Journal entry 1

The surgeon brought his laptop into the exam room and showed me the spot on my pancreas. It wasn’t big – the doc said it was about the size of the nail on a little finger – but it was definitely the brightest thing on the CT scan.

I’d been honest with the surgeon about the degree to which I’d abused alcohol when I was young. He told me the spot could be left over from those days and wouldn’t necessarily develop into a problem. But he also let me know it could be something very bad.  The goal of that particular radiology had been to determine the cause of recent lower-abdominal pain. It failed to do that and turned up this issue instead. I guess CTs have a bad habit of revealing things you aren’t looking for. A progression of tests would begin immediately.

Just twenty-four hours before, I sat with a cardiologist while he scratched his head at the symptoms I’d brought him – not sure what to make of them. He did, however, agree that a recent EKG done by my primary care physician did show an electrical issue involving my heart. The cardiologist told me that the new diagnosis – right-bundle blockage – in and of itself is something I can live with just fine. But it could also be an indicator of an underlying, larger problem. Tests would be scheduled pending approval by my health insurance.

Exactly forty-eight hours before that, I put my old SUV in reverse to back out on the street and looked over my shoulder to discover someone had smashed a rear side window. Nothing was stolen; there was nothing to steal. The police officer who investigated put it down to malicious mischief. Nothing could be done.

On Thursday afternoon of the same week in which all this occurred – this current week – I was tripped by one of my well-fed, but “starving-to-death” outdoor cats. This resulted in an epic fall culminating in all 215lbs of my body-weight coming down hard on my left thumb. I happen to be right-handed, but I’ve learned that there’s an amazing amount of stuff that’s difficult or impossible to do with limited use of a left thumb.

Today was a pleasant spring day and yard work called my name. I chose not to answer.

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