Friday, September 16, 2011

Thinking of my sister Lily...

I've been thinking about Lily a lot lately, but in order to tell you why, I'll have to tell you more about that medical procedure I mentioned last week... and in order for you to make the Lily connection with me, I'll have to explain what I was doing in the mid-80's...


Around about 1985, the first "Back to the Future" movie starring Michael J. Fox was popular.  I loved that movie.  I saw it three times in the theater.  I dragged my mom to see it.  She didn't understand why it was so funny that Huey Lewis had a cameo in it.  (Ironically, I hauled my butt home after play practice Wednesday night to find my boys up late watching that very same movie for the very first time.  They thought it rocked.)  Anyway...

Also around 1985, I was attending classes at a college in the same city where Lily lived and worked.  My schedule was an odd one where I had an early morning class and a late evening class... but on opposing days.  I was commuting at the time, so it was pretty tough driving home late from one class only to get up early and drive back for the early morning one the next day.
So, Lily invited me to spend the night at her place on the days these two classes clashed.

It was like having my own house.  Most days, she was still working when I got out of class.  She let me eat her food and play her stereo.  Very often I'd bake her some cookies or brownies which was a nice surprise for her when she came home late.
But, mostly I remember playing her stereo.
Every time "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis came on, I'd crank it up and dance around Lily's livingroom.  I had a whole dance routine worked out by the end of the semester.

That's what I was doing in the 80's.


Earlier this month, when I went in for that medical procedure that didn't include cookies, I thought of Lily a LOT.  Every time I'm in a hospital, I feel like she should be there.  I see medical personel walking the halls and wonder if any of them works in surgery like Lily did.
So, I already had a heightened sensitivity to Lily, right?

This particular procedure I went in for is related to my gall bladder.  (I'll skip the suspense and just tell you now that my gall bladder does not work and may need to come out.  But it's not life-threatening, and it's not cancer.  So, I'm good.  This story is way more about Lily than my guts, anyway.)  My visit included an ultrasound to look for gall stones, and since there were none, I got a second test that I can't spell and can't find on the internet but it sounds like "appata biliary".  I called it "a pat my belly area" because that's what the word sounds like... which Lily would have found hilarious.  For this test, I got an injection, then I got to wait about an hour while it worked its way through my system, and then I was run through a machine that measured for 20 minutes how my body reacted to another injection.

Let me stop there and explain that I'd poked around the Mayo Clinic website a little and looked up gall bladder issues.  All I could find was that if you have gall bladder problems, it's either gall stones or you need to have your gall bladder removed.  No other options.  Either you have stones, or you lose your gall bladder.

So, when the ultrasound showed no stones, I saw the writing on the wall.

I was led to a lab where some white coats gave me an IV for the injection.  And that's when the music in the room started playing "Power of Love". 
Not the sappy, watered-down muzac version.  The actual song.
And there I was, dancing in Lily's livingroom. 

I wanted her to be there so bad.  To explain the procedure, to tell me what to expect better than the tech's were explaining.  Assure me that losing my gall bladder isn't the worst thing. 
To tell me everything was going to be okay.

I wanted it so badly I almost felt her hand on my right shoulder, almost heard her tell me, "I'm here."
But I told myself it was wishful thinking, my imagination.  I had already been thinking about her.  This was just a coincidence.  It's a song, for pete's sake.

The staff sent me out to the waiting area for an hour where I crocheted most of a candy corn hat and wondered what everyone else in the room was in for.

Then, it was time to go back in.
Get stuffed into a machine like cream filling into a Twinkie.
(Okay, not really.)
But, I'm lying on this platform, surrounded by a giant machine with nothing to do for 20 minutes but think and listen to the music.

Guess... just guess... which song came on as soon as the machine started its 20 minute hum.

Katy frickin' Perry.
I kid you not.

Lily was there, dammit
She was there, and I almost missed it.


Several times a day I think I should call Lily and ask her what she thinks about this gall bladder thing.
We'd always relied on her as our medical second opinion... our medi-speak to English translator.
So, I miss her several times a day, now.

But, at least now I know she'll say hello... if I'll listen for it.


Shanna said...

I don't have anything earth shattering to say to you. Just wanted to reach out and send you a hug. Glad that it isn't cancer and you can get by without the gall bladder. Just don't do like my mom does and continue to try and eat butter on everything. ;) I think the rest of suffer from her butter addiction more then she does. The burping is endless, maybe that will entertain your boys. Good luck.

Oblivious Beast said...

That's got me in some tears. They say if you don't hear god whisper he's going to find a way to shout. I'm thinking your hearing the whispers.

Had my gall bladder out years ago. They did the laparoscopic surgery. Incisions here, here, here and here. That's when they take it out using a camera to see what they're doing with other instruments. One big scar from it and a slightly smaller belly button from the scar on it.

Dani said...

I'm sorry you have to get your gall badder out but very happy to hear it's not life threatening.

I'm sure you are right, she was there. I won't go in to all my reasons for believing that but I do 100%.

Thumper said...

You know she's always gonnna be there, in every moment that matters...

Getting the gall bladder yanked is not a huge thing. If they can do it laprascopically, you might even get to go home the same day. 3-4 little incisions, you get fun drugs, you wake up groggy, and if you're not running a temp they usually release you by dinner. You're then sore for a few days, can't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for about a excuse for not doing a lot! :)

Roses said...

Thanks for the encouragement about the gall bladder. It helps, it really does. I had been very worried about it until people started explaining how it was no big deal.

Dani: I'd like to hear each of your reasons for believing that. You can e-mail me if you ever want to share. Really.

Moogie P said...

I'm so happy it was just a bum gall bladder! Easy fix.

I also truly believe she was there. Learning to listen to the whispers can be challenging. Sometimes, intellectually, we battle its possibility, but I truly believe. Let go, and feel "the power of love." Easier said than done.

Another thing to think about -- the cream filling is the best part of the Twinkie. Feel better soon!

Mrs. Who said...

I don't believe in ghosts...but I do believe in other 'connections'. They are there, and you are blessed to see (or at least 'hear') them.

Bou said...

She was there and it was no coincidence. I love that.

As for the gall bladder, I lost my 6 years ago. It runs in my family. Fertile women over 40 in particular. Estrogen is a big culprit in gall bladder issues, in particular if you've been on the pill. I think I kept mine until 40 because I was never on it, but my sister who was for years, lost hers a 30 and my Mom who was on the pill when it first came out, one size fits all and she's tiny, lost hers at 26.

We have come to the conclusion that we are fertile AND we do not digest fat well.

I was home by noon and would have been home at 10:00 if they'd let me. It was outpatient. It is surgery so it's always a big deal, but you can't see my scars. Tiny little pokey slits. I can't even tell you when I was at 100%, because it was so quick. I was off the heavy drugs by day 2. Advil is probably all I needed. It not like it was when my Mom had hers removed. It's a bonus when they don't cut through muscle.

If you get it done, email me. I have some advice you need to heed to help healing. I've taken enough space...