Tuesday, August 19, 2003

It has TRULY been an interesting morning.

Arrive at O'connor hospital at 7:45am. The CT scan is scheduled for 10:45, but I have to arrive early and drink "contrast". This is a nice, innocent name for 8 cups of seriously nasty radioactive DYE that courses through my bloodstream and attaches itself to icky bits. The 8 cups come mixed with cranberry and apple juice, 2 at a time, every 30 minutes.

I drink the first 2 at 8am, and sit in the waiting room. waiting. Oddly, my left collarbone starts aching. then my lower ribs. then my wrist. I think this stuff is attaching itself to every previous break in my body. So I sit, read and wait.

With the second round, I try to be cheerful, asking the nurse if I could get a vodka shooter with it. She smiles, and tells me the "contrast" will induce serious diarreah, the bathroom is down the hall to the left. But she appreciates my positive attitude.

By the third round, I am 'peeing out my butt' as a roommate used to say. At 9:30, I am totally empty. I have cleared my guts, all my old breaks ache, and I think I am seeing a pale bluish tint on everything. I no longer want Vodka. I want a nap, and some soft toilet paper.

10:00am. Early! I get in EARLY! YAY! totally unheard of, but nice. Change into scrubs, go lay on the table, the nice tech explains everything to me. The contrast I drank cleared my system, as well as making it all glowing. However, to be sure, they will put a second dye in me, through an I.V. drip. He explains it should feel warm, but other than that, no problems.

He will run me through the machine once without the IV. Then put in the IV, and run me through 2 times. Pull the IV, and run me one more time. This is a giant, round, expensive, humming XEROX machine for humans!

First run, no problem.

Needle in, and I manage to be a 'big boy' and not cry. (but I still really hate needles, and did have to stare at the cieling and think HAPPY THOUGHTS! I can feel the solution running through me like liquid fire. Warm? no, more like hot. Is this what "hot flashes" feel like? Can I commiserate with menopausal women now?

Second run with the IV. As I slide back into the machine, he asks me to take a breath and hold it, and I feel it coming. Just like on the 50 Mile Canoe trip with Mr. Rollins and the Boy Scouts. It will not stop. I am laying on my back, and a gentle warm stream of apple juice-colored clear vomit comes bubbling up and out and coats the inside of the CT Scanner. And my chest. BARF! Blech! Chuck! Earp! Ruth! Earl! and it will not stop. I have visions of rock stars dying in hotel rooms, choked on their own vomit.

Years ago my dad made a joke that I would die of something so silly they could not say it aloud at the funeral, cause everyone would laugh. Choked on his own vomit! Yeah, that is pretty funny. and I start laughing. and it clears my throat and I can breath! Thanks Dad! You saved my life, ... again!

I start apologizing for making a mess on the machine, but the tech hollers to be still. He is STILL shooting pictures through this! YAY!

He gets done, and says he got the right shots. He brings me some towels, and covers my chest. Then pulls the IV. He says about 1 in 1,000 patients react to that contrast. Wow! I feel special.

We do one more run without the needle, and he helps me get up and to the bathroom to clean off. Did I mention I still have diarreah?

This is a total poop & puke fest. Great stuff for guy stories! Bad stuff for fiances and moms to hear. Why DO guys think bodily fluids are so hilarious?

I get cleaned up, and the nice receptionist suggests I take an extra towel, just in case, for the drive home. HOME? I gotta go back to work lady! I have things I NEED to do there. Fight Fight! Never give up!

I leave the hospital, and drive back to the Verizon shop. Kevin, remember, the competent fellow who helped me out with the Audiovox phone last week? is there, but he is swamped. I wait, turning down assistance from 3 other clerks, praying he can finish the lady in front of me before I have to poop again.

He does, he remembers me, we swap the cute, but not functional Audiovox for the LG VX 4400. This is a newer model of the phone Sara has. We will HOPE it works at the house. If it does not, I am at a loss. But at this point, I am VERY sure I need a strong working phone at the house. It feels like I will be spending a lot of time there.

Leaving the store, I check voicemail. Our pal Joan has called, she landed a job at Ducati North America. Wonderful, and I bet they have no idea how lucky they are to have landed such a wonderful person.

Then I called Sara to tell her about my poop & puke. Ya know, it is just amazing she puts up with me. Amazing. I am a very lucky guy. She is going for some well deserved self-spoiling. YAY!

I got to work, had a few quick meetings, and I am feeling very drained. literally, so I will go home and rest. and eat bagel dogs!

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