Now that the cat's out of the bag about me and my lymphoma....
Did I scare you? I mean NON-lymphoma....
I thought I'd share a funny story. Funny now, anyway, but not funny at the time.
I went for my CT and was pretty terrified. I went by myself because Jordan was working or we didn't have a babysitter, or maybe a combination of the two. I was ok with doing it on my own because I knew I wasn't getting any results that day anyway. But I was still uneasy knowing that as soon as they got the scan my fate was sealed, results that day or not.
I waited a long time that day. First I had to take a number to even check in. Then I waited in the CT holding area. Then they moved me to the actual CT prep room and I waited some more. And then finally someone who didn't identify herself as to who she was and why she was there showed up. Here is where the fun began.
Straight forward questions about my health history. Easy peasy.
"Is there any way you could be pregnant?" she, apparently a nurse, asked.
"ARE YOU SURE?" she said, staring eerily deeply at me.
"Sure". In my head also known as 'Yup, pretty sure. Do I need to explain to you why I'm sure, or are we good with you taking my word for it?'
Then she said, matter of factly as if it were part of her questionnaire, "Do you have a stye?".
"Pardon me?" I asked, completely shocked.
"I SAID: DO YOU HAVE A STYE? You have a weird lump on your eye lid".
She said my eye was weird.
I started to fumble with my eye, questioning if there was any way I had a stye and didn't know. Which in hindsight is pretty funny because if you've had a stye (as I have) it is incredibly painful and there is no way you wouldn't notice it.
The conversation continued about my stye, or lack there of, for - I kid you not - at least another two minutes. It was to the point that I was actually wondering if a stye was a horribly contagious thing and I was in big BIG trouble for showing up at the hospital with one.
We eventually determined that I did not, in fact, have a stye. And what she was focussed on was a tiny little blip on my lower eye lid which I believe may in fact be scar tissue from an actual stye when I was a kid. It was so small that no one had ever commented on it and I forgot I even had it. Well until now, when she brought it up. I guess she noticed because she was burning holes into my eyes when she was drilling me if I was pregnant (FYI for those of you who don't know me in real life, no, I don't look pregnant. Maybe I was glowing?).
So that urgent issue of my stye was dealt with, thank goodness. Next she told me she was going to start an IV for my contrast scan. She gave me a very vague explanation of what the contrast did but I didn't have a chance to ask any questions before she cut me off.
"You're not a fainter are you?", in the crankiest tone she had pulled out yet. First, I was apparently lying about being pregnant. Next I had a giant infected eye lid that was about to spread like the plague through Victoria General Hospital. And now lastly, the icing on the cake was that I had a sign on my head that said "I don't do needles".
I was at my wits end. "NO, I don't faint. I get bloodwork all the time".
"Why's that?" the witch* snapped back?
"For my thyroid."
"I had it removed".
"I had cancer".
ZING! Suck on that one lady. A bit dramatic I know, but come on. She needed to be put in her place right fast.
"WHAT! You had thyroid cancer? We can't do this. You can't have the injection. I need to go talk to someone that knows more about this than I do" as she scampered off. I'm guessing she didn't need to go far to find someone who knew more than she did. I didn't get a word in as she ran off.
So then more waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Finally she came back.
"You can't have the contrast", she said.
"Why not?", I asked.
"I don't know. Something to do with your cancer. We can't interfere with your treatment".
"Okayyyy, but I'm not having any treatment". Question mark, question mark, question mark, implied by the tone in my voice.
"You'll have to ask someone who knows more about this than me" (again, likely everyone there, but no one was provided to me). She left. The last I'd see of her. Great explanation!
A few minutes later, my very nice tech came to get me and ushered me in for my CT. It took all of two minutes and we were done. I tried asking her why I couldn't have the contrast injection and she told me it would interfere with my treatment.
"WHAT BLOODY TREATMENT?", I wanted to yell but instead said "Ok thanks" because she was sweet and didn't deserve my fury over this disgrace of an appointment.
So now fast forward to last week when I got my CT results from the surgeon. I had forgotten this whole contrast/non-contrast ordeal completely until the doctor said something only vaguely related and jogged my memory. So of course I told him what happened and asked him if they were right.
No. Of course not. I didn't really need him to tell me that though.
He then said (as someone who actually knows about these things - the first one I've met apparently) that if I had had iodine radiation therapy for my thyroid cancer - something that I will not face unless I have the other side removed - then yes, it would have been detrimental to be injected with more iodine (as per the contrast study). But given that I had not been through any such thing, I was just as eligible for the contrast scan as anyone else out there.
I knew it was fishy. I knew if it was a real concern, my doctor would have requested a non-contrast scan himself. I also wonder why on the laundry list of medical questions asked prior to the scan, one about iodine replacement therapy was not included if it is such a show stopper.
Anyway, bottom line is that I got my non-contrast scan and it still got good enough images to show everyone that I DO NOT HAVE CANCER. But was that ever an experience. I almost said an unpleasant experience but that's not true. When I can laugh at what an absolute abomination that appointment was, that's not so bad. Especially when the results were good.
*For the sake of my dad and any elders reading this, I used the word witch. But that's not fair to the perfectly nice witches out there. Imagine a word that rhymes with witch and starts with a B. That's what she was.