In three days it will be exactly 22 years since I met my wife. A few weeks back we celebrated our 5th year of marriage with a weekend at the beach.
Twenty two years and three days ago I was a single dad with four sons. In the movies, this situation is easily remiedied by the perfect person coming along and after a few wonderful mishaps, a few hours later they are happily married an driving off into the sunset.
In reality, most single women hear that you, a single dad, have 4 kids and suddenly have other plans. Sock drawers need organizing, plans to enter the convent, stuff like that. I had resigned myself to a life of an occasional pity date and relying on my Mom, my Sister, and my Church for assitance in raising my kids.
For those of you who want a formula for changing the storyline, try what I did. Have a dentist appointment for a bad tooth on a Wed, and take the required anti biotics and go home to prepare for the next day when they will remove the tooth and hope the swelling will go down.
Then, get a phone call from a friend who needs a ride home from a local juke joint and will I come to get him home safely. After securing said children with Mom and Sis, go to the juke joint and attempt to retrieve said friend, who is now winning at pool and refuses to leave while winning.. Take a seat in the dark to avoid the large swollen side of your face from being so noticeable.
While sitting there in pain, you can't help but to notice the most beautiful women you have ever seen wearing very funny pants dancing with a girlfriend and a guy you know. Imagine the three of them come by your table, and try to imagine making a good first impression while dealing with being totally awestruck and sounding like I am gargling marbles due to the swollen jaw.. Somehow I manage to give her a business card after telling her I would love to see her again after I get my dental work done.
SHe actually takes my call the next day after my surgery,and agrees to meet me at Pizza Hut. I had told her the night before that I have 4 kids, and her eyes did not roll back or glaze over, a good sign.
With a mouth full of packing I try to be charming when I should have been sleeping off the codine pain pills. I spent three hours in Pizza Hut without eating a bite.. I could not wait to see her again and I had no feeling on the left side of my face...Teresa would warn me when the side of my mouth was drooling...Romantic Huh...
Fast forward 17 years and we are finally married. We had agreed to make a life seperate, yet together for these years while we raised our families and dated...When the youngest went off to college, we set a date and got married, just like we had promised each other..
Then one day, my Wife tells me a normal check up did not go well, and she was scheduled for more testing. MY heart nearly stops, but I try to not go crazy with worry......More testing, and more testing, and our doctor begins using the C word. Her calcuim levels were thru the roof, and the thyroid drugs began not regulating anymore. The C word will take over your life. It was not conclusive, but once it is shared, it cannot be taken back. Its like a weight on your chest that get heavier, but you have to pretend not to notice. That is not easy to do....
Months go by, with more testing, MRIs, Sonograms, Xrays, and still the results were being read as Possible Cancer of the thyriod, causing all these other issues. Finally, wanting another opinion, we went to a Thyroid specialist, and started over with the testing...
I remember this last Jan when we were given the news that it was not cancer, it was a rogue Parathyroid, just doing whatever it wanted and throwing my Wifes poor body for a loop. More testing, another kind of special MRI and more sonagrams and we meet with a wonderful surgeon. All the tests are inconclusive, but in her opinion there are lumps on the Thyroid and one of her four Parathyroids must be acting up, but they can't find it.
After our weekend in Daytona Beach celebrating our 5th year of being married, we we quietly aware of the upcoming surgery the following Thursday. We had high hopes, but with all the tests not being able to find anything, we were apprehensive.. Finally, get get up early that day and meet just about our entire family at the hospital.
The surgeon tells us it should be about an hour. One hour goes by, then two, and then three..Finally, the surgeon meets me in the little room and says they found a nodule lump on the thyroid, an attatched lymhp gland sticking to the thyroid, and after all that, found the rogue Parathyroid on the other side of the neck, behind the thyroid. So, all three bad things were removed, and biopsied. No cancer, but a much longer surgery, and a five inch incision accross her neck from one side to the other.
Her blood testing taken immediately after the surgery showed a dramatic drop in the calcium PCHT levels, from 63 before the surgery down to 16 after. Between 15 and 20 is normal. I was able to bring her home the next day, and we spent a week together at home while she recovered. Its been three weeks now, and she is feeling better in many ways now that the thyroid is regulated.
Being the naturally beautiful person that she is, she is unreasonably worried about the scar across her neck. SHe is worried that I, and other people are going to notice the scar. I am just so happy that she is doing better, and that the problem has been solved. Trust me, I am so happy she is better I do not see a scar. Its just so wonderful to not be scared anymore..What scar...
For our 22nd anniversary of being together, I cannot begin to express how much weight is off of our heads now that she is doing so much better. The little voices in my head that had been worrying me so for the last few months have finally been quieted.
There is a joy in my life again that is hard to explain. The future is there again for the both of us together, and I finally feel like I can breathe again. This 22nd anniversary will be a special one, one that has our hopes and dreams back intact again for our future together.
I wish everyone would take another look at your loved ones and cherish your time together. I feel like we are being able to start over again. I wish the same for everyone, take the time to enjoy your family.