September 24, 2015 by rebelwithalabelmaker

My mom says I have to tell you that the tests came back and I am normal.  The normal-ness test.

Lots of you won’t remember but last year at this time I was having lots of numbness, tingling, dizziness, vision problems, and much worsened forgetfulness.  I saw a neurologist, who said I was probably fine but she could do an MRI to be sure, and then we scheduled an MRI, which forgot to go to.  I called in with an abject apology, and the people were very nice–turns out that when you are in the MRI business, forgetful clients are a thing you deal with.

Gary volunteered to get me to the MRI, but then was out of town, so he volunteered to text me repeatedly to make sure I went.

Me:  Leaving for MRI.

Me:  Am at MRI.

Me:  They just told me they are going to inject me with goop that could kill me but probably won’t.

Gary:  You are fine.  Go for it.

Me:  They are going to inject GOOP into my BLOOD!!!

Me:  I feel like maybe it is radioactive goop.

Me:  I would not be very good at having cancer.

Gary:  Not radioactive.  Very safe.

Me:  The form says I might die.

Gary:  You won’t.

Me:  The form says there are lifesaving treatments standing by which was supposed to be reassuring but DID NOT REASSURE ME!!!

Me:  If I die, please ensure that my organs are donated.

Gary:  Get the test done.

Me:  What the hell kind of bedside manner is that?

I am just saying.  If I had died, he would regret that those were our last words to one another.

Me:  Also, I have chosen your next wife for you.

Gary is ornery about this.  Turns out that the fine line between post-mortem organ donation and post-mortem husband donation is a real sticking point for him.

Me:  Why do they need to take blood to check my kidneys?  My kidneys are fine!  I told the guy that but he took my blood anyway because he does not understand the Shared Decision Making Model.  I am telling the Appropriateness Team on him.

Gary, attempting to be nice (or perhaps just busy) refrained from pointing out that I don’t understand the Shared Decision Making Model either.  And that the Appropriateness Team does not exist for the purpose of my blogging amusement.

The whole thing started when I noticed an appointment on the calendar that said “Appropriateness Week”.  It was a repeating appointment, for every week.  I told Gary that you cannot have a repeating weekly “Appropriateness Week”, but he told me that the full entry was actually “Appropriateness Weekly Team Meeting” (which my American friends thought was the most Canadian thing ever).

I wrote about this on Facebook:

Gary <this morning>: This thing is annoying me in my vision <describes thing>.

Me: Sounds like retinal detachment. You should get checked.

Gary: I’m fine.

Me <in my head>: That is what you say when you are a) in anaphylaxis, b) in sepsis, or c) waking up from general surgery. You are not an ophthalmologist. And you are idiotically stoic.

Gary: Retinal detachment usually presents with blah blah blah.

Me <googling the minute he leaves the house>: Hey… you got that off of wikipedia!

By the end of the day, I am preparing to tell him that I don’t care how manly he is, he may not come back into the house until he talks to a real doctor. But I do not get the chance, because he texts to ask if it would be possible for me to pick him up because the ophthalmologist said it would be good to do a quick fun-doscopy. Seriously. That’s what he called it. I don’t care how you rename them, none of the oscopies are fun.

Gary: But it’s nothing serious. Just to be on the safe side.

Me <via text>: I am not an idiot. I, too, can use the google. You have a retinal detachment, and you will need emergency surgery immediately to save your vision.

Gary: I hope not immediately because I have a meeting at four thirty. But not too late, either, because I need to be better in time for operating tomorrow.

Me: Do you know that emergency eye surgery to save your vision is kind of a big deal?

When I arrived, he was trying to work but he could not see his computer screen.

Me:  Sean says working is how you cope.

Gary <looks around for Sean, who he thought was in Boston>

Me: Sean is not here. It is the text. Seriously, you can’t see anything, can you? Also, are you stoned?

They had dilated his pupils. Then they took him away for a bit, and he came back and said that he did need emergency surgery right away and that the prognosis was extremely good for no permanent damage to his eyesight because it was caught so quickly. And, I may have said “Ha! Whose wife is the rightest?” but mostly via text to Sean, which was fine because Gary couldn’t see what I was doing anyway.

Me <after surgery>: Sean says I am supposed to drive.

Gary: Okay. Drop me at my meeting. I am only a little late.

Me: You have got. to. be. kidding. me.

Gary: It’s the appropriateness team. I don’t want to miss it.

Me: I am not dropping you anywhere. You go, I go.

And that is how I got to attend an appropriateness team meeting, even though I am technically not part of the appropriateness team. Technically, I am co-lead of it’s nemesis, the inappropriateness team.

Me <in best surgeon’s wife voice>: Great to meet you all.

Susan: That cupcake dress was awesome. Also, this is Gary Teare. Of the emails.

<my email program keeps autocorrecting Gary’s address to Gary Teare’s address. which is a hilarious disaster waiting to happen>.

Gary Teare: Pleased to meet you. I did a sex change on a dog one time.

Gary Groot: He is a veterinarian.

Me: I was hoping that. But I do still have some questions.

They were so much cooler than Gary made them sound. And a great deal more appropriate than I just made them sound. I may have cut out some parts of the conversation for effect. There was a lot of really interesting discussion about improving healthcare and society in general and strategizing and taking over the world in a good way. And it was one of those groups that is so fun to watch in the way they are coordinated and trusting and serving a crystal clear vision they’re all dedicated to. Even when they’re not officially doing business, you can see it.

To sum up: a) Gary’s emergency surgery to save his eyesight was a success, b) Gary Teare is indeed a very nice person with a great sense of humour just like everyone said which is good because I still cannot figure out how to fix my email program, c) the appropriateness team people are a really neat group of people (despite their boring sounding name), and d) I was right about the detached retina thing.

But most importantly that first one. Because Gary really needs his eyesight.

It was a pretty scary day, actually.

Me: I cannot believe you kept working. You cope in the weirdest ways.

Gary: Where are you going?

Me: I’m going to try to figure out how to make this day a funny story. And then I’m going to tell it. All over the internet. Until my legs stop feeling wobbly.

I made fun of Gary for working through stuff that is hard, and yet, when I was doing all my Scary Diagnostic Stuff, I cracked jokes the whole way through.  I procrastinated about telling you all that I was fine because I couldn’t find a way to make it funny.

Who is Gary when he’s not working?  Who am I when what I have to say is a “downer”?  How do we choose our spots?  How are they chosen for us?  How do we change them?  How do we know when they need changing?


4 thoughts on “Labelmaking

  1. I never understand these things – when the doctors say “You are fine,” but one is obviously not fine, because one wouldn’t have these symptoms if fine. So glad to hear that you are fine, and maybe something will come up on the internet to explain your problem and it will be something simple and correctable ike caffeine overload or constipation or diabetes.

  2. Thanks for making me smile when I open my computer in the morning.

  3. BuntyMcC says:

    Great that you are fine. Thank you for saving Gary’s eye. I’ve missed you on WordPress.

  4. Martin says:

    I’m so glad you (and Gary) are alright.

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