Infections, Dog Attacks, and Tumors: My Very Bad, Horrible, No Good Week
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who was healthy, fit, and active. I’ve never had any major health problems and thought that my life style played a big part in that. I eat well (for the most part), I drink obscene amounts of water every day, and I work out on average 4 times a week, more if I can find the time. I also spend just about the entire day running after 4 kids, so they help keep my energy up, even if they also deplete it. Their constant and infectious giggles keep an almost permanent smile on my face. Happiness is the key to living a healthy life (in my opinion), so I felt like I was in a good place.
I’m also a spiritual person and believe that karma is continually doling out justice, good and bad. If I find money in the street, I believe that it’s because I was kind to a stray dog a few days before, or because I just gave food to a homeless person. I’ve always felt that you reap what you sow, and that if you are a good and kind person, then you will receive blessings and be blessed.
Ultimately, I believe in God and trust that my God will never steer me wrong and will never give me more than I can handle. I do understand that no one is blessed with a perfect life, whatever that means, but that we must navigate this world the best we can, dealing with adversity and pain along the way. It’s the way of the world and I accept it. We receive blessings but we also must deal with pain. My life has been filled with blessings, but also with pain. Among other hardships, I lost my father as a teenager so I know pain, but I have been blessed with an amazing family of my own, which includes 4 beautiful children and a loving husband, so I know love, and hope, and happiness.
I say all that to say that I’ve had a shitty week and I’m trying to put things in perspective.
An infection in the only tooth I’ve ever had a root canal in has come back so many times in the past few months that I was told that I would have to have the tooth pulled once the infection has cleared up. For someone who is deathly afraid of needles, and for whom novocaine doesn’t work 9 times out of 10, this is bad news. The only tooth I’ve ever had pulled was an infected wisdom tooth, and that was done under anesthesia since the novocaine didn’t take and I could feel every movement and tug. Here they don’t have gas and will only use novocaine, so I’ve started mentally preparing. This was Wednesday.
Then, after being without my husband for 7 days, he returned. Understanding that being alone with a circus of kids for so long is tough, he surprises me with an early morning massage appointment, which really is the key to my happiness. Unfortunately for me, while walking to the massage appointment I was viciously attacked by 3 dogs who bit me multiple times in both legs and left me with painful and swollen wounds. So far I’ve had to get two rabies shots, a tetanus shot, and I’m forced to take a 7 day round of antibiotics. It remains to be seen what will happen at this point, but apparently the dogs are violent, aggressive dogs who have attacked between 10 and 20 other people depending on who you talk to, so unless the police follow up on the dogs vaccinations, I will have to get 4 additional shots. Remember, I’m deathly afraid of needles. I generally consider myself a strong person, but needles and bees are my breaking point. My achilles heel if you will. I managed to have two 10 pound children with no drugs, but I cried. . . . no, sobbed. . . . when I was getting these shots. This was Friday.
On Saturday the trifecta was complete with the knowledge that I will have to undergo abominable surgery due to what I’ve learned is abdominal wall endometriosis just under my c-section scar. It basically amounts to a benign tumor caused by the c-section itself. I guess I should be happy because we al know that anything malignant is bad and benign is good, but really, why can’t the powers that be just lay off me for a while. Let me heal from one thing before I have to start contemplating the ramifications of another.
This lump, or nodule as they call it here, is so rare that the incident rate is only 0.4 to 0.1 percent, yet it didn’t have the decency to pass me by!
The only positive I see right now, is the knowledge that I played a part in the diagnosis. They do say that lawyers think they know it all, which I don’t believe, but I sure do believe in googling every damn thing. Whether it’s to win a disagreement with my husband, or to diagnose a weird rash on one of my kids, I am a faithful and dedicated google-er. So when I felt a new and painful lump above my c-section scar I told hubby that we needed to see the doctor, but I immediately thought this is what it was after hours of research. There were so many women telling their stories of being mis-diagnosed, where the doctors told them it was scar tissue or a hernia because it is so rare. They spoke of how it took years of pain before they were properly diagnosed and able to have the surgery, which is the only successful course of treatment.
Armed with this information, we went to the team doctor who said it was a swollen lymph node, but I know my body and knew that wasn’t the case. He referred me to a gastroenterologist who said it was probably a hernia, which could have been the case since the symptoms are similar. He ultimately sent me for a sonogram where the doctor could immediately see that it was in fact what I thought it was. He also confirmed that the only treatment is to have it surgically removed. I remember the pain of both of my c-sections, and since they will have to open up the same scar I am fearful. I am fearful of surgery in general, but I am also fearful of surgery in a foreign country. I am also fearful because the last surgery performed on a family member here in Argentina resulted in the death of my beloved dog Bella, who died the very next day. So not feeling so great right now.
So that was Saturday, and it was the same day my hubby left for another 5 day road trip, so it’s just not been the best week.
But I’m generally a pretty optimistic person so I’m trying to focus on the positive:
- My tooth is not so infected that it requires immediate and emergency surgery.
- The dogs who attacked me may very well be rabid, but the fact that the police, ambulance, and health officials dealing with my attack were very professional and knowledgable about what I needed, so I just may avoid becoming rabid myself!
- Although I do need surgery, I didn’t have to spend years in search of an accurate diagnosis as many other women have. There are also women with lumps who are being diagnosed with cancer and other horrible diseases, so to find out that mine is benign is a blessing in itself.
So really I just need my man to come back and make me laugh, I need my kids to continue making me laugh, and I need to have faith that everything will be ok. Maybe a week is just a week and next week will be better???