Yesterday was another fun filled day of needles and cameras. I’m running out of analogies to use to explain things to Rebecca. Last week when I was scheduled for the MRI and PET scan, Beck had some questions about what the tests involved. I knew instantly that she wasn’t scared of the information but she was terrified by the things she was wondering about. I used her recent trip to Idaho over the 4th of July as a springboard event to help her understand. Over the week she was here we used several different types of cameras. We used a digital camera for taking pictures on dry land, we used an underwater camera at the water park and while in the river, and then I reminded her of the old klunker of a Polaroid that Dad uses. Each camera has a different way of taking pictures, each camera can produce different types of pictures and each camera has a specific purpose (the jury is still out on the Polaroid there). I told her the PET scan would take one type of picture and the MRI would take another type of picture, etc. etc. (I told her if I ever saw a doctor carrying a Polaroid that we needed to call the police). This seemed to make some sense to her and ease her fears.
I got to the hospital yesterday morning ready to get through this round of imaging. The schedule for the day included a CT scan of my liver and a biopsy of my chest wall. If the CT scan indicated that the spot on my liver was still suspicious they would biopsy that spot, as well.
I got checked in through the outpatient clinic and sat down for a minute or two. Then a lady holding a chart waved to me said, “Ok”.
I looked at her and said, “Who? Me?”
“Yep. Let’s go over here”. She sat down at a desk and started typing away. “So you’re back again?”
I had no idea who this woman was. Seriously? How many hundreds of people she must have seen all week, and she remembers me? “Ok, you’re all checked in. Just go to the elevator, head down one floor, turn to your right, step to your left, put your right foot in, and you’ll be in the imaging department. Got it?”
Um, yeah, sure.
I found my way to the right place, grabbed a crossword puzzle and waited to be called. When the nurse called me back into my room for the day, she tried to be somewhat comforting, letting me know that I was getting the designer version of a hospital gown. I looked for the DKNY label, but no luck. She explained the process and I told her that I needed to be cognizant of any fun photo ops. She looked at me like I was crazy until I explained the journal and the missed opportunity with the pseudo flux capacitor last week. Just then the radiologist, Dr. C. (not to be confused with Mr. C of Happy Days fame) walked in and informed us that he had an operational flux capacitor in car and was quite careful to stay within the precautionary speed limit. I instantly knew he was a good guy.
A few moments later my hero walked in. No….not Huey Lewis. It was the radiology tech and he became my momentary hero because he handed me a fantastic bottle of water. Keep in mind it’s about 1230pm now and I haven’t put anything in my system since about 10pm last night. I needed to have a full bladder for the CT scan. RIGHT ON!!! Gulp, gulp, gulp….aaaahhhhh.
All prepped and ready we headed to the imaging room. Huey explained the process of injecting the contrast for the scan and the sensations I would experience. I have to say his descriptions were dead-on. Holy cow. That’s all I have to say about that. Before I knew it Dr. C was standing over me describing how they were going to do both biopsies here and now. He had read the scan and felt it was necessary to take a piece of the spot on the liver in addition to the spot on the chest wall. I felt my heart jump into my throat. I was sure they wouldn’t have to. In a matter of seconds, Huey was standing beside me marking me up with a pen and here came the drapes and nasal cannula and LOTS of people. I couldn’t see the nurse who had promised me the “you won’t feel a thing” drugs so I asked for her. I never did actually see her there but I think I heard her voice, and really didn’t feel too much (with one exception) so I’m going to give her credit for being there.
After it was all said and done and I was back in my room, I talked with the nurse about the one time I felt some strange pinching. She said she learned that I was a “sedation lightweight” (I still haven’t decided if this is an insult or a compliment) and at one point my lung relaxed onto the tube being used for the biopsy. I started feeling a little sick to my stomach and then immediately found out why I wasn’t encouraged to drink the water earlier.
As I was getting ready to leave, I did get to have a little fun. The nurse started to tell my friend about my care instructions for the next 24 hours. She explained that one of the drugs I was given would probably make me forget things so don’t be surprised if things need to be repeated to me. “Yeah”, I said, “I just hope they can get this biopsy done and over with soon”. The look on her face was priceless.