Monday, July 11, 2016

Three Days, Four Appointments

We had three days in the city. Just Randy and me. We'd never done anything like this before. Not even before kids. Because we had Schindler. And he was the Dog Child. And we were focused on our careers. And we were the employees who never really took breaks. But we're changing.

So,  yeah. First timers in Seattle for what we define as "an extended period."

Thank you Christine and Jeff for watching N&I. You guys are rock stars.

Thank you Jeff (not the same one, but both awesome dudes) for carting us around the city and taking us to medical appointments. This is the same Jeff that helped on the day of Randy's surgery.  Send our regards to your lady....

Late Tuesday night on the boat; the beauty of the skyline across the water.

Up early Wednesday  morning for two appointments: The Man ENT and the Speech Therapist who sounds like a smoker but isn't--I asked. Obviously. But very diplomatically. I have some class, you guys. She had cancer of the larynx when she was 3. You heard me. Three years old. Pediatric Cancer survivor. Bad assery, right there, you guys. Bad. Assery. And so began her transformation into a Speech Therapist.

The Good News: Randy's cleared for cancer treatment. Radiation to start Wednesday. He went on Tuesday (thank you Zion for taking him; our regards to your lady....) to the Sequim Cancer Center and got his immobilization device. In his mouth. And they screw the immobilization device to the table he's laying on. I asked him if they bought out The Gimp for him. But they didn't.

Anywho...the Speech Therapist gave him some swallowing exercises. Seriously. This is a thing. I had no idea. My friends the SLPs, of course, are aware. But they don't teach us Health Educators everything. There's a lot of learning on the job and in life, yo. 

So we finished up and ate lunch at this little hole in the wall called Piroshki on Madison. Freaking fantastic! Very simple place, full of delicious goodness and salmon and cream cheese and bread. Seriously. Needed a salad, but they're a bakery. Salad prevents cancer. Just trying to do my part.

So...we connected with Jeff and then we went to Half Priced Books. Because that's what we do, even on a "vacation," which is combined with four medical appointments. Seriously. We go to book stores. We're book store whores. In a good way. And we totally scored on a ton of books. And we bought some books as souvenirs for the boys. Because that's how we roll.

And on one corner, in order, the shops included a tattoo shop, a marijuana shop, and a comic shop. Just for the record, I purchased nothing in those stores. I just liked that the culture is changing where these three stores are available, let alone next to each other.

Then we went to some Italian place with a hot waitress over in Ballard. Freaking delicious. The food. I have no idea how the waitress was. Heh. See what I did there?

On Thursday, we slept late, like you do when you have no children to be responsible for, and then dragged our arses outta bed and went to the EMP Museum. And this place was so amazing. Their mission statement:

EMP is a leading-edge nonprofit
museum, dedicated to the ideas
and risk-taking that fuel
contemporary popular culture

Seriously. So, of course we're going in. We saw the Star Trek, Sci-fi, and Nirvana exhibits. The horror exhibit wasn't for me, so I wasn't there very long. I'm not really down with scary shit. Makes me get the heebee-geebees. But, that's what happens when you grow up believing the boogie man is going to jump out at you from a bush and take you away.

On Friday morning, we headed to Swedish at Cherry Hill and Randy had an EEG, but he didn't take any selfies, which is pretty selfish, really. And then later in the afternoon we saw the Epileptologist and got the results of the EEG. Basically, Randy has seizure disorder and can't drive for 6 months (which is the law in Washington State) and has to take an anti-seizure medication twice a day for the rest of his life.

At some point, we don't know when, Randy had a stroke. I learned that we can have strokes at any time and they can be so small that we don't know it is happening. The Epileptologist also said that there are very small spots on his brain, and the way the spots look mean that something happened with his heart. In 2004, Randy was hospitalized for 17 days for staph endocarditis, and during that time he had several MRI's and they also showed these spots on his brain. The hypothesis is that these spots are scars, basically, which are probably petechiae. And there's one lesion in his brain, which is somehow related to the stroke. The next step with this is that Randy will be seen by a stroke specialist over in Seattle. But, first, he's gotta get through cancer treatment.

We had a very long drive home after the meeting with the Epileptologist. Christine brought the boys to us that evening. I picked Abby up on Saturday morning from where we board her. It was good for all 5 of us to be home and together after what felt like being gone for a very long time. 

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