I have to admit I was afraid. I had set it aside while on my trip. But today was the day. No more ignoring the possibility of more ca. Today was CT scan day. I start my day with my normal routine. Thyroid pill. Load the Starbucks beans. Enjoy as the grinding releases the unmistakable aroma. Coffee brewing in the dependable Cuisinart. Check the blood sugar. Say hello to Max and give him breakfast. He is busy, but he definitely is not a morning person.
Settle into the first coffee of the day. Comfy chair. TJ bouquet is Fall colors. Nice. Journal out. Start writing. Write about yesterday. Tough as my RA was flaring again. Probably because of the 25% cut in prednisone.
Light breakfast. Need three hours of fasting for this test. Just make it.
Front Desk Procedure
I arrive at KM Hospital x ray department. Take a number from the automated ticket dispenser. Sit in a room full of unhappy looking people. Waiting. Number called. Electronic signature times two. One for permission for treatment. The other is something about abuse? My check was less than the test amount. No problem. I will be sent a bill.
Next I was sent to see another woman at another desk. She gave me a form to fill out. I filled it out and waited until 10 minutes after the appointment time to be called. Mary she calls. This new woman did not identify herself. She asked me for another form. I did not have it. She went back to the second woman and got it. Sat me down in still another waiting room to fill out this form and left. About 10 minutes later the third (no name) woman returned and led me off.
The Big Machine
The scanner looked like a big electronic donut. I was asked to remove my bra (might wear a sports bra next time) and a dental partial. Metal. Was led to a table. Place for my head. Support for my knees.
An IV was started. (For GI things a drink is given.) This IV was connected to a fat syringe attached to the scanner. Head position was checked. And without a word, my nameless woman left me alone with the machine.
The machine started without warning or pleasantry from the control room. The machine told me when to breathe and when not to breathe. I could feel the dye as it entered me and then washed through me as a saturated warmth. Two doses for two scans. Quick.
My nameless woman returned. Removed my IV. Wrapped the site in a purple stretch bandage. (I like them. I feel special like a kid with a super hero band-aide.) Said I would hear the results in a few days. Gave me an instruction sheet not to take my metformin for 48 hours and a card. I finally knew her name as I walked out the door.
This is the hard part. Waiting for the results: what will it be and what will happen next.
As a nurse like you, don’t you hate it when health care professionals don’t introduce themselves? It would take no more time if they’d just say, “I’m Sally. I’ll be helping you with your scan today.” Or whatever.