In sickness and in health

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I have approximately five hours of grading to do. This is not an exaggeration. So what do I decide to do instead? I blog. 

This weekend's road trip took me to Indianapolis to meet up with Nancy. Since she now lives in Louisville, Indy is about halfway for us. We had a fun weekend of laughing about anything, shopping for Christmas (and ourselves), and stuffing our faces with delicious eats. 

Oh, and we ran. Five miles. On treadmills. I think the only reason I survived is because there was someone else next to me. Plus, there was a good movie on with closed captioning and my iPod was fully charged. Win. 

As I drove back from Indy this morning, I started thinking about the reason I USED to go to Indy. At the end of high school and early in my college years, my trips to Indy were about every six weeks to Riley Children's Hospital to see my pediatric rheumatolagist. My mom and I would take the frequent trips down 31 together. To pass the time, we started finding landmarks to make it a little more entertaining. My favorite ones to look for were the giant yellow rocking chair, the super tacky lawn ornament store, some apple dumpling pie place (which, I've never been to, but always wondered about), and a church that was for sale (and as of today, still is!). Naturally, there were other things to look at... the Grissom Air Force Base, the Indiana State Police depot in Peru (where I've been told not to speed, because you WILL get pulled over), and the County Line Landfill (yuck). 

I had a lot of time to think on my way home today. And many of my thoughts kept going back to the drives I used to make, and how sick I was. I remember those drives, especially the drives before I was diagnosed with JRA, that were so horrible. We would drive down for answers and leave with more questions. We would drive in hoping for a resolution and leave with four more diseases to research. 

The worst drive home was also one of the best, ironically. I had just been diagnosed with Systemic JRA, a relief (in a sense) because it wasn't some rare form of leukemia or lymphoma, which is what the doctors were looking for. But the only way to officially diagnose me was to take a sample of bone marrow. 

Have you ever had bone marrow taken? Essentially, the doctor gives you morphine and some sort of amnesia drug, and then takes something that looks like a corkscrew and screws it into your backside hip bone. I was awake for this, but don't remember much, other than hearing a very loud pop. My mom stayed in the room with me, and she said it was pretty awful to watch. I'm glad I had the drugs. 

In recovery, my mom wrote down a lot of the things I was saying. Mostly, we talked about lipstick, and I asked if everyone under the sun was proud of me... "Are you proud of me?" "Yes." "Is dad proud of me?" "Yes." "Are my teachers proud of me?" "Yes." I really wanted people to be proud of me. 

The drive back was horrible because the drugs had worn off and my back was super tender. I remember being in the passenger leaned forward with my arms wrapped around my legs. You know the position you're supposed to get in on a plane in case of a water landing? It looked like that. 

Today's drive back was MUCH different, obviously. But one of the main things I kept coming back to was I used to make this drive when I was so sick, and now I get to make this drive in really great health. Yesterday I ran five miles. Today I ran four. Eleven years ago, I couldn't have run anything if my life depended on it.

So, the trek home today was a good one. And one that reminded me how much things have changed. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember those drives too! Glad today was a celebration drive. You certainly deserve it!
    Love you bunches,
    Mom & Dad


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