Would You Like to Touch My Lump?

I had a little back surgery at the end of December, 2018. Everything went fine and I have recovered pretty well unless you are a perfectionist. And by perfectionist I mean you don’t want lumps in places you don’t normally find lumps. I am not an alarmist. After all, I was the mom who kept saying my kid had a ‘cold’ when it turned out to be pneumonia. I thought my lump was maybe a phase of recovery and would just go away on its own. Except it hasn’t. I don’t think it is anything serious. It is probably scar tissue or some other annoying nonissue but it is directly under where any kind of waistband hits, so it is actually uncomfortable. The upside is I have yet one more excuse not to wear pants. ‘.

A couple of weeks ago, Steve and I were doing that romantic thing that couples do these days…we were lying next to each other on the bed staring at our phones together. I was feeling around my back where the incision was and I felt the significantly sized bump. Or maybe it was a lump. Or possibly on its way to becoming a hump. I said, “Hey honey, I think I have a weird bump on my back over my scar. Can you feel this?’

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My lovely lady lump

Without looking up or looking anywhere in my general direction, he says, “Sure.” He touches my side and says, “Feels like the rest of your back to me.”

Which, OF COURSE it did because he was not touching my side, not my spine or anywhere near the damned lump. “Honey, you didn’t touch the right place. You need to look at me, see where my hand is so you can see the right spot!”

Steve, still only half listening to me, “I have lumps and bumps all over my body. Don’t worry about it.”

But now I am also kind of questioning my own sanity. Once that happens, he has the upper hand and he knows it.

The next morning, I ask Peyton, “Can you see this lump on my back?”

She responds, “Of course I can.”

Me: Because last night Dad told me it felt like the rest of my back.

Peyton laughs, shrugs her shoulders and walks away.

I spent the next week asking everyone I came in contact with if they could see a lump on my back.

Me: Riley, Can you see this lump?

Riley: Ew, yes.

Me: Here, feel it.

Riley, seriously about to cry: NO, please don’t make me touch it. I really don’t want to touch it.

Me: Yes, please you have to…

It got even weirder with the poor wait staff when we went out for dinner.

But I regained the upper hand. Victory was mine. I was vindicated. Plenty of people we knew, and several we did not, saw and felt The Lump. Its existence was no longer in question. I was not crazy. Well, maybe I was crazy for exposing my lower back and asking people if they saw my lump BUT that lump was THERE. It was not a figment of my imagination like someone in the house wanted me to believe.

Later that weekend after returning home, Steve and I were both in the kitchen making dinner when I lifted up the back of my shirt a tiny bit, exposing my lower back. He said, “When you’re standing like that, I can definitely see the lump.”

Yeah, I thought so. Except now I keep picturing myself as Igor.

humps lumps bumps

After spending weeks talking about The Lump I drove to see my doctor for a surgical follow-up. We had a wonderful discussion about a variety of topics, including how I was doing post-op. I got back in my car and started driving south when I realized I had not shown him or asked about my lump. What. The. Hell. Damn it.

When I got home everyone is asking me what the surgeon said about the lump. I told them I forgot to ask. HOW COULD YOU FORGET TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR??? I don’t know. We were having a nice talk about a lot of things. It just didn’t come up.

But, damn it at least my husband finally acknowledged the lump’s existence. I know it is there, and that’s what matters most.

I’ll email the doctor’s PA.

 

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My Husband Needs a Pseudonym

My husband quit social media three years ago. He still subscribes to my blog, however. All day Wednesday I was bracing myself for him to come home and blow a gasket over my post about directional sex (You say Position, I say Direction). Fortunately he has long days at work where he has no access to his cell phone and his personal email. Furthermore, he carpools and often drives, so that eliminates another 2 to 3 hours of his potential reading and relaxation time right there.

So when he walked in the door, I tried to read the expression on his face and everything looked perfectly normal in the way a typical kind of ‘it’s Wednesday and we only have 20 minutes to have a family dinner and get P out the door to volleyball practice.’ way.

Steve drives her to practice while I clean up the kitchen. When he gets home, I am thinking, hmm…maybe he is back to only looking at his email once every three weeks. Feeling somewhat relieved and smug, leave the room for a few minutes. When I return, he is laying on the bed looking at his phone.

Me, one-half casual, one half sucking up: Hey, honey…whatcha doing?

Steve: Just reading about my sex life on the internet.

Me, thinking, Oh fuck. How do put a positive spin this?: Um. yeah, People think it’s pretty funny.

Steve: I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow. I’m not going to be able to show my face for ten years.

Me: Don’t be silly. You’ll retire long before that. Plus you could wear this mask Peyton made for school.

peyton27smask

I told my husband if he couldn’t show his face in public, he could use this beautiful mask Peyton had made for some class she is taking. Don’t ask me which one.

Then he remembers that all of my FB friends from his job are people he no longer works with so that’s OK. It’ could even be less horrifying than that time I had everyone at work calling him Pookie.

Every few minutes he reread a part out loud and says, “My mother can read this.” Yes. “Your mother can read this.” Yes, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for either of them.

I tell him, “We’ve been married for quite a while AND I am 50 years old. I figured I was old enough to know about and talk about sex.”

Steve, silent for a moment, retreats to the bedroom. He is not angry about any of this. He genuinely seems surprised and amused I published the piece.

Also isn’t he so cute? The 53-year-old former altar boy is embarrassed even though he has technically been a grown up for at least ten years. I think it is cute that he is a little embarrassed that people may know that he has sex with his wife.

So maybe I need to come up with a pseudonym for him. That should make him feel much better. if I start writing about my intimate life with Fabio that will make things much less awkward and embarrassing for him.

Then I hear, “How do you just wake up one day and decide to write about your sex life on the internet?” which strikes me as absolutely hilarious because it really wasn’t a decision so much as a calling. As he was walking out the door that morning, I remember he asked me, “What do you have going on today?” And I can’t remember what kind of bullshit I said back, but I know I was thinking, I need to cancel everything else because I have a really GREAT IDEA.