Friday, December 18, 2009

Sushi Man

Well, I have had one of those Fridays which is both good and bad.
Like a recipe: One part blessings to one part woes.
If any of the gentlemen bloggers are reading this, you might want to keep a keen eye out for the opportunity to learn from the errors of another.

This is one of those it's complicated but should be very simple recitations.

About three weeks ago I flunked my annual mammogram.
I received a letter from the diagnostic radiologist informing of abnormalities in need of additional investigative procedures. This form letter advised not to panic and to please call to schedule the procedures. Okay. I did that. I also informed Blowfish who made no comment.

I then got a phone call from the diagnostic center saying the procedures required needed to be rescheduled following my next evaluation by my primary physician. Okay.

I went to the primary last Friday at which time he asked a few strategic questions, ordered a bunch of labs and then explained he had requested a particular diagnostic radiologist do the procedures and those would be a " directed mammogram", a " focused compression sonagram" and possibly a needle biopsy. He went on to explain once these procedures were done the radiologist would be able to tell me if I did or did not have anything to worry about. When exiting the exam room the primary gave me a little pat-pat on the shoulder. In the decade or so he has been my doc there have never been any little pat-pats.

That evening as Blowfish and I sort of went through the days debriefing over dinner, I mentioned the appointment with the primary and the upcoming diagnostics. He made no comment.

This morning I had the directed mammogram and the focused compression sonagram. Wow is that a major ouch! Whoever figured out the best way to look at a sphere is to flatten it has my unyielding ire. On the other hand the results were NEGATIVE! Not one thing to worry about so falalalala and have a Merry Christmas! I cannot overstate how grateful I am to have received this news. I've been a tad anxious about this issue and am very happy to have it behind me.

So that is my oh-so-very- good news.

The flip side of the coin is Blowfish has yet to ask me how my day has been.
Forgot the day?
Not likely.
The Women's Diagnostic Radiology Center called to leave a voice mail on the home line yesterday to remind of the early morning appointment. Blowfish took that message and related it to me last evening. So yeah, he was fully informed. Also, I am of the mindset of people don't forget what is important to them. Did you ever forget to go to the prom? Do you forget when you favorite team has a big game? How exactly does a man forget the day when his spouse will discover if she does or does not have a life threatening issue?

Sensitive issue and Blowfish is uncertain how to navigate these waters?
Not likely.
Blowfish has a friend from work, "Miss D" who has been suffering with treatments of every sort for breast cancer. Miss D has no husband , no parents. She does have siblings and adult children here in town. However her "go to person" for this terrible life event has been her friend Blowfish. He has taken her panicky phone calls when we've been out to dinner and he has been known to pace up and down the driveway while consoling her on his cell phone. She calls him every time she sees the doctor or has a treatment to give him her report. Once she called the home line to ask me where he was because she had been unable to reach him on his cell phone. A couple of times Blowfish has mentioned he sometimes takes Miss D to lunch to perk up her spirits because " she's having a really tough time". Blowfish even came home one day with a big smile to say it looked like Miss D was making good strides toward getting into remission. To be honest, once or twice I found myself thinking, "Isn't this a little bit odd?"

Today I am thinking something a little different.
If any of you gentlemen bloggers are still on this post,
I have a recommendation for you.
Don't follow Blowfish's example.

Anybody hungry for Sushi?

19 comments:

Gypsy said...

First of all Fishy I was desperately skimming through hoping against hope that the good news was somewhere within and I breathed a mighty sigh of relief when it was. I'm so happy that there is nothing to worry about.


Now onto Blowfish. I can well understand your concern and frankly I would be very hurt and angry in equal measures. However, I can maybe give you a take on this that has been my experience with my dad.


My dad is always very concerned about me when I am ill and couldn't be more caring yet when it's my mum he acts disinterested. He loves my mum more than anyone in the world and the thought of her having anything that may or may not take her from him always evokes the same response. He ignores it because then it won't be there to be acknowledged.


