The One Kidney Club

Just replace stones with cysts. From the wonderfully cute comic The Awkward Yeti--check him out!

Just replace stones with cysts. From the wonderfully cute comic The Awkward Yeti–check him out!

At the end of January, I had X-rays taken of my thoracic region to determine if my chronic neck pain had a skeletal cause. The radiologist pointed out three peripheral calcifications in my left kidney area, so I then had a CT scan to learn more. More, it turns out, is 2 large cysts and a very small (or even never fully-formed?) atrophic left kidney (the other spot is a tiny cyst in the liver). The best news out of this was a perfectly normal right kidney (so no polycystic kidney disease–don’t even think about it) and “no solid masses.” However, I had a lot of insomnia until my appointment yesterday with the nephrologist, who jovially shooed us out of his office after a few minutes, saying this is most likely something I had since birth and benign.

I still have to see a urologist (fun fact: a nephrologist only works on kidney functions, and a urologist is a surgeon, even though it sounds like a nephrologist is all about kidneys and a urologist is about bladders & etc), who will probably want to remove it. I am okay with this, as cysts can turn evil, so why leave it inside to make bad choices with its life? My husband and I can have matching his and hers single kidneys.

Upon learning of my issue, my mom told me (for the first time) that when she was little, she had to have dialysis because her kidney was “hanging loose”; eventually, the doctors “tied the kidney to her ribs” and then she was fine. When I told this to the nephrologist, he had a lot of fish hooks and twine jokes, so maybe this wasn’t what happened? It was 60 years ago.

Another fun fact: the nephrologist got his medical license the year my husband was born.

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Renewable Resource Suggestions for Congress

1. Baby mucus

2. Cat hair

3. Negative-degree days in Iowa

4. Pantry moths

5. Lamb’s Ears (the herb)

6. Whatever the orange cat is drinking that has been sleeping on our porch all winter

7. Taylor Swift ear worms

8. Little Dude’s laughs

9. Fantasy sports disappointments for my husband

10. Woodchucks

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Oh yes, I am excessively diverted

Image from Australian TV network ABC

Free Netflix trial to watch one ep of “Murder, She Wrote” to see if I like it (answer: I have notes). 1 week and 6 episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries later, I have cut my hair and am wondering if I could pull off an all-white breezy 1920’s ensemble and multiple hats and red lipstick (answer: no, but one can dream). Where can I acquire a selection of elegant calf-length coats? Should I base my workout routine around being able to chase a thief across the rooftops? Most importantly, where is my butler named Butler?

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My song is love

The jokes on me, except it’s not really a joke, more like a beautiful surprise.

Funny how I resisted adjusting for so long I was like a starving prisoner refusing to eat that food because it would imply crossing to the other side.

Funny how one person can change everything, if that one person holds the key to unlocking universes of thought, experience, delight and yet here they are in what seemed to be the nowhere of the universe.

Funny how I let the judgment of city hipsters influence my mind so negatively, how I was sure some things defined me and when those things were gone, I discovered I was still here only more so…things had been masking the true self.

“Everything I need is right here in Highbury,” Emma said, and indeed everything I “need” is here, though sometimes I have to drive 20 miles for the extra firm tofu or raw cashews only to find they’ve been out of stock for awhile. Great music, great art, lakes, hills–yes, I’ll miss easy access to those. But trade them for my Mr. Knightly/Rochester/Barney Redfern/Nick Charles? Nope.

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Is this where they put the chocolate cookies?

I believe this would be the exception that proves the rule of “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

Yikes. It is displayed in one of the local establishments along with the many other vintage cookie jars.

[So, 4 years later, the local bakery is closed, which is sad but not uncommon. Every small town needs a bakery. Mmm, that smell of aged flour and frying lard. Memories. I can’t say I will miss the cookie jar collection, though. -J]

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Baby in the Barn (Bremer County Fair, pt. 4)

I could make a joke about how he only got the red ribbon because his hooves weren’t fully developed, but in reality, I would like to find his mom. Because maybe she’s a Sylvia Plath fan, and a poet herself, and we could be friends.

“You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.”
(from “Nick and the Candlestick”)

[4 years later, again, it is amazing to me someone did this! I wish I could be in that time when we weren’t all terrified of predators. -J]

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Bovine Obstacle Course (Bremer County Fair, pt. 3)

Does this really need a comment?

[Well, this was kind of a snotty post. I mean, it’s farm country. What are they supposed to do, have a fashion show of Fendi and Prada? Someone has to run the farm to make the food! Get a grip, 4-years-ago me. -J]

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