Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm so tired...will I ever catch up on sleep?

I had my testing at Emory yesterday. I was exhausted from getting in from the airport at 11 pm. the night before and then getting up early again to go to Emory. I was actually looking forward to having my tests, just to put it behind me....until I got there and thought about drinking that nasty stuff again.

When we got there, we lucked out and got a parking space right on the first level of the parking garage. It hasn't happened in a year going down there. I immediately went and signed into the Oncology lab. The Oncology nurses do a much better job of setting your lines for testing. I knew they couldn't use my port but it needed to be flushed. They push the radioactive dye through my veins so fast that it will blow out my port but the nurse told me that a good port line can stay in for 8 years. I've not had any trouble with my port so I would rather keep it in and keep it free from blood clots. I don't think I would ever have to use it again but it does help to push meds through it rather than always getting stuck in my arms or hands.

The first nurse was not qualified to do the lines in my arm and port so they had to send me back out to wait. The amount of people waiting, as usual increases and there is only 1 nurse doing the more complex procedures. She said since Emory has gotten the Cancer Certification that the numbers have increased but the resources have not. We learn that the nurses are all in a meeting therefore slowing down the progress. In other words, if you had a 7 a.m. appt. and the nurses don't get out of their meeting until 8:30 a.m. you are in a first come, first serve and could be waiting for more than a couple of hours.

The Oncology nurses remember me and start talking as they are working. I feel bad because although I'm being taken care of, I know there are many outside still waiting and waiting....

After my lines are both set in my arm and port, we head to the tunnel to Radiology. We are 15 mins. early for my appt. However, as we sit there and the time passes, we begin to wonder if they forgot about me, as Radiology is usually on time. Two guys came out to get me from the waiting room. The first guy works in Radiology and introduces the other guy with him as a Medical student learning the ropes. I soon realize why they are behind...the guy from Radiology is really enjoying showing this Medical student all he knows about the procedure. I can tell he is disappointed that I went and had my line put into my arm so he doesn't get to show that off. He goes through every single step again, although I could recite it, just for the Med student to hear. As we are going over everything, someone pops their head in the room and says, "you aren't done yet, we have someone else waiting for you?" The guy bends over backwards to allow me to pick the flavors of the nasty stuff, Banana, Berry or lemonade...I know it all tastes bad so I stick with the (2) 20 oz. glasses of pink lemonade (what a falsehood).

They allow me to go back out into the waiting room to drink this stuff over the next hour. If you know me, I have a terrible gag reflux. If it tastes bad, it is coming back up so I try not to smell it. I noticed this family sitting to my left watching me as I smell it and shudder. I can't help it. Steve pulls up his test results for me to read to get my mind off drinking this stuff.

They come back and get you after an hour. The actual test is no big deal but as the Rad Tech explains to the Med student, they have to push this dye into my vein really fast. I've never had pain with that before, except I feel it burning as it goes through my body but this soon as the Rad Tech said, I'm starting your pump, I feel like my vein is on fire. I start to say, "Ow, Ow, are about to blow my vein up", she immediately goes back to turn it down. She said, "sorry I had it up as fast as it can go".....There isn't much you can do because you are laying down with your hands behind your head and the line the dye is running through is connected to the pic in your arm and they wind it through your fingers so essentially you are stuck. They take several scans and its over. Well, except that drinking that stuff always makes me sick to my stomach for a couple of days.

I was back at work this morning. Every 2 months I will go through this testing. Running labs on my blood and having different types of scans. I'm thankful that there are scans that can detect these things early. Now I go for my test results this next Wednesday. I always have an appt. a week after with my Oncology Doctor.

Thanks for all the kind comments. I'm just tired...wonder if I'll ever catch up on sleep again?

Love to all,

1 comment:

Vernie said...

Hi Leah! Sorry for just getting to blog, took my Dad to Tunica for Father's Day and we just got home a little while ago. We had a ball, in spite of the heat, and won a little money too! Father's Day was good, my Dad, my son and my son-in-law, the strength of our family, enjoying their special day! I hope the men in your house enjoyed theirs as well. Gotta run now, got tons of stuff to do for tomorrow! Just wanted to check in and say hello and Happy Father's Day to Steve, the best!!!