today was my 3rd annual MRI. they have a new tech, her name is rose. she seems nice enough. actually she did do something today that while some might find mundane, i know others will really appreciate. but i get ahead of myself.
i was a little worried about hydration. i have actually spent the past 6 days out flat with the stomach flu. man it was brutal. 'nuff said there! so i was drinking water and gatorade all morning, and it was really only about an hour before M-Time when my tummy did it's first little dance of nerves. i'd say that was pretty good. usually i start to stress at least the day before. we get there and checked in on time, ok maybe 5 minutes late. but considering they're usually later, we were still early. happily we didn't wait to long until denise came to get us.
as in the post about welk's visit, it was pretty routine by this time for us. no new anythings, matt's not wearing a pacemaker or anything? no? ok, please sign the release form etc.
then we met rose. i don't remember exactly what was said by whom to prompt me to say 'denise is going to be your vein holder while you stick me?' when she giggled an answer i knew she didn't realize i was serious and said so 'she doesn't believe me, does she?' we went through all her paperwork (same stuff each year again for me). after we're done she asked about the veins. i tell her they usually heat up and wrap a towel and then still sometimes someone holds while another sticks. denise was there a couple years ago when i mentioned that gladys had held while magaram had come over to stick and they just did the same last year. rose waited for a minute before confirming i was definitely a patient of crossland, there at overlake. 'you know, i don't see why we can't have the onco nurses stick you. i don't do it all day every day and they do.' so we hoof back over to the medical tower and while rose runs over to onco we pop into the breast center for me to use the toilet.
when we get over to onco they're all ready. they had no problem doing the stick, and rose got to observe. so there you have it. that's what she did that impressed me. maybe she 'chickened out' of doing it, but to me, she recognized that she's not an expert and my veins aren't the easiest, so why put someone (me) in any pain when there's someone right across the street who is an expert. cheers from me!
i thought initially we were going over to the lab but no, they had said the onco nurses. so i got to visit the oncology room for the 1st time. it was both scary and peaceful. there were maybe 20 chairs about 5 feet apart lining the 3 windowed walls. it was bright and airy, there were coffee and brownies, and no, we didn't try them to see if they were, ahem, home-made. it was a bit loud as there was no carpet or drapes, no curtain dividers in sight, and a slight antiseptic smell. some people had chemo caps on, i think i saw 1 afghan. there were some people on their own and some had family &/or friends. that was really all i was able to absorb in the minute i had before sitting down and becoming absorbed into my own little bubble of activity. the nurse had wrapped my arm in a great little thing. about the size of a formal dinner napkin, it's one of those hot/cold microwave/freezer things. it was really nice and hot! she wrapped my arm for a few minutes, then came back and within 3 minutes i had the butterfly in, she had injected a wee bit of saline to flush and very watered down heperin so i wouldn't clot at the end of the needle before rose needed to inject the gadolinium.
back over to the trailer we go, again. after kicking off the shoes and removing the glasses i'm up on the table. the rest is the same as last year. and the year before that. i'm face down, pushed into the machine, arms out above my head in a not-so-comfortable position, but at least with the needle a little further down my arm i can rotate it and bend it slightly where the last 2 years everyone was afraid if i moved my arm at all i'd pop the needle out or through the vein.
my apt was at 11, we were walking over to the car after at 1:45. i guess i kind of zone out while i'm there and lose track of time. matt had forgotten a book so he was stuck basically sleeping in the chair while holding my hand.
as far as all 4 of these i've had to date, today was the most enjoyable (!) and least stressful of them all. i'm not so sure that's really a good thing, if you get my meaning. but i guess it could be worse. friday we see crossland. i'm a little nervous about the 'rash' thing around my left nipple, but after otto, clarfeld, hackett and welk haven't said anything, we'll see what the MRI says. so there's a little bit of nerves, but basically i'm not so tense. i'll go on my own, but have plans to try and meet up with another survivor friend who's doing a CTScan rotation in her medical training. if anything's wrong i'll be able to cry to her, then get home and call matt. if things are really bad he'll come home. but i'm borrowing trouble. there's probably less than 20% chance it's anything bad. Hhhmm, where have we heard that before?