Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not Funny Ha-Ha

Following much debate and over-priced hem-hawing, Calvin was released last night just in time to dive into his own sports-themed sheets. Praise. The. Lord.

All I can say is, the day ended infinitely better than it began. Because it began with my first-ever MRI. Of my ticker. At a different hospital.

I had myself convinced that I'd be in and out in an hour or so. Cory held down the fort with Calvin. It was all worked out. I was a bit worried about that tube thing, I'm not gonna lie. I don't consider myself a claustrophobic person, but who am I to say, really? Sometimes phobias just creep up on a person.

I tried to read my book in the waiting area, but the People's Court was on so stinking loud. First, what happened to Judge Wapner? Am I showing my age here? All I can say is, I don't recall that kind of histrionics in Judge Wapner's court. He wouldn't have stood for it. And trust me, I would know. I wore my local tv channels out as a kid. Love Connection? Absolutely! I love Chuck Woolery! Today's Special? Why not. I was young at heart. (I read a lot, too. It balanced out.)

I waited on the plastic sofa sandwiched between three senior citizens. It was clear that the trial was stressing them out, so we unanimously agreed to shut it down. We took an actual vote.

Before long, I was left with just the lady. She wore an emobroidered sweatshirt and bent her head down to show me how badly she needed to get to her hair appointment scheduled for 1 pm. Things were running behind. Her husband was having an MRI after suffering two "quad-triple" bypasses. It put a real twinge in my heart when she'd say it - "quad-triple". Later, he was headed to his first ever "massoj". "He's been saying for ages that he was going to get a massoj, but I kept saying, 'Oh, no you don't'. Well, he's finally getting his wish." We chuckled.

I wanted to talk to her all day. I wanted to hold her hand.

But the guy came and made me put on a gown and draw-string pants that came up to my shins. Then he said, "Alright, let's get your IV started!


No one told me.

Here's the thing, my veins look bulgey, but they are wrought with trouble. I tried to warn him.

He poked and dug around and dug some more and I got light-headed while he tried and failed and tried and failed. "Hmm. I guess I should've taken your word for it."

So he tried the other arm.

I got nauseous. More light-headed. He dug and ram-rodded around tried and failed and tried and then he swore he'd struck blood.

I'll be honest, I cried a little. I cried because it hurt and because I was nervous and mostly because I had so much compassion for my little man, who does this sort of thing almost every single week. I'm always telling him to be brave, that once the needle is in, the hard part's over. Not true.

I told the guy the IV didn't feel right. I know these things. He didn't bite. In I went.

It turns out, I'm officially not claustrophobic. In fact, I find tight spaces therapeutic and restful.

I was in the tube for almost an hour, then it was time to start the IV for the dye. Just as the dye started coursing, I had to hold my breath for a full minute - the grand finale.

My first problem was, it didn't feel right when the dye started pumping. My second problem was, I was holding my breath for a full minute so I couldn't tell them.

When I was allowed to breathe I told them it felt "funny". I could feel the dye going into my arm.

"That's normal."

"But I feel a lot of pressure."

"It's fine. It's normal." pause "It's not hurting or stinging is it?"

"No, but it feels really weird."

I'm of the personal opinion that healthcare professionals should learn to decode the nuances of words like "weird" and "funny". I digress.

They decided to de-tube me to check the IV.

"Uh-oh. You infiltrated."

Mind you, I'm still strapped to a board and wearing headphones. My eyes couldn't reach my elbow, but I gathered that the dye went into my actual arm, rather than the vein in my arm.

"Not to worry", says the man in the white coat. "It's not serious. In rare cases you might have to see a plastic surgeon."

Yes, he said those two statements with nothing but one wee period between them.

"People usually complain of pain when this happens."

I did complain of pain, only I call my pain "it feels funny". Duh.

They had to start another (i.e. a third) IV. I secretly got a bit teary again.

We small-talked about my Calvin Lee. We both happily blamed Dougie, the original guy who jacked my arm up in the first place. The man in the white coat got all arrogant about his mad IV skillz. I said, "Are you a doctor?" He seemed like he could be. Alas, he was "Just a tech, like Michelle."

(fyi, Michelle wore Dickie's scrubs. Man in white coat wore...a white coat. You know Michelle hates him for this.)