Maybe Blowfish can afford to be sympathetic and caring with Miss D because although he clearly wants her to get better, it isn't going to have a catastrophic effect on his life if she succumbs to her illness.


Does that make sense?


Not knowing Blowfish I don't know if this could be a possibility but as strange as it sounds maybe this is his way of dealing with something he finds hard to cope with.

fishy said...

Hey Gypsy. So you think Blowfish has denial and should be spared the sushi knife? I expect you are right. There are certain circumstances which, I swear to you, turns that man's brain to the off position!

I probably should have mentioned in the post this fact:
Before treatments begin, women with breast cancer are advised to select a "go to person" who will promise to be available to them when the going gets tough. They do recommend the "go to" person be a non family member so they can be 100% honest in their emotions. Miss D asked Blowfish if he would do this for her because they are longtime co-workers and because he is reliable in tough situations as long as there is no emotional factor for him. He has kept his promise and been a great " go to" person for her.

So yes indeed this might be a case of if I don't recognize this maybe it doesn't exist. BUT! wouldn't you think he would be wanting some answers by now?

I breathed a pretty big sigh of relief myself! And may you never have your spheres compressed to pancakes!

Kymical Reactions said...

Fishy, I'm so thankful that your outcome was negative. Merry Christmas, indeed!

Now, I suspect Gypsy is right about Blowfish. But, I'd be out right pissed if, and I would stew on it more and more the longer it went on that nothing was asked of my day. Then I'd start thinking of really mean things to say without directly lying. Like, maybe I'd just casually mention that "I just don't know which one of my friends would be the most reliable "go to person" for me." Or, "I wonder if wigs make your scalp itch."

I know that is tacky of me, but I'd just make husband stew on what ever he was stewing about just a bit more because I'd be pissed.


But maybe Blowfish thinks that if there was something urgent for him to know, that you would have told him. If it turns out that you'll be making sushi soon, send me some California rolls.

Hugs to you, Fishy. You are adored and loved.

Pam said...

Yes, it sounds like a typical male dealing by not dealing kind of situation. My feelings are hurt for you. But I think also that if you have always been a strong and healthy person, he might not know how to deal with the thought of you being unhealthy. I have a feeling though that if the time had come to be your rock, he'd be a rock. And Miss D can now piss off.

Pam said...

And what I forgot to say is congratulations for a clear screening and commisserations for the worry and treatment you've been through lately. I was wondering why you were quiet on your page and now we know. Peace be with you.

fishy said...

Kym,
I do not believe you for one minute!
H-O-W-L! No way do I think you would walk past your Sweetie all fumed and casually wonder aloud if wigs are itchy? I think it far more likely you would be very direct. Like smacking him with a pillow to get his undivided attention.
On the other hand I have not spent the past three weeks wringing my hands and verbalizing the what ifs.
Perhaps Blowfish took that as a not to worry clue. Too bad, it will not save him from becoming Sushiman.

Pam,
I love it when the British influence comes out in you! Nothing
seems more British to me than the phrase to "piss off". As for Miss D, it is a very odd thing to watch Blowfish be such a stalwart "go to" person for her.

Especially because when I experienced the great neck break Blowfish got in his car and drove away. Sushiman did not even take off from work the day a team of neuro surgeons set forth to reconstruct my neck. Had I not been broken and facing tons of rehab I would have sushi'd him then.

On rare days I can think with compassion how difficult it must be to not be able to think or act clearly under stress. Today is not one of those days.

And OMG, the day Mermaid broke her arm and he punished her for being a wimp?????
Poor thing had to beg her Dad to bring her to me for help. An hour or suffering and risk later, Blowfish did drive her to where I was, left her in the car and came to tell me I needed to come outside to talk to our child about being a wimp. It took less than a second for me to tell Mermaid her arm was broken, both bones. I stabilized her arm then jumped in the driver's seat to get her to the hospital. Blowfish's survival instincts never fail him so he was was smart enough to not even attempt to get back in that car!

