Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dear Mrs. Mitcham...

A consequence of being sick is rapid weight loss. So rapid I didn't even consider it a consequence but a gift! At work a group of us were in the middle of a weight loss challenge and every week the winner took home a cash prize. To be fair, when we started it, I had no idea I had a problem. I started exercising once a week and thought I had kicked my metabolism into overdrive. I went for a walk and lost 5 pounds? Amazing!! Obviously that's not how weight loss really works, but I was winning! I finally dropped out of the weight loss challenge when it felt too much like cheating. In less than a year I have dropped 40 pounds! And it continues to come off steadily. I am constantly going down in clothes size. I actually bought a dress from Target in the kids section - its adorable! Its sad, scary and stylish all at the same time. I discovered the shopping app Poshmark, and have decided to try to post a new outfit on here once a week. Being underweight is so unhealthy, why not at least make it look good, right?

So back in December I had the best sleep ever in the past 10 years! It was of course drug induced. It was the endoscopy for my biopsy. Unfortunately my daughter had to have the same procedure just this week, so it got me thinking back to December and just how horrible the whole process is when you're on the other end of the needle. Now, my daughter has a pediatric specialist so she really lucked out, her experience as well as my son's experience is completely different. Their doctor is nice, supportive, informative...oh how I wish my maturity level matched my age in numbers then I could have this doctor!

When I went in, it was all very procedural. I got into my gown and they forced me to wear the most ridiculous socks! Then you wait around until the doctor comes in 15 minutes before. He comes in with a very rehearsed speech - I know because I had already heard it 40 minutes before when he visited the guy before me. Its just a square room with beds lined against the walls and cloth curtains. With this system you're hardly even a patient; just another bed, just another speech.

I finally got wheeled down the hall and the entire time I couldn't stop thinking about those stupid socks! I told myself if something bad happened and I didn't wake up 1)this guy is totally getting a bad yelp review, and 2)they better not bury me with these damn socks! I just wanted to be knocked out, it was what I was looking forward to all week. The nurse was nice, they usually are. I had to say my name and date of birth, which I never look forward to because someone always has a comment. You were born on New Year's Eve? How fun! I bet its always a party! No actually it's not, no one acknowledges your birthday when its eclipsed by a bigger holiday. The only thing worse is when medical professionals decide to comment because that's usually the worst time. Let me stop in the middle of my contraction to discuss with you my date of birth. There are 365 days out of the year, its statistics, its just a random day that gets picked.

There was some other guy in the room, maybe the anesthesiologist. He was joking around and I was like, oh someone with a personality, finally. He said it was his first day and hoped all would go well. I'm sure he uses that joke 8 times a day. I told him as long as I didn't leave with another baby, it would all be just fine. And then I was out. I woke up sometime later, back behind the same curtain I had started out in. I remember Nodurft standing there putting something in my chart, but he didn't say anything and walked away. I wanted to get out of there quick! I had two days ahead of me to pretend to not feel well enough to cook or clean. I wanted to get started on that right away.

By the time I got home, the meds were wearing off and my throat hurt. I sat on the couch and the kids complained about what was on TV. I checked the paper work that I was sent home with and there was a typed note from the doctor. Weird. How impersonal. Remember the episode from Sex and the City when Carrie got dumped via a post-it note? Dear Mrs. Mitcham, I cut up your esophagus six ways to Sunday, have a nice day!

I got the phone call from a nurse about a week later. I was at Food 4 Less selecting red apples. I thanked her, finished up with my apples and the rest of my grocery shopping and then cried in the car. It was as if I had been taken out into a riptide. It was a lonely and cold moment that seemed too overwhelming. It was a really cold way to be told. My life changed and I just wished it hadn't changed in the middle of the produce aisle. Its weird the things you focus on.

Everything happens for a reason. I try to think that I take the brunt of it all, so I know exactly how to support my kids. A little bit of compassion goes a long way. And damn it was a hard lesson to learn.