Monday arrived. Back to work. Ugh, right? Well, actually I was looking forward to it. I am pretty busy at work and was relishing the business to keep my mind off of my previous appointments.
I woke up early that morning and since I did not have Zoe to rush off to school, I decided to treat myself at my local bakery: Seven Stars.
Around this time of year, they make a delightful, gingerbread muffin. It is studded with bits of candied ginger, moist and fluffy with a hint of spice. Paired with a medium black coffee; I was good to go. (I wish I could say I gobbled it up and downed the coffee, ready to go! It took me all day to eat it and I barely touched my coffee. Clearly preoccupied.)
I work in an open type environment in a cubby sort of area. Since I am on the phone all day, helping customers with quilting fabric choices; I put my cell phone in front of my face so as not to miss a call from my doctor. Wouldn’t you know it….I did! I noticed a call 30minutes after, of course I called back and of course she was with a patient. You can imagine my nervousness at this point. She is only calling because they must have found something on one of my tests. UGH…. After about 2 different misses we reached each other. I ran downstairs to an empty private space in our old mill building.
“So, one test revealed you have Hip Displaysia”, Amy(my Nurse Practitioner) says. “Wow, really?!” I say. My oldest daughter Emma was born with Hip Displaysia and had to wear this funky Pavlic Brace for the first month of her life. How odd I thought to myself. I have not been doing anything crazy with my body that would warrant that condition.
“Your hip condition is the least of our concerns right now. We found a mass on your kidney and need to send you to see a specialist.” I have been frantically taking notes and leaning over in a corner of the hall. I’m pretty sure I am shaking now but trying to stay calm. Amy could not reveal much about the mass but to say it was about 8.4cm. Now I am not very good at math but that sounded kinda large…….Deep breaths I thought. Get all of the info down. This is IMPORTANT. “Ok, she says, the Docs and I are sending you to a Nephrologist. We will help make the appointment and get back to you.” “Ok.” I said. I promptly went back upstairs to my desk and looked up Nephrologist while staring at my phone so as not to miss the call. By the time I found out that a Nephrologist deals with Hypertension and Diabetes; they called back to say, “No, you actually need to see a Urologist. Dr. Harry Ianotti is one of the best in the area and they will call you with the appointment.” Now mind you, I am still having to answer customer calls while processing this all in my head. “Could I please order 5 yards of Minion fabric?” “I’m sorry, we are out right now but it will be back in for delivery in February.” This Minion fabric has been all the rage with sewers and quilters since it hit the market. I cannot tell you how crazy people are about it and how upset they get when we tell them we are out. Today though, I was happy for the distraction and found a a fabric to appease the customer.
I took a moment and went in to tell my boss what had happened and that I may need to go to an appointment at some point this week. She gave me the most reassuring smile and said, “Try not to worry, I am sure it will be fine.” My how I wanted to believe her. As I sat at my desk trying not to worry while waiting for the call, I went to talk to my co-worker Justina. She is a fellow Mom so I knew she could relate to some of my concerns. I told her what they had found and that I needed to see a specialist. I felt scared and hated the fact that I had to deal with this right now. “You know what it’s like?” I said. “It’s like when Zoe had lice, (TWICE in 6 months!) I wanted SOOOOOOO much to will it away. I wanted to wake up and have those damn bugs be gone. But shit, NO. You have to jump in and wash with a special shampoo and with calm and focus you must comb out each and every one of those MF bugs. Not just once, but every day for days!!!!” Now listen, I am not trying to minimize my serious situation. I am simply stating that I would like to will this all away. I really don’t appreciate having to F-ing deal with this right now. But G-damnit, I HAVE TO. SHIT.
Dr. I’s office called and scheduled me for Wednesday. Seriously??? I have to wait? Sigh. I focused on work and called my Mom who promptly invited me over for dinner that night.
“I want you to try this fabulous Shepard’s Pie I made.” She said when I arrived. “Shepard’s Pie? Mom, you know how I feel about Shepard’s Pie!” “What are you talking about?” She says. “I abhorr Shepard’s Pie thanks to the cafeteria at Oak Grove Elementary.” I explain. “We’d all get in line with our plastic cafeteria trays, hungry and ready for lunch. We’d get midway down the line and the smell, oh the smell…grey ground beef sauteeing in some ugly brown gravy with sour sweet corn. This large (of course I was 8 at the time: everything is LARGE) steel machine scoops in potatoes and out plops a ball of mashed potatoes onto my pale pink plastic plate upon which the lunch lady ladles the beef and corn mixture. “UGH!” I thought. “I have to eat this?!!!!” “I don’t think so.” “Mom, pretty much due to the memories of that gross smell and texture alone, I can never eat Shepard’s Pie!” She sort of laughs and says, “How is it I have never heard that story before?” “Mom, I am sure I ran home that day and told you.” (Funny, to look back on this memory now. How lucky were we as kids in Brattleboro, VT to have the lunch ladies actually cook hot food for us. Not sure if it was from scratch or not, but cafeteria’s are a far cry from what they used to be. And not for the better.) She ignored my worried face and served this:
I have to admit, it looked pretty scrumptious. I asked her how she made it.
She sauteed ground beef, onions, carrots. After getting rid of some fat, added a squirt of tomato paste. Added some flour and broth to make a gravy. Added parsley, rosemary and a cup of frozen peas. In the meantime, she preheated the oven to 350 degrees, made some mashed potatoes. Put the ground beef mixture in an oven-proof skillet. Topped the mixture with mashed potatoes, sprinkled on some grated cheese and baked till hot and slightly crunchy on top (about 30-40min).
I must say is was delicious and I’m pretty sure I had seconds. She even packed me up a serving to have for lunch at work the next day. Much nicer than the lunch ladies!!!
I went home, called the rest of the family and tried to sleep. Just have to try and focus elsewhere till my appointment.
Easier said than done.