I have decided that New Hampshire is not good for our health.
We've lived here all of 4 months and have spent more time at the Dartmouth hospital than I'd hoped to do for the entire two years we'll be here. In the first month after we got here Quinn got impetigo on his stomach. Then we had to take Donovan to the ER for his breathing thing. And now I'm about to go in for surgery tomorrow morning to remove a (most likely benign) lump in my abdomen.
Ok, so the story-- sometime in August I noticed this small lump on my upper abdomen, about the size of a large-ish marble. I chalked it up as something weird and gave it a little while to see if it would just go away on its own. It didn't, so a few weeks ago I went to a doctor to get it checked out. She didn't seem very concerned and was almost certain it was just a benign lump, but suggested getting an ultrasound to find out more.
After the ultrasound she called me and said they had found blood vessels going into the lump, which is not necessarily a bad sign but is a potential red flag and that the radiologist strongly suggested getting an MRI and talking to a surgeon about possible removal. I talked it over with a med school friend (yay grad school community!) and decided to go with the MRI, which got scheduled for the next day. This was the point where I kinda freaked out for a couple days. My rational brain kept thinking, "Ok, this is no big deal. It's most likely nothing, we just need to make sure. No need to worry." Meanwhile my back and chest were a tense mess and I could just feel my subconscious freaking out. Nobody had mentioned the c-word yet (and still haven't), but just the thought of getting an MRI and possibly having to deal with surgery made me simultaneously nervous as hell and also really annoyed. I realize there's never a good time to deal with this sort of stuff, but GAH I didn't want to be dealing with this.
So I did the MRI a little over a week ago (which was long and kinda uncomfortable especially since I had to hold my breath when they were taking images that sometimes took as long as 40 seconds), and then yesterday morning I met with the surgeon to discuss the results. He still doesn't really know exactly what it is (and won't until a pathologist is able to analyze the tissue), and because it has the potential for growth (given stuff they saw in the MRI) and will only be a bigger pain to remove if it does grow bigger, he was pretty insistent that it needs to come out. Thankfully it's pretty small, so removing it should be easy enough and that should be the end of that.
Ok, the other annoying part-- the lump itself is within my abdominal muscle wall, meaning when they take it out some of the muscle tissue will come out with it. I asked what I should expect for recovery, and he said it should be similar to after a hernia repair, recommending I have help around for a week or so afterwards and that I'll need to not lift anything heavy for 6 weeks afterwards. It's a good thing I don't have a toddler who likes to get picked up... um, wait. (he did say I should be fine after the first week or so as long as I use my legs/back to pick him up, not my abs)
Zach's taking a bit of time off from schoolwork to be home, and my mom has already booked a plane ticket to get here this afternoon. I won't lie, I teared up a bit after she said she'd figure out a way to get here-- I'm a bit overwhelmed at how amazing it is to have a mother who's willing to drop everything to fly out to help us like this. It's a massive relief as I know her presence will make everything so much smoother for us and for Donovan and Quinn.
I'm hoping that since I'm young, healthy, and in fairly good shape the recovery will be on the speedier side. I'm a little freaked about the whole idea of SURGERY-- the last time I went under a knife was to get my wisdom teeth out when I was 17, and I didn't have to go under full anesthesia for that. The doctor said I should be able to go home Thursday night, but to be prepared to stay overnight if needed. So yeah, I think that's all there is to tell. Depending on how I'm feeling post-surgery I'll probably post updates on twitter (and maybe facebook) if you'd like to follow.
PS- I can't write a post today without acknowledging all the amazingness of today-- OBAMA! Three new states legalizing marriage equality (by popular vote, no less!), and other exciting results from yesterday's election. Also, it was 15 years ago today that Zach and I first started officially dating. That means we've been romantically involved in some way or another for almost half my life. Yay for silver linings.