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!

IV?

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.