Today was hard. HARD. It was the first day that I felt like a patient.
The day started out fine and normal. Got the kids off to school. Came home and got their little Valentine gifts together for them to have after school. Did the dishes, cleaned up a little...blah blah blah. Seemed pretty normal. Except I am fasting for my PET and CT scans so no yummy latte for me. This would be part of today's problem. Anyway, I then went for my MRI.
The MRI was at The Vancouver Clinic so I drove myself. I have had an MRI before. On my arm and on my ankle. Those weren't too bad. No problems. But then again one was an open MRI and the other was only my foot sticking in the long hollow tube with a 24 inch circumference. Today, the positioning was much different. In some sado masachistic style the technician placed me on my hands and knees with my face down in a face rest much like that on a massage table. Except this was no massage. I was uncomfortable and suddenly began to feel overwhelmed. I lost it. I simply lost it. It was the first time that this seemed real to me. Here I was with an IV in my arm, looking like a dog and being rolled into a long dark tube in which I would have to stay in this position for 30 minutes without moving. I couldn't do it. This is what hyperventilating feels like. Or so I thought. I know that nothing would happen to me in there. It wasn't going to close in on me. But I could not emotionally let myself be rolled into this tube. This is claustrophobia I guess. One of those irrational fears that I couldn't talk myself out of. I left without having an MRI. Immediately text Nick and told him I needed him to come with me for the PET/CT scan. I did call ahead and make sure that it wasn't the same. At least this wasn't a hallow tube. The PET/CT scanner is more like a big Cheerio in a room with lights changed color. Although I did have a brief freak out moment. I made it through this.
Going to OHSU felt so weird. The last time I was there was to see my dad after he had a heart attack. Now here I was the patient. I have to tell you they made me feel very welcome the moment I checked in at radiology oncology dept. But once I was back in the small prep room where I would have my second IV for the day I became a little overwhelmed of my reality. But this time, the technician talked me through it. Told me everything. Did things on my cue. Let me calm down. Had me drink some weird tasting water with a special ingredient to make me glow in the tube. (32 oz of this stuff. This is why it is called nuclear medicine I guess.) Then he let me sit in a big comfy hospital recliner for an hour under a warm blanket as all that radioactive glucose coated my insides. Then the scan. Fun stuff. Not so much.
But man I was exhausted when I was through. And bless his heart, Nick had to just hang out for two hours. I love him. Then he took me to dinner after. Since I had been fasting all day. It was a nice dinner...in the hospital cafeteria. I was that hungry.
It was hard to be the patient. I had to sit there and let someone else take care of me. Even as I sat in the big comfy chair, supposed to be relaxing, I was thinking about if Nick and not wanting him to be too bored. I was thinking about if the kids made it home ok and if Grandma Mary would be there to feed them dinner. And of course everything was fine. But I still worried about them.
Today was hard. But tomorrow is a new day. That's what I will tell myself. We meet with a oncology surgeon in the morning and then another try at an MRI (this time with a relaxer) tomorrow night. But I will smile and know "That I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Phillipians 4:13