Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Unremarkable Wife

For those of you who are interested in a few more medical details, we got a copy of the CT report in the mail yesterday afternoon.  The word that kept cropping up over and over again was "unremarkable".  That's Gabrielle, all right: unremarkable.  In medical parlance, that's a very good thing!  Here's the Cliff Notes version of the report:
The lungs are clear.
The heart, great vessels and mediastinum are unremarkable.
There are no abnormally enlarged lymph nodes anywhere in the chest.
The visualized skeletal elements are unremarkable.
There is resolution of the previously noted mass in the left lobe of the liver.
The liver is unremarkable, the spleen is unremarkable, the adrenal glands are unremarkable, the kidneys are unremarkable, the pancreas is (wait for it...are you seeing a pattern here?) unremarkable, the l'il ol' gall bladder is...yep, another unremarkable.  The bladder is mentioned as being full of urine and unremarkable.  It is not exactly clear if the radiologist is alluding to the bladder or the urine itself, but I think I will go out on a limb and say that what they heck...they can both be unremarkable in my book.
The largest lymph node has shrunk by half and two other lymph nodes nearby have had complete resolution.  Oh, I forgot one other one: the bowel is...unremarkable

It's funny when a word that usually has such negative connotations ends up being so positive and affirming.  If I went to a ball game and the pitcher had an unremarkable time on the mound, that wouldn't be all that great.  If someone had an unremarkable performance review at work, he'd be pretty bummed out.  If I was told by my financial planner that my investments were yielding unremarkable returns, it would be reason to find another planner.  On the other hand, I am reminded of a joke my dad used to tell about a remarkable pig.  It was one incredible pig, not a mediocre one (for details, should you want to punish yourself, I am including it at the end of this post and you too will see that it is one remarkable pig).

But that's medicine for you.  If something is positive that's bad.  If something is negative, that's good.  Nothing like a good negative X-ray to cheer someone up.  But anyhow, the message on the CT report came through loud and clear.  Gabrielle opened the mail, sat down and read it through a couple of times, stopping on each "unremarkable" and positively glowing and then she got a big grin on her face and said, "It's even better than Dr. M. had said.  I guess God wants me around a little longer."  To which Daniel corrected her and said, "A lot longer!"  Amen to that!

So, thanks once again for being on our rope team, in our corner, and for being such a remarkable set of friends, colleagues, prayer warriors for us.  You are more precious than you will ever know...and that's a kind of remarkable that I would like to see.

Well, before I end this unremarkable post, I need to tell you about a certain pig that was encountered by a traveling salesman...
This salesman shows up at the farmer's house.  In an effort to feign interest in the guy's place, prior to selling him a set of encyclopedias (or whatever else suits your fancy), he asks for a tour of the farm.  Horses, check.  Cows, check.  Ducks, check (Daniel wants one by the way).  Sheep, check.  It's like a scene right out of Babe.  However, when he comes to the pig sty, there's a pig in there with only three legs.  Guy naturally asks why, to which the farmer goes into great detail about what a remarkable, incredible pig it is.  He starts by telling him that once the pig broke out of his sty to alert the family that the house was burning down.  Remarkable pig.  Next, little Billy had fallen asleep right in front of the combine and the pig raced back and forth in front of the combine to stop him from threshing little Billy and turning him into a hay bale.  Remarkable pig.  Depending upon Dad's mood at the time, the set of amazing feats this little squeaker performed could go on and on, sometimes for 20 minutes in the telling, always with the refrain that it was indeed some remarkable pig.  Of course, we all knew the punch line and we sometimes would chime in with stories of our own, like how there weren't enough farmhands to harvest the apples, so the pig climbed the tree himself.  We'd all shout out in unison: "that's some remarkable pig!"  You get the drift.  Finally, the exasperated salesman says, "Yes, I understand all that, but it still doesn't explain why he only has three legs."  Farmer replies, "a remarkable pig like that, it would be a shame to eat him all at once." 

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