Sunday, September 21, 2014
My Sunday Feeling
I spent much of last Friday with the good folks of the Nuclear Medicine department at Baptist Health Medical Center. Earlier in the month I went to a rheumatologist to try to figure out the weird arthritis stuff that pops up in my hand occasionally. In the process, they extracted a gallon of blood from both arms.
The blood work indicated a possible problem with my parathyroid glands, which were 4-I think- examples of God's handiwork unknown to me until a week or so ago. I asked my nurse practitioner brother about this. He basically shrugged and went "Eh." I asked my surgeon neighbor the same thing. His response was equally helpful. I will remember this the next time either asks me for free legal advice. And so off I went to Baptist to get an MRI done on my parathyroid and thyroid glands.
People really are good at times like this. I received many text messages from friends wishing me well and asking me if I were OK. I was also privileged to receive a running score of the San Francisco Giants game for most of the afternoon. All of this helped take my mind off of the lady across from me in the sardine can of a waiting room having an animated discussion on her cell phone with who could have only been her ex-husband. Later another woman could be easily overheard telling somebody on the other end of the line all about her son's latest arrest. I found the latter to be especially rude as it greatly interfered with my enjoyment of watching Roger Goodell try to talk his way out of it on the monitor in there.
Eventually, a young technician appeared and called my name. Never was I so happy to see a white coat in my life.
He stepped into the mud right off the bat however as he led me down the hall to the machine that would record images of my innards.
"You're having the parathyroid removed right?" he asked.
"Not that I am aware of, Son," I replied. "You know something I don't know?"
His face turned crimson.
"No Sir," he stammered. "No. No. No."
It got better after that shaky opening drive of the tee.
He put me into the tube up to my shoulders. He put a marker on the right side of my throat. And the machine started humming.
"Picture #1 is starting," his voice said from somewhere.
"I'm guessing there's lots of volts running through this thing," I said.
I've had about 7 MRIs I guess. Mostly for athletic injuries. There's really not much to do except lay there. And think.
I thought about a question a friend asked via text while I was trying to ignore the witless cacophony back in the waiting room.
"Are you nervous?" the text said.
"I don't do nervous," I replied.
It's not that I'm particularly brave. It's just I know lots of people that have it worse off than me whatever this turns out to be. If it turns out to be anything.
I know a man with leukemia at M.D. Anderson in Houston. I know a woman with serious breast cancer. I know a man in Louisiana who was told he's not long for this world. I know a local man who is going to have part of his pancreas removed at Mayo next month. I know a man who is slowly going blind from an untreatable condition. I know a couple of relatively young guys who have had strokes.
Me? I got nothin'. There ain't nothin' wrong with me.
The disembodied voice outside the tube told me that he saw on the chart that I was a lawyer. He asked me what kind of law I practiced.
"Bankruptcy mostly," I said. "Commercial litigation. Money and property stuff."
"I guess you were busy around 2008," he said.
That was when the financial system went kablooey! all over the world. Gentle Reader may recall this.
"Indeed I was," I replied.
"My wife and I are Dave Ramsey fans," he said.
Good thing the machine covered my face. That way the technician couldn't see me roll my eyes.
"Dave says that you should only finance the purchase of your home. Because everything else depreciates."
"Well," so began my withering cross-examination from deep within the tube. "That means Dave got it all wrong in 2008 doesn't it? Because real estate values went through the floor all over the world didn't they?"
"I guess you're right," he said. "Never thought about it that way."
" There you go. How much longer, Buddy?"
"We're about done."
And a few minutes later I was back out in the sunshine.
I'm scheduled to see Dr. Chi's nurse practitioner in late October. I guess they will call me before then if there's anything wrong. I probably won't give it a second thought until somebody gives me a reason to. That's kind of the way I roll anyway.
But it's also because I know so many people that have really serious stuff wrong with them. They are far worthier of the thoughts and prayers of my well-meaning friends than am I.
But I really do hope that the MRI was able to somehow capture me rolling my eyes when the young man mentioned his appreciation of Dave Ramsey.
I don't ask for much. Really I don't.