Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Love/Hate Relationship

First of all, tomorrow I will post about Alex and the concert he went to last night. I'm on my laptop and the pictures (some of which turned out really well!) are on the desktop in the den and I'm too comfortable in the bedroom to leave.

(Gee Angie, do you have a quickie lesson on how to improve the ones that are only so-so?)

But this evening my head is swirling with the love/hate relationship I have with CT scans.

Tomorrow afternoon is my annual scan, and as usual, I'm concerned. Although I have no reason to think otherwise, I'm worried that the scan will show that my cancer has returned. Every single day, cancer enters my mind. It's been almost three and a half years since I was diagnosed, and I really thought I'd be over this by now, and only think about it once a week or so, but that hasn't happened.

On one hand, I love the CT scan because it is a wonderful diagnostic tool. It can show if there is anything questionable in my colon, liver, lungs, stomach, and everywhere in between. I'm extremely thankful that technology has made this machine possible. A CT scan is what first detected my tumor in August of 2005. I'm so grateful that it can easily check my body for any kind of "suspicious" spot.

On the other hand, I hate the CT scan because it gets me all worked up ahead of time, always wondering what it will find. I'm also allergic to the dye, and need to take some medication both 12 hours and then again 1-2 hours before the scan. The contrast is yucky to drink. I have to do that two hours before the scan, and I'll still be at school then. And of course there's the matter of the IV. I have awful veins. I've asked the professionals about my lovely veins and they've told me that I have:

  • a poor blood return
  • tiny veins
  • deep veins
  • veins that roll
Each of those things can make starting an IV difficult, but with all four of those things? Let me just say that it's NOT a pleasant experience. The last time I had this done, no one would listen to me when I told them that I needed a warmed blanket to put on my arm to help the veins rise to the surface.

Gee, do you think I might know what helps when it comes to MY veins??? Four different people tried to get the IV in a total of six times. I kept mentioning the warm blanket. Then they went to ask the radiologist if it was absolutely necessary that I have the IV. He said yes. Again, I told them to try the warm blanket. But no, they got a surgical nurse to come in and try, and she finally got in on her second attempt on the back of my right arm.

I was supposed to be back in the CT room for about 20 minutes. It was an hour and a half.

I promise you, tomorrow will be different. If I have to be rude, then I will be. I'm not putting myself through the misery of last year's scan.

So there's my love/hate relationship with CT scans. I really just want to fall asleep and wake up 24 hours from now, when it's all over. Then fall asleep again and wake up in the doctor's office when I get the results.


Leeann said...

I totally agree with you. You are the one feeling the pain and you know your body. I would just take a heating pad in with me and tell them they have to use it.

Absolute best wishes on your CT scan tomorrow. I will be sending out good vibes!

theArthurClan said...

I am thinking of you Cindi and will be praying for you as well. That's a BIG thing and I can understand why you would be anxious about it.

Oh, how frustrating that must have been when they wouldn't listen to you. Be rude if you need to be...you know your needs better than anyone else (even if they "think" they know it all!)

Best wishes...

Stacia said...

I'll be thinking of you Cindi!
With some prayers you will actually get a nurse that listens to your needs and makes your day go smooth.
Sounds like it has to be better than last time.
Think positive girl!

Jen said...

I will keep my fingers crossed for you tomorrow.

Maybe you could get one of those little one time use hot things that you can click to activate and just heat your own arm without asking them?

Melanie said...

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you now and always. Take care and God Bless..

PERBS said...

Hope everything goes well and you have a great report.