Monday, February 13, 2006

February Surprise

Usually, "February surprise" in Chicago means something extraordinary has come climate-wise, like a huge snowfall or frightening drop in temps, though January is the coldest month around here. But I got a personal February surprise. I took a chest x-ray and there's some growth there: small but still “there.” Not sure what it is.

The x-ray technician took the films to be read immediately for a “wet” reading, as my primary physician asked for, but with regard to another reason that's not serious. The tech told me to wait in the chair. I was shirtless and the room was cold. So I obeyed, like a good patient. She drew a curtain as a staff radiologist proceeded to read the film. Mind you, I could hear some of the conversation. After some typical medical mumbo jumbo, there was silence. Then some whispering. They must have forgotten that curtains are not as good as they used to be in blocking the human voice, so they started talking about something they saw in one of the lobes of someone’s lung. I felt it was about me, but I wasn’t sure.

So I got up and asked through the mighty curtain, “Can I put on my shirt now?” The tech opened the curtain and apologized for having me wait in the cold. I saw three older folks looking at the film. I don’t know my personal anatomy that well, but the lungs on the film sure looked like mine.

Then they turned toward me and said that your lungs look clear in terms of pneumonia and stuff, but there’s something we saw. “We can’t tell you, because you have to hear it from your primary physician,” an HMO thing. So in a minute, they handed me the phone (through the curtain) and my doctor’s nurse told me the doc’s at lunch, but there’s an 8 mm nodular growth in one of my lobes and that I need to make an appointment immediately so they can start the medical circus: CAT scans, follow up x-rays, and, of course, blah blah blah.

Ok. I turn my attention to God, prayerfully and selfishly. I’m not panicked about the medical thing, but about the mortality of an imperfect person. But God knows that! So I get to feeling better.

The nurse says, “It can be anything.” She lists some “things” until I say, “What about malignancy?” She seemed relieved that I brought it up. She assured me that it could be anything and that we simply have to follow up. Meanwhile the curtain crew of techs and radiologists are looking at me with strange sympathetic looks. In general, I appreciate sympathy and the humanity of it, but at that moment I would have preferred the typical impersonal, cold-room "treatment."

I'm not a smoker, never was. So see what happens, God willing.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, here are my theories of what "it" could be:

1. a piece of popcorn that went down the wrong way. Your body's way of saying "onay opcornpay."

2. my thumbprint when i shoved the xray technician out of the way to get my own wet read of the film (yeah, i was there, i was hiding).

3. Orrr, it could be that piece of gum, you know from the other day, when i lost it and we looked all over for it ;)

But the more important question here is ... you were shirtless in a room full of nurses? You never mentioned this ... how many we talkin, huh, huh, huh???

Nadia

2/13/2006 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Pete said...

Ibrahim, here's hoping everything turns out for the best.

2/13/2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger Baraka said...

May you be granted shifa in this & all things.

2/13/2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Thanks sincerely, Pete, Baraka, and others who responded "offline."

2/13/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Yes, Nadia, the possibilities are endless, but let's rule out the gum and finger. No further explanation needed. Popcorn, strike that too. Cat dander, well I don't know, but unlikely. It could be that diamond I bought for you and forget to give it to you (whole 8 mm). But, whatever it is, I'm comforted and grateful to know that you'll be there to help me figure it out, like you've helped in about a million other things in my life. -- Ibrahim

2/13/2006 4:07 PM  
Anonymous eteraz said...

wishing you the best, bro.

2/13/2006 9:25 PM  
Anonymous hamidm said...

May God strengthen you against what ails you. As you suggest, human nature is such that some only turn to the Merciful in times of crisis. May He strengthen all of our wills and increase our wisdom. Amin.

2/14/2006 8:35 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Thanks, Eteraz, Hamid, and all for your kind words and thoughts. jzk

2/14/2006 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salams EEBs,

Allah Shafi / Allah Kafi.

Hope to see you soon.

Rhibee

2/14/2006 8:54 PM  

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