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?’
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.
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.