Sunday, October 17, 2010

November 5, 2009

This day would be the day to change my life, and I had no idea what direction the universe was taking me until much later. Let me introduce myself. My name is Liz, and on this day, my life was about to become a runaway freight train that would take me on a wild ride that led me to find The One, The Creator, The Higher Power, or otherwise known as God.
9:00 a.m.
My husband and I were sitting in the waiting room of our local gastroenterologist’s office not quite sure why we were here. My husband, Tom, went to our family doctor, Dr. Charles, for a tick bite then one thing led to another, and he ended up having one test after another done. We were not quite sure what the doctor was looking for. Tom told Dr. Charles that he was feeling a pressure in his chest; however, this pressure was not painful. Dr. Charles sent Tom, for a stress test which came back magnificently. She then proceeded to send Tom for an upper G.I. with a barium swallow. During this procedure, the doctor found an abnormality. He informed Tom that it was probably nothing, but he encouraged him to have a procedure called an endoscopy where they put a tube down your throat to view the throat and stomach areas. At first we thought nothing of this appointment just another routine procedure; however, the gastroenterology department moved Tom’s appointment up by two weeks. His original appointment was not until November 19, but here we were on November 5, waiting to be seen by yet another doctor. Why all these tests? Tom was perfectly healthy except for a slight pressure in his chest. What was really scary was the fact that the doctor Tom was to meet today is one of our local oncologists, Dr. Chadsworth.
            “Thomas,” the nurse beckoned from the doorway. Tom and I stood up to go to the room where we would meet with the doctor.
            “Hello. I am Mary Chadsworth, and I am Dr. Peter’s assistant. I would like to go over the procedure we would like to perform, and I would also like to give you a little information about what the doctor has found from the reports from your upper G.I. study” she said all this with a pleasant smile. She was a young lady probably in her early thirties with long, blonde hair. This was clearly not the oncologist my mother had seen a year ago.  
            “Oh, your last name is Chadsworth? Are you related to Dr. Chadsworth, the oncologist” I asked inquisitively.
            “He is my father,” she answered with a grin upon her face.
            “I was extremely worried when we received the message on our answering machine I thought Tom was supposed to see your father.”
            “Don’t worry! People get us confused all the time. I am constantly getting his files sent to me by mistake, and he gets mine. His name is Matthew, so you can see how we can be confused. Both of us are M. Chadsworth. No worries. Tom will not have to see my father anytime in the near future,” she reassured us.
            Miss Chadsworth then began explaining how the procedure would take place, and she explained in detail what it all involved which of course covered all the noted side effects and risks. She then began to explain what the upper G.I. procedure had found. “Well, we found a mass in your throat. By the looks of the reports, this mass is located at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach. We are not sure if the mass goes into the stomach area. This is why we wanted you to come in today to see if you would be interested in having the endoscopic procedure done. However, Dr. Peters will explain everything in further detail when he comes in next.”  
            “Well, it sounds like a procedure that needs to be done” Tom stated bluntly.
            “Yes, it is. Let me go get Dr. Peters, and we will set up a date.” Mary Chadsworth walked out of the room in search of the doctor.
            Tom turned to me while we were alone in the room, “Liz, this doesn’t sound good.”
            “Oh, don’t worry, honey, it’s just a standard procedure they have to do to make sure it’s not something serious. Maybe, they can do the procedure today since you haven’t eaten anything since late last night,” I encouraged him.
            “Maybe, but why did they want me in here so suddenly? Why didn’t they wait till my scheduled appointment on the 19th?”
            “Don’t worry. They just had an opening, so they called you in sooner,” trying to convince myself of this truth.
            Just then the door opened and in walked Dr. Peters along with Mary Chadsworth. Dr. Peters didn’t look much older than my husband and me, and we were in our mid 30’s. However, his hair was more salt and pepper than mine or Tom’s, but doctors probably have more stress in their lives than the average person.
            “Hello, I am Dr. Peters,” he said as he shook each of our hands. “Mary tells me that she informed you about the mass that was found by your upper G.I., and she also informed you of how the procedure would work.”
            “Yes,” Tom said. “When exactly were you planning on doing the endoscopic procedure,” Tom asked a little reluctantly.
            “When was the last time you had anything to eat or drink?”
            “Not since 8 o’clock last night,” Tom answered him. “I didn’t eat or drink anything this morning because I wasn’t sure if this was just going to be a consultation or if I was going to have to have the procedure done today.”
            “Well, we had a cancellation for 1 p.m. today, and if you are willing, I would like you to come back then to have this procedure done right away. This is something that cannot wait. You are a very young man. You are my age, and we need to find out as soon as possible what is going on in your throat and stomach areas.”
            Tom looked at me and said, “Will you be able to take the rest of today off work in order to bring me back for this procedure.”
            “Absolutely,” I reassured him. “I haven’t taken very much time off work, and I am sure my boss will understand. Let’s get this done today. There is no better time than the present.”
            “Great!” Dr. Peters announced. “Mary, go get this scheduled out at the front desk.” He then turned to Tom and me and said, “I will see you both back here at 1 p.m. and make sure you do not eat or drink anything, Tom.”
            Mary scheduled the procedure for 1 p.m., and Tom and I walked out of the doctor’s office not sure what we should be thinking at this very moment.
            “What’s going on, Liz? Something must be really bad since they want me to get this procedure done today. This is crazy! I came to the doctor’s office for a tick bite. Now, they are telling me they found a mass in my throat. This cannot be good!”
            I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was very scared which he had every right to be, but I could not believe for one moment that this was anything serious. Tom never had any symptoms other than occasional bouts of acid reflux, but that hadn’t been bothering him for nearly two years now. I was sure this was just proper protocol to make sure nothing was wrong.
            “Don’t worry. You will be fine.” I encouraged him.
I then proceeded to call my boss and explain to her that the doctor wanted to perform the procedure today. She was fine with me taking the rest of the day off work. I work at a daycare center. I actually just started this job in September. Previously, I was off work due to a disc herniation in my back. I worked at a juvenile detention center, and I obtained a back injury during physical intervention training. This is where the employees are taught how to restrain the youths if they become out of control. One would have thought that one of the residents at the center had hurt my back, but that wasn’t the case at all. While I was training a new employee proper intervention procedures, one of my supervisors put a little too much pressure on my back, and my one disc ended up herniating. It took me nine months to find a job after that injury, and that is when I started working at the daycare center. But I truly enjoy working with children, which I should considering that I did in-home daycare for 10 years.

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