I Should’ve Shared

Comments Off on I Should’ve Shared
June 7th, 2011

I’ve been keeping a secret this past week and it’s led to some crummy results. My secret has kept me from watching or helping out with Relay for Life, or seeing the fun parts of my daughter’s 24-hour music marathon. I had to miss my best buddy Bob’s brother’s funeral. And when a very dear […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I’ve been keeping a secret this past week and it’s led to some crummy results. My secret has kept me from watching or helping out with Relay for Life, or seeing the fun parts of my daughter’s 24-hour music marathon. I had to miss my best buddy Bob’s brother’s funeral. And when a very dear friend drove a couple hundred miles with his daughters to surprise me, I wasn’t there.

I’m back in the hospital. Yes, it’s for yet another side-effect on the growing list of zany things that happen to Rodney due to his recovery. I am feeling a lot better now, but what makes me sickest is that I didn’t share with everybody, simply due to misplaced pride. Even parts of my family didn’t know about it until I sent them an odd little picture.

I’ll start from the beginning.

I was pretty lethargic for the two weeks following that incident with the swollen heart lining, pericarditis. When I had one too many low grade fevers, Marci packed me up one evening and drove me down to Karmanos; we didn’t even tell the daughters since I didn’t want to scare them. Test after test, pokes and more pokes showed nothing out of the ordinary until someone got it in their head to do a CAT scan of my chest.

BINGO.

Remember that lining around my heart? You and I are supposed to have less than an ounce of fluid between it and the heart. After the cat scan showed far more than that, the doctors stuck a long tube and needle into my chest and started draining the excess. And draining, and draining, and draining…

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcheart_juice.jpgWhen all of it finally dripped out, over the course of three days, they measured about a liter and a half. I took a lousy photo with my cameraphone. That’s not everything in that bag there, but it’s a lot of it. The heart wall isn’t designed to hold so much. Generally speaking, a couple tablespoons of liquid is enough for the ol’ ticker.

If it filled up suddenly, I would have definitely felt it. So apparently it slowly grew over the course of a few weeks. All of these medical issues lately are caused by Graft Vs. Host Disease. It’s a fancy way of saying my brother’s blood is fighting against my blood. Apparently that’s a good thing; I’m told this shows my new system has pluck and won’t shy away from a good fight. The doctors like to see that. Although having two sons fighting it out, Mom’s probably gonna turn the car around and not take us to the zoo.

That’s what happened, but it doesn’t explain or excuse me from not talking about it. I think part of my problem is disease overload. I don’t want to keep talking, over and over again about the things I’ve been having to deal with. But there’s more. I want to feel normal and human and not look at myself as a work in progress any more. I’m tired of being a poster boy.

But honestly — even though I can’t say it without a story from my distant past — this goes back to a story from my distant past. I was walking our dog Mocha on our block when she yanked at the leash and pulled me down, scraping my knee. I was crying and just as I pulled myself up, a carload of my neighbors drove right by me. I threw on a shit-eating-grin and waved like a ninny at them. I’m sure, in retrospect, they probably saw my dog pull me down and could maybe even see my tears and snotty nose. But I didn’t want to look like anything bad had happened to me, to feel vulnerable or out of control. I wanted to look normal. I didn’t want to be the center of attention for something bad. I was embarrassed.

Sounds all too familiar.

So I didn’t tell people about it. And a day or two turned into a week. Yeah, when people asked what was up, I told ‘em. But please forgive me for not being upfront. You know by reading this blog that I try to always be open and honest with everybody. And that’s the thing; by being so above-board with everything, I get so much support and encouragement.

I don’t know why I shied away this time.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.