Thursday, June 11, 2009

Medical Misadventures

It's been almost a month. I am, hands down, the shittiest blogger in the blogosphere, but I can live with that. Let me break down the last few months for you and then get into the meaning behind the title.

First of all: the magazine is done. I can't say I'm totally thrilled with my work, but I hear that's a common problem with writers. And dude, mediocre actors often say they can't stand to see their own movies, so I guess I kind of know what they're going through now. Here's a link if you'd like to see it. Juderonomy, I have a hard copy for you. It makes for awesome bathroom reading.

So, with all the stress of the magazine out of the way, I was able to fully enjoy a week of shameless, pasty Midwestern boozing on the beach with my Grecian homegirls in Puerto Rico for Nobility's bachelorette party. I may or may not be posting pictures, we shall see. But I will say that we averaged two hours of sleep a night, still got some color, despite the fact that it was PR's rainy season and had the best time EVER. Oh, and I gave up my seat on my flight home and earned myself a sweet free round trip voucher anywhere in the continental US. Where to go, where to go? So exciting.

All that is just lovely. But do you know what sucks? My bestie, my boss, my heterosexual life partner, Slippy, has recently received some disturbing news. She has a watermelon sized ovarian mass that must be removed. She has given me permission to chronicle her experiences and I have appointed myself her chauffeur, secretary and clown. I am one Burberry knicker/vest set and umbrella away from calling myself Farnsworth Bentley.

Since everyone knows going to the doctor is boring at best and nerve-wracking at worst, I have insisted on accompanying her to her every appointment, and she, in her infinite wisdom, decided not to fight me on it.

Of course, the one appointment I did not drive her to, the one appointment where she sat alone, is the one where her doctor referred her to an oncologist. I still want to kick my own ass for not being there with her and have vowed to never let her go to another appointment alone. Ever. So, she had to face the scariest POSSIBLE news alone (cancer has NEVER been confirmed, just treated as a possibility that must be taken seriously), but we learned our lesson from that. I'm her self-appointed sidekick. Why does the fearless and independent Slippy need someone to accompany her to even the most routine visits?

It's no fun to drive through flooded parking lots unless your driver says, "Wow, sure did rain a lot," and then blasts through a small lake with her window open, soaking said driver thoroughly. It's no fun sitting in waiting rooms without someone to gripe, "I've already SEEN this episode of Ellen!"

It's no fun to go to pre-admission appointments without someone who looks and smells like she may have escaped from in-patient rehab and tells the doctors and nurses she's your attorney. It's especially no fun to drive to appointments by yourself when your intrepid "legal counsel" can take you there in the '96 Bronco, AKA, the Bronculance.

We have toured medical facilities from Kankakee to Joliet to Maywood. We have enjoyed food porn after receiving good news and bad. We have witnessed dogs shitting, interns stuttering and twenty-foot injuns wearing spectacles.

My sweet and brave Slippy.

All jokes aside, Slippy has been such a trouper. From the first ultrasound, when she realized that this wasn't just some silly little fibroid, to the most recent pre-admission appointments for her surgery at Loyola, which is to be performed by the the best surgeon the hospital has to offer, she's been responsible about informing herself, getting the best care possible, strategically planning her time off from work and keeping her sense of humor.

It is scary. There is no way around that. But I sat with her when she met with her doctors, who happens to be the director of female reproductive oncology. He's such a bad ass that she's been asked: How did you get HIM? His attitude toward the results of her enormous battery of tests and scans was positive. He has no reason to believe that the mass is malignant, sees no sign of spread if it is, and has every reason to believe that she's going to come out of her surgery better than ever.

Which is, of course, exactly what is going to happen.

In the meantime, Slippy still has to hold her boss' hand while he acts like a babyhead, wrangle her wayward staff and devise a plan for her recovery that will allow her some rest and relaxation rather than more hand-holding and staff-wrangling. Me? I'm just looking for opportunities to help her out, make her laugh and do whatever I can to make a stressful and scary time as easy for her as possible.

So, basically, blogging takes a major league backseat, kids. I'm sure you understand. But stay tuned for more Medical Misadventures. Slippy and I know how to take a bullshit deal and turn it into a journey of discovery and comedy. We hope you will join us.

I love you, Slippy!


Mitchell said...

I hope everything works out for the best.

She's lucky to have you for support.

Nora said...

Thanks, Mitchell. Fortunately Slippy has all kinds of people to give her love and support right now. But nobody has the shameless approach to the old saw "laughter is the best medicine" like I do. That's what I bring to the table. Poor girl...

Sherry said...

It is frightening to be shuffled from doctor to doctor while they are trying to find the right treatment for your condition. I've been in that situation myself a few times. If it wasn't for the support from my family and friends, I would have lost my mind. She is very lucky to have someone like you to keep some humor in the situation. Best of luck to her!

Jude said...

Nora is Nurse Ratchet on meth when it comes to her people!! I've seen her in action,she is a commando the likes that the Navy Seals would love to have in their ranks!!! Slippy is in the best of hands.I know this from personal experiance...OOH-rah...Nora

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to Slippy. What a fortunate soul to have you in her corner and you know I mean that (and why).

B/t/w, the lawyer gag reminded me of
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Keep making with the laughter, kiddo.

Until next time,
Jim "Travelin' Man" Duley

Ratherto said...

You are a true and good friend, Nora. I know for a fact that Slippy couldn't have gotten through this without you. We are all lucky to have a friend like you. You are made of 60% Heart, 35% Awesome, and 5% alcohol. (I couldn't be completely serious. I was starting to taste vomit.) But you know I mean what i say. Love Ya!

Nora said...

That's awesome, Ratherto. So apt! Thank you. But let's remember that Slippy had tons of support. I was just the pushy broad who insisted on being her Farnsworth Bentley!