Thing is , he is a right fool about his beloved Mermaid, her arm was clearly fractured.Somewhere in his head things just do not work rationally when he is emotionally stressed,

That however, will not save him from the Sushi fate. So no Pam, you guessed wrong. He is a rock for Miss D. For me, he is the multiplier of risk.

Buzz Kill said...

I'm glad this story had a happy ending for you. And I partially agree that Blowfish is in denial. The other part may just be a lack of understanding. A loss of "situational awareness" as the military likes to put it.

I'll speak from personal experience here. The Mrs has a bunch of medical problems from bad knees and arthritis to a bad back and minor benign mole removals - just to name a few. She tells me every mundane detail about everything to the point where I start to glaze over on a lot of it. Now, I have no doubt that she is in pain or dicomfort from a lot of this. But she talks about it so much that I sometimes start to not hear what she's saying. Or I hear it and it just doesn't register.

I got into trouble with one of her mole removals. It was cancerous (she has a history of this since she was 5) and she came home from the dermatologist looking for sympathy. I'm sure she told me about this prior to it happening, but I forgot about it. She got pissed at me and when she showed me the scar and stitches, I knew I F-ed up. There was dinners out and groveling involved with making this right.

My point is, I didn't mean to seem uncaring, I just lost the bubble on this. It's no excuse, but it happens and will probably happen again down the road. This could have happened to BF, I don't know. Give him a chance, I think he'll make it right once he realizes what's happened.

fishy said...

Buzz,
Same result from opposite cause and effect? I assure you, other than to mention the actual appointments, so if the news was bad he would not be blindsided,
I have not said anything to keep this subject on his front burner. By the same token, if he has been worrying/ fearing the worst
(because of the Miss D situation) then he also has kept those anxieties to himself. I get that he might feel a bit damned if you do damned if you don't about bringing up the subject but really, he blew this.
It is wonderful of you Buzz to share the male perspective on these sorts of issues. And, I find it interesting for you to lobby in favor of Blowfish having a chance for amendments! Does this mean your Mrs. has never threatened to Sushi you?

I still have not said anything to Blowfish nor has he asked. I might suggest someday soon he read this post.

pam said...

Miss D can most definitely PISS OFF. Or, tell him you want to talk to her about what might be upcoming for you. If you decide not to tell him the good news, that is. That could be interesting.

Aunty Belle said...

Fa-la-la la la indeed!!

Whew!!

I will say, I often doan worry too much on these thangs--I as a dear one who went through a biopsy--but nuthin' was amiss--an in most cases, thangs is OK. Real pleased ytouse OK.

Before I conk blowfish on his haid, I must say:

MOVE OVER PAMOKC, I is adoptin' yore Kymmie--that chile' is a hoot!

About the blowfish....he is scared witless, thas all--like folks who gits so 'fraid they cain't talk. HE thinks iffin' he doan look at it, it woan look back.

As fer Miss D, see, what thas' about is that ANY owman not a man's wife is a ego boost--so though he might truly be compassionate fer Miss DeeDee, that is more about his puffed up self when some woman "needs" him.

Ole women knows a FEW THANGS, AN' ONE OF THEM IS THAT MEN ARE SUCKERS --fer sweet needy wimmen.

Kymical Reactions said...

Fishy, I wish I were making it up, but I'm not. I tend to be extremely passive aggressive when I'm feeling hurt or forgotten. Particularly when it's about something that's important to me.

I'm angry for you that Blowfish hasn't asked you about anything. I'm not kidding when I say that if I were in your shoes I'd be looking over life insurance policies, or my last will and testament. Never saying a word, but always making sure he was fully aware of what I was reviewing. I'd be leaving little
'living with cancer' phamplets here and there around the house.

And I think mom is on to something, and you should ask Blowfish to ask if Miss D would mind sitting down with you and telling you what life is like for her, and some of the things she struggles with. And when he asks why, you tell him that you would like a first hand account of how life changes for someone when they are diagnosed with cancer. You'd not be admitting nor denying anything that way, and if that didn't prevoke a response out of Blowfish then I'd be eating sushi for the next six months.

