Almost Comical

Imaging and me is always a joke.  Today was my CT Scan.  I had it done in a different city because I don't trust the Radiologists here.  I think they just keep spitting out xerox copies of past reports on my kidney scans because they read word for word, year after year.  This has been going on long enough, I wanted some fresh eyes on my kidneys.

When I arrived, they asked if I had finished my contrast...but no one told me I was suppose to drink contrast so of course that is what I reported.  The nurse said, "Oh good, we didn't want you to drink it anyways.  We are going to change things up from the way your doctor wrote the orders."

Hmmm...sounds fishy but instead of questioning her, I changed into my one size fits all, mismatched set of hospital scrubs they provided me.  I'm pretty sure the one size fits all came from the Men's, Big and Tall department.  Just for fun, I put the pants on upside down...the ankle of the scrubs, fit around my waist perfectly!!  Ha ha...of course I didn't leave the changing room like that but they were unbelievably large!!  The scrub top was just as big, so I lumbered out of the room feeling like a little school girl playing dress up, which I can't complain...It beats the pink super hero capes they give you for the yearly mammogram stuff.

So, the nurse saved me a spot on the bed of the CT scanner and invited me to lay down.  I asked how we were going to change things up and she said they were doing a more intense IV contrast that would light up my bladder as well as kidney and renal arteries.  She asked why it has taken me more than a year to get another scan and why they haven't sorted things out yet...Fabulous question!  I was hoping she would ask me that.

The short answer is...doctors are becoming lazy.  I have had two doctors and two Nephrologist in 12 months.  They all gave me the same basic answer or variation of, "You're too young for kidney problems, let's just watch it."  Meanwhile, 13 months later, I'm still losing blood and my hemoglobin and red cell count is the lowest it's ever been.  Hopefully, this new Nephrologist has his head in the game.  I had to fire one Nephrologist because he thought I was 65 years old!! He actually said, "Well, this is to be expected with someone your age."  To which I responded, "MY age?!! I'm 49 years old!  How old do you think I am?"  Just kidding, that's not why I fired him.

Funny thing though, as this radiology tech was putting in the IV and getting things going, in a bit of a whisper she said, completely out of the blue, "I think you look good with this color of hair."
I said 'Thanks' but my inside voice was saying something else... Did I start a debate unknowingly about my hair color?  Did I seem insecure about having grey hair?  Did I ask anyone's opinion about my hair?  Most people would say, "I like your hair color."  It was funny, I may have laughed out loud because she sounded so sorrowful that my hair is the color it is!  Poor Me.

Contrast is an interesting beast...There's nothing quite like feeling as though you are burning from the inside out and peeing your pants at the same time.  It's an awesome experience you don't get everyday!  It's something I'll treasure for days to come.

So, that's that.  Now I wait for the verdict in two weeks, unless of course we are going to watch me bleed out for another year.

Because that ordeal wasn't funny enough, I got the last of Shelbie's scans and tests from last week, post surgery.  Never have I ever seen a Radiologist ask a question on the bottom of his notes.  They often say things like, Please correlate these results with further testing or past tests or something like that.  I consider it more of an excuse to not be responsible if something gets missed than anything pertinent.  These last scans and tests are nearly duplicate images from all the testing over the past year and multiple scans in the past 3 months.   This time, at the end of his report, numbering all the nodules, tumors, lymph nodes etc. He flat out says, "Are you sure this patient does not have lymphoproliferative disorder?"

Lymphoproliferative disorder is cancer!  When lymphocytes infiltrate the organs and in Shelbie's case, the lungs.  What a joke.  I understand that this is complicated but I wonder how often they consider what it feels like to be the patient living with this.  It's extremely difficult to spend a week where everyone you meet is trying to stage your 'cancer' or asking you what stage you are in, after they see the images...and then to be told, you don't actually have cancer! It messes with your head in unbelievable ways.  Now a week later, we are back to yet another doctor, a cancer specializing radiologist, who is questioning our entire team!

I can't even.  It's ridiculous.  I don't even know what to do with this.  I think nothing.  I think we will do nothing for now.  We actually laughed about it this afternoon, in a sarcastic, overwhelmed sort of way but it felt laugh, I mean. 

An unexpected, almost comical day today. 


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