The Blog

The number 42 . . .

The number 42 has been a "mysterious" number for me.  It was burned into my brain at an early age.  42 is the age my father was when he died of Cancer.  When I was 9, 42 seemed like a million years away.  It was the age of a real adult. . .and "old" person.

On the other hand, a little later in my life, I had an amazing relationship with the number 42.  Growing up in Los Angeles in the 80's, it was the age of "SHOWTIME". James Worthy, number 42 on the Lakers, embodied everything I wanted to be as a sports hero.  To this day, he's my all time favorite player.

Major League Baseball has so far retired only one number across the entire league. That number is 42 and it was worn by Jackie Robinson (Dodgers).

"The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42." - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (one of the first "real" books I remember reading as a kid)

With just a few weeks until my 42nd birthday, I found myself faced with some unusual pain and symptoms that were not normal.

I have to say, when I'm faced with medical adversity, I can't focus on anything else. . .even photography and that's why it's been several weeks since I've posted anything to my blog.

3 weeks ago, I had some pain and issues that caused me to go to the dr to find out what it was.  For those of you who know me know that I RARELY go to the doctor.

So when I do, it's gotta be "something".

I went to the after hours care (actually it was a pediatrics place we take our kids to), and they did a few tests right then and there.  Nothing was conclusive, so I was ordered to go have lab work done and an ultrasound to rule out any tumor.  TUMOR?  OK, I wasn't going THERE.  But now that the doctor uttered that word, that's the ONLY place my brain is now going.  With my family history, I've always felt that it was just a matter of time for me.  With the pain and other symptoms I had, and 42 even closer, I've been paralyzed with stress.

On to getting blood taken and an ultrasound.  What better to help with my tremendous stress, is to have to WAIT for results.  Finally, three days later I get a call from my doctor who said everything came back normal.  So, I'm glad, but there are still issues.  Now this means more tests and more waiting . . oh yeah, and more stress.

I now have to do MORE blood work and now a CT Scan.  Getting poked again with a needle is not fun, but it is what it is.  The CT Scan was quite different.  You get laid down on a narrow platform, and it escorts you in and out of this giant tube while taking a picture of your insides each time.  However, in order for the pictures to reveal pertinent information, you have to have an I.V. that they inject with "Contrast" (iodine based dye).  The minute they hit the go button for the solution to enter your body, you feel what a hot flash is.  It starts with the top of your head, onto your ears, the back of your throat all the way down to you toes.

The good news about all this is that I got the results back a few hours later. . . but I didn't know that, so when my phone rings and the display say my doctor's name, I think I got another hot flash without the I.V. this time trying to guess what my doctor was going to say.

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Turns out, I have a large kidney stone (too large to pass), and on top of that, I have a partial hernia.  I've got issues front to back.

Both are going to require hospital visits and knocking me out.

I'm truly grateful that both are treatable and have resolutions.

I've had NO medial adversities in my own life ever, so these are scary to me (even if they are very routine procedures).

The weight has definitely been lifted, but now after my huge sigh of relief, I can can focus and stress on the procedures waiting for me.

One more 42 fact. . .

In Chemistry, number 42 is the atomic number of molybdenum.  Proponents claim molybdenum is an antioxidant that prevents cancer by protecting cells from free radicals, destructive molecules that may damage cells.

42 will forever be a mystery to me.

P.S.  Sorry none of the photographs were actually taken by me this time!

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by Michael Clemens