I went for an ultrasound this morning to check out my Gallbladder again because they think I may have Gallbladder Disease (pretty likely with my symptoms, family history and the fact I wanted to scream when they got close to my gallbladder, but the pressure was fine everywhere else). It's apparently hereditary and more common in females than males. As my mom had to have her's removed when she was just a bit younger than me, they think it's likely been a common problem on her side of the family throughout the generations.
So I went for my ultrasound and when I left, I was talking to my mom about the symptoms again, comparing them with what she had and how long before they discovered the problem, etc etc. Well, she had her's removed with surgery about 45years ago. That terrified me, just the thought of being cut open is NOT something I'm comfortable with. A friend of mine had to get a preventative heart surgery almost two years ago now and watching him go through the healing process was horrible. Due to the stitches, for the first few months if he needed to cough or laugh, he had to hold a pillow to his stomach to prevent ripping! He lost a lot of weight because he slept more than he was awake, so he wasn't eating much. He's a lot better now of course, but it was hard to watch.
Anyways it got me thinking about technology, not related to dealing with my diabetes, and how far it really has come. Only 45years ago, they were cutting people open when they were removing something as small as the Gallbladder but nowadays it's a small procedure using lasers and not intrusive at all.
And ULTRASOUNDS! It finally dawned on me that the ultrasound was probably one of the greatest discoveries (along with many others) because it didn't require having to cut someone open to take a look at what was going INSIDE them.
Totally blew my mind. It might have been the lack of caffeine and food, since I had to fast for the ultrasound but I just had one of those "holy crap, I am SO lucky to live right now in this time". Even if we don't have everything we want..we still have a LOT more than past generations and a lot of us, like me, take that for granted.
Not feeling well? Go get a vile of blood drawn and they will check a dozen things from that. Stomach pain? Let's get an ultrasound to see what's going on. Crazy!
The family part of this comes from this morning as well but a little while after my ultrasound. My mom picked me up from home to take me, so I wouldn't have to drive and so she could be there (she likes to be there when I go to the hospital or in for tests like this, vvvveeeerrrryyy devoted to being there for her kids). So anyways afterwards we stopped at Starbucks on the way to work so I could get some tea. Well she bought me a protein platter as well (mmmmmmm hard boiled egg, pita w/ peanut butter and cheese!) and she called it her "bribe" for getting me to take the test.
When I was first diagnosed with Diabetes, I was 6 and went for my very first A1C test. Before this, I don't remember any bloodwork, vaccines, nothing. Well it was a HORRIBLE experience. The woman was mean, she stabbed me 8 times with the needle (at that time they didn't have the awesome "butterfly" needles) because my veins are hard to fine and will collaspe when poked. Sure enough, I screamed and cried the whole time. I refused to ever go back for another one (and probably threw a fit right there in the lab when I was told I had to come back in 3months).
My mom was a single parent, living in a small budget and talking care of two kids on her own. She sacrificed a lot so that we could get new clothes for school, had enough food on the table, etc etc. Well after the test, my mom took me to the hospital gift shop and let me pick out any toy I wanted, as a bribe to get me to calm down and agree to come back in 3months for another test. I, of course, picked a $80 porcelain doll (I had no concept of money haha) and she bought it. It started a 3year tradition where everytime I went for a bloodtest, I go to go pick out a new doll from the gift shop afterwards as my prize for being brave.
It never really hit me when I was younger or even until recently how she couldn't actually afford to do that, and somewhere our budget probably suffered for it more often than not. I know that even when she couldn't afford it and we were struggling, she never broke that promise. I don't have all the dolls still, some broke and some got sold at garage sales, but I have at least 5 that she's kept for me to give to my daughter (when/if I have one haha).
My mom teases me about it now but I've always shrugged it off and laughed about it. I am really thankful for what my mom's done over the years, as a single parent of two and a single parent of a diabetic. This is only of the many sacrifices she's made over the years and it's strange how when you grow up with it for so many years, you never really think about it or realize it until you're out of the house and on your own two feet. She's spend a LOT of money on me while I was growing up but I was never able to grasp how much until I was 19 and on my own.
Even now, because it's been so many years I rarely actually think about the out-of-pocket money i spend on supplies because it's been all I've known. You go to the store, you order, you hope your medical covers most of it and you pay the remainder. Repeat every 2 to 3 weeks.
Did anyone else's parents do something like that for them when they were younger?