For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The wonders of medical technology

I love technology. I really do! I still think we're overly dependent on it, but gosh, it's great stuff!

Thanks to my mystery cough, I'm getting to check out all sorts of neat stuff. Today's medical wonder was the CT scan.

This one was actually unexpected. I thought I already had a CT scan booked ... for tomorrow (meaning wednesday - I just noticed midnight has come and gone as I wrote this). Then I got a call yesterday to verify my appointment for today - not only in a different hospital, but in a different town! Not far to go, at least. Another day where I'm thankful we got a car. Getting there would've been a *lot* more difficult, expensive and time consuming.

Unfortunately, the girls weren't allowed to come in and see the stuff, nor was I allowed to take pictures. *sigh* ;-)

I gave myself plenty of time to get lost, so I got to the appointment nice and early. They even took me in right away, though in the end, that didn't matter much. I got to change into an oh-so-chic hospital gown and housecoat, then sit with the my girls in a waiting room. A few minutes there and I was taken in for a pair of Xrays - I wasn't expecting that part. Sadly, with it all done with computers these days, so there's no chance of getting a peek at the images anymore. The images get sent out immediately. Handy, but I sure did like getting a chance to see my own Xrays back when they had to check them physically.

When those were done, we got moved to another little waiting area down the hall, joining several other people in glamorous gowns and coats. A few minutes there and I got to sit at a desk and go over my history. Things like "have I ever worked around or been exposed to chemicals," and "have I ever had chest surgery." That one, my breast reduction counted. No chance of something going wrong there as being the cause, since I had that after I'd noticed the cough just wasn't going away.

After the paperwork part was done, I got to sit with the girls in the waiting area again, listing to some G0d-aweful soap opera on the tv. Thankfully, I was sitting directly under the tv, so I didn't have to be distracted by the images. Someone did pop on a short video explaining about the dye that's sometimes used during CT scans, explaining why it gets used, the potential risks, etc. Nice break from the tragedy of all these people trapped and dying or giving birth or bravely suffering horrendous injuries - all at the same time! - in the soap opera.

I truly don't understand how anyone can stand watching these. What's the appeal?

The wait was quite a bit longer this time. I got some good progress on the coat I'm now crocheting for Eldest. ;-)

I finally get called in, about a half hour later than I was booked for. Straight onto the table (with even a cushion under my knees, to make it more comfortable), hands over my head, and strapped in - just in case. A few minutes in the doughnut - breath in, hold your breath, breath normally, exhale, hold your breath, breath normally, all done.

Well, not quite that quickly, but pretty close. I did have a hard time with the breath holding part. With the inhale, I finally gave out just as I got the "breath normally" command, but with the exhale, I couldn't hold it that long. I thought I'd screwed it up for them, but I was told it was fine. The whole thing was over in less than 10 minutes.

Oh, I got a bit of a giggle after I was put in place on the slab and positioned in the scanner. As I look up, I can see a black ring or open area right in the middle. Above it is a tiny yellow sticker, upside down. Since I didn't have anything else to do at the moment, I worked out what it said.

It was a warning that lasers were being used, so don't look at them.


So I spent most of the time with either my eyes closed (I was all comfortable and relaxed, anyhow - could've gone for a nap! *L*), or looking at the panel readings at the front of the scanner.

I still have the appointment at another - local - hospital tomorrow. That one's for a pulmanory something-or-other, it turns out. I can't remember the exact name of it. The woman who answered when I called to verify said it so quickly, I just couldn't catch it right.

For this one, a car *isn't*of use. I'll be taking the train. Then thursday, I've got another appointment to pick up the machine to test me for sleep apnea - and spend about an hour going over some paperwookd I need to fill out, as well as being told how to use the machne - which I'll have to return before noon the next day.

Next week's not as busy, but I'd got the Big One in there. This is the one where I get things stuck down my trachea so they can look around. I'll be in twilight for this one, so I won't be in any shape to take myself home. My husband has already booked the day off so he can get me home safely.

There's still one more set of Xrays I need to book. I keep forgetting to call. :-P I'm just sooo looking forward to taking that barium again. It's not the worst thing in the world.

Hopefully, after all these tests are done, we'll have some sort of answer about this cough. Something. Anything! Even if there's nothing that can be done about it, just *knowing* what's causing it will be a help.

Meanwhile, I seem to have injured myself at work. I had only one shift last week. It wasn't a particularly difficult shift. I was with a new person tending a volunteers reception for the first couple of hours, which involved replacing the empty pizzas under the heat lamps as needed, then cleaning up plates and glasses when the volunteers stepped out to do the stuff they were there to do. After that, there was a bunch of us setting up for an event the next day. That was just making sure tables were in the right spots, with table clothes and skirts, then setting the tops up in preperation for buffets, coffee stations, etc. The heaviest things I lifted were stacks of side plates.

At the end of the shift, as I was leaving, I noticed my left elbow was sore. It didn't seem like a bit deal. I couldn't remember straining or twisting it in any way.

It's still sore now, and not doing well. This morning, while drinking from a glass I was holding in my left hand, I had to reach up and support it with my right because, once I lifted it past a certain point, I thought my elbow was going to give out on me! Not just because of pain - it's by no means the most painful thing I've ever felt - but because the elbow just didn't seem to be working right. I would've expected it to have improved by now, and it hasn't. I don't have another shift until friday night. If it's not better by then, it's going to cause problems at work.

What an irritation. :-/

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you sure have been busy with tests! I hope it gives you some answers. It is amazing what they can do now a days. Hope you elbow feels better, you certainly don't need any problem with that while getting the other stuff done. With you job it would be hard to work with. It seems things always come in groups.


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