Dealing With the Diagnosis Part 2 - April 3-8

I am still trying not to think about the details of this coming Wednesday, nor allow my mind to race about things in general. This works OK during the day when there are tasks upon which to focus, but nights are tough as the mind wanders (and mine races in overdrive between crazy ideas about what to do or not do in the near term). This happens both consciously and subconsciously, as I will wake up in the middle of the night with the mind in overdrive already. I have become quite the procrastinator, and one good thing is that that is going away. For instance I took down our Christmas lights yesterday, which I normally do on New Year's Day, but the snow was too bad this year. I could have done it a month ago, though. It's April already! I also did a lot of other chores around the house. Still need to clean up inside and out, and do some other deferred stuff, but it won't happen this week. My main hobby is to ride a motorcycle, a Honda ST1300. Riding safely requires intense focus and concentration, and it makes a good hobby for my personality type. Riding actually improves my mood, outlook, and generally makes me a better person. Really. Knowing this my boss suggested several times that I take a day off and GO RIDE. I was tempted, as riding a bike would probably not be very comfortable after the surgery. But common sense and practicality prevailed, and I did chores on Saturday instead. And it's still winter/spring here in Utah, so the weather was marginal at best.

I did get some indirectly encouraging input when I asked the doctor's office to send a form to work in the event I miss more than 3 days. The surgical coordinator refused, saying that such NEVER happens, and of course I will be back to work on Monday next. What if it's bad? Well were still a month or more away from more surgery, and that's VERY rare. So the lady who deals with this on a daily basis has experienced much more positive percentages than the doc suggested, probably because he has to guard against lawsuits. So the best outcome is the most likely, though not guaranteed.

Friends and family have been really supportive. The Christians, of course, are all praying, and asking their friends and family to pray. Many churches have prayer chains, which send out email and phone alerts for things like this. So there is a veritable army of friends and strangers praying for me. It feels strange, because I have received many such emails and offered many prayers, but I have never before needed to be the beneficiary. I do appreciate it, a lot. Also many of my friends are not Christians, so they have been directing "positive energy" my direction, and I appreciate the gesture. (Think of Donald Sutherland's character Oddball in Kelly's Heroes) One of my "new age" friends made a TRULY SUPPORTIVE OFFER (readers beware - graphic content), and I was pleased to accept it.

Other friends came to the house on Monday night for dinner and a quick church meeting followed by snacks, beer and basketball. April 7 was the final game of March Madness, and it was a barn-burner with Kansas defeating Memphis in overtime. Great friends, food, fellowship, and basketball. I used the DirecTV DVR to record the game so that our meeting would not be rushed, and we were able to watch the game and skip nearly all the commercials! Someone decided sometime that church meetings should be boring and tedious, but our church has never felt a compulsion to follow that model!

St. Mark's in their efficiency had already called to get my basic info. They had also done their homework on my insurance, so that was pretty easy, too. On Tuesday they called back and asked us to report to the Outpatient Ward the next morning at 11:30, with a scheduled surgery time of 1PM. I was to have no food at all after midnight, and no water at all after 5AM. We finished dinner by 8:30, and I set my alarm for 4:30 to drink a quart of water. Bracing myself mentally did not seem to work, so I just kept busy focusing on things I could control. The oddest thing of it all is that I felt just fine, no visible blood, and no pain at all. It seemed really needless to disrupt my well-being with surgery, outpatient non-invasive surgery notwithstanding. Good thing our intellect can rein in our emotions and will on occasion...

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