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Archive for July, 2006

For a variety of reasons — mostly because whenever I’m out and about, I’ve been feeling a tad dizzy — I went to see my doctor today (I also wanted to update my list of people to keep informed about my medical condition). As it happened, she had had a cancellation for an appointment, so I got right in to see her. As it also happened, she had just received the pathology report on my surgery. And the answer is…

(you gotta love this)…

they don’t know.

There are more cells than there should be, which is indicative of cancer. But the cells themselves look normal, and not remotely cancerous. So the official diagnosis is “hyperplasia,” meaning, hunh???

See why I love modern medicine?!

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Much to my amazement, I have actually survived. Yeah, OK, a biopsy isn’t life-or-death surgery. But do remember, I have no faith in hospitals whatsoever, so I plan to enjoy my feeling of amazement for at least the next 24 hours.

The first thing we established was the First Name thing. My first name isn’t Margaret — it’s something I loathe with all my being — and when people use it, I generally go for the jugular. Which is what I told folks at the hospital. It got a laugh, and I got what I wanted: people calling me Margaret, which is my middle name.

Then, I think I set records for post-op discharge. I woke up at 10:02, and by 10:45 I was out the door. I had been insisting, from the moment I learned I’d have to have this procedure, that I should have been able to drive myself there and back, and they kept insisting that no, I had to have someone drive me; and the logical Someone was my husband. That isn’t gonna happen again. You know the expression, “Nervous as a cat”? He makes cats look calm and placid. And yes, despite dire predictions of loopiness once I was out in the fresh air, I could have driven home with no trouble whatever.

Right now, I have sent him off to obtain some fish. I have a blessing to eat fish on fast days, since I really really need to lose weight and finally found a doctor who doesn’t think a low-carb diet is a recipe for trouble. And when I finish this post, and send thank-you notes to all my other friends who promised to pray for me, I do plan to take a nap — not only am I post-op, but I’ve also been up since 4:30 a.m.

I’m glad this is over with. For now, anyway. Results in 2-3 weeks. Many thanks to all who read this blog, for the prayers you have offered on my behalf; I’m very sure that they were largely responsible for my being this together and coherent! 😉

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I understand that that’s how biopsy is referred to. Which is what I’m having done tomorrow.

I hate doctors. The ones I have, I trust marginally, because they haven’t done anything radically stupid — yet — but by and large, I strongly suspect there isn’t an entire functioning brain among the entire medical community. I think they each possess a zygote of a brain cell.

And I really hate hospitals. That damn johnny, for one thing. (Everybody hates that thing. And the fact that they keep using it, despite knowing that everyone hates it, tells you everything you need to know about customer relations from the hospital’s point of view.) But then, they insist on calling you by your first name. I wonder how the anesthesiologist would like it if I kept referring to her as “Debs.” And when they’re putting in an IV, if they can’t find a vein, they keep sticking you in an effort to find one. For crying out loud, just get a damn phlebotomist up there to find it! To say nothing of the fact that the IV keeps you tied down until they say you can go. I mean, who’s gonna risk taking it out himself?! You could rupture a vein or something!

But what I really hate is that you are not only helpless, you are clueless. I mean, what the heck are they putting into that drip bag, anyways?! It could be anything. How would you know? I was watching a TV interview while we were visiting our son in Philadelphia, and this guy said his wife went into the hospital for a routine procedure, and while she was there her entire lower body turned purple, and she was in excruciating pain for a month. Turns out it was something they put in the IV.

Then there’s the woman I was reading this morning, on my cross-stitch board — so this isn’t tabloid stuff — who said she had no anesthesia for the first twelve minutes of her surgery, and the only way they found out she wasn’t anesthetized was that she coughed.

The thing is, why should an Orthodox Christian fear death (apart, of course, from an acute awareness that you actually have to stand before the Throne of God and account for yourself)? And when I think about it, I find that that’s not what I fear. What I really fear is them screwing up so badly that I will need medical care for the rest of my life. I don’t want to do that to my family.

So, much to my husband’s distress, I have put all my affairs in order. I have a book with all my final instructions printed out, and I plan to leave it on the kitchen table. I plan to take icons of St. Marina and St. John of San Francisco with me. Meanwhile, prayers would be appreciated.

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