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If you can fill the unforgiving minute ... with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run ... Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
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Monthly Archives: January 2007
Like the rest of the country, I was heartbroken that gallant Barbaro finally lost his battle. Barbaro was the first (and only horse) I ever picked out during the winter who actually won the Derby. I thought he was “the one.”
I was prepared for his death — the news the last few days had been terribly ominous — but still, it broke my heart. Barbaro was inspiring. I truly wanted him to make it, even though I knew he probably would not.
On top of that, I am completely and utterly stressed about Lumpy. I am convinced now that it must be cