It’s been a monumentally huge couple of weeks for my wife and me as far as news goes in our real life. (Before you ask: No, no one’s pregnant.) I can’t really talk about it all yet, as there are some things technically still up in the air that shouldn’t be commented on solidly until all the paperwork is signed and so forth. (No, we’re not getting a divorce!)
Let me go in order of hugeness.
Huge News Item #1—In
a couple of months, the wife and I will be headed to Central America on a
medical missions trip. The wife went on a similar one to Guatemala and
Honduras back in 2003 and had an amazing and sometimes frightening
adventure (what with Guatemala suddenly breaking out in civil unrest
while she was there, causing the team to have to trade medical services
for passage through protest roadblocks that had been set up between all
the major cities). I was back stateside for that one and had to make
do with little bits of news like “Protests have broken out and the
med-team is getting out of the country” which implies a lot more danger
than they were actually in. I’ll probably expound upon her `03
adventures in a future post as the date for our new trip draws closer.
Suffice it to say, I’m going on the trip this year, headed to Guatemala and El
Salvador despite my entire lack of medical training and extremely rusty
Spanish-skills. Our passports even came in late last week and we’ve made
our downpayment, so it looks like it’s official.
Huge News Item #2—The wife and I have made our decision of which hospital to rank #1 in terms of
our choice of where we would like to spend her medical residency. I’ve written of this a little in the past
and even threw out a couple of possible choices, (basically here in
Tri-Metro or Clarksburg). Where ever we wind up will be our home for the
next three years and has the potential to uproot our lives (not to
mention our blogs) or keep them relatively stable depending on what goes
down come February. This is the bit of news that I can’t say too much
about, as nothing is set in stone yet. We’ve basically just ranked the
hospitals in order of preference. That’s major news enough, but the
O’Henry ending to it is we actually changed our minds this week as to
where we wanted to go or stay due to having received some information
that basically negated all the reasons for choosing our previous choice.
We have it on good authority that the hospital we have now ranked as #1
is going to rank the wife pretty high too, so chances are we’ll get it.
However, it could always go down another way. We might not get either of our
choices, at which point we'll have to scramble to find a program that
can take her. Can’t say for sure `til we do, though. I believe February
14 is the day we’ll learn for sure. Believe you me, though, if things go
down like we hope they will I'll have plenty to spill then.
Huge News Item #3—Last
week, while on her ophthalmology rotation, the wife's preceptor physician
was demonstrating some of the equipment in the clinic using her as the
demonstratee. During the course of his eye examination, he discovered
that my wife's eyes have a visual field defect. This is a condition where
the eye cannot see as well in certain sections of the normal range of
vision. Often this is due to pressure being applied from within the eye
socket itself. It’s nothing she has ever noticed before, nor would it
likely have become known without the doctor's test. Further
investigation by the doc indicated that some of the vessels in the back
of her eyes are not moving blood out of the eye as efficiently as they
should. This is not a normal condition for someone of her age, and it
makes the doctor nervous. At the moment the vessels are just sluggish,
but could eventually begin clotting with blood if the flow reduces
further. This has the potential to permanently damage her eyesight.
kind of thing can appear in people with diabetes or blood pressure
problems, but she doesn't fall into either category. Another possibility
for the sluggish vessels is that they are being pressed upon by
something else in the area, like maybe an artery. In that case, it’s
just how God made her and she’s probably going to need to take aspirin
regularly to cut down on clot-potential. However, one other very common
cause for such a visual field defect is a pituitary gland tumor. The wife came home joking about that last Friday. Then, the following Monday, she told me that her
preceptor was actually very serious about getting it checked out and wanted to
schedule an angiogram and an MRI. Yesterday she had the angiogram, where
they pumped dye through her veins to see where it goes and how it
flows. This proved there is some kind of pressure problem in certain
vessels in her eyes. Unfortunately, we have to wait until next Tuesday
for the MRI to, hopefully, find out what's causing it
this could just be how she’s made. Or it could be a tumor. Or it could
be something else entirely. The wife assures me that pituitary tumors are
rarely cancerous and thus usually non-life-threatening. People have gone
their whole lives with them and never known about it. Once diagnosed,
they're usually treatable, though removing one would require surgery. We
have to get it checked out all the same.
part of me is freaked out that my wife might have a tumor of any kind,
benign or not. Another part of me looks at this as providence, since
finding a potentially eye-crippling condition and treating it before it
causes damage is a very good thing. She is also freaked out because
having ticking time bombs in one's eyes is never fun.
So that’s the Huge News from Real Life. I’ll keep you posted as to how things work out on all fronts.