So I have written about 390 or so posts over the course of two years so if you have heard this one before forgive me.
I have no spleen.
Yep I am spleen-less, not to be confused with spineless which I am definitely not.
About 13 years ago I noticed this huge lump in my abdominal area. I had Andrew about a year before that and I just assumed that I might have a hernia. So I went to the doctor and he ordered a cat scan, and they saw that my spleen was the size of a football. Every doctor I saw just assumed that I had a form of Hodgkin's lymphoma and we went from there. I had numerous blood tests, employed a new team of doctors, had some bone marrow removed from my hip, completed rounds of immunizations and was scheduled for surgery.
A real fun couple of months.
I never thought it was cancer...not once. However, I read lots of books and was prepared to full on fight it. I turned into a vegan vegetarian and was bound and determined to beat it.
Well, they took my spleen and found out that it wasn't cancer but some cystic disease...basically my spleen had been slowly overtaken by cysts. The pathologist didn't even know what it was but it most definitely wasn't cancer.
I always thought that one didn't need his or her spleen as an adult. Which is sorta true, our bone marrow takes over most of the spleen's immune system jobs (which is why they had to take my marrow to make sure it was healthy...that whole procedure I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy...don't worry I won't go into details). Even though we can live without it, our spleen still has some role in our immune system. So now that I didn't have one I had to take some extra precautions with regards to my immune system. I can't catch a particular strain of pneumonia or I'll die (I know dramatic) so I get immunized for that (which isn't a fun thing either) and I am more susceptible to illness so I need to have a supply of antibiotics on permanent order at the pharmacy in case I get a fever of over 102, and I have to get a flu shot every year too.
OK finally the point of my post. I am the one person in my house that is supposed to catch every bug that comes around, but oddly I never get sick.
So Bella has been home the last two days being sick. Andrew was sick last week. Rich has had a cold this past week too. Not me. And I am not even careful. I need to take care of my kids which in my book means cuddling and holding and getting really close (not so much Andrew), and Rich and I have been married less than a year so daily kisses are still a must. Still I stand...the strong one. My doctor is very surprised by all of this. He says that I am the healthiest person on the edge of disaster. I have no spleen, I am TB positive, and I have fibrocystic breast disease, but my blood pressure is excellent and my resting pulse rate is about 40. I exercise regularly and eat basically a healthy diet. So I must be doing something right, or all these years around middle and high schoolers has really boosted my immune system.
This isn't, however, all it is cracked up to be. When every one else around you is sick and you aren't you end up being the permanent care taker with no pay backs. Now I must say my family handles sickness VERY differently.
Bella wakes up with a fever stumbles to her dresser gets dressed and comes into my room to start her plea to go to school. "Mom they need me for my soccer game" "Mom I can't miss math" "What will my friends do without me". Andrew on the other hand wakes up with a sniffle and can barely lift his head to take an Advil, and you would think he wasn't going to live the 6 hours until he gets his next one. It isn't that he really wants to stay home I think he really cannot handle being sick. Rich is usually a healthy person, and his sicknesses are really just a pain in the butt, nothing serious, but he falls into the Andrew camp of being sick. Just miserable. As for me on the rare occasion that I do get sick, I just buck it up and get it done. No moping, no whining, no stopping.
Being spleen-less apparently does not equal ticket to sympathy.
- A Ro