Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yesterday's Post Revisited

I've had time to think from yesterday's rant. I've also had to sit an have dinner with a family who can only think to talk to me about being sick, what they think I have, and how they still say that it is stress, (this is my step-dad's family). His mom had thyroid cancer, but we don't relate to each other at all on anything. She tends to assume everything my doctors do is the wrong procedure, etc, while her docs, from what I can tell haven't changed their ways in 10-15 years. Its very strange to me to actually have someone in my life that I should be able to bond with, or find comfort from, but I really really don't. Outside of this blog, I don't like to talk about being sick. I have other things in my life. But I'm getting side-tracked.

I half jokingly, half seriously, keep saying that maybe I really am just having a bad reaction to bug bites. And at some point my mom snapped back at me to stop humoring her. And for the first time, I realized that it wasn't just that my parents believed everything was in my head... they WANTED it to all be in my head.

For me, I guess this is the biggest divergence between being the sick and the people around the sick. I can't think of anything worse than it all being in my head, a side-effect of stress. It reflects personal weakness. If its a disease, yeah, that sucks, but please don't let there be something wrong with my brain.

For everyone else, a disease is something else they have to sit through, and wait. I understand that me being sick is hard on everyone. But I know I can deal with it. If something is wrong with my head... that is where I would feel totally helpless. I wish that my family could be stronger in dealing with things; hold it together, rather than making me do it.

And that's why when my mom asked what sort of blood work they did today, I lied and said they were just tests, didn't pay attention to what they were for.

My feigned indifference earns me a bad reputation when it comes whether my mom thinks I can take care of myself; its like the lump during graduation. I would rather her think me incompetent than worry to the point where I have to give her support.

Which brings us to today's story about how thrilled I am w/ the medical community. I called my doc yesterday about the rash coming back. Nurse calls me this morning and is like, either make an appointment or schedule w/ dermatologist. So I schedule w/ dermatologist; the earliest they can see me is Tuesday. I figure I need to be looked at today. Get to my doctor, she's going through the charts... turns out, no one gave her yesterdays message. She was FUMING. My personal displeasure was suddenly eased. That is until blood work time.

The nurse was new. Probably the same one who fucked my message. The first thing she said, "you have small veins." She tried to find my veins BY LOOKING. HAHAHAHAHAHA... she looked at my WRIST! I was like... no you aren't sticking me there. I don't care where you had to do it earlier. NO ONE has ever tried to stick my wrist. She stuck me, got a bleeder, and then fumbled around w/ the tube, and pulled the needle out. I've never seen a more clumsy nurse. The others were there when I went to sit in the waiting room. They were there for about 5 minutes, and opted to go to lunch instead of taking care of me. I had to wait till they got back. The third nurse ended up getting me. 6 sticks today. Not a record. But really annoying. I also didn't know that other people could see the scar tissue in my elbows. One nurse walked by and looked down, and said, see where the scar tissue is, go down there straight and hard, it'll be deep. She was right. Once these new pokes heal I'm curious to see if the scar tissue is really that noticeable.

My doctor wanted to run one more test on me, just to rule out autoimmune problems. Specifically to rule out lupus. Wow. She's good. Presenting an issue as something to rule out, is good. So much better than saying, "so it could be lupus, so we need to run that test." In my own stupidity, I looked up pictures of skin lupus, and how it can be triggered by stress. Some, not all, but enough of the pictures looked familiar enough for me to say that I may be a bit more scared than I'm willing to tell anyone I know. So I lied to my mom. "Just another test, don't know what for." It isn't lupus. It can't be. I'm about an hour away from finishing up my Peace Corps application. This can't be anything more than a bad reaction to some bug bites.

What I need is for them to find something minor and treatable wrong. No more mystery disease, nothing in my head, nothing life altering. I don't feel like that's a particularly frivolous request from the great cosmos right now.

1 comment:

SatAtmaKaur said...

In a weird way, I think some of us ex-cancer patients (and/or our families), myself definitely included in this; are concerned of something alien growing in our bodies. I manage to forget this sometimes and for days, even for weeks I don't think about it. Last night I found a birth mark in my back, somewhere between my shoulder blades and instantly thought about the worst. It was bleeding, but that's probably because I was scratching it. In any case, I'd like to get it checked and removed. Cancer is a habit that dies hard, it always surfaces when I go for check-ups. I am now nearly two years free of cancer, but.. well, the thought of it returning is still there.
I hope you have been cleared of lupus!