We’re Not Bad People

/ posted in: Family

I’ve been AWOL this week because the husband has been stressing me out.

To recap:

Sometime in June he pulled a pectoral muscle.  When it didn’t heal well he went to the doctor who did an xray.  All the lymph nodes in his thorax were huge.  He was treated for kidney cancer last year.  Renal tumors that spread to the lungs are basically a death sentence.  I freaked out.

He had a PET scan.  It didn’t look cancerous.  He had a biopsy.  They didn’t find any cancer.  They didn’t know what it was.  During all this time, he is not sick at all.

About a week after the biopsy he spiked a fever and started coughing.  That was this night.  It didn’t get better.  He kept going to doctors who told him to quit being a weenie and tough out his cold.  One did an xray and saw nothing but the weird lymph node enlargement.

Last Friday he went to the ER at the Cleveland Clinic.  He literally could not stop coughing.  They kept him for 24 hours to give him breathing treatments for his ‘bronchitis’.  He didn’t stop coughing so they did a CT scan and found a 6 cm lung mass.

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We said that he had had several xrays, CT scans, and a PET scan in the last month at multiple facilities and no one had seen a lung mass. They especially hadn’t seen a huge lung mass. Of course it was now Saturday night. All his scans were at the VA hospital and they don’t work weekends. We had their reports that didn’t mention anything about a mass but the new doctors wanted to see these multiple pictures of his lungs with no mass with their own eyeballs before they truly believed. If it wasn’t there a few weeks ago then it was probably an infection and not cancerous.

Despite this being the 21st century, no one sends digital scans electronically so it was decided that I would present myself to the VA on Monday morning and beg for a CD to be made of all his scans. If I could get it then I would deliver it to the new hospital so they could make a plan.

I arrived at the VA hospital promptly at 8 AM Monday morning. I had until 10 AM to get this, drive to the new hospital, drop it off, and leave for work. I was ready to fight if I had to. They aren’t known for their cooperation. I had multiple signed releases from the husband.

I told the receptionist what I needed. She asked for his name. Then she asked for the last four of his social security number. I looked down at the paper and read it off to her. She looked at me.

“You don’t know your husband’s social security number?”
I don’t know why I said this other than sometimes my sarcasm overflows but I answered, “No, but I know the last husband’s in case I never need to use that information against him.”
She perked up. “You’re divorced?”
“Yes.”
“You’re not a bad person! No, ma’am! I’m divorced too. We’re not bad people!”
“Nope!”
“How long were you married the first time?”
“10 years”
“How long this time?”
“Together 9 years but married for 5.”
“This husband is a better husband than the first one?”
“Yes.”
“And he’s in the hospital now? I’mma get you some pictures. You just have a seat, baby.”

I sat down. Then she remembered that she needed to see my id because some people can’t be trusted. “Not you of course because you’re lovely…”

She got the disk printed and then we reminded each other a few more times that we weren’t bad people.

I don’t know what that poor woman has been through but apparently she has seen some shit.

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Anyway, I left my new BFF with my precious disk in hand at 8:22.  I should send her some flowers.


For the record, there was no mass on any of those scans.  That was only the beginning of the nonsense of this week.  I’ll write more later.