Faith, Family, Health

4 things about turning 44 on the 4th

1) 4 just happens to be my favorite number. When I was in 4th grade (which was one of the worst school years of my life, most of which I have blocked out, except for accidentally pulling the fire alarm in the office of the Director of the Lower School), I used to soothe myself by repeating the 4 times table. Age 40 was one of the absolute best years of my life, so I hereby declare that 44 will be, too.

2) Yesterday I got the results of the CT Scan. The good news is, there’s nothing wrong with my vagus nerve. Next stop, speech therapy to try and revitalize my frozen left vocal cord. This gives me hope that by next birthday, I may actually be a songbird again, rather than a hoarse toad.

The CT scan also showed something possibly amiss with my right breast. Say anything related to “breast” and “something unusual” to a woman and watch her freak right out!! The particular phrase used was “tissue asymmetry.” When you Google that phrase you will discover that it is generally benign, but that didn’t stop me from spending the next 20 hours on the Runaway Imagination Train to Mutilated, Bald and Dead. Today I went to see my gynecologist who explained that
a) CT scans were not designed to diagnose breast problems.
b) Tissue asymmetry is sometimes something women just have (see above).
c) Last year’s mammogram was perfectly normal.
d) He doesn’t find anything suspicious on exam.
e) We’ll clear the whole thing up with a diagnostic mammogram at Big Hospital’s Radiology Department and Breast Care Center. Meanwhile, please breathe a sigh of relief because it’s highly unlikely to be anything worrisome. Which means, breathe.
Now I can enjoy the rest of my birthday, including the cake and ice cream, without feeling I’m about to be sick.

3) The most comforting thought I had all morning came when I was leafing through the hymnal and trying to finish Sunday’s bulletin (not easy when I was worrying about what the doctor would say later). I landed on the old hymn, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.” I love the refrain:
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
It was a good reminder that it’s not death I fear, and that if I really were facing something life-threatening, I would not be facing it alone.

4) The thing I really do fear is the impact illness would have on my relationships, especially with my husband and children. It’s my job to take care of everyone. It was an unusual thing when, queasy with anxiety, I realized I didn’t feel up to cooking dinner last night. What would they do? Before I knew it, #2 Son was whipping up something for himself and the Little Princess, and Pure Luck was off to the store for Ginger Ale for me. I guess they would find a way to take care of me if I really needed them to do it. And that’s a pretty nice birthday gift.

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