Of Nuisances and Speed Bumps

I woke up this morning feeling as crap as I did after sitting in an uncomfortable waiting room for an hour, so I knew something was up. I shot my surgeon an email, saying that my symptoms were getting worse, and fortunately he got back to me within the hour, saying that he wanted to try to get me in for a CT scan today.

Shortly afterwards, a NP called, asking if I'd had anything to eat or drink yet. Fortunately, my lack of appetite paid of in this instance, as I'd only had a few sips of Gatorade thusfar. She handed down the NPO command, asking me to hold tight until she called back with a time for the CT scan.

Other things going on today: a visit from the home nurse who had to make sure I could show Oscar who's boss and a service appointment with the water softener guy. I was one for two for the morning: Oscar's my bitch but our 28-year-old water softener had shit the bed. You win some, blahblahblah.

The NP called back a little while later, saying they had an opening for me at 2p, meaning I could drink liquids until 11a, which at this point gave me about 20 minutes to get caught up on a morning's worth of beverages. Have I mentioned that dehydration can be a serious problem for us ostomates? Yeah, great.

I tried to rest the best I could until 2p, but that was a little tough as I was out of pain meds. Mmmm, pilllllllllllls.

Mom and I both agreed that, despite my narcotic fast, I probably shouldn't be driving myself to the hospital, so she and Violet dropped me off, agreeing we'd wing pickup down the road.

I get to radiology (with several pounds of magazines, both to read and distribute to my fellow sickies) and they sit me down across from three large (we're talking pint-sized) Dixie cups of contrast.

I didn't have a problem the first time I drank the stuff, tasting like Crystal Light lemonade, but maybe it was the memory of my CL-laced PEG solution that made it seem better by contrast (pun intended) because this round of stuff was pretty gross, and was getting grosser (yes, it's a word) with every degree of temp increase. Even The Beast is tolerable when it's ice cold...

So, half-way through my contrast cocktail, the world's most hugely pregnant nurse calls me to have an IV put in. Usually these nurses make me SO MAD (like "what right do they have to be pregnant when my eggs are in all likelihood poached?!) but she was sooooo nice and sweet, asking me about Violet and giving me the right amount of pity/empathy and cluing me in to this mommy/baby co-op sorta in my neighborhood that costs much, much less (think orders of magnitude) than Violet's current day care arrangements...it would have been a total BFF moment if not for having to drop words like "cancer" and "ostomy" in our conversation (but then again maybe making friends with a nurse would be good for just that reason...).

ANYHOW. This nurse was super nice and managed to put in and flush my IV without busting my vein, restoring my faith in the IV-managing profession.

After I take a few more sips of the bevvie, I realize that the purpose of my slow intake of the contrast (one cup every 30 mins) is to light up the affected area, with the problem being that the plumbing doesn't make it to the basement any more, thus all the contrast in the world would do nothing to light up the ol' bowel.

At this point, I hail Nurse BFF, and she agrees that I shouldn't have to pointlessly drink more contrast, telling me that she'll go give someone the head's up and someone should be out for me shortly.

Shortly lasted closer to 15 minutes, during which time I started to worry that maybe I would have to drink all three cups and all this vacillating would put me behind schedule...because I am a perfectionist dork who doesn't want to put anyone out. I also wanted to get the hell out of there ASAP.

Slow-forward to the nurse getting me, me having the IV contrast run though my IV (which makes you all flushed and warm and feel like you've peed your pants, which you haven't but it's icky nonetheless), and then taking the scans. I tried to get some info out of the nurse (because I'm sure they know when they see something, at least that's what Dr. Green said on ER when he had that brain tumor which eventually killed him, stupid TV cancer) but she was all tight-lippy.

Finally, I get to have some food for the first time that day, so right before calling a cab (Violet resisted her nap a bit and went down later than usual) I picked up a short can of sour cream 'n onion Pringles (mmm...molded chips), a Milky Way Dark, and a bottle of water to wash down the sweet, sweet drugs I picked up from the pharmacy (only taking one of the two pills for the ride home, because even I know better than to get doped up before getting into a stranger's car, even if it is a cab).

I'm barely out of the hospital drive when my surgeon calls with the results. Talk about service! He said that they did see some fluid collected in my pelvis, and while it didn't look infected (thus my lack of persistent fever), he was going to put me on some prophylactic antibiotics in the mean time. They also said that there was some air in my bladder because, why not? Let's just have everything in my pelvic cavity break at once.

The solution to this issue is for me to go in Monday for an outpatient procedure where they put a surgical drain in my asscheek and leave it there for a week or so. Just when I thought I was done with tubes for a while...

Long story short, the nurse had said that she had hoped that it was nothing, but I have to say I'm glad they found something, because I'd rather live with ridiculous indignity of having a tube in my buttock than not knowing what was wrong with me.

This? Is just a nuisance. This is nothing more than a speedbump on my trip to NEDville. I can't let shit like this distract me from the big picture: I had--what they call in the biz--a "complete response" to my chemoradiation therapy. Because I am, as I've always been, FKN*.

*Translation for the unpointless, non-ND people in the mix: tough, awesome, all that.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Argh. I *hate* the potholes along the way. I mean, you're already dealing with cancer for f*&k's sake, can't it just all go as planned?

You're a trooper, just keep on pushing. NED is waiting for you at the finish line.