I have been waiting to write this post since August of last year.
Only superstition and a proper ending have kept me from that.
In late July, we returned from a trip to Oklahoma and were shopping for an RV.
As the day wound down and we were driving to dinner, I suddenly felt a strong sharp pain in the right side of my lower back. I thought I could get rid of it by walking around or stretching or laying down. None of those things worked.
My wife suggested going to the emergency room but I rejected that because……well….I just don’t go to see a doctor if I can avoid it.
The pain wasn’t going away though. As the three hour mark approached, and the pain wasn’t lessening, and my wife was continuing to quietly repeat her suggestion, I finally caved.
“Alright, Let’s go.”
As I made my way down the stairs, the pain suddenly stopped. I mean completely. Having witnessed my struggle to get comfortable for the last three hours, my wife didn’t believe a word of my sudden miracle.
Off to the hospital we went. Me insisting that I was fine. My wife nodding and driving.
At the ER, we filled out all the paperwork after which we were taken to an exam room.
I should mention that over the 23+ year course of our marriage, I have never been in the hospital for anything other than visiting sick relatives.
A CT scan was ordered despite my continuing insistence that I was fine now. When it was over, the diagnosis from the doctor was that I had probably had a kidney stone. But something showed up on the scan that made him want to send me to a specialist.
Still feeling fine, we went to the specialist a few days later. He informed me that I could be just fine or it could be an overread from the person who looked at the scan results or it could require surgery. In other words, he didn’t know what to make of it. He decided a colonoscopy should be done next.
Now we are into September and I have to have what I considered an old person’s test done. Oddly enough, at the tender age of 58, I am considered an old person by some.
I will spare you the details of prepping for the test. Yes, drinking the prep (a combo of Miralax and Gatorade) was difficult to handle. I managed. When the test was over, the doctor informed us that he had to remove a few polyps from my colon. They sent them off for testing and scheduled another CT scan to see if there was any change from the first one.
I received the results of the polyps test in the mail. They were Adenomatous polyps which can turn cancerous in time. However, no cancer was found.
In November, I have the next CT scan and the results are the same as the first which causes my doctor to send me to another specialist. This doctor is a surgeon. Not what I was hoping to see. Having just dodged one bullet, I wasn’t sure if my luck would hold.
My appointment for a consultation was scheduled for Monday of Thanksgiving week.
Thanksgiving week hasn’t been very good over the last few years in our family. My Mom died the day after Thanksgiving several years ago and just two years ago, my Dad went into the hospital on Monday of Thanksgiving week with an illness that would claim his life 9 months later.
I was facing this with a severe amount of dread.
The Dr. was very calm and went through all the different options available to us. He suggested we wait a few months, do another CT scan and see if there was any noticeable difference in the three tests.
That test was done a week and a half ago. His office told me on Tuesday that the scan looked the same as the others and there would be no need to look any further unless I started to feel any discomfort.
Finally, seven months of worrying came to an end.
I don’t have any profound observations to make about any of this other than to say: Don’t hesitate to go to the Doctor no matter how much you hate the idea. Whatever was going on in my colon would have gone on unabated had I just went to bed that night in August when the pain let up.
I know I am lucky.
Luck, or the lack of it, plays a large role in all of our lives.
Here’s hoping you have an abundance of luck in yours.