Apr 22, 2011 - 1:02 pm
(Led Zeppelin reference)
So I went to my 10AM appointment, to get the surprise CT scan and when I got there I was not the one surprised.
The lady at the desk said my appointment was for 12PM. I said, "Hmmm...I am sure they told me 10AM."
She said, "Hmmm, let me check." And then she said, "Oh, you were supposed to get here two hours early so that you could take some liquids. Your appointment is actually at two (PM). Is ginger ale alright? And do you prefer diet or regular?"
"Liquids" is what they now use apparently to define that good old barium dose, now available, I learned (geez, I have really been at this too long), in a number of flavors.
I said I was happy with regular ginger ale but not happy with what was happening here.
I said, "So you are telling me that I am here at 10AM for a 2PM CAT scan (I still use CAT rather than CT when talking to real humans rather than digital ones :)).
She said, "Yes, sir."
I said, as sternly but as calmly as I could, "That ain't gonna happen." I tend to let my grammar slip when I am angry, albeit 'ain't' might even be acceptable usage these days, for all I know.
I then said, "There is NO WAY that is gonna happen."
She said she would call the nurse, which is what they do when they have what they think is a code in a place that doesn't have codes.
This one, I suspect she was thinking, was either a major screw up on their part or a delirious dude not accepting the routine, or both.
It turns out that the appointment was for 2PM and that they had 'worked me in, thus the lack of overnight liquid refreshment. It turns out they have no idea why I was 'stat' (that is good to know, even if I still do not why I am 'stat' unless my wife has more power than even I suspected). It was right there on the sheet I was not supposed to see: "STAT".
I repeated to the nurse, a nice enough lady, as was the admitting lady, to be honest, "That is NOT gonna happen."
The idea of sitting in an office for four frigging hours, drinking ginger ale and barium a couple of times along the way did not sit well with me on a number of levels, the first being, of course, that planning should have been, well, better planned. Second, of course, I am not sitting ANYWHERE for four hours unless I WANT TO sit somewhere for four hours and I did not want to sit there for four hours, barium or or no barium, planning or no planning.
"That is NOT gonna happen," I might have said again, and I know I was shaking my head, and I know I was angry, although not at them.
GastroPod, as Desi might say back in the day, has some 'splainin' to do.
So the goodly nurse decided I was serious and suggested I take a couple of bottles home, drink them and come back bright and early Monday morning (7AM, which is cool with me). She asked me if I preferred berry, vanilla, or a couple of other flavors I have forgotten already, and that is all new to me, as barium was never so bad in its original form (I know, I know, some people, many people, think it SUCKED, capital letters on purpose so that you can spell the letters one at a time: S U C K E D.)
I went with vanilla, as it seemed safe enough, but was still surprised when she came back with two huge frigging bottles of this junk. I have had barium swallow tests. I have taken barium prior to scans. But these babies were enormous. I seriously doubt I could have ingested both of them within four hours if I HAD stayed!
"Refrigerate them," she said. "Drink one Sunday night, and the next at 6AM before arrival."
"How long after I get here before I am in?" I asked, now aware that their sense of the importance of time was apparently different than my own (and I had mentioned this: "Why is that only cancer survivors seem to understand the importance of time?" No one responded and I calmed down, having missed an opportunity to explore great philosophical mysteries, I suspect.)
So I am first on the docket, if you will, Monday morning. I will be chalk-full of barium in a vanilla vein, at least if I listen to what I've been told, and I will be in and out in a jiffy. There are two rather ominiously sized bottles of 'vanilla' barium sulfate, I think it is, in my refrigerator (I put it in the main one rather than my 'own' one, so that others will be reminded of the woes I face, selfish ***** that I am on occasion).
All that's left is to celebrate the death and disappearance of Jesus with ham and asparagus and deviled eggs (irony of ironies, in a cheap way) and mashed potatoes and ham gravy and some other stuff I probably can eat now, looking forward to barium night and barium morning and a quick (or not so quick) hit of radiation Monday morning.
What's not to love?
I am still happy to be here, and expect to be here for a long time, unless I read in Monday morning's paper that barium sulfate (or whatever) causes cancer, especially the vanilla one.