having had a sore like that one before but figured people get them all the time and that it shouldn't have been a big deal. I just stayed home on the couch in my pjs, taking Motrin, resting and thinking I would be better the next day. (photo credit)

But in the morning, I was worse. The sore on the inside of my bottom lip was bothering and upsetting me. I couldn't smile or eat or talk or close my mouth properly w/o it hurting. I sat there with my lip stuck out. Cam said looking at me made people uncomfortable. My boss continued to be supportive, encouraging me to "please stay home."

Missing work when you are sick is one thing but suddenly, I was facing the really troubling prospect of being sick during our vacation. I got some over-the counter canker sore pain relief medicine. It numbed the pain which made things more tolerable.

That Saturday, was supposed to be the day of packing, planning and prep for our week-long camping trip. I spent most of it on the couch while Cam got things ready. He really is wonderful.

That Sunday, the 16th, we headed out. All the rest of the past few days had helped a lot. I was armed with my Motrin and my Benzocane and actually thought the sore seemed finally to be starting to heal. Regardless, I was going to do my best to put it out of my mind and enjoy this time together as a family.

To be continued...

1 comment:

michaelscribner said...


Thanks for the udpates ... I had no idea all you were going through. I so appreciate your openness about what you have been going through. It's a good reminder to all of us to appreciate all we have in every moment. Please keep us all updated; there are so many of us sending love and prayers to you and your family ...