Monday, March 17, 2014

He's not pregnant.

So, when you start a new blog, the way to get followers is to post regularly and predictably, so I've been told.  I guess it's a good thing I wasn't banking on growing a huge following.  I've been gone for a while, and I'd like to fill you in.

To "make a long story short" I'll summarize the back story by just saying that Snuggs had been having some minor, but curious and concerning health issues that were sort of stacking up over our five years together.  We tried to get answers from our general care provider, but were pretty much shut down.  Our main concerns began with inexplicable weight gain and inability to lose any weight at all, despite significant lifestyle changes.  When he asked for a blood workup to check thyroid and metabolic hormones, our former care provider suggested he download a fitness app onto his smartphone.  Notice, I said former care provider.

After the first visit with our new care provider, Snuggs was sent for blood work.  The results that came back were concerning to our doctor, and she needed some follow up information from additional blood work before she could be certain what was going on.  A few days later she called Snuggs in to go over the results.  Due to some scheduling conflicts, it just didn't work for me to go with him.

When he came home, he set the lab results on the counter and told me that he had to run to the restroom, but would be right back to talk to me about what the doctor had said.  I picked up the papers and started reading through them.  I have absolutely zero medical background, but I have birthed two babies and worked as a birth doula for nearly a dozen families.  So, I was shocked to see lab results that made it look like my husband was pregnant, I'm talking third trimester hormone levels.  The more I read, the more I laughed.  I was puzzled, and half expecting him to come around the corner and tell me when he was due.  I had several really bizarre thoughts running through my head regarding the pending adoption, my "pregnant" husband, and just how strange God's sense of humor is.

When he came back in the room I was chuckling.  It wasn't full on laughter, because I was nervous, but mostly I was expecting him to say something relatively insignificant and strange enough to be a bit comical.  I asked him, "Are you going to tell me you're pregnant?" and he looked at me like I was seventy-five types of stupid.

"No.  I'm not pregnant.  But I'm glad you seem to be taking this well so far.  Come here."

And he stood me in front of him around the corner of our kitchen where Cricket, watching a show on the tablet around the corner wouldn't see me.  (Thankfully Buttercup was napping.)

He put his hands on my shoulders.  And I held my breath, because I could just barely sense something "off" in my steady as stone cop.

"Babe, the doctor is pretty sure I have a brain tumor."

And then




Well, I could breathe in, but not out.

So I inhaled these short, stuck feeling breaths,

and I buried my head in his chest, and I held on for dear life.

I squeaked the tiniest squeaks as I wrestled to keep the pain contained enough that I wouldn't terrify my son.

And this repeated in my mind over and over:


Snuggs said, "Do you want me to finish?"

I shook my head no, and he let me stay buried in his chest a while longer.  Then he pulled me back enough to be able to see my face, looked at me, and said, "She says it's probably benign." that was supposed to bring me some big relief...

I walked out the door to the garage and vomited.

He told me he didn't know what to do.

"You ask the God who made every cell in your body to heal you completely.  You beg Him.  And after you are done with that, you do it again, and again, and again, with everything you have." I said.

Then Snuggs went to the back yard and started "raking leaves," which was really just moving around some stray foliage at the back end of our yard because he had absolutely no idea what to do with himself.

I got on the phone, immediately.  I called my Christian Momma Mentor and cried, and she prayed with me right there on the phone.  I called my girlfriends.  I told them, through tears, that I had no idea what we were dealing with, but that I knew that every minute without people praying for him was time wasted.  I snorted, and sobbed, and I'm sure I said stupid things that I don't even begin to remember.

And after I had called every single believing friend I have, I went to find my husband, still "raking leaves." And I held him, and I told him it was going to be alright.  I didn't know how, but that it would all be okay, because it just HAD to be okay.

We decided we had to "do something" to get our minds off of the tumor as much as possible.  We knew that otherwise we would just sit around staring at each other and crying while trying to take care of our kids.  We went to the local bounce house fun zone thingy, and had a lot of laughs with our kids.  We were there for a couple of hours, and it was good.

My dad was already scheduled to come that evening because of a meeting we had scheduled regarding the adoption.  Except, instead we went for an MRI of Snuggs' head.

If you've never had or sat in on an MRI, whoa.  They are LOUD.  Even with high intensity earplugs they are LOUD.  We went through the motions and the stuffed my hulking husband into this tiny tube and started looking at his brain.  He was nervous about the procedure, physically uncomfortable, and scared out of his mind about what they would find.  I had no idea that he could see me.  I bowed my head low and prayed.  I asked God for a miracle.  I asked Him to remove the tumor from Snuggs' brain such that when they reviewed the images from the beginning of the MRI compared to the end of the MRI that they would be in disbelief because the tumor had vanished.  I cried.  I looked around at all of the random stupid crap in the room.  I squirmed in my uncomfortable chair.  I cried again.  I prayed some more.  I had NO IDEA he could see me.

He told me afterwards that the only thing that kept him from panicking was that there was a teeny mirror inside and he could just see me from the shoulders up.  I told him, jokingly, that it was a good thing I hadn't been picking my nose.  But I felt regret.  Had I known he could see me I would've been performing for him, sort of.  I would've been doing what I thought he needed.  I would've been looking in his direction consistently, faking a look of peace and confidence, I don't know...NOT doing what I had been doing.  But, I guess the reality of the matter is that in seeing what he did see instead of what I would've performed for him, he got the truth.  The raw, deep love, unmasked emotion, pleading for God to change this for us, and I guess there's got to be beauty in that...somewhere.

We were told that we would hear from our doctor the next morning.

We went home and waited.

We waited.  The minutes ticked by at an agonizingly slow pace.  We prayed.  We called more friends and begged for them to join us in prayer.  Noon came and passed.  We called the office several times and got no answer.  Snuggs WENT TO FREAKING WORK.  He couldn't stand waiting and just sitting around thinking about it, so he left me to do that on my own.  What a butthead.

As office hours approached an end, I called again several times, and again received no answer.

I could've punched the doctor in the face.  I was livid, scared, hurt, protective, out of my ever loving mind.

The next day they called with the report that it was, in fact, just what they thought it would be.

Lots of reading, several appointments, and one neurologist later, we have this to say:

Somehow, having a brain tumor can really be "not that big of a deal."

Of all of the brain tumors to have, this is the one you want.  It's not even an *actual* BRAIN tumor, but rather a pituitary tumor.  Chances are that IF we even need to treat the tumor itself, that will be done with medication.

In the mean time, we are treating the hormone imbalances caused by the tumor, and slowing down the pace of life quite a bit.

The slowing down is partially to compensate for Snuggs' lethargy, but mostly because this sort of thing really makes you re-evaluate and spend time on what actually matters.

For us, right now, Dave Ramsey doesn't actually matter.  What matters is tickle fights, and family walks, and date night, and building awesome train tracks, and reading books with laps full of babies and lots of funny voices, and prayers, and hugs, and lots of goodnight kisses.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I'm so glad you called me, and that you wrote down this story!

    And THIS: "For us, right now, Dave Ramsey doesn't actually matter. What matters is tickle fights, and family walks, and date night, and building awesome train tracks, and reading books with laps full of babies and lots of funny voices, and prayers, and hugs, and lots of goodnight kisses."


    xooxxo sweet friend