Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am anti-doctor

So, this past week I visited the doctor/hospital more than I have the entire rest of the year combined. And it has not done much to make me want to visit it more. I decided I am against doctors. At least for now. Maybe check back in a while, perhaps when I am sick and need them again.

This post is mainly for my own use, for record-keeping, etc. Feel free to read on if you like, otherwise, I won't be offended.

It all started on Monday, when I went in to the Doctor to check up on my thyroid levels (another long story, probably for another post, another day) I mentioned casually my feeling that the reason we have struggled for 5 years to regulate them was because I have a growth on my pituitary gland (all hypochondriac symptoms aside, it actually makes sense) The doctor agreed, so I was scheduled to have a CT scan of my brain (or the section called the Sella) to see if there were any weird growths, rampant brain cancer, etc.

Tuesday afternoon, I leave work early and head over to the hospital. I am actually excited about the CT scan (I've had one before of my head) but mostly excited because I have the feeling I am about to be proven right. I walk in, receive random compliments from the tech about my bag, and lie down. It's painless, and over in a few minutes. Then, I'm off down the hall to get some blood drawn, and on my merry way.

Wednesday morning, I receive a call from the doctor's office telling me to call back and get my test results. So, I call back during my lunch to be informed that (like this is a huge surprise to me by now) my blood work was back, and the levels are way low. Big surprise there. That's the whole problem. Anyways, I ask the lady if my CT results are back, and she says no. So, I hang up the phone. Literally 5 seconds later, my phone rings. I answer it, and it's the same lady.

Is Latu There?

Yes. This is her.
This is Carol from Dr. *****'s office. I have some test results for you from your CT scan yesterday.

Yeah, I just finished talking to you.
Oh! I'm sorry! I JUST saw these results!

You're fine. What do they say?
Well, it looks like there is a growth on your pituitary. We're going to have you go in for an MRI.

That's the part where my heart hit the floor of my car. Possibly the parking lot beneath. It was absolutely crushing. I have never been so horrified at being proven right in my life. There are not words to express how absolutely terrified I was at that point. I pulled it together long enough to to schedule the MRI for the next morning, but then I fell to pieces.

To make matters worse, the one person I needed to talk to at that point (my mama) was MIA. So, I cried for a minute, and then went back in to work.

Thursday morning, I was awake before dawn (even though I work mornings, I try never to greet the sunrise) and getting ready. They did not give me a whole bunch of info about how to prepare, but I knew the "M" in MRI stood for magnetic, so I made sure I was not wearing any metal (the last thing I wanted was to have to wear a hospital gown for the MRI)

When I saw the machine, and how incredibly tiny it was, I started getting VERY anxious. (Up to this point, the only thing I could imagine was a scene from House, where they do an MRI on a newborn. The MRI machine absolutely dwarfs the baby. I just assumed that the MRI machine they were using was a baby one, and they had adult machines that were 4 or 5 feet in diameter. WRONG!)

It was a lot of talking myself down and prayer that kept me from a full-blown panic attack once I got in the MRI machine. (that, and there was NO way I was going to do it again because I was moving and ruined the pictures) I was in up to my knees, struggling to keep my breathing in check, and wondering why, if they were imaging my brain, I had to be in the tube up to my knees. I got through the 45-minute process, and then the waiting game began.

Friday I got the fateful call from Carol, my favorite test-results reader.

Um.... looks like your pituitary is normal!

..... OK.... That's good, right?
Yep! Have a great day! Click.

So, either I was healed (which is incredibly possible, because of the priesthood blessing I received) or the radiologist read the CT results wrong (or, the radiologist read the MRI results wrong, and my brain is slowly being taken over by a tumor, unbeknownst to us all)

Whichever option is right (I won't know until I go into the doctor again) it has me looking at the world just a little differently.

I have spent a long time focusing more on the things I don't have, and not enough time focusing on the blessings I do have. Just in time for Thanksgiving, I am determined to be a more grateful person.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eye opener

So, the history teacher across the hall from me is doing a pretty powerful demonstration on slavery today. About two minutes into the period, I started hearing two people yelling in some funky language (German, Dutch, something like that) Concerned that there were kids in the hall yelling/fighting, I went out there. It was then that I realized that the yelling was coming from the class across the hall. I shrugged and went back to my work.

A few minutes later, I went out to look again (the yelling has not let up or stopped) only to see all the kids lined up along the center of the room, laying parallel to each other on the floor. Then, I remembered; they are doing a unit on slavery. Suddenly, the screaming and awkward placement of the kids made more sense.

With this new knowledge, I was just a little jealous of the kids at my school. It is a pretty awesome demonstration; strange men come into your classroom, start yelling and giving orders in a language you do not understand. All of the sudden, you realize your teacher is nowhere to be found. Then, they start picking off the kids who are defiant or do not follow directions (directions which are given in a foreign language!). You are forced to lay practically on top of each other (all the while trying to understand the constant screaming) and then taken to another room, where you see the kids who were taken out getting "whipped." It would be an awesome day to be in an 8th grade US history class at this school.

I wish the kids in these classes would really stop and think about how powerful this demonstration could be if they let it. None of us really knows what it was like to be a slave in the 1800s. None of us can fully understand the fear and confusion, but for one 90-minute block, these kids were able to experience just a little. Hopefully, one day they will look back on this day and silently thank their teachers for the lesson they learned. Maybe they will realize that it has helped make them more compassionate, more empathetic, and just an all-around better person.

I guess that's the goal of every teacher for every child, that someday they will realize that a you had an impact on them for good. I know that I vividly remember only a few of my teachers all through school, but the teachers I do remember are the ones who cared enough to help me succeed. The ones who gave up on me because I talked a lot or gave them attitude or constantly ditched their class are gone from my memory. I am left only with the ones who pushed me even when I pushed back, who refused to let me become one more statistic. It is for those teachers that I am forever grateful.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Note: this post is not intended to be a blanket statement about protesters, "gays" Californians, or any other group. Mostly just a choice few who are doing things I do not agree with (and also happen to fall into the above categories)

I hate protesters. Mostly because I feel like any issue that people feel passionate enough about to protest over is one in which they will also feel passionate enough to try to force their beliefs on me. I think it is great that people who disagree with Prop. 8 want to protest its passing, but I do not think it is great that they are focusing their anger and frustration on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nor do I think it is great that the minority in California is trying to force their desires on the majority.

I am not thrilled that Obama won the election, but I have enough sense to realize that my opinion is contrary to the opinions of most of the country. Should I blame the democrats for lighting a fire under voters, and spurring one of the most amazing voter turnouts EVER? No. I think that any time you can get people out and voting is good for our country. Unfortunately, this election's turnout did not sway the vote in my favor. But there is always next time.

Proposition 8 is a heated topic. One that hits close to home for a lot of people. But don't use my temple, and my religion as your scapegoat. Voters in California passed the Proposition. If you disagree, too bad. In every competition or election, there has to be a winner and a loser. You just happen to fall on the losing side this time.