Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Warranty has expired

Don't turn 40! unless you already have...

Hmmm I turned 40 this summer and everything is just going to hell!

Just before Christmas one night I went to bed and got this pain in my lower left back - near where my kidney should be - it hurt pretty bad all night but I was able to get some sleep.

In the morning I took a couple Aspirin and it helped. Then when I went to the bathroom I noticed my pee was pink - just a little. So I did what I always do when I don't know something - I checked the Internet!

It sounds very much like I had a kidney stone and managed to pass it on my own, which is good because if I hadn't I would still be in pain and would have had to go to the hospital.

So that was that - it hasn't happened again since.

And then on New Year's day I had my attack.

Today I had my abdominal CT scan to see if the attack really was caused by gallstones.

So I got up early and ready to go - we left the house at around 8am - my appt was for 10:30am but I had to arrive 2 hours early to have dye injected or something. So K drops me off at 8ish.
I have been fasting since the night before - only had a couple sips of water this morning. My stomach is growling.
I get checked in to the CT scan place - there is a sign stating if you have a cough you must use the hand sanitizer and wear a mask - I immediately start to fight the urge to cough.

Two other people waiting - guy who checked us in comes out after about 20 mins and says that the tech is having a bit of difficulty with the machine this morning - there may be a delay. But then 10 min later all is fine and the lady before me gets called in. 5 mins late I too am called in.

I have to drink 1.5 litres (6 glasses) of this orange tangish liquid. First taste isn't too bad but it has a horrible aftertaste. The lady brought in before me is in the same little waiting room with me also drinking this vile mixture. She offers that she has just been diagnosed with lung cancer - I don't know what to say - I lost my mother to lung cancer but it doesn't seem a good idea to mention that. She doesn't look like a smoker.

Luckily, while drinking the tang-crap we are allowed to go to the washroom - the lady and I take turns, as soon as she is back I need to go, as soon as I get back she has to go again and so on.

On one of my trips to the bathroom, I get up wrong or something, I pull something in my lower left back - just above my butt - a muscle I guess - hurts like hell! How do you pull a muscle getting up to pee?

After we have finished the vile-tang and have had at least 20 trips to the washroom - she is called away. About 5 mins later it is my turn. I am asked to remove my bra as it has metal in it.

They insert an IV into my arm - I have to first sign a waiver that I understand that there is the possibility of complications from the dye they inject - including stroke or death - nice - love how they leave that info until you are minutes from having the procedure. The nurse assures me it is only people with severe food allergies who ever have reactions. I don't have any food allergies - So I feel a bit better. But I will feel a warming sensation and have a strange taste in my mouth. Great.

I am asked to drink yet another cup of tang-crap. Then I am taken into the CT scan room. I am told to lie down facing the machine - last time I was here for a head CT scan I faced the opposite direction. I lie down then they move me into position, I close my eyes, I am more comfortable this way - the table moving me feels strange - kind of like being on a swaying ship - I don't want to get seasick. They are going to take a scan before they insert the dye - the machine tells me to take a deep breath and hold it - a few seconds later it tells me to breathe.

The tech then asks me if my pants have a zipper - umm sure does. I am told to pull my pants down out of the way - they bring me a sheet to cover up with - lovely.

They redo the scan. All is well now.

The tech then comes in and insert the tube with the dye into the IV in my arm - she again tells me that I will have an odd taste in my mouth and a warm feeling all over, kind of like a hot flash (haven't had one of those yet - knock on wood!), this warm feeling will go all the way down to my nether regions - I may feel like I am peeing she tells me - oh more loveliness.

Recap - I am lying on a CT scan table with my pants around my knees and I am about to feel like I have wet myself - can this get any better?

So away we go - yup there is the weird taste and yup warm feeling starting, I haven't recently peed myself so not sure that this is what is feels like but definitely warm. She tells me to take a deep breathe and the feeling starts to recede. She then does the scan again - the machine again tells me when to hold my breathe and when I can breathe again.

I am done - I gracefully (ya right) hike my drawers up and do them up. I sit up and am told to have a seat in the hall.

After a few minutes, the nurse who inserted the IV comes to ask how I am - I am fine - have to pee again though - she removes the IV and I am told I can redress (my bra) and leave. It is now 11am.

It is blisteringly windy and cold today so I called a cab to take me the 3km drive home.

Once home, I am starving so I cook up an egg, some ham and a piece of toast. I feel better now.

I have however ...TMI (too much info) coming...had diarrhea and a bubbly stomach the rest of the day - I guess from having my stomach completely empty for so long or maybe from the dye, who knows.

I still have to endure the ultrasound on Saturday.

Everything is just falling to pieces I tell ya! Don't get old! (writing this as I sit with a heating pad against my pulled muscle) Blah.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! I am so sorry that you had to endure all that!!!! And I don't know if it will make you feel better or worse that your account of these tragic events had me laughing loudly? You're a great writer!
I'm praying that all your tests will reveal no real problems and that the docs will have wisdom to treat your body so whatever it was won't happen again.
And I am very honored that in the midst of your pain, you'd pop over to my blog and bail me out of my gravy dysfunction! Thanks!!!

(PS -- I will be laughing my way to the potty today... hope you won't need your heating pad much longer!)

Allison Ann Aller said...

Well, your technical writing ability shows through on this post!
Sounds like that gall bladder should come out, out, out. (My bro is a surgeon and I am used to thinking in those terms).

Very glad you swung by my blog and left a comment...and that you want to try crazy quilting! "No Rules" is our only rule...and for a great online resource, check out the free, ad-free magazine:

It is the only publication on or off the web devoted strictly to CQ.

Happy stitching, Kim!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kim! What a procedure! As someone nearing the big 5-0, I can tell you, looking back, that it does all go downhill health wise after 40. And believe you and me, having a good sense of humour helps! You had me in stitches reading about that. I hope you're feeling better soon.