Blowfish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fishy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fishy said...

Pam,
Miss D is a 60something exhausted , ill woman trying to keep working to keep her insurance. Before treatments start patients are counseled to secure a fully informed "go to" person at work in case they have a bad event there. I actually think it is good of Blowfish to do this for her. That being said, it does not earn him a get out of jail free card on the homefront.

Aunty,
You think Blowfish has the deer in the headlights syndrome? Mebbe. Mebbe not.

It is true there are times when events just shut his brain down. One of my sisters actually missed our wedding because he could not remember to hand her an envelope with the directions and a map to the church.

You may have a point.
I am far more capable than needy.
And I ain't feeling too "sweet" toward Blowfish at the moment.

Kym,
Blowfish is not going to be eating sushi.
he is going to BE the sushi !!!!!!

moi said...

Yay to a negative outcome! Been there, done that a couple times, and the relief is like plunging into a cold pool on a hot summer day.

The good news is that screenings for a variety of cancers are very sophisticated today. The bad new is because of this sensitivity, they often result in outcomes like this, causing needless worry and upset.

My spousal unit had a similar reaction to a health scare on my part a couple years ago. So after two days of him basically ignoring the fact that I was freaking out, I hit him over the head and once he woke up I asked him WTF was up with his 'tude?

His answer was, that we didn't really know anything one way or the other and he didn't believe in spending needless energy on something he couldn't do anything about. If in fact it turned out that something was wrong we'd sit down and carve out a battle plan and he'd be there every step of the way, but for now, could I move? I was blocking the television.

Was it the answer I wanted? No, the answer I wanted was somewhere along the lines of what my girlfriends give me: heaping helpings of sympathy and stories and tears and day-long window shopping sprees to get my mind off my troubles.

That's what girlfriends are for. My husband, it seems, only fully engages once he can actually do something. I can spin out what ifs and fifty gazillion possible outcomes from until eternity, but he stays focused primarily on the now. I knew this when I married him, but sometimes I forget.

I don't know if this is what Blowfish was feeling, but you won't know until you ASK him :o).

fishy said...

Well,
Blowfish is home from his weekend away. He read this blog post.

He has not apologized.
He has not expressed any thoughts about my exam results.

He is in his retreat.

It certainly is a blessing I had good results because it is obvious there is not a " go to" person in this house for me.

I maybe need to think about that.

Pam said...

Uhoh, we are all in trouble now. But one certainy fishy needed to discuss and thus turned to blog friends. I have similar with a few issues I have gone through with cancer treatment and a couple of other major health matters. I just think it is something men don't talk about until they have to.

Mermaid said...

Oh Mamafish! As with everyone I'm grateful to know that the sphere smashing yeilded positive results!!!! As for making sushi out of Blowfish, content yourself with sharpening your knife, but don't fillet him just yet.

Blowfish doesn't know how to deal... never has. When you broke your neck he rolled over and went back to sleep- denial. When I shredded my knees on asphalt he threw me in the pool to "clean" the wound.... you spent hours trying to use tweezers to get all the rock out of my knees and he still thought it was just a scratch! Years later I did some impressive acrobatics in an involuntary dismount that yeilded one severely broken arm, several hemotomas, and a hoofprint through my helmet and he went back to fixing the leak on the barn roof.... serious denial!

All in all Blowfish isn't the least bit skilled at dealing with such things... hell the man got cracked in the head by a tree and barely let you butterfly the wound closed and you could see his skull! He recently cut off part of his thumb and just stuck a bandaid on it!!!! Do we see a pattern here?

I assure you Blowfish is really really upset about all of this....

fishy said...

Sweet Mermaid,
Don't worry, I won't be giving you SushiDad for Christmas. Thanks for the celebratory words about the good results. Compassionate of you to entreat for Blowfish. I assume you do know his actions are unacceptable?