In the end, after moderate digging, and a "hold on, I need to get a larger needle", he found a new vein. They launched me back into the tube. I felt the dye surge cold from my elbow to my shoulder and across my collar bone. I held my breathe for another full minute.

He called a special nurse down to look at my arm and shouted, "There's my lovely nurse!" when she arrived. Don't. do. that, man in white coat. Just don't.

In related news, my left arm appears to be afflicted with isolated elephantitis.

In better news, I took an afternoon nap in a hospital bed with the best six-year old in all the land.

I started a fantastic new book.

We picked up take-out Chinese on the way home and ate it at bed-time.

Oh, and Silas contracted pink-eye.

This is my life. And I almost always love it. (I'm working on that "almost". It's a journey, you know.)

Thank you for all of your prayers. You're good people.


  1. Praying for your sweet baby every moment. I'm glad you got a nap and Chinese food! ; )

  2. good gravy woman.

    Shel had an MRI recently. It was nothing but good times. Actually he was supposed to have a quick mri the first time. Only fifteen minutes in the tube. Problem is, he's 2 and he hates loud noises and the dark. So, he went back for a second time, and they knocked him out cold. When he got the drugs to make him forget his ordeal the nurse said, 'You sure are goofy Sheldon" and he laughed maniacally and said, "I'm NOT GOOFY! I'm MICKEY MOUSE!"

    it cheered me up.

    Hope you take a photo of that arm. You know I'm dying to see it.
    I'm off to cozy up in my bed with my bible on kindle, which makes it feel cooler somehow (don't tell anyone). I'll be praying for you.
    Goodness me, I'll be praying for you.

  3. Oh, I hate to hear about this and see your little one sitting in a hospital bed. Is your heart all right? Is this serious?? Sometimes it all just happens at once, doesn't it? I'm sorry. It's scary when there's something wrong with your heart. I have a little electrical problem with mine and I really fight having anxiety over it (which only makes it worse by the way). Take good care of yourself. We've become kinda attached to you around here. I am going to log off and say a pray for you and your boy. Be well. And be careful of the people in white coats. They like to get crazy with those needles. ;-)

  4. Oh my heart. Shannan, God is doing big things in your family. Praying for you all tonight.

    "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

  5. You certainly have your hands full. Hope you and Calvin are doing much better. Your blog is a bright spot in my day.

  6. I'm sitting here on the edge of my seat (ok, couch) just cringing at the thought of that IV being poked around in you. I want to cry for you. I always have to tell my people 'Please be gentle, I bruise easy" because if I don't, they jam that thing all around and I end up looking like I shoot up drugs. But for the record, I don't ;) Just setting the record straight. Hope you and your little lovers rest up and heal up!

  7. Hello
    Brilliant post, I went through the post ,I found it very informative
    Thank you!

    1. This comment cracks me up. It's funny ha-ha. Don't delete it. Also? Probably best not to follow this person's blog. I wrote you a long letter, yesterday, and I actually mailed it, today. I'm prouder of the second thing than the first.

  8. {hugs} Days like this make me want to go to bed for a week. God Bless you for taking it all in stride.

    I hate the dye. It makes me feel like I peed my pants!

  9. Yeah!!!!!!!!! I think...My dear, you owe yourself some crack bark. Or some great salsa. How can you make such an ordeal sound so funny?? Pilot with pink eye, why doesn't that surprise me?? That means the River is the only healthy one for now. What a week, I will continue to pray for the Martin household.

  10. girl. i'm convinced you need to catch a break. Lord please, i beg, in shannan's honor... give her an easy day! or at least a bountiful supply of chips and salsa.

  11. i think my heart just grew for you some more. xoxo

  12. Oh darlin'. Prayers you've got, fo' sho'.

  13. Praying for you and your family!!

  14. I feel your pain on the difficult veins. I am similarly afflicted. Prayers and praise and continued prayers to you all.

  15. Insane . . . life is just insane and you are sure in the middle of it aren't you? Praying for you and kiddos and peace and for your arm to look normal. Let's hope you're not 'rare' huh?

  16. Oh my! Glad your little is home and you didn't freak out in the tube. Prayers going up from Virginia for you and your sweet family!

  17. Ahh…I'm sorry, Temple. What an awful thing for you…and for me to read as I, too, cringed for you, in fact, the entire time I self-medicated with chocolate. My mama's an R.N. who knows her way around a needle…and blood and stuff. I'm sorry that she wasn't there to stick you. I'm praying that God will make your bodies all healthy and happy and for comfort for you with all of your everything.

