Unnecessary Parts?

During an interesting discussion recently, someone pointed out that I had pretty much been separated from most of my unnecessary bodily parts, those being tonsils, appendix, wisdom teeth, gallbladder, and uterus (after delivering two of the best kids in the world 😊).

As I recall all those events, I’m reminded of a lot of upheaval surrounding them. None were easy. All were unique experiences.

In third grade, my tonsils came out. I continually had sore throats and swollen glands so tonsilfinally the decision was made to remove those tonsils and, while they were in there, my adenoids. (What the heck is an adenoid anyway?) I remember the operating room – everyone and everything covered in green. This lady is putting something over my nose and mouth and telling me to breath and count backwards from 100. I began – 100, 99 . . . Ether took over. (Is that even legal anymore?) You remember the Bill Cosby sketch about him having his tonsils taken out? He was promised ice cream? Yep. Me too. But the throat hurt so very much, I didn’t even want to look at ice cream. It just didn’t seem fair to an eight-year old.

In ninth grade, it was my appendix. My BFF told a joke and made me laugh – the kind that one keeps laughing so much, causing one’s side to hurt. That hurt didn’t go away. A couple of days later the doctor decided to do exploratory surgery. I’m not sure it was appendixnecessary but, while looking around, they took out my appendix. I do have to admit though; the pain went away. In those days (a long, long time ago) I had stitches, temporarily held together by metal clamps. After six days in the hospital – SIX DAYS – the doctor said I was going home. He proceeded to cut off those metal clamps and told me to get up and get dressed. He and my mother went into the hall to wait. I stood up and immediately fainted. Fortunately, I landed on the bed. My roommate screamed for the doctor. This delayed my release for a few hours.

As a freshman in college, I was scheduled for wisdom teeth extraction during Spring wisdom teethBreak. This seems common at that age. Of course, mine were impacted and – again, in those days – I had an overnight stay in the hospital for the procedure. When I woke up, both corners of my mouth were slightly torn and there was a heaviness in my chest. I’m not sure but I could picture the doctor kneeling on my chest aiming pliers towards my mouth.

In my early thirties, I had a hysterectomy. This truly was the easiest – now using the laparoscopic technique.hysterectomy pic

Twelve years ago, in my mid-fifties, I began experiencing indigestion/ heartburn. This was new for me and began happening frequently, but it always went away. One day, six months after this began, I had a bout that didn’t go away. It became so bad that I was pretty sure I was having a heart attack. Instead of calling 911, I called hubby who was working 2 miles away. He came home and took me to the ER. I remember thinking – and I can visualize exactly where I was enroute – that I was ok with dying because I looked forward to being in Heaven with my Savior. But I silently prayed to God that I would not die while hubby was driving!

If you’ve ever been to an ER, you’ll remember seeing signs all over, “If you are having chest pains, inform the nurse immediately.” I did just that and was ushered in. Unfortunately, it was full so I was on a gurney in the hall of the ER. A mean old nurse, who I assume had much experience with fakers, pretty much didn’t believe me. But she did give me nitroglycerin and left to check my records. Her change of demeanor was amazing when she returned. I believe she checked and noted I had never been to an ER and had never reported chest pain anywhere. So now she believed me. But the nitro didn’t relieve my symptoms. I don’t remember all the tests that were performed but I do remember part of the heart cath. Lying there awake while watching on a screen a doctor insert something into my heart. He told me that my heart was as healthy as a teenager. (The only good news of the day).

After more tests, I was admitted. A surgeon was called and we waited and waited and waited. I was in such pain and not much was helping. At some point, I was given something to eat. When I was told the surgeons name who we were waiting for, it rang a bell. I didn’t know him personally but hubby did (from my church!) So, I told the nurse to page him again and to specifically mention my name. Sometimes it really is “who you know”! The surgeon apologetically showed up soon after. More tests were ordered and it was decided my gall bladder needed to come out. BUT because someone had given me something to eat, we needed to wait till morning. It was a very long night.

The doc determined he could probably go at it with laparoscopy which relieved me as I had experienced that with my previous surgery. I knew I’d be home in a day or two.

As it turned out, yes it was done laparoscopically but I did not go home anytime soon.

I still had major pain and more tests were ordered.kidney 2

The ER we went to was picked because my doctor was connected to that hospital. However, I found out she did not make hospital calls. She had a co-worker do that. One who I had never met. AND my surgeon went on a scheduled vacation the very next day after surgery. His partner was now on duty.

AND they disagreed. One thought I had developed pneumonia. The other said no.
I was in the hospital for SIX days!!!

I went home still in pain and was to see the original surgeon in 10 days. That dang pain finally subsided by then. We never really knew the cause.
That was twelve years ago – still way too vivid in my memory.

At least it’s always a good reason for new pjs and a bathrobe! 😊

Up next? er Out next?

A kidney.

Prayers greatly appreciated.

To be continued . . .

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

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That Dreaded MRI

The fact that I was informed that this time I couldn’t have an open MRI just confounded the issue. The open one was a challenge for me and my claustrophobia, but a closed one? Well, I’d never be ready. But there was no other option.

mriThe day of, I had been given a valium and instructed to take it one hour before the procedure. I did as instructed and arrived 45 minutes early (also as directed) to fill out the obligatory paperwork. I then sat down to wait, hoping the valium would be working any minute.

Not 5 minutes later I was called in. Hoping there would be about another 30 minutes of prep, I followed. Oh no, they were running ahead of schedule and were ready for me. That tightness in my chest I’m too familiar with commenced as I explained I needed to wait another 30 minutes for the valium to kick in.

The two attendants were kind as one told me usually valium works within 30 minutes. I was doubtful. The gals gave me a trial run through. As I lay on the table/bed, they slid me in. I lasted 2 seconds. They slid me out and we waited 5 minutes or so. As they hooked up my IV and offered music, I was pleasantly surprised. The other MRI at another facility didn’t have the capability of using music. Immediately I was listening to Laura Story singing ‘Blessings’. Quite appropriate for the occasion. headphones

The techs, thinking surely, I must be ready now, handed me the ‘panic button’(for emergencies only) and slid me in. Within 5 seconds, I panicked and hit that button. They pulled me out. “Please,” I begged sheepishly, “Give me 10 more minutes.” I knew by then the hour would be up and was hoping I had grown a backbone by then. The gals had no choice but to agree and left me to my own thoughts (and prayers.)

Of course, I came up with another delay as they returned. “It’s not critical,” I began. “But would it be too much of a deal for me to go to the bathroom first?” I was serious because there was this thing, part of the MRI, that had been resting on my stomach and I knew I’d have another problem if not taken care of.

I returned from the bathroom with a new attitude, no doubt partly from the valium finely taking effect, but also prayers – my own as well as family and friends who knew what a wuss I was. 😊

“Let’s get this done!” I said with a new feeling of confidence. Having already been told the test would last approximately 35 minutes, I calculated each song would last about 3.5 minutes = 10 songs. As they slid me in once again, I began counting on my fingers each song as it finished.

At nine songs, all was completed.

Piece of cake! 😊
panic verse

CHECK UP/CHECK IN/CHECK OUT

ImageI had that dreaded annual physical today.  You know the one: height, weight, blood stuff, pushing, probing, poking, until you want to pee!  And then they hand you a pee cup.  Only now it’s doubly annoying and insulting.  I’m on Medicare!

I forgot about this from last year.  (That was my first Medicare-eligible physical).  After copies are made of that brand spanking new insurance card, I’m handed a three-page questionnaire to fill out.  THREE PAGES!  What the heck.  It’s got all these yes/no questions about moods, memory, feelings, and on and on.  When it gets to the questions about handrails and throw rugs, I want to throw up!  I had walked in feeling pretty good.  I felt as if I should be leaving on a walker.

Ok, so it’s a generic form for Medicare patients.  But maybe there could be a little bit more thought given to the selection process.  For instance, everyone but ME should have to fill it out.  I honestly felt I was filling it out for my 91 year old mother!

Then again, maybe I’m in denial.  I do walk a little slower; asking folks to repeat themselves more often; pounds are creeping on; I’m forgetting stuff.  Ok, maybe a little denial.

Feeling a little depleted, a little depressed, and a little older after my physical, I thought I needed to go to the Source for a pick-me-up.  The Creator of this body, that is.  Wondering about all the Bible had to say on the topic, I was greatly encouraged.  Here’s a taste:

Proverbs 16:31

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

Job 12:12 

Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and save.

Psalm 92:14

They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.

Titus 2:2

Older men (and women) are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

Proverbs 20:29

The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

Genesis 6:3 

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh:  his days shall be 120 years.”

Job 11:17

and your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.

Ecclesiastes 7:10

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”  For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.

Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:29 

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Proverbs  17:6   

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I’m pretty sure I’m not quite over that proverbial hill yet. But if I am, I’m looking forward to the “other side.”

The bottom line is that I passed my physical.  Basically.  Not with flying colors, not an A+, not without some discussion on tweaking meds and exercise and more fruits and veggies.  But what do you expect for someone on Medicare!