Thursday February 13th, 2014
Today I spent some time at Mayo Clinic. When I stepped off the elevator onto the 5th floor, I looked up to see a sign with arrows directing you to the department you may need to visit. 5 East Check In, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Pain Clinic, PM and R/PT, Psychiatry/Psychology, Sleep Medicine. I had to laugh when I realized I have been to everyone of these departments within the past 4 years. Today I am visiting the pain clinic.
My right hip and back are throbbing in pain, it is descending down my thigh to my knee and then traveling to my feet and out my toes. I'm hoping for some answers. Today is the usual stuff going on at Mayo Clinic. A lot of people walking around with no hair, or oxygen tanks, people being pushed in wheel chairs. Today I am extra sensitive for some reason, tears are bubbling up. I can't stop thinking about cancer, it has changed my life, changed the life of my loved ones. It all hit me at once today, I cried. I have been so blessed. I am a miracle. I'm looking around at these people and wondering how I can help them to believe in something good? I want to say "Go forward in faith, have HOPE, remember where you came from and where you are going" Most of the people look sad and dreary. I watched a husband and wife sitting together in the waiting area holding hands. I stared at that sweet moment, more tears flowed down my cheeks.
Suddenly I heard my name being announced, I wiped the tears from my cheeks and shook myself out of the self induced coma I was in. The assistant asked if I was OK, I smiled and said "Yes, just a little emotional today" I'm sure she was uncomfortable as she lead me into the exam room, I couldn't stop the tears from falling. She asked if I was in 'that much pain' I quickly grabbed a tissue and wiped my face. I told her "No, I'm OK" but in my head I'm thinking "really? really am I OK?" She left the room.
I've always wondered why Mayo Clinic has a nurse come in ask what medicine you are taking. I rattle them all off as she stares at the computer reading them as I say them....does anyone think that is weird? Then she looks at me and says "any other meds?" she proceeds to repeat what I just told her by reading it off my file. She leaves and the P.A. comes in, he is tall, very handsome and very young, maybe in his late 20's. Then he starts asking the same questions the nurse asked. With his handy little pen he is writing notes, then just about as cute as he could be, he pulled out his own notes. He did a routine check.... bend over touch your toes....(yeah right) lean back, walk forward, turn around....blah blah blah...... I asked if he was new, "Yes, but I know what I'm doing" I wanted to say 'whoa there tiger I'm just wondering not accusing.' Dr. cutie pie seemed nervous, he looked at me, smiled and said "They won't let me abbreviate anything here at Mayo" I smiled and said "You mean like LOL?" This lightened up the room a little, we both laughed. He leaves the room and Doctor Freeman I comes in, again asking about the medicine. It's the 3rd time I've reported my medicine list. I suppose being a teaching hospital I should expect this 'red carpet' treatment. Nothing ever gets over looked.
When I was getting my injection, Dr. Freeman was gentle but this time it hurt more than I remember.
I've never cried while getting an injection, but today I did. It didn't help any that I could see everything he was doing through the mirror in front of me. I watched him take the long nasty needle and stick it in my hip, giving it a little push and shove this way and that way to make sure the entire area was covered--I was embarrassed when I cried. Just when I thought it was over and the tears were gone, I had to turn over and get my lower back injected--I almost came off the table, now I'm really shaking in pain. He asks the P.A. "Did you see how I did that?" REALLY? I'm right here I can hear you... he said "Pull your britches up, and we can get you into the recovery room" for some reason something in my brain clicked and took me back to my youth....."Pull your britches up" My grandmother used to say when she wanted us to basically 'put on our big girl panties' and wipe the dirt off our knees, it's going to be OK.
Yes, it is going to be OK. I'm going to be OK. Tonight I just want to sleep, so much has been going on the last few nights I have not slept. I need to call upon the heavens and ask once again if the angels can calm my hurting heart and help me find some peace, go to my quiet place and sleep. I trust in His plan for me and for our family, but tonight I just need some reassurance that all is good in my little world, then I can sleep.
Today would of been my mother's birthday. Every year on this day I think about her, I say an extra prayer hoping she will have a peaceful birthday. I decided a couple of days ago that on this day in memory of her I would pay it forward, do something kind for someone and just spread happiness.
The alarm going off this morning startled me, mostly because it was 3:30 a.m. and I have not been up at this time of the morning since my medical leave 2 months ago, but also because I've been thinking about what I could do to share happiness today.
On my way to work it was a little chilly outside so I stopped at Starbucks to get a caramel apple cider, when I pulled up to the drive up window, the girl said in her perky 4 a.m. voice "Here's your caramel apple cider, oh and it's free for you" I asked why it was free, again perky as could be she says "Oh, the person in the car in front of you wanted to pay for your drink" by this time I have a puzzled look on my face.... she said "You know, like pay it forward?" Wait, what? I wanted to spread happiness today, how, why did someone beat me to it? The natural thing would have been for me to pay for the people in the car behind me, but being so shocked at the mere kindness of a stranger I said thank you and drove off. "Why didn't I pay for those people?" was my thought all the way to work, however it did make me smile and renew my faith in the world, maybe all is not lost, there is some happiness to spread.
When I got to work there were 800+ people on hold because of all the winter storms in the East. I heard grumblings of co-workers who were tired from working mandatory 12 hour overtime hours. I said to myself "No matter what happens on the phones today, I will not allow anyone to crush my dreams of a happy day." Every phone call for the next 4 hours were people stranded, trying to get home, get to a meeting, make it to a wedding or funeral. I tried my hardest to put myself in their shoes, despite their desperate cries for someone (USAirways) to take responsibility for the weather.
On my way home from work, I listened to happy music, joyful sounds of music bring back memories of my mom. I tried really hard not to break out in tears. I so wish my mother had known me as a woman. I'm smiling thinking of her finally happy now--why do so many people walk around mad, angry and resentful? Living this way takes so much energy, requires so much wasted time. Today I choose to be happy--
I can't prove in any way that laughter really is the best medicine, but I have seen many examples of people in my life who have had great results in doing this regularly. It's been a very long time since I've had a good belly laugh--I think it's about time for me to tap back into that.
I went to Paradise Bakery, bought 2 dozen cookies, went to a place where I know some people would be needing a lift today -- the chemo lab at Mayo Clinic -- I would have loved a good cookie when I was sitting in that chair watching the red dragon drain into my body. This brought much happiness for me, I loved seeing some frowns turn to smiles--
Today, I worked on not worrying about the past or the future, but just being in the moment, today I made strides towards living free, living happy.
Happy Birthday mom.