The Gathering

Before I begin, I need to start with a disclaimer. Many of my family members read this, so I need to say upfront, I am fine. What I am about to share is the process for me when dealing with health issues. It’s actually hilarious and when you add my spouse into the mix, well, just wait for the story.

For the last month, my left ankle has been swelling at night and wakes me up as it is extremely painful. It takes me a few minutes to actually be able to put weight on it, but then I am fine for the day. No real pain. No swelling. So weird. I did the next right thing and called the orthopedic group that did my knee replacement to get in with an ankle specialist. That appointment is slated for this Tuesday. In the meantime, my left wrist has been periodically swelling too. So, and I know my medical friends will adore me for this particular action, I have been Googling the shit out of my symptoms.

Yesterday, Brian and I are chatting. I proceed to share that I have diagnosed myself.

I tell him, “It could be one of two things. I could either have Rheumatoid Arthritis or Gout.

Brian say, “It could be three things.”

I respond, “Well, we already know I am crazy.”

Brian laughs at me and says, “Okay, four things. The fourth being it could be none of those things”

True. He’s right. I could be wrong, but WebMD seems so accurate. Then I had this crazy revelation. You see, after a mammogram about two weeks ago, I had to have another one because they saw something suspicious. I have dense breast tissue (most of my body is dense as it is slow on the uptake), but in this case, it is hard to determine what is what. I had the second one and now, in about a week, I have to have a biopsy. Before you gasp, this is not my first time at the rodeo. But, my revelation was that everything occuring is on my left side.

My spouse then Googled “physical issues only on the left side” and found this forum. This person wrote how they just woke up and realized that their issues where all on the left side. They have a shit ton of weird physical occurrences like painful bunions, Morton’s neuroma, recurrent diverticulitis, just to name a few because there were a lot. He also stated that his wrinkles in his face are deeper on that side and it appears that he is aging more rapidly only on the left. Sounds like a major physical shit show. By this time, I am laughing so hard that tears are running down my face. Several people respond that maybe he should see an actual doctor while someone else is sharing that the left side of the face is on the driver’s side so it gets more sun. They suggested sunscreen.

We were both laughing hysterically. I could barely breathe. My point is that I can’t take whatever is going on too seriously….yet…until I know what is happening. I refuse to project into the future with “what ifs” because that rarely goes well. For me, it is gathering more information. I am aware that going to Google could put me on a train to crazy town, but that is simply part of the process. And, I have a spouse that listens to me, and then shows me that maybe I am not as crazy as the people on those forums.

I simply am doing the next right thing. Going to get answers then proceeding with whatever happens next. Seriously, it is all good. I am grateful that I have a spouse that can help me find the humor. Trust me, I am not over here projecting into the future. Instead, I am giddy with excitement that the new air mattress arrived, so I no longer have to listen to Brian obsessively blowing up the old one with the hole in it. Friends, it is really all about perspective.

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