Monday, June 23, 2008

CT crap and Crap crap

I had a CT scan scheduled this morning. And I am now far enough from my cancer ordeal that it surprised me how I had almost forgotten the unpleasant experience medical shit can be.

My day started with a gag inducing breakfast of 8 oz of berry flavored barium - thick and lumpy and nasty. An hour later I drank my second dose of lovely barium and headed into the ARA branch in Round Rock. I waited in the full-to-bursting waiting room while my belly grumbled and ached from the barium. When it was my turn, they sat me down on the CT scan bed and gave me another 12 oz of barium to drink. I managed to get that down and was congratulating myself for not throwing up when something unexpected happened. The tech handed me a little jar of barium the consistency of toothpaste and a spoon. My doctor had ordered a neck CT in addition to my normal chest/abdomen scan. Makes sense I guess, since there are lots of lymph nodes in the neck and I suppose we ought to keep an eye on them. But I have never had to eat the barium paste before. It apparently coats your esophagus and makes the pictures prettier. Well all I know is that is took every ounch of my will power to not throw it and all the rest of the earlier barium up on their clean white CT scan room floor. Holy crap that was unpleasant to swallow. But I did it. That is what I do. You eat the paste and shut up.

Then instead of having me sit in the special blood draw, IV start chairs I am used to, the lady had be just lie down on the scan table and she started my IV right there. Or I should say attempted to start the IV. She dug in one arm and then had a field day digging around in the other arm before calling in the reinforcements. In this case as in many other IV failure rescues, it was a paramedic who came in and got it with no problem. Why do people who suck at IV starts continue to do them? Of course, my experience with scans is that they want to use a large needle/tube - 20 gauge - because of the pressure of the contrast dye going in. But my veins, like my person, are petite. 20 gauge is difficult to ram into my veins and I can always tell the difference in the pain of a 20 gauge vs a smaller 22 gauge. And I know for a fact that you can use a 22 gauge IV for a CT scan. They prefer 20, but 22 is fine. I know this from getting CT scans in other locations - ARA downtown and at G'town Hospital - and they took one look at me and chose not to torture me with the big one and used the 22 gauge. But somewhere in there little book in Round Rock it says that 20 gauge is the standard and I couldn't tell them any different.

I just lay there getting more and more upset, not because it hurt, which it did. And not because the fricken tech kept asking me "Are you ok?". Which I simply laughed at. I can't answer that question while you are digging in my arm. Yes, I am ok, I will live. But I would be much happier when you are done digging in my fricken arm, stop asking if I am ok. No, I was getting upset, because I had almost forgotten how much it sucks to be sick and to endure the shit you have to endure to get and stay healthy. Holy crap, it took me right back to that place of powerlessness and anger and feeling a little sorry for myself.

I tried to shake it off when I was done, but I was just irritable and cranky all day. Bitched about every little thing that happened. Had a hard time at work today because working in the theatre, especially the Palace, is all about trying to control the artistic chaos. And since I was feeling particularly out of control I was just a cranky mess. I probably should apologize to everyone who came into contact with me today.

Fricken CT scan.

In other weekend news, we closed the Chicken Ranch down on Sunday. The last three shows went pretty well, even with the stand-in actors. And I am a little sorry to see it end. It was so nice to be back on stage again and especially nice to sing again. I got good reviews from all who know me - as if they would say otherwise, since they care about me. But it felt nice anyway. But the heat really takes a toll and I don't think I could have done any more weekends. Six was enough. Unless they could give us 72 degree weather, then maybe I could do another two weeks. Maybe.

In potty news, Jackson poo poo'd in his little potty today and declared it a poop snake. And proceeded to dance around the house singing "bye bye poop snake!" How do you not laugh at this totally socially unacceptable behavior? I can't help it. But jeez. I remember a time when I didn't talk about, describe and obsess about the toilet and the things that go in it. I suppose this will pass. Heh. Pass. See what I mean? I can't fricken stop.

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