    Your pal,
    Julie M.

  18. oh sister. you are killing me. truly. xoxo J. ps- I have vein issues too. all the cool kids to ya know...

  19. I refer to the OPEN MRI as "THE TORTURE CHAMBER". I feel so badly that Calvin has to deal with repeated IV's and blood draws. They are not fun and they do hurt. Praying for you and your family!

  20. No pictures of the "infiltrated" arm? I am going to die from suspense, or should that be of suspense. Actually it is probably more like curiosity, no?

    Glad you are all home and this is now all behind you.

    Calvin is beautiful, what a good lookin' kiddo!

  21. Hey
    I enjoy your blog!, This unique is just a totally nicely structured posting, I do appreciate the writing
    Thank you!

  22. Hurts to see the sweet little one like this! and hope you have nothing major.

  23. I was reading Hebrews 12:1-2 today and I thought of you and your words here. You are running the race with endurance, friend. You really are. Just keep your eyes fixed on Him.

  24. oh. my. head.
    this was just what i needed this morning to start my day. truly. does that make you feel just the slightest bit better??? :-)
    as a nurse (sorry, i know that's not a nice word now), i always appreciate getting the patient's perspective. maybe when i admit new patients, i should ask them if they blog and for the website. that way i can check up on anything they didn't like about me, LOL!!!
    sorry your experience was less than lovely, but hopefully sharing your story was good therapy. and hopefully you can stay away from MRI's for a very. long. time.
    have a great weekend!

  25. that is precisely why i hated my ob visits- those darn needles, and nurses who could never find my poor-excuse of a vein.

    as i read your post, my heart started beating faster, as my family had a similar MRI experience. my then-six-month-old son was having an MRI, but had been put under so that he could be still. everything seemed to be ok, until the pressure of the dye injection blew his vein, and he woke up wailing from the pain. we were sent to er. the plastic surgeon came. he stayed overnight in PICU, with a fascinating heated arm wrap. (i think the hospital had to cover their arses...)

    i'll be praying for you and your infiltrated arm. i hope the solution's absorbed quickly into your body. and i'll be praying for your little calvin. i have enjoyed your writing very much. what a special gift you have. thanks for sharing it with us!

  26. Oh good heavens! It irks me to NO END when medical people won't LISTEN TO the people they're working on. grumblegrumblegrumble

  27. a) Why do you think you can just say something like you had an mri on your heart and think you don't need to say more. You have me worried sick.
    b) I'm so happy wee Calvin is home and properly fed and hopefully resting well.
    c) I'm pretty sure I have an MRI in my immediate future for some back issues and now I'm REALLY dreading it.
    d) That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat that to ourselves over and over.

    What a time you are having. I'm sending love and hugs and prayers your way Shanny!

  28. Mylanta! You've been through a lot. Prayers your way that everything in life generally improves. And also, I loved Love Connection.

  29. Prayers for you and Calvin and Siley. Poor babies.

  30. Why are people laughing at this?! I am literally crying! It breaks my heart that you didn't have someone to hold your hand through all that ridiculous poking. I'm so sorry you have to go through all of this. What a bunch of crap. I'm just amazed at your ability to look on the bright side. I'm sending up more prayers for you all today.

  31. Wow, what a nightmare you have been through. I have hard veins to find as well. I quit telling them when they are looking for them. It seems to challenge them to find them instead of calling in a pro. I hope your reasults came out okay.
    Glad Calvin is home now. Prayers for all of you.

  32. oh my word, woman! miss a few posts over here and you miss a whooole lot! i'm so sorry. lifting you all up today. so so sorry for the pain and stress, sister.

  33. You know I want to see that arm. Has it affected the claw? You poor thing, I know how bad veins hurt. Mine are always elusive to the one stabbing at them. Little Calvin is my hero. God bless him. Praying for you!
    I wish I were closer I'd bring you chocolate cake and lasagna and some rusty treasure to love. xoxo

  34. holy moly
    i'm so ( spoken on behalf of all nurses) so very sorry!!
    so glad sweet man is home now
    still prayers continue

  35. i love your life too, though we both could probably have skipped the unfortunate episode of elephantitis.

    is white-coat-but-actually-a-tech-guy really allowed to wear a white coat? it feel impersonatory and misleading. also, i moonlight in Making Up Words.

    we need a date, you and i.

