Monday, January 21, 2013

A Day Of Tears

I woke up this morning feeling something was different.  Couldn't put my finger on it right away, but I was weepy from the moment I stepped out of bed.  What was going on?

I barely made it through breakfast, watching a short documentary on American pilots who fought for Israel in 1948 and just started bawling.  I mean, really, crying over American pilots?

When I got on the road to go to work, I realized it was Martin Luther King's birthday, a federal holiday that leaves the freeways wide open and a pleasure to traverse.  It's also the day my mother died, 9 years ago.  When I realized this, I let loose.

I know it sounds like I don't care, but when a Jew dies, it's the Jewish date that we remember and memorialize.  My mother passed away on the 25 of Teves, which fell out on the 7th of January this year and on MLK's birthday 9 years ago.  Each year it falls out on a different day.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day dashing back to my office to cry, and couldn't even summon up the strength to call my sister to see how she was doing.  No doubt it hit her hard as well.

I know there are a lot of bad things going on in the world right now, but 9 years is a long time to be without your mother.  And it makes me very sad.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Worse Than Childbirth

After it was all over, I thought to myself: This is what you get for neglecting your teeth.  Sheer, unmitigating terror.

Let me back up.  It's been a year since I knew that I needed gum surgery, but always had an excuse not to do it.  Writing my thesis.  Involved in an internship.  You know, stuff.  So when I finally passed the Registered Dietitian's exam and got a job, I ran out of excuses.  Time to get that darn surgery out of the way and get on the road to a better life with better teeth.  And gums.

But it's really not that easy when you have a blood disease called polycythemia vera and you take two baby aspirin a day because you produce too many red blood cells and platelets.  It's a genetic mutation, faced by a tiny percentage of the population who hit the 50 year old wall.  It other words, a heavy bummer.

Besides the occasional optical migraines, I fare pretty well, taking two baby aspirin a day and trying to exercise every morning.  But neither the dentist nor I thought twice about the baby aspirin, or the implications of my disorder when he went about performing surgery on the right side of my mouth on Monday.

Afterwards, I was a bloody mess, which was to be expected.  What was not expected was that the blood did not stop flowing.  I thought I was going to need a transfusion, pretty ironic for someone who can't donate blood.  I wrote my hematologist in a panic yesterday and told him what happened.  Equally panicked, he called and told me to get into his office ASAP (well, he didn't order me quite like that. He's really sweet and soft spoken - unlike me).  He had me intravenously pumped full of coagulant, and then I purchased another massive bottle of the same ($575 - suspiciously not covered by insurance) which I am to take for the next 7 days.

Listen, it was worth every penny.  Not to be bleeding and be able to get to work, where I can make that kinda of money in a few days, was worth it.  But the problem is, I need to do the left side of my mouth in a few weeks.  I'm scared.

My hematologist and I are working out a strategy to prevent this from happening again (guess who isn't eating baby aspirin for a while?).  Still, I'm hard pressed to have this happen again even if I bleed just a little. Maybe I'll feel different when my mouth heals and I can eat hard food again.  Like Jelly Bellies.

Just a day in my life.  Oy vey to the 10th power!