Saturday, December 15, 2007
Things Could Always Be Worse
My primary goal for my trip to Maine, apart from helping my ailing mother and stepfather, was to stay well. I thought I'd accomplished it, then Tuesday night I came down with fever and chills. Those were followed a day later by what I'll term the "weight-loss phase," which still continues, albeit with less ferocity.
Yesterday, looking a bit peaked and green, I had a 2nd appointment with a surgeon who's going to remove what my orthopedist termed a "big-ass tumor." It's a lipoma, an apparently benign fatty mass about the size of a duck's egg, nestled amidst layers of muscle under my right shoulder blade. It was discovered during a CT scan after my equestrian fiasco 1-1/2 years ago, but I was told I could ignore it for a while, as there were several urgent injuries to deal with. Now it can't be ignored any longer, so it's coming out on January 2. For those keeping score: this will be surgery #7, medical facility #6 (3 hospitals, 2 surgical centers, 1 endodontics office).
Fun, huh? But wait, there's more!
This morning at 7:00, I was lying on my side in bed and shifted my hips a fraction of an inch, which caused an explosion of pain in my lower back. How well I recognized it: a herniated lumbar disc that's flared up several times in the past, usually in December during or after a viral illness. I thought I'd pass out when I had to walk all of 15 feet to the bathroom, clutching the doorframe, towel bars and sink for support.
In a footnote to yesterday's post, I wrote that one of my mottos is, "When the going gets tough, the tough go to bed." So that's where I am--flat on my back, a pillow under my knees, Max cuddled under my left arm with a paw resting on my hand. Good thing I never dipped into the Valium while in Maine, as threatened, because it's the only thing that eases the spasms. (The disc flared up when I was in France several years ago, and I was popping those little yellow pills like Pez. I called it my "Valium de Loire" tour.)
Per my D.O. today, the spasms emanated from my sacrum, not the herniated disc. I've been up & about for several days now; traded the Valium for popcorn & chocolate.