  36. feels, dangit. feel=feels. alas, i cannot type worth a can of spam.

  37. What the heck, Farmgirl!
    You need a vacay like nobody's business.
    Sooooo glad your little man is home in his own bed.
    I'm sending a big, huge virtual hug your way right this very minute.

  38. This is just too much! TOO MUCH!

    Lord have mercy on the Martins.

    Be strong and courageous brave mommy!

  39. This post needed a warning...Not for the faint of heart. I was literally hugging myself and rocking in my chair. Yet I kept reading. Needles make me want to die. Nurses holding needles talking about needles make me want to die some more. I am so glad that you survived my worst nightmare. After all of this, I really want to see a picture of your arm. How horrible am I? I'm sorry. Now go help yourself to some crack bark.

  40. I wrote you a LONG comment and it didn't post! UGH.

    I love you. That was the main gist of it all.


  41. shannan. oh, sweetest friend.
    praying and praying for you.

  42. What a roller coaster! I just felt: concerned for you and Calvin, then compassionate about all the poking, then a little giggly, and then I almost passed out at my desk when I thought about dye going in your arm and more poking. This post should come with a warning.
    Hope things start looking up from here.

  43. I think it's time for some more pretend banana bread! I will have to make this quick so I can go pretend bake you some! Sometimes it seems like everything goes haywire at once. I hope this means you have had your share of troubles for now and smooth sailing is right around the corner! One can hope!

  44. Sister-Friend, you are amazing. You are keeping it so real and your honesty is such a blessing. Thank you for continuing to be open with your life and allowing yourself to be so vulnerable to us. Prayers for you and the fam!
    -Ceci Loves

  45. I had to have my first MRI a few weeks ago, and I definitely cried. And I didn't have to have the IV. But I did experience panic when my head started going into the tube. Yikes! Had to keep my eyes shut to make it til to the end.

  46. I always have to show them where to put the IV in. There is one vein, on the side. I'm quite specific. I don't ever want them to have to dig. I guess I'm intense enough about it, because they always use it. Hope this helps to give you some answers to the racing ticker. Take care of yourself weirdo. She writes with much fondness. I have a post up that makes me think of you each and every time. It involves hands : ) It might make you smile.

  47. ah sweet calvin. poor baby, but glad he's home well. my bryn had an MRI last spring. she threw up so much afterwards that they almost admitted her {she's 7}. so sad.

    and chuck woolrey? oh ya. love connection was the best!

  48. oh, girl. I appreciate that I *get* you. We'd have a rip roaring good time over tea. I hope someday we will.

  49. FYI don't ever put up with anyone digging around and around looking for a vein. They get one try and if they can't find it ASK/DEMAND FOR SOMEBODY ELSE to do the job...don't ever let them treat you like a pin cushion!

    It shouldn't hurt and it shouldn't take multiple tries (despite your vein issues) if it does, they are not doing their job correctly. All hospitals have special IV teams for this, DEMAND IT next time.

  50. I'm sure the lessons learned during this trial by fire will be used for His glory through your beautiful writing. I love your heart (no matter the condition). Praying the health of your house be restored.
    Also, I agree with Jen....we need more info, because we care & are concerned & love you!

  51. A verse for you: Job 23:10 "But He knows the way that I take;when He has tested me,I will come forth as gold".
    I am praying for no more tempreture and a great week end ahead for all the Martins!!

  52. oh my goodness. i am entirely sure i have never done the creepy cringe face while laughing. well done. :) i have squirrely veins as well and one time in college i had one 'blown' by an over confident tech. so the next few days i looked like a total druggie with my arms all poked up and the bruising that completely encircled my entire arm and went wrist to elbow. wouldn't you know it i ran into the recently ex-boyfriend who asked if i was doing okay and stared with deep concern at my obviously drug riddled arms. later gossip revealed he did in fact hypothesis that his absence was related to my obvious new drug habit. nice. in all seeeeeriouness--- i am so very sorry for your current junk. i would have chips and salsa on the ready if indiana wasn't so darn far. you are my hero. xox

  53. Oh, Shannan, I'm so sorry that Calvin was so sick and that you had that MRI drama. And now Silas has a temp?! If I could, I'd swing right on by with a big basket full of baked goods. You deserve it. I hope your weekend is as calm as it can be.