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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Permission to whine...

It's been a long year.

This is gonna be a whiny post, I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong, Dagmar and I both feel profoundly privileged in many ways -- we can afford food and shelter, we live in a fantastic nation, we have good family and friends, we have a LOT to be thankful for and we know it.

But still...

The first thing that happened was that I decided to get fixed so Dagmar and I could do the whoopty-thing without worries. For so many years she'd battled ovarian cysts and various goofy infections that it seemed a good thing to do.

Little did I expect that I would be the one in a hundred that ends up with a swollen... um, well, when I woke up my right one was about the size of one of those dried gourds you see in stores sometimes. Anyway, what was supposed to be a minor financial burden and a day off work ended up being a substantial problem as I ended up being off work for nearly a week with my swollen and painful... um... pride.

A few months later Dagmar found a doctor that would do the operation she's been needing (a full hysterectomy, but a complicated one due to scar tissue from previous surgeries -- we couldn't find a doctor who would do it) for the past four or five years. Fantastic! We planned ahead, scheduled her vacation, I grabbed as much freelance work as I could on top of my day job, we planned it down to the penny. And it worked! Dagmar's operation was a success and our money lasted exactly as long as we needed it to last. By the time Dagmar went back to work we had no savings or vacation time left, but we were healthy!

That's about the time I quit my day job and started freelancing full-time. I'd been making more money "on the side" than at my job, so it seemed a good move. Until two days later when our neighbors broke our sewer line and the city threatened to tear our house down if we didn't get it fixed right away. ("You'd better move on this fast, like this afternoon," the guy told me on the phone, "or I'll be forced to red-tag your house.") At first they were talking eight to ten thousand dollars to do the job, but we found a contractor who did it for four thousand, and Dagmar's mother let us live in her basement while the work was being done. We're very grateful for that! But I was still in the awkward position of standing in front of the banker, hat in hand, begging for money while admitting that yes, I'm technically unemployed at the moment...

The week we moved back into our house Dagmar started taking ill again. A different kind of sickness, a general malaise...

A few days ago she finally went to the doctor. They did some tests. The doctor sent her straight to the hospital for some more tests. They did x-rays, MRI's, bloodwork, the whole schmear. "I'm sorry," the radiologist told Dagmar, "I hate to tell you this, but you have a cyst the size of an orange on your left ovary."

"Um, I don't have a left ovary," Dagmar said. "I had a hysterectomy tree months ago, und dey took my left vun five years ago."

There was dead silence, followed by a very small "uh oh."

So Dagmar has a growth. Well, sh*t. For a day we prayed, planned, worried, fretted, panicked, and cried. Then the doctor called again. "We think it's just a blood clot from your last operation," he said. "It should go away by itself."

Oh thank God!

But why is she still sick? Why has she been ill since about a month after her last operation? Is this blood clot making her ill? What gives?

A second doctor told us that he agrees with our family practitioner, that the growth is a blood clot. But he said to Dagmar, "You know, it looks like you never did heal properly from your last operation. It seems like your abdominal wall didn't close properly, and a loop of intestine has slipped through... You'll need to get that fixed as soon as you can. I'm surprised you're not feeling worse than you are. This needs to be taken care of surgically as soon as possible..."

So that's what we're looking at. They say it's not such an invasive procedure, but it's still a surgical procedure with all the inherent risks and costs. We're hoping to get it done by the end of the year so we can ride our deductible, otherwise we'll never be able to afford it...

And, oddly enough, the results of my sleep study a few weeks ago? Deviated septum. "You'll need to get that nose of yours operated on..." I was hoping to get that done this December as well, but with this new wrinkle in Dagmar's situation I'm going to keep on being a mouth-breather for another year or so until we can afford it. I can live with breathing through my mouth and snoring a lot; Dagmar can't live with a loop of bowel poking through her abdominal wall...

So anyway, as I said in the beginning of this post, we both feel VERY grateful for a lot of things. We have good friends, a roof over our heads... But golly things have been difficult the last year. They certainly could have been worse! Don't get me wrong. But sometimes it just seems like one thing after another without stop.

9 Comments:

Blogger SkylersDad said...

Damn my friend! You need a break, something to go your way for once.

Wishing you all the good fortune you deserve...

6:52 PM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

My God, guys.

Yeah... they (whoever the hell "they" are) say: God doesn't close one door without opening another... but it's hell in the hallway.

You have to be emotionally exhausted... spiritually exhausted... physically exhausted.

I am inspired and impressed by your ability to see the good and accept the not so good for what it is... to continue to carry on... and I am thankful you have eachother.

Just so ya know: you're both on my daily "blessings" list in prayer and you will stay there (of course)... but I think I'm gonna move ya up a few notches.

If there is anything in this world that I can do for you, and I find out you didn't ask, I'll fix that septum for you. *wink*

I love you both. I truly do.

10:25 PM  
Blogger pistols at dawn said...

This is an amazing streak of bad luck for the two of you, and if my degenerate gambling has taught me anything, it's that usually a good streak is on the other end of this. Here's hoping that streak starts real soon.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

You're the least whiny whiner I've ever read Chris but I hope the bad luck turns to gold soon.

3:22 PM  
Blogger soul pumpkin said...

...allow me to add my wellest of wishes to ye and Dagmar...there's a line in one of our songs that Tom got from his dad "...life is not what you achieve, but what you overcome."

...like Pixie, i admire your choice to accentuate the positive, as the old song goes...

peace, my brother...

6:52 PM  
Blogger Bluzlover said...

Life can be cruel. I believe that we are never confronted with more than we are able to handle. Your positive outlook and goodwill towards others will bring you both good health and happiness. Peace

9:55 AM  
Blogger steakbellie said...

Think how great next year will be in comparison? Hell, After January 20th we'll have something to really celebrate!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

I think it's times like these we see what people are really made of, and you and Dagmar have proved (every step of the way) you're made of the right (and strong) stuff. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers, and the two of you keep fighting the good fight. Your day is coming. You're working too hard for it not to.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I admire both of you - I don't think I'm anywhere near as tough and resilient. You're having a lot of bad breaks but tough people usually make it through.

Of course national health care would make all the difference, but you know that.

8:24 AM  

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