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Monday, November 21, 2011
There's Good News and No News
I may have been nervous. Okay, I was scared. But I went. I went like I was supposed to, to this specialist who was going to examine that little thing we talked about in my last post.
Did I say, little? Little did I know what was going to be in store for me.
But let's stop and take a moment to rewind the clock so we can start this saga at the beginning, which, as it turns out, was late Sunday night.
Around nine o'clock, the phone rings, and I pick it up to hear a voice asking to speak to me. The voice is my doctor, my primary, the one who made this appointment for me, calling to give me a pep talk (and - I'm pretty certain - to make sure I'm planning on keeping my date with destiny). I find myself deeply touched that he would take the time to reach out to me with reassurances that everything will turn out all right. Of course, I'm also rattled that he would take the time to reach out to me with reassurances that everything will turn out all right. Should I be concerned? Worried? Should I be thinking of hopping in the car and escaping down one of our highways, hauling my ass ... where? Anywhere.
Of course, that's what I was thinking. "Escape" equals "denial" which trumps "discovery" which equals "no escape."
Oddly, I'm not the kind of person who has whatever it is it takes to run away. So I stayed and spent a fitful night, sleeping in snatches, mouthing a few prayers whenever I found myself awake. Prayers to my mom and dad, prayers to Saint Michael, to Saint Martin de Porres, who was my mother's favorite saint and who always answered her prayers. I figured I could count on mom (Dad always comes through for my more mundane problems).
When morning came, I stretched the hours as long as I could before showering and dressing. On the drive uptown, I prayed some more, making the kind of promises we make in desperate times, the kind we know we'll never be able to keep, but hope and believe we will when we make them. What the hell, though, I figure God is used to that and kind of expects it from us, but He still loves us all the same and will do what He can to help get us through - even if it turns out to be through the tunnel to the light.
But let's not go there.
Instead, let's go inside the specialist's office.
My doctor had told me the night before that Doctor R would be a tiny woman, blunt and to the point, neither flowery nor fluttery. He didn't tell me she would be a pretty woman, blonde with ice-cold azure eyes.
He also didn't tell me her personality would match the beige paint on the blank walls of her examination room.
She was a take-charge little woman. I hadn't been prepared for the extent of the examination she put me through. She peeped into my ears. She spread my nostrils and looked hard up my nose. She worked my neck like the Boston Strangler. She poked up and down and all around the inside of my mouth with both hands. If she'd been kind, it would have been like having thrilling sex, but she wasn't and neither was it.
When she was done with all that, she sprayed some stuff into my nose, told me to sniff it, and wait for her return.
When she finally came back into the room, it was with a machine connected to a tube. She proceeded to shove that tube up one nostril and then the other. She peered into my sinus cavities, swirled the tube around and up and plunged it down into my throat.
That done, she told me the good news. My lymph glands were fine. Nothing wrong with my sinuses. (Who was she kidding there? I have New Orleans sinuses. That ain't good.) The only problem seemed to be inside my mouth, and she wanted a biopsy. She scheduled that for Friday so I could have Thanksgiving dinner before I had to go on a diet of cool, bland food for a while.
I felt pretty good about the visit overall, and who would complain about a week or so of eating only ice cream?
I've decided, too, that, although she might not be a sweet and girly woman, Dr. R might be the kind of steel-backed person one would want to have fighting on one's side against a potential malignancy.
I also have a strong feeling that the biopsy will reveal nothing more than some years-old scar tissue from a long-forgotten, misplaced bite.
In fact, I'm willing to bet on it.
Come on, let's make a deal!
Are you listening, mom, dad ... St Michael, St Martin?