Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So, falling apart here

It's the last week of classes and I have to go and teach and talk about normal things and pretend that I am not waiting to find out if I have uterine cancer and kidney failure.

Perimenopause is really not as bad as I thought it would be.

My usual strategy for dealing with ominous medical news is to figure out what the least scary thing is that I could have to explain my symptoms and decide I have that. So I spent like an hour last night on the computer searching kidney function tests trying to figure out something innocuous that I could have. At first it was really depressing because all I found were sites that said things like, "Screening tests for kidney disease are really great because it will let us put people on diets in which they are not allowed to eat salt, protein, or minerals normally found in vegetables or fruit, and then their disease won't get bad as fast."

And so then I am imagining my diet of rice with vegetable oil and thinking, "there has to be something better than this."

So I tried to figure out what the false positive rate is, because it is a screening test and screening tests always have high false positive rates, right? All I could find was a study showing that some new test produced far fewer false positives than this other test. The authors of the study thought that was a good thing because, I kid you not, a false positive can negatively affect your quality of life.

To which my response was, "no sh*t?" Followed by, "I wonder if I got the test with the high false positive rate that negatively affects your life or the one with the low false positive rate that tells you that your life sucks?"

Undaunted I searched on.

I noticed that if you have kidney disease there are a lot of medicines you can't take, so I looked up my prescriptions and you aren't supposed to take either one if you have kidney disease! Yay! And then I found a recommendation for one of them that you should have a kidney function test if you have been on it a long time because it can interfere with kidney function.

So then I was happier, because probably the doctor was just going to tell me that I have to stop taking the pill that keeps my hair from falling out or the one that keeps me from murdering my kids and bitching at my husband, or maybe both, because I can't remember which one had the note about getting the test but they both said to tell your doctor if you had kidney problems (although I pretty much think that all drugs say that you maybe shouldn't take them if you have kidney problems).

Anyway, I decided that being bald and bitchy wouldn't be so bad if it meant that I could still have mustard on my roast beef sandwich, and I remembered that all my kids are bigger than I am and can totally defend themselves. Oddly I felt better about the whole thing.

Also, if I have to go bald I am going to convert to Orthodox Judaism so I can wear lots of hats and scarves and stuff even though I look silly in them. I considered Islam, but based upon the Muslim and Jewish women I know, and there have a been a few of each, it appears that bitchiness is more acceptable in Judaism. Or maybe I will just wear the scarves and TELL people that I've converted. I'm sure the faithful of either religion will be totally cool with me using their faith as a cover-story for my scarf collection.


  1. Or you could get your favorite quilt design tattooed on your head... You'd have so many style possibilities! And maybe your classes can discuss the philosophical implications of false positives (and false negatives, which I've also enjoyed) or something like that.

    Seriously, I really hope you'll get a good answer soon. It's probably normal and healthy not to be able to concentrate on anything else until then.

  2. I like the tattoo idea- you will be such a trend-setter!. good luck and hope the tests come back all innocuous and maybe only stating you are required to have a glass of wine every night while you enjoy a good book-Dr's orders

  3. See, this is why I should never ever ever take a break from reading blogs. Yondalla, I had no idea you were dealing with this and you are in my thoughts.

  4. Or maybe you could just wear purple. With a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit you.


  5. I've been lurking for a while, have made a few comments using a different online identity, but just need to respond today.

    First, refuah shleimah! (That's hebrew for "a complete recovery!")

    Second, wouldn't it be easier just to tell people that you have cancer (as the excuse for great scarves)? You'd get much more sympathy ;-)

    I do hope that your medical troubles are short-lived and not serious. But if you need advice on Judaism, I'm happy to help.

  6. I think the worst part would be waiting for the meeting with the doctor and the results. Gives you too much time to research and worry. I hope everything turns out okay or in the least something that is easily corrected.

  7. Hey, bald is beautiful! Hope you get results soon. Waiting sucks.

  8. Thanks for the support everyone. It helps. I'll be sure to post as soon as I am told anything.

    I'm beginning to think that the only thing worse than getting older is the alternative.

  9. Welcome to the land of the unknown where your brain melts into oblivion. Poof. All coherent thoughts just vanish.

  10. I had a medical scare call last week, they actually called me with my blood test results, but its just that Im highly alergic to mold.

    and I too am experiencing the first signs of periomenopause and it sucks, I am going through at least 2 bras a day, I am going to start keeping one in my car.

    Getting old sucks but at least we aren't our dads' age yet. My dad can barely walk as the veins in his legs are closing up on him, meanwhile he drinks to drunkenness every night and still smokes 2 packs a day at 77 years old

  11. Waiting for the results is often the worst part. Sending good thoughts your way!

  12. Anonymous8:46 AM

    Honey us orthodox jew wear scarves, but more often really good human hair wigs; like in the $1800 and up price range. And there is never a bad hair day with a wig...

    Refuah shalaima! A complete and total recovery!


  13. I second the wig idea... Just shave it all off and then wear a wig. You'll never have to pay for a haircut again.


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