Known Johnson

February 18, 2008

No grand entrance today

Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:08 pm

Every week that I have a three-day weekend, I come away thinking that this is how it’s meant to be, that humans are not meant to spend five full days in a row cooped up in tiny gray boxes and sitting in uncomfortable, ugly chairs, because two-day weekends are too short to get anything done and spend any meaningful time with your family. But three day weekends, those feel like something significant, and I don’t think it’s just because it’s something out of the ordinary. I honestly think that four day work weeks would really improve everybody’s lives.

President’s day got off with a bang, of sorts, if you consider getting my truck in to Honda at 8 am to get the CV boot replaced a “bang.” Amanda and I dropped Alissa off at work and then it was back home for whatever the day may bring. And that was quick to be discovered – a call from my foot doctor with what I’d been anxiously awaiting the other day. When I visited for a follow-up the other day, my doctor found herself perplexed as to why my feet are continuing to display the same soreness and problems that I came in with and, after some discussion, with a very concerned look on her face, she pronounced that “We need to look a little further into this. You’re showing some signs of rheumatoid arthritis and we need to get some blood work done to hopefully discount that before we go on.” Rheumatoid arthritis – RA – ? Jesus. That’s some serious, bad stuff, and she had grown completely serious when delivering this information, which, while designed to come across as casual as possible, simply results in making things seem worse because it is delivered in such a different way than their usual talk. So I offered my arm at the lab next door, and they were good – no bruise, hardly felt it at all – and expected to wait a week or so to hear anything. And then I got on the internet and freaked myself the hell out.

Imagine my surprise when I got home after work on Valentine’s day and found a message from the doctor’s office with my results – a mere day later. My luck, however, is not that great, and so I found out that I got home shortly after they had closed for the day. I tried to put it all aside and ignore why she made a point to say that she wouldn’t deliver the results over the phone. My natural tendency is to assume the worst and I fought it hard. Alissa temporarily convinced me that it’s just her policy, good or bad, and I shouldn’t worry about it. After all, I could call in the morning and get the news, right?

Well, as it turns out the doctor is always in surgery on Fridays and her assistant is off on Fridays, and only the nurses are sometimes available but usually don’t deliver that kind of information . . . so, no, I couldn’t just call on Friday, and I’d have to wait until Monday, wait all weekend to find out of I had some awful, incurable, crippling disease that would slowly rob me of nearly every ability that I have besides seeing, talking, and listening.

And, so, this morning, having spent the weekend somehow successfully warding off terrible thoughts, I kept in the back of my mind that at some point I was going to hear from them, or I was going to have to call myself. Like every bad experience I’ve ever had – public speaking, tests, etc. – it’s always been best to get it over with early and quickly, and before I could even act, my phone rang with the results. Safe – clear – negative. Healthy, at least in a relative sense.

And, really, it makes sense. I show no other signs of this terrible disease. Things like this don’t creep up on you, and that’s the way it is with most terrible diseases and syndromes. When the body is having problems, it lets you know in a big, spectacular way. When my gall bladder had stones, it didn’t meekly announce itself, it stabbed me with intense, horrible pain. It’s pretty rare that a really awful, huge disease doesn’t make a grand, boisterous entrance.

As my doctor said, I’ve got bad feet – very bad feet – and getting them straightened out is probably out of the question. That’s actually the problem – they are straight. Perfectly straight and flat, so much so that it’s a rarity even for her, a foot doctor. I guess it’s a good thing she’s ruling out the really bad stuff, but it’s not exactly pleasant to deal with the possibilities of “what if” while waiting for answers. For now, I’ll look at it this way: we got the worst out of the way now, as far as I can tell. Anything else is probably going to be much easier to deal with than RA. So bring it on, if need be.


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