Thursday, April 30, 2015

My not so lovely lumps continued

Actually it is. A nerve sheath tumor, to be precise about it. I've been assured by both the radiologist and the podiatrist that the chances of the tumor being malignant or aggressive are very small, but the diagnosis still sent me into a minor tailspin yesterday. Partly because, well, I have a tumor, and partly because it means I definitely have to have an operation. On Monday. But it's same day surgery, I've got myself a prescription for plenty of painkillers, babysitters lined up, and a good book. Oh, let's be honest. I won't read. I'll binge watch all the shows. So recovery probably won't be that bad. That won't stop me from complaining, obviously, but it could be so much worse. I can walk around within the first week, and I can run again after four. 

The good news is that I get to wear this sexy little number around town:

so my fashion blog will probably really take off. Finally.

I'm nervous about something going wrong with the anesthesia. I'm worried that the surgery will have complications. I'm scared that pathology might find scary cells. But I don't think any of those things are likely, and as annoying as all of this is going to be, at least it will be over with soon and I can bid farewell to the malformed life. Well that's not entirely true because I hit my head on the countertop yesterday and now I have a black goose egg right above my left eye and it might never go away. At least my foot will be normal. ish.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My not so lovely lumps

I had an MRI this morning. 

I've had a bump on my ankle for the last couple years. When I first noticed it, I panicked like any good hypochondriac and made an instacare appointment. The doctor at the clinic, who was at the end of his shift on a Friday night and seemed annoyed that I was there, told me it wasn't cancer, he didn't really know what it was, but I shouldn't worry about it. So I didn't worry about it. I lived with what looked like a severe cankle and waited for the bump to disappear. It never did, but I had bigger medical fish to fry (childbirth) so I kind of just ignored it. But then over the last month, while trying and failing to get back into running (see previous post), my left foot has felt just awful. And looked awful. And there's nothing like pain and vanity to finally get me in to see a specialist. 

My google research had led me to believe I was dealing with a ganglion cyst. Kind of gross, but not a big deal. I just needed to find someone who could drain it. I went to an orthopedic podiatrist. "It's been there for how long?," the resident who saw me first asked rather condescendingly. I explained the instacare diagnosis, or rather lack thereof, and tried to convey how not a big deal this whole thing was. The resident grabbed the doctor, who brought in an ultrasound machine. It was around then that things started to feel kind of big dealish. "It's so big," the doctor kept saying while examining the ultrasound monitor, but then decided I was right, it was a cyst. "TOLD YOU!" I almost yelled at the resident, proud that my self-diagnosis was so accurate. Except it wasn't. Because when the doctor started to drain my malformation, he found blood. "You're going to need and MRI and I definitely want to operate," he told me. 

Say what?

I realize there's nothing more obnoxious than someone who constantly tells you how busy they are. But listen. I'm busy. I have a little kid and a nursing baby and a job and a yard that needs a lot of attention. I don't have time for surgery, and I really don't have time for recovery. Plus, operations really freak me out. More specifically, anesthesia frightens me deeply. But so does a growth that three separate professionals have been unable to identify. The doctor was careful to assure me that the chances of this being anything really nasty are extremely slim. But just in case I'm that rare, unlucky statistical outlier, he'd like to remove the mass as soon as possible. First though, I needed the MRI, which is why I got to wear these hospital shorts today:

I guess I didn't really know what an MRI was, and kind of still don't, so I was surprised when the tech asked me to change, told me the exam would take about an hour, and instructed me to pump and dump for the next day. I wanted to ask what exactly was going to be in me that I didn't want to feed my baby, but then decided I'd rather not know. 

Anyway, it was a small MRI room with this giant, beige machine that looked like a tunnel of misery. I laid on the table and looked at the ceiling where someone, probably with good intentions, had installed panels with photos of a bright blue sky and wispy clouds. "If this thing turns out to be malignant, at least you have angelic flight through the heavens to look forward to," the panels seemed to mock. "The machine is motion sensitive, so don't move your foot," the tech said and my foot immediately started twitching. The table moved forward and the machine turned on. Have you ever heard an MRI machine? Probably not because in every movie and TV show an MRI sequence is accompanied by a haunting melody, something sad and minor, and it continues to play during the scene where the patient sits across from a doctor sitting at a mahogany desk in a white lab coat with a concerned look on his face making hand gestures at the patient who has started to cry.

In reality, the machine is loud. It yells, "Deeep. Deeep. Deeep. WAAAAAAAAAAAA. WAAAAAAAAAAAA," over and over. For an hour. You have to wear ear plugs. And all you can do is lay(lie?) and stare at the artificial sky and think. Think about not moving your foot. Did you just move your foot? You totally did. This is going to take all day if you keep twitching. STOP TWITCHING. Think about something else. Like about all those sad movies wherein patients get MRIs before imminent death. But your life is not a movie. People get MRIs all the time. They just don't write books or make films about the people who are totally fine and sometimes get weird bumps on their ankles that are removed in same-day surgery. People who are going to be just fine don't make interesting art. You're boring and you're going to be fine. 

The exam ended, and I wanted to ask the tech if she saw anything weird. But even if she did she couldn't tell me. Because if she gave me wrong information I could sue her for a week's worth of worrying or whatever my case may be. I'm married to an attorney. I get it. But I searched her face for clues that she might be hiding something. She looked normal enough. I'll see my doctor again on Thursday and he will have an official diagnosis, I guess. I'll either have surgery right away if it's something scary, or I'll have surgery a little later if it's something that can wait. The operation will be an inconvenience and a little terrifying, but it will be fine. Because I'm boring and my life is not a sad book or a dramatic movie and for that, I am glad. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We Gonna Run This Town Tonight. Or Tomorrow. Or Next Week. We Gonna Run This Town Sometime In The Foreseeable Future. Maybe.

The worst part of getting out of shape is trying to get back into shape. I didn't run during pregnancy because I didn't feel like it. I walked for a while but then it got cold and I got big and it just wasn't worth the effort anymore. So then I had a baby, lost some lbs, and started squeezing into my pre-pregnancy clothes again. That was about six weeks ago. I'm still squeezing into my jeans and pretending my shirts fit correctly. I've kind of plateaued. Oh my gosh this is so boring. Sorry. There's a point I swear. I'll try and get to it quickly. My metabolism seems to be saying, "Um, I'm doing all I can here, but you're not making it easy with your lifestyle choices." And it has a point. I eat In-N-Out on the weekly and often count walking to the washer as exercise.

So, the way I see it, in order to get rid of these pesky pounds, I have two choices: 1. Change my eating habits. HAHAHAHAHAHA. No. 2. Get back to my old runner ways. Because giving up carbs would likely cause a giant black hole of despair from which I may never emerge, running it is.

For the past couple weeks I've been trying to get back into a fitness routine. Guys, it's hard. It's hard because I like sleeping and because my body is punishing me for the nearly year-long hiatus. Anything else you can neglect and come back to fairly easily. I can go months without writing and still remember how to construct basic sentences. I haven't practiced the violin in years but I can still do vibrato and play a scale or two. Heck, I can still even speak a little bit of Latvian if you hold a gun to my head (please don't). But running isn't like that. You skip a week and suddenly your feet are like, wait, how do we move again? And you're calves are like, why are you doing this to us, what have we ever done to you? And it's not just terrible during the run, it's terrible for days after.

I suffered through a few short treadmill session, then last Saturday went for a real, pavement pounding run. I felt good for a while. I ran to a park, then around the park, and it was about halfway around that I realized I had made a terrible mistake. And I slowed way down. The 170 year old women walking ahead of me on the trail were moving faster than I was running. Dogs gave me looks of pity as I hobbled past. I was lapped by toddlers. But I finally made it to the end of the loop, and eventually back home. The trip took about an hour, so I figured I had done about six or seven miles. I mapped it. 3. 3 miles. And by the way my body has reacted since you would think it had been 50. I'm limping. I'm sore. I'm wondering how I ever did this religiously like I used to. But I'm softer than I'd like and I just really want some french fries so I can't give up. Though I did sleep through what was supposed to be treadmill time this morning. Maybe I should look into tapeworms or something.

P.S. If you're looking for updates on my children, visit Instagram. I promise you'll get your fill. And then some. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I've never done drugs. And not just for moral reasons. I've also never had the chance. Every year at the big important elementary school assembly I was taught, JUST SAY NO, and I anxiously awaited the day when I could turn my nose up at a marijuana cigarette ("What are marijuana tablets?"), and say, "No way, man! Drugs are for slugs!" or whatever clever rhyme I came up with at the time. But that day never arrived. Not in the scary halls of middle school, not in the corners of high school after class, and not at a single college party. No one ever offered me so much as a Tylenol. I guess I just don't look like the kind of girl who likes to party? Should I be offended? I wouldn't even know where to get drugs if I wanted to. Maybe I could try Pioneer Park? But then what? Do I just walk up to the nearest shady looking character and say, "Hello Sir/Madame, I would like to purchase some illegal narcotics, please." I don't know much about the streets, but I kind of feel like that's not how the drug trade works. At this point It would really take a considerable amount of research and effort for me to get my hands on some killa dilla or whatever the kids are calling it these days. But I'm not really interested. Because despite how good any substance might make me feel, there's no way it could come close to the overwhelming bliss I feel when my baby smiles at me.