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The Chaos Mini-Series

Welcome to my chaotic life of FIVE small children and a traveling husband! This blog is actually a "work in progress" and serves as a loose outline for a humorous non-fiction book I strive to publish by the end of this calendar year. Each entry builds upon the one just prior to it so it is best to begin with Part I. This story begins just four short years ago when a tsunami of unfortunate, tragic and hectic events brutally pounded us one right after another. As my family and I endured and eventually overcame each wave of misfortune, we kept our heads (barely) above water and held high, eyes wide open and hearts on "stand by" as we witnessed new opportunities and blessings emerge from the CHAOS...

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Chaos Swallows us like a tidal wave! Pragmatism is key to Survival...Part III

The next day I get right into an appointment with the neurosurgeon. He subjects me to similar dexterity assessments as did the neurologist. He also inquires about my hearing abilities. Interestingly I tell him that I tend to favor my right ear. The ENT doctor who performed the auditory exam had previously concluded that too many loud concerts in my (other) youth growing up in the rockin´80s in South Florida were to blame for this loss. (If that were the case, why didn’t I measure the same percent deficit in the opposite ear?)

Living in a small town and having very good private health insurance gave us immediate access to the best specialists and procedures within days. The very next morning, my husband accompanied me to my MRI appointment referred by the neurologist I had seen just the day before. Blissfully unaware of the seriousness of the situation, I was more concerned with getting through the MRI without going into a full blown panic attack. The image I held in my mind of being physically strapped onto a cold examination table with my head in a brace for the better part of an hour had me asking around for all kinds of advice, meditation techniques, self-hypnosis and pharmaceutical assistance. I interviewed at least twenty people that day about all the aforementioned categories of the MRI experience. My Ob-GYN prescribed me a light relaxant to take to help me coast through it more gracefully. It worked.

As the final awkwardly loud clunky thump reverberated in my ears, I was arrogant and proud for having maintained sanity that I instantly felt entitled to whatever I wanted. ¨Let’s go grab a bagel and cappuccino, Mi Amor!¨ I demanded of my husband. As we were leaving the laboratory, he asked the technicians if we could take a quick peak at the screen and images of my brain. (He later told me that he saw them stopping the images and pointing something out during the exam.) They mumbled amongst themselves something about it not being allowed as they are not accountable for any diagnosis and explanation. But hey, we are living in a third world country and rules only apply randomly, it's kind of like a lottery.

Nevertheless, they acceded and upon glancing at the screen, my husband saw something that made him lose his breath while he mumbled something to the technicians. I was sure that whatever it was, it was just a big ball of fluid in my inner ear. (Someone had suggested that and I liked that hypothesis.) Being in complete Zen for having survived the MRI so peacefully, I did not pay any attention to the innuendos and quick glances exchanged between these two lab technicians and my husband. All I cared about was my well-deserved frothy cappuccino.

After eating breakfast, my husband dropped me off at our home to organize the ambitious and ready to please movers. During the course of the day I speak to my brothers, the doctor, my parents and in-laws and tell them the worst is over, the MRI was a breeze. All I want to talk about is how clumsy the movers are and how am I going to strategize with making all the beds with linens so that the three children could sleep well that night. I am consumed with the move and in making this stress-free for the children and therefore disconnect from all else.

That evening my husband returns with the MRI film with results in hand. He commences to tell me that the radiologist had discovered a mass the size of a tennis ball comfortably situated right inside my left inner ear canal This growth was feeding like a parasite off the abundance of hormones being produced by my pregnant body and putting continuous pressure on my brain stem which in turn was rendering me dizzy, nauseous, off-balanced, and hard of hearing as it was obstructing the canal.

He hugs me passionately and says he is so very grateful upon learning that what I have is probably not cancerous. What? I look at him incredulously. I have something? You mean this whole ordeal isn’t over yet? (I have a move to contend with, a baby on the way, no time for distractions.) ¨Yes, Mi Amor¨ he says, ¨but thank goodness, it is almost certain that the tumor is benign.¨ Benign? Tumor? I, SeƱora Drill Sergeant, super- healthy, fearless and full of energy has a brain t.t.t.t.t.t.tumor? Yes, indeed it was true and time was not on my side. It had to come out immediately.

To Be Continued…

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