Saturday, March 7, 2015

The bad news birthday

That inner voice that was so confident in blogging, teaching, and living all this years is silent today. In February a routine checkup turned into a much longer series of appointments and each week this mental haze grew stronger. When I try to focus on something now it's like attempting to drive in heavy fog.

It's kind of funny- last week, when I still thought waiting things out was more of an option, it was time to celebrate the annual trifecta of family birthdays and... we went to a hospital. This isn't as weird as it sounds. The hospital doubles as a tourist attraction, since it's up on a hillside and is accessible via a giant tram car.

View from the tram.
City overlook.
Disappointingly, this turned out to not be a Borg cube after all.
Lots of comfy places like this inside.
Skybridge with a killer view.

A few days later, I went to a much less fancy hospital in the suburbs to get the results of some tests. The first doctor had been really non-committal, saying only that she didn't suspect the scary C-word. (What am I, 9 years old? Just say cancer.)

The second doctor thought the same, thank God, but followed that up with the news that surgery would be needed and she suspects a disease called endometriosis. Worse, she calmly and slowly explained that my ability to have children is now in question. Talk about a blow to the heart!

I don't think this is necessarily catastrophic news- the best case scenario is a quick operation, a bit of healing, and everything is fine, no worries. It just caught me so out of the blue though, that my mind is still a couple weeks behind in processing. I've never had anything throw off my teaching before: riots, power outages, wardrobe malfunctions, food poisoning... the show always went on, but not so much this time. I'm misspelling simple words, losing papers, frowning, running late. And falling asleep at night, ugh. Exactly like this. And blogging has been something I just wasn't sure I could do.

In reflection, there are so many darker possibilities out there that this seems quite mundane in comparison. I really, really feel for people in those situations. This sucks but I just need to be present and focus on healthy living, not get caught up in the worry.

D was rocked by this news too, though he wants to use it as a catalyst for positive change. Our sugar consumption is now under attack: no more sweet teas, midnight cereal, chocolate, or post-work trips to the frozen yogurt place. Amazingly I've not had any cravings. My birthday involved not cake but pizza and flowers- who can complain about that? : )

Except for this one box of tasty sweets that flew under the radar. No human can resist the pull of baklava.

Another positive thing is that there has been absolutely no winter for us this year. Seriously. No snow, no subzero temps, no bundling up. Instead, the daffodils are blooming and leaves are beginning to return to the trees. College students are back in flip-flops already. Perfect weather for walking.

I have no noble words to end this post, but how about a noble-sounding poem?


  1. Sounds like you are dealing with a tough situation. And in the end, better to know what is going on with your body and treat it. If it helps, I know a few people with endo who had children. Some with medical intervention, some without. You will get through this, even if you can't have your tea sweet :)

    1. Thanks for the comment, Leah! Agreed, knowledge is definitely better than ignorance- at least it gives you a fighting chance. And I'm already getting used to the tea switch : ) Adventurer's Tea from Republic of Tea is a black tea that still tastes good even w/out the sugar, have you ever tried it? We got a big Republic of Tea order in February, I'm planning to make a post about it soon.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about this scary time you are going through. No one can fault you for feeling listless and out-of-sorts.

    That is awesome that D is trying his best to put a positive spin on the situation! I hope that you are both able to tackle this tough situation head-on.

  3. I'm very sorry to hear this. I had a feeling that something happened. I wish you to get well soon!

    1. Спасибо, Тимур, и спасибо за звонок и поздравления, как приятно было слышать твой голос!!

  4. I have been offline/absent over the past month, I was obliged to take my back-log of paid vacation (first paid in 25 years), & I am pleased to be back reading your blog.

    As you missed out on snow you may appreciate this to lift your subdued spirits: :-)

    1. Hi Rupert, welcome back! Switzerland looked beautiful, seems like you got there just before spring did. Hope you feel rested and rejuvenated by the travel : )