Tuesday, July 10, 2012

contrast, i hate you

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.
(the journey, mary oliver)

so today was scan day which made it a long day. i worked the first part of the day, and then headed over for my scan around 2:30. my dear friend ellie (thank you ellie, you rock!) came with me to keep me company during the entire process which takes about 2 hours or so. you all know the drill, as i have wrote before what scan days are like.

today was the same routine. when i went back for my blood draw, my veins were not cooperative. i am not sure why they wanted to be mean today, but i was not appreciating their unwillingness to work with the nurse. before the nurses (yes, not one - but two - nurses had to try and get my veins to cooperate) got the line they needed, i was poked in both arms with my right arm taking the brunt of the attempts. so after three times of poking and trying to work the iv around to hit the vein (which i find to be a miserable experience, it actually hurts worse than the poke from the needle), it finally worked. then they pumped the saline into the iv, and you know how i feel about that taste.

so then i had one hour to drink the two containers of the contrast solution that i have to finish before the scan. i have complained about it before, but i will complain about it again (it is my blog so i can do what i want and you basically have to listen, right?;)). i hate that stuff. it is berry flavored (which i think might actually make it worse because it is a disturbing fake fruit flavor). but today i had the choice of cold contrast or room temperature contrast. i chose cold, figured it might make it more tolerable. not sure that decision actually proved to be the right choice but live and learn.

personally, i don't think that having to drink something that comes with a picture of your insides on it is something anyone should have to do. can we agree on that? ugh.

so while i was chugging the contrast to make my one hour deadline, ellie and i caught up on the latest with each other - and with katie and tom:)

after one bottle of contrast was down, ellie was being my cheerleader and reminding me that once i finished my scans, i could have treats (i have to fast before the scans so i was seriously hungry - having to fast and then drink the contrast on an empty stomach is basically torture). you know that eating cinnamon bears post-scan are my big reward, and today i had a jackpot day thanks to ellie, abby, and rob (so lucky to have good friends making sure that i have my needed bears to get me through the day).

i got called back and had a couple of major gulps of contrast to finish. those last chugs were brutal because by that point my stomach is already getting pissed off because it hates contrast and always gets really upset afterwards. as i was finishing the gulps, ellie told me that she could tell by the look of me that i was definitely over the contrast. she is a very smart girl.

once the scans were done (and yes, the same ceiling tiles were there), ellie and i got to snack on pumpkin bread (kerry - it is still sooooooo good), chips, cinnamon bears, chex mix, etc. we came prepared and were not messing around with eating when i got done with the scan.
after i dropped ellie off, i headed for home. traffic really sucked. my stomach really sucked. those two things sucking at the same time is not a good (aka miserable) combination. i got home and immediately went to bed. was down for about three hours before malena woke me up for her bedtime so that i could read stories.

it is now 11:42pm and my stomach is still really pissed off. i kind of appreciate the fact that it hates scans too, but also wish it would cut me some slack since it knows i hate them too.

tomorrow is almost here.

so like the kelly rae roberts piece my parents gave me tonight, i will just practice a little courage and try to get a little rest tonight if i can.

thanks for all of the good thoughts, i will carry them with me into my appointment tomorrow.



  1. Oh Alli, I think we must be kindred spirits. I just ordered a mary oliver book on Amazon yesterday! I am so glad your scans are done...was keeping you in my thoughts yesterday and hoping the barium would be slightly more tolerable than it had in the past. Over here in WI we are anxiously waiting to hear about your results today. Super cool that your parents got you that KR piece...when I saw that one I immediately thought of you. You are BRAVE - personified. :)

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