Friday, September 21, 2007

Thank Dog It's Friday

And so yet another exciting Friday Muscle Watch rolls around. Behold the slow but steady return of strength and vitality:

In other news, I had hoped to make it up to Jena for the protest yesterday, but my friends from here who were going wanted to leave at 3 a.m. And with a heavy heart I had to admit that I just don't have the stamina yet for a 15 hour day of Porta-Potties. So instead I wore black (a bold decision for a person who lives with three white dogs, believe me) and followed the event on various feminist blogs and forums.

As it happened, I had a routine appointment at the oncology clinic yesterday. (This was the one where I was supposed to get the results of my August 27 CT scans--can you even imagine what a nutjob I would be by now?). When I was checking in, I noticed that all the nurses and receptionists at the onc clinic were wearing black scrubs. Even the white ones!

Three years later when I was finally called in for my pre-appointment vitals, I mentioned to the nurse taking my bp how wonderfully supportive it was that they were all wearing black in honor of Jena today. "We always wear black scrubs here in the medicine department," she said. "That's our color."

Hunh??? Surely I would have noticed at some point over the past year that the oncology nurses were all dressed in black? But they weren't, because I would have noticed such a morbid detail, especially back when I was sure I was dying. The only thing I can figure is that now I go on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays: Tuesday onc clinic is for patients with active disease, and Thursdays are for those of us who have No Active Disease, fondly referred to by staff as the NADs. (Go, NADs!) And maybe only the Thursday nurses wear black. Who knows.

Anyway, the nurse kindly pointed out that those who were supporting the Jena 6 were wearing hard to spot black ribbons pinned against against their black scrubs. So I sought those out and voiced my support.

Finally, about eleven years later, a young resident appeared, and this time I really hit the jackpot. A brand new crop has rotated in which could be bad news, as they're likely to be terribly young and nervous and inexperienced and not quite fluent in English yet. But this guy was wonderful. He came into the exam room empty handed, not burdened or distracted by my 50 pound chart, and he sat down in a chair facing me with nothing between us. He was relaxed and friendly and he actually LISTENED. He took the business of my paralyzed thumb seriously for a change. Instead of just blowing it off with some sham diagnosis, he ordered an x-ray and gave me a referral to the orthopedic clinic.

The last young resident who looked at it dismissed the swollen nodule as a lipoma, which I know damn well it isn't. (At least she ordered some blood work to check my cholesterol, which as usual came back as low as a healthy ten year old's.) But this guy had a guess that makes sense: he thinks it's almost certainly a wicked case of trigger finger, which I'd never even heard of. The description fits perfectly. He thinks it might have been caused by chemo-induced damage to the synovial sheath, the membrane lining the bone cavity that the tendon moves through. This makes much more sense to me, and is a huge relief after all these sleepless months of being thoroughly convinced that my right hand is about to be amputated.

So I'm healthy and relieved and feeling pretty darn good, and the dogs and I have a delicious weekend planned. I hope y'all do too! Since Superman's been hogging so much bandwidth lately, I'll close today with a few select shots of the ever beautiful if excessively bossy Dixie Rae.

Brave guard dog in the window.

Surveying her kingdom.

Alpha dog Dixie Rae rules the roost at our shack.


Blogger j0lt said...

Go NADs!


Is there any treatment for the new, temporary hypothesis about your finger/hand problem??

8:41 AM  
Blogger Marian said...

I had one trigger finger done and have another one now. Neither is a thumb though. The first one was done as same day surgery but I think my doc may do them in his office now. It's just a little cut for a finger I hope it's the same for a thumb.It will put a crimp in your weight lifting for a bit. I am just about tired of having my finger lock so I may be taking the plunge. A cortisone shot might help if it's not too bad but boy do they hurt.

11:56 AM  
Blogger ay-em said...

She may rule the roost, but she doesn't get much room on the couch!!!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Thalia said...

Hey, the Nads are the name of the hockey team at my alma mater, RISD. They suck very very much and were always getting trounced by Johnson & Wales' cooking school's team.

I hear since I've left they've added another sports team, a basketball team. They named them "the Balls".

5:20 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

You look so wonderful. And I'm so happy someone sat and LISTENED to you.

10:07 PM  
Blogger kristi said...

You look fantastic! I have to say, though, that black scrubs were an unfortunate choice for that ward. Black can be sexy, black can be cool ... but in a medical setting it's just a little too Grim Reaper-ish.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Kek said...

OK, I had to Google the Jena 6 to find out what it was all about (you'll have to forgive me, I live a looooooong way away!).

All I can say is: I can't believe that shit still happens in the 21st century. What is WRONG with people?

Good news all round on the medical front, though. :)

Oh, and Superman sure is cute!

7:06 AM  
Blogger Axon said...


Just a note to acknowledge how totally buff you're looking. You could *so* kick my ass...

Also, my wife Marsha wanted pass along how happy she is that you're triumphing. She's been following your saga through me, and she's sending along her best good vibes.

Her son Nick went through a cancer scare over the last few months, and while he's fine, it's been pretty stressful. So I was pointing you out as an example of cancer *survival*, and it helped. Thank you for your fierce defiance, and for prevailing.

We're big eLiz fans chez axon, let me tellya...

All the best,


12:43 AM  
Blogger miz b said...

As cute as Superman is, it's lovely to see Dixie Ray's sweet mug again!

10:42 AM  
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11:39 AM  

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