Something the size of a marble has been wreaking havoc with my body, and my doctor's sanity.
It was well hidden and could not be easily seen – not with X-rays, not with CAT scans, and not on MRIs (which apparently are one of the few things on this earth that can reduce me to hysterical sobbing).
The elevated white cell count pointed to an infection, but I seemed to be asymptomatic to the usual suspects. Antibiotics always brought things back under control (expect for the pesky white cell count that was always a little bit on the high side).
Was it a blood disease? Could I be developing some form of cancer? Was there a chronic infection, some form of septic voodoo going on? Nobody knew!
It all came to a head when a tremendous pelvic pain almost knocked me down and a series of doctors, residents, interns, specialists (oncologists, urologists, gastro guys, surgeons, GYN folks) sprinted to put the puzzle together.
In the end, it turned out to be a tiny abscess that was throwing everything out of whack and causing more trouble than it was worth! A little bitty thing the size of a marble.
It cost me three weeks in the hospital and a whole lot of pain (there is a Blues song there somewhere).
I was sprung to freedom last Friday almost three weeks from the morning I walked into the emergency room in more pain than I have felt in my whole life and completely uncertain about my future.
As terrifying as the first part of my ordeal was, I need to say that methodical observation and examination brought clarity to the team of physicians looking after me and I am perfectly fine. I am up and about, and back to work and my life.
Being terrified half out of your wits makes it hard to be creative so I did no writing for the better part of two weeks-but some of the people might make it to fiction some day. I have to say that having access to social media made the ordeal less scary and less lonely.
It is amazing and shocking that something as small as marble could topple me, when bigger beasts have tried and failed. Who knew?
My deep gratitude goes to the staff at Lutheran Hospital for their awesome care.
I learned a few lessons, and here's one unexpected one: even if your mom was Parisian, if you are naked under one of those flimsy gowns that leave your butt exposed and have little to no mobility, you probably shouldn't criticize the grammar of the nurse's aide that is bathing you. It insults her entire cultural heritage when you tell her she is speaking her language wrong. It's also bad form. Woman, have you lost your marbles?!
And now, back to life! Sorry for the unexpected break.