06 October 2008

Apple Core! Baltimore! Where's My Luggage? Not Here!

Ah god. Where to begin?

While I am sure I could start back almost three weeks ago when our store began the marathon of inventory prep, I think it is better to just ignore the buzzing fly that was my job-with it's myriad of interruptions and annoyances that shouldn't an issue- but nevertheless added to my overall stress level. Te reason I am ignoring it, is because I decided to write this blog more about my experiences with AS and the ripple effect it is causing in my life. (This will be contradicted later, when I have much more interesting things to talk about that really have no relation to spondylitis).

I found out about two weeks ago that I do indeed have AS, and started with the initial blood test, blah, blah, blah, but... It seems that I had a rash on my back, and Plaquenil can cause a rash. So I let the doc take a look at it.

"That is not from Plaquenil," he states.


So he sets me up with a dermatologist for the next day. I go to the dermatologist, they take a scraping, tell me it's really nothing, gives me some drug to kill it, the end... But...

I figure while they are there, I might as well have them take a look at the "skin condition" I have had on my chest for about the last twelve years. There is nothing more enriching in a person's life than to have a total stranger in a lab coat poking and prodding at your boobs- trust me, it's true. She can't figure out what the hell it is, so she brings in another dermatologist, so now I have TWO people in lab coats, poking and prodding, while the assistant looks on. HE doesn't know what it is.

"Do you mind if we do a biopsy to see what we've got here?"

I am thinking in my mind "biopsy"-like a needle and them getting a little fluid, so yeah, sure, biopsy away.

I initially became suspicious when they made me sign a waiver stating that if there was any complications from the surgery, like infection, that I wouldn't sue. Long story short, it was NOT a needle biopsy, they freakin' apple cored my boob! They took a 4mm by 4mm chunk out of my right boob, then stitched me up and sent me on my way- setting up an appointment a week later to remove the suture.

"We should hopefully have some results from this biopsy by then," they tell me on my way out.

Dazed and confused (there's your cliche for the blog, Heather), I go back to work, dealing with issues that were way beyond my patience threshold. I was excited, though, because Heather was coming back from being in Hawaii for a week, and I had definitely missed her face. Also, we were getting closer to our planned trip to San Francisco where we were going to see the Broadway production of "Spring Awakening." It was to be a welcome change of pace from the drudgery I have been dealing with during the two weeks previous.

Saturday rolls around, and as we drive out of the cold wind and rain that had socking Chico in, we were pleasantly greeted by a mild fall day in the Bay Area. We easily navigate our way to the parking garage nearest to the Curran Theatre, I score a nice spot on the sixth floor, lock all of our luggage in the trunk and head off to absorb some culture and music.

In the elevator going down to the lobby of the parking garage, I realized that I had left my cell phone in the car. While Heather encouraged me to go back up and get it (I am co-dependent on my phone, I need it on me at all times), I told her that I wouldn't be using during the performance and that this would be a good exercise in control for me.

The play was amazing, we were all amped up afterward, talking excitedly about this part and that; pay for the parking, go up to the sixth floor, walk to the car. Strange, the car's unlocked. Stupid, stupid Rachel, don't leave the car unlocked in the city, you're lucky nothing was stolen. (There was still junk all over the seats).

We get in the car, and immediately I stick my hand in the compartment where I had left my cell phone, and it's not there. A twinge of panic tingles in the back of my head. I ask Heather to call my phone to see if we can hear it. Nothing.

We drive all over San Francisco to get to Heather's friends' house, and park on a side street. During our cross-city trek, I have convinced myself that I have put my cell phone in the trunk when I moved all the luggage. The moment I park the car, I jump out and pop the trunk knowing that my phone will be right there. Except nothing is there. Nothing. Just my Rollerblades.

There's nothing but test pattern going through my mind for a split second. Never mind the cell phone, our luggage is gone. All of it. Gone. No clothes, no toothpaste, no underwear, no cell phone.


The long and short of it is that we were robbed. We still made it to dinner with Heather's friends. Really, what was there to do? There was no damage to my car, so the SFPD wasn't going to come out, I just had to call in the claim.

I have to say, it was a great practice of non-attachment, mostly because I had my material possessions detached from me on that trip.

I spent the rest of the weekend in the same clothing (I bought underwear, I do have boundaries I just won't cross). I had a great time at Point Reyes the next day, walking in the wake in dress slacks. It was surreal and somehow cathartic.

I miss my stuff, but it's just stuff. I have insurance that covers all of it, so in time it will all be replaced.

It was more of a reflection of how I handle the things that are thrown at me in life. I am not sure how to handle the spondylitis. There are days when I feel pretty good and I forget; then there are days like today where every movement is a reminder. My apple coring- or should I say biopsy- has turned up nothing. Three different laboratories can't find anything wrong. I have to go back to the dermatologist in a few weeks, but really, it is more of just a nuisance. In the scheme of things, having our luggage stolen is a minute setback.

I just have to keep reminding myself that when I am jonesing to send a text message.

This series of events have been at the very least humorous- laughing at myself is the least I can do. I know that many of you might not see the previously told events as amusing, but I have to laugh. It is just the universe putting things into perspective...

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