Monday, April 24, 2006

Now what?

Pam has basically given you the details on what we tried previously and what we are currently doing so I will not bore you with a recap of that. If you missed it, look below and start from the beginning. Instead, I would like to share with you, the audience, how it feels from this side. Let me start with the reference that Pam made earlier about the appendix.

When I was much younger, I had appendicitis which went undiagnosed and wrongly diagnosed up until the damn thing burst and I was on an operating table at The Hospital for Sick Children fighting for my life as poison enter my body cavity. I had three tubes in me draining nasty brown stuff out of me and I missed Christmas at home as I spent that in the hospital too. The HSC also saved T.'s life when she was born in 1991 at Centenary Hospital. She had meconium aspiration and had to be transported down to HSC where she would spend the next couple of months fighting for her life against that, jaundice, pumped with steroids, muscle relaxations (as she kept tearing out the leads), blood pressure meds, antibiotics and more. She was wired like a little video came under those ultraviolet lamps (phototherapy). So, I have a very special spot for the HSC for saving both my life and T.'s life; we hope to not have to use them in that manner ever again in the future. Anyhow, back to the appendix issue.

One day, my DW (dear wife, for those who do not read my blog) complained that her side was sore and extremely tender. I suggested that we go see someone about it but a certain stubborn someone insisted that it was nothing. I observed from a distance for the next day as I watched her wince, and bend over in pain and have to shift herself to get comfortable. On the Sunday morning, she awoke out of sleep in a lot of pain and was brought to tears. I asked exactly where she was feeling the pain. When shown, I did the same test my doctor did to diagnosis me those many years ago: I poked her! She immediately yelled out in pain and I told her that she had appendicitis and needed to see a doctor. She refused to go to the emergency ward with me and when it continued the following day, I said that the deal was that she had to see the doctor or I would drag her there myself.

Well, on the Tuesday morning, she went off to the doctors and I went to work and was teaching a class downtown. At the break, the receptionist handed me a message. I knew what it said before I opened it. Pam was on her way to Women's College to be assessed. Ok, I will simply wait for the next message that would complete the process to prove me right. It did not take an hour for that to happen and this time the receptionist came and got me out of class. You see, when she was assessed at the hospital, they confirmed that it was appendicitis. What we would learn once I left class (early that afternoon because I was worried and could not teach) is that the appendix was perforated and needed to be removed before it posed a real danger by rupturing completely like it did in me. That would be more dangerous in an adult than it was in a child and potentially fatal. Now, for real, I was scared that I could lose the woman I love.

Unlike the new medical dramas, there was no place for me to sit and observe so when they took her in, they told me to go on home. I would get a call later to let me know she came through it okay and I could come in the next day to see her. I went home and gathered the things she would need in her room. I also called her family to let them know that their twit of a daughter/sister/cousin/niece was in the hospital and would be there for a little while. Mum, Pam's mother, was actually out of town at the time so I had her brother track her down and tell her and to make sure that she did NOT cut her trip short to come back to Toronto. Pam was not going anywhere and would be there in the hospital when she got back. Okay, I would have been able to go to sleep since all the calls were made and her bag packed. I would have except I could not as I lay there thinking how close I came to losing her. Now I was angry.

The next day, after I made sure she was okay, comfortable as she could be, and up to date on everything, I admonished her for risking her life like that, for not listening to me, and (as I broke down and cried on her chest) for nearly leaving me without my partner. She promised to never do that again. I told her I would make sure she never forgot it and would remind her about it all the time to ensure that it never happened again; and I still do. In fact, several family members parading the "poo-poos" at her risking her life like that for no reason.

Between our two families, we have so many genetic markers and trends, it is a whole soup of possible issues that we have to be careful of. We have cancer on both sides (her mother, my mother, my grandmother), diabetes (pick a person in my family, except me and my siblings), high and low blood pressure, kidney failure, and on and on. So, we have to be careful about the signs that say something is wrong. Sure, none of the family history "guarantees" that we will either contract something ourselves or are destined to develop anything, but it does mean that it is more possible.

Which brings us to now.

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