Friday, May 8, 2015

Whose Problem is This?

When I was in college I lived for a year with five guys in one house.  Four of us had dogs.  And, the dogs were not all that well trained.  Imagine that.

Late one night, one of the pups left a present (read:  pooped) in the living room.  One by one, each of us four dog owners came out and said, “Nope, that’s not ____’s” (fill in the blank with our pups name) and proceeded to go back to whatever we were doing.  No one wanted to own the problem.  Finally, the guy that didn’t own a dog cleaned it up I think.

That’s kind of how my body and the western medical world are getting along.  No one wants to own the problem.  They all agree that there is a benign tumor in my head but they can’t agree on who owns the problem. 

There are moments when I lose balance, can’t talk or swallow right, break out in a full body sweat… essentially , come to a ground halt for about fifteen minutes until things re-balance and off I go.  It started this winter early in most every ski day and it continues just about anytime my heart rate goes up or my breathing gets out of whack.  Too much pressure on the right-side jugular vein.
  • Neurosurgeon in the Desert said, “Too many lions and tigers in the tumor’s neighborhood.  Not mine.  Go to UCLA.”
  • UCLA Surgeon #1 said “Nope.  Not a Glomis Jugulare.  You’re not mine.” 
  • UCLA Surgeon #2 said “You might be mine with a Meningioma, but come back when you can’t talk or swallow.” 
  • The Internal Medicine Doc said “It’s not of interest to our office.  That’s the Neurologist’s."
  • Last week the Neurologist said “The tumor hasn’t grown and you’re not dizzy or debilitated enough to go back to UCLA.  I’ll send you to a cardiologist…” 
So, I guess it comes back to me as the owner of this body.  I think I will stick to my previous commitment… choosing to live well… and accept that moments of disorientation and slurred speech are just part of what it means to be me. 



Am I Listening?

A while back, someone said to me, “Wow, Vince, you’re such a good listener!”  It made me wonder what it’s like to be a bad listener!  So, I ...