Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where's the Easy Button?

Remember when Staples first introduced its "easy button" commercials? Have a disaster of an office? Need to find something that's buried under the mess? Just hit the easy button.

My nephew, Ethan, bought a button for my dad. Not that my dad needed to clean or locate something. Ethan just knew his grandpa would find it entertaining -- and would see its potential as a comedic tool. But my dad didn't hit the button when he wanted something to be easy. No. That would be expected. And boring. Instead, he would hit the button to signal that something was long and drawn out and convoluted. Or when something made no sense or was difficult. Like at the last Christmas we celebrated with him -- as he battled Parkinson's disease and dementia and struggled to unwrap a gift. After fighting with the wrapping paper and tape for torturous minutes, he leaned over to the table beside his chair -- where he kept the button -- and slowly pressed down. "That was easy." It oozed sarcasm, and we all laughed.

If my dad were still here, he'd be hitting that damn button every time I gave a medical update. Because this has been one twisting-turning-confusing-complicated mess. And it's anything BUT easy.

Here's the latest: My doctors are still unable to say with certainty whether this is fibrillary glomerulonephritis or AL amyloidosis. Signs seem to be pointing away from amyloidosis, but there are still questions. And since they want to be more confident, they are going to do some more tests. It's important that we get this right, of course, since the treatment options for the diseases are different -- not to mention expensive.

I did more blood work today, likely have more appointments and tests in the future, and may not have a definitive answer for a few more months.

All I can do is wait.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about my dad -- and smiling.