Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What are the chances?

When I was 16, I had my tonsils and adenoids out. I had to spend the night in the hospital for observation because I bled too much during the surgery, according to the doctor. A week later, I sneezed in the middle of the night and burst something, which caused me to hemorrhage through the back of my nose. I spent 4 days in the hospital. That sort of shit never happens from a routine tonsillectomy.

When I had my second son, I felt something "funny," and called the nurse. It turned out to be a prolapsed chord (click here for the full story on that adventure), which is really, really serious and "never happens." In fact, during my whole recovery in the hospital and even when I went back for my follow-ups, several nurses, doctors, and interns greeted me gleefully with "ooooh, you're the prolapsed chord!"

This past Friday, I went in for an endoscopy and Bravo probe test, a procedure that should have taken 15 minutes and one my doctor has performed "hundreds of times" without any issues at all. But this is me, and at this point, you should be noticing a pattern. The first probe (a tiny device they implant in your esophagus to measure for reflux disease) was faulty. Hmmm. That never happens. They try with a second probe. It, too, is faulty and does not latch onto my esophagus. "Must be a bad batch," figures the doctor, which he says has never, ever happened, and proceeds to pull the second one out. Upon its exit, the little shit decides to fall into my throat (the capsule, not the doctor), and lodge itself behind my sinus cavity. Now, this really never happens. Afraid it will slip into my trachea and go into my lungs (something "of concern," as the doctor explained later), my gastro now has to call in an ER ENT and put me under general anesthesia (as opposed to just the lovely dose of Michael Jackson drugs they had used to lull me to sleep) and use special tools to free this damned tiny capsule that is supposed to be oh-so-easy-and-effective-and-is-really-a-nothing-sort-of-test-but-yields-such-great-results.

Bottom line? I am that 1%. You know, when doctors say "sign here because here is the fine print of what could happen, but never does"? Yep. Me. Not always. But 3 out of 4 of my surgical procedures have yielded these amazingly fluke-y results.

I came home from the hospital Friday a little pissed off. I had been waiting to have this test done for weeks now, and had been looking forward to getting it all over with. I had expected to be at work all afternoon and, other than having to carry around a little device to monitor the levels of acidity from the implanted capsule, I should have been no worse for the wear. Instead, I could barely chew, I had blood clots coming out in my tissues, and swallowing felt like I had glass embedded in the back of my throat.

And, I admit, I have a propensity for all things pessimistic. Not always. But often. I have been known to go down the path of doom and despair and throw myself quite the pity party.

And, on top of all of this, I have had a rough few months. (I always feel the need to pop in the disclaimer here that "it could be worse"....that "I am grateful it hasn't been anything serious"...that I have just had "some minor medical annoyances," lest I tempt fate because I really, really do know that what I have been going through for a few months is, really, in the grand scheme of things nothing. But all that said, I have felt, pretty much, like shit in one way or another for the last few months.)

But despite all of this, for some odd, unexplainable reason, I didn't feel that bad Friday after all of this. Mentally, I mean. I just sorta shrugged my shoulders and chuckled at it all. I figured it could have been a lot worse, and I was home and was okay. The doctor said he'd make sure I would not be billed for the procedure (which was going to be almost 2K out of pocket because of this oh-so-special-probe-capsule-thing), and that the endoscopy showed nothing serious. I had been symptom-free for a few days, and perhaps with the results of the endoscopy alone, I would be able to resolve the whole problem. And as if that attitude wasn't enough to surprise me, I was also like: "Well, being that 1% sometimes is a good thing, because all sorts of amazing things have happened to me in my life that, statistically, probably never really should have."

What?!? Who said that? Was that really, truly me looking at the silver lining, without even being reminded to do so? That never happens...

But it's true...I immediately thought of all those times I've had the same reaction ("I can't believe that happened!") to good stuff...

Like ending up living in the very house where I took my very first picture with Hubby...the same house I slept in one night when I was running away from my old life, in the very room that now, 12 years later, belongs to my son.

Like after spending 4 years and all of our money (and some we didn't have) on fixing up said dream house, and feeling like maybe we had bitten off more than we could chew...cause really, how are we ever going to get it all done?...and what are we going to do about the thousands of dollars of work that still needed to be done to the outside?...after giving everything up for this place and thinking maybe we had been nuts all along and looking for a sign that we did, in the end, do the right thing...we got selected out of  "hundreds and hundreds" of applicants who tried to get their front yards made over for the DIY Network TV show "Desperate Landscapes."

Like I walked out on a terrible marriage, despite what everyone around me thought and advised, and not only lived to tell about it, but truly ended up with my happily-ever-after.

Like the second time around I married someone who truly turned out to be my Soulmate (I know how a lot of you feel about that term; if it makes you feel all uncomfortable and cynical-like, feel free to plug in any other appropriate term there instead, such as "great provider," "best friend," "Mr. Right," whatever, just as long as you get the gist).

Like that crazy, terrible 1% chance thing that happened with Aidan's delivery? Well, there is even a smaller chance that babies who are born with a prolapsed chord suffer absolutely no trauma or injury...and he never so much as missed a breath.

Really, what are the chances of any of those things happening? So sometimes, being in that crazy-minority-percentage-of-that-never-happens is a really, really good thing.

I am so damn tired of being negative, of expecting the worst, of worrying and waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was as if it took more energy to be pissed, depressed, and worried about what had happened, than to just accept that it did, look for the good, and move on.

I know: obvious for some of you.

Completely earth-shattering for me.

So maybe, just maybe, I'm evolving...? Learning?

And really, what are the chances of that?


  1. All that medical stuff really sucks, but this was a great post, and I want you to know I am going to try and follow your lead and evolve a little =D

  2. Amen sister! I have had enough of "that crap only happens to you" in a bad way. Ano nuevo, vida nueva...and all that jazz.

    Sorry to hear about the mishaps, but totally understand about being that damn 1%. In the good and the bad. Can't wait to see what the producers have cooked up for you guys!

  3. I *know* it takes a lot more energy to be negative rather than positive and yet....lately? It's kinda hard.

    I'm glad to hear that the test came back positive (eventually) and I'm glad to hear that you are embracing the positives - maybe you can be my inspiration to turn around my attitude.

  4. i think you're pretty fucking lucky if you ask me.
    glad to know you're ok although i loved anorexic liz.


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