Out Cold

November 1, 2007 at 1:00 am (Uncategorized)

I don’t think I’ve written three blogs in a row entirely about Llew before, but there’s a first (and hopefully last, as you’ll see) time for everything.

He’s been in the wars. It absolutely wasn’t what he had planned for his last day as a 33 year old, but last Wednesday a routine skin check resulted in the immediate removal of a mole Llew himself has been worried about for years. At the last check-up at the skin clinic in town, he was told it was fine. The same gentleman this time around said it had to go and go fast.
“You said it was okay last time,” Llew said.
“Things change when you get sunburnt,” said Mr Bedside Manner, a man apparently notorious around Llew’s office and others in the CBD for his total lack of people skills.

What was the three-step removal strategy…? Inject, freeze, and scrape, that’s right. Inject, freeze, and scrape. Beautiful. All before breakfast. After the final stage, Llew was left with a big hole in his stomach, like a cigar burn, actually. And he was left with no idea as to whether cancer had been simmering beneath this mole since the last check. As it runs down one side of his family like an ice-cream cone in summer, any change is serious and immediate cause for alarm. Call back in a week was the instruction, and then he was out the door.

That was the day before Llew’s birthday, so he was feeling understandably uptight on the day. We even managed to argue, both of us tense and upset about the possible implications of the biopsy result. Then we both tried to just focus on other things and just get on with it – there’s no point endlessly speculating about things you know nothing about and cannot control. It’s a shortcut to madness, second guessing, so we tried to stop doing it.

Yesterday Llew was due to call up to get his results. He trained hard at rowing in the morning, and was planning to do the Corporate Cup run in his lunch hour yesterday, before calling up Mr Cheerful for the good word in the afternoon. But then something went awry. As Llew describes it, he went over to the photocopier at work and suddenly felt very strange. There was a tightness in a line across his right side. He broke out in a thick sweat and started to feel dizzy. He sat himself down in the nearest seat and his vision blurred. He called out to a colleague and just managed to say he wasn’t feeling very well before he, well, collapsed in the chair. Apparently he was out for between 5-10 seconds and – somewhat amusingly in a situation that was anything but – started to snore.

When he came to, Alan, the colleague to whom Llew had called out, helped him to a nearby medical centre. I received a shaky call from Llew before they left the office, and went into town to get him feeling increasingly hysterical when further attempts to reach him failed. Then Alan got hold of me and said “He’s more stable now” – not exactly music to my ears (more stable??), but at least someone was with him and they were at the medical centre being seen straight away. Llew said his doctor was great, and both Llew’s symptoms and an ECG apparently ruled out a heart attack. That’s obviously great, but what was it? What happened? At the moment we simply don’t know, but Llew called me this morning certain that he’s allergic to suits…

Yes, he’s gone into work today, and says he’s feeling okay. We really won’t know anything more until the pathology results come in tomorrow, and hopefully they’ll tell the tale. It sounds like his blood pressure dropped dramatically, causing him to pass out, but at this stage we have no idea why. We came home yesterday and on the way, Llew called the skin clinic to get the biopsy results.

“Now that I’ve just had a heart attack, let’s see if I’ve got cancer too!” he joked.

Very funny, I know. Thankfully, so, so, so thankfully, the clinic gave him the all clear on the biopsy, so that’s one down and one to go. When we got home, the surfboard wall mounts I got him as part of his birthday haul gave way, and his board fell to the tiles, splintering the tail and scattering shards of fibreglass around the sunroom floor.

“This year is not starting well,” Llew said. “Even my birthday presents are turning on me.”

I must say this is not the birthday festival we requested. Two health scares and a busted board in 7 days – at just one week into 34, isn’t my precious baby still a little young to be taking this kind of beating? It’s been very, very sobering, literally and figuratively. The House of Jenkins is now officially on a health kick, because clearly we’re no longer teenagers. That message is coming through loud and clear. It’s a little late, true, but we’re finally starting to listen. I want our life together to be as long and as happy and healthy as we can possibly swing it, so a couple of things will have to change.


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