I’ve been sick for about six months now—It started when I couldn’t manage twist tops and I was so tired my bones hurt on the inside. I got used to taking soda and juice containers to whichever grownup was at home and just….well, thought nothing of it.
Then I started thinking “Maybe it’s not a good idea to get up on the beds to change the lights. Maybe it’s not a good idea to stand on the kitchen table to clean the fan. Maybe it’s not a good idea to climb up into the attic with no one home. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to climb out the upstairs window and fetch the screen from the gable, where it was blown to after a storm.” Then I started to take a nap after dinner;just a little one. I’d get dinner ready and on the table and have a little juice because I wasn’t hungry and then when the things were cleared, I’d just go up and lie down for a little bit.
Then the smell of food started making me sick. The meat aisle was the worst—it smelled of dead things. I could manage to cook frozen things but fresh meat felt of death and decay. I couldn’t keep food or water downand after a week, we went to the ER. I was “just” dehydrated. That was four months ago.
Since then, I’ve managed to keep cold juice down. Last night I had root beer ice cream. I had a crab cake two weeks ago. I looked in the fridge this morning and realized I am out of almost everything, so I guess I’ll tackle the market.SometimesI go and it is just so huge, I can’t drag myself out of the car. I wish we had a drive thru dairy and I’d call in my order and someone else would trot up and down the aisles and fetch everything for me.
I think I have taken every test in the medical world–most of them icky and probing and involving needles of of type or another. It feels as if I’m at the clinic every day for my head and at the clinic at least once a week for blood work and there AGAIN for some IV fluids.It is very wearing to be sick and part of a medical puzzle that is just more puzzling as the weeks go by.
So Monday, I see Dr. Ow, who tells me that I have nodules on my spleen. He’s very worried about the blisters I have—the first one I dug into myself because I had such a hot spot in my gut; the others have just appeared. He gives me pills and some ointment and talks about MRSD. Then he tells me I need yet more tests next week–the fancy expensive kinds that take hours so they can locate the lymphoma.
Lymphoma. Now there’s a word I’ve heard before.
Lymphoma, like cancer.
So I listen to him as if I am deep underwater and he is speaking a language I once understood, naming places I need to go. Stanford, do I know how to get there? Do I have some one who will take me?
All I ask is that I am asleep. Give me something so I won’t remember any of this. He says they can do that.
I go home and tell my husband and it is two days before we can even look at one another. I tell my son, who immediately gets on the computer and is emailing me links and telling me this that and the other. We talk about not telling my daughter and Ben tells me I obviously am not thinking straight. Since when do we have secrets in this family?
So I tell Lisi last night, Five days after I saw Dr. Ow.
We talk about getting to and from places. She is going to make an appointment for my hair–short and spiky, with apricot, pink and blue streaks. It will all fall out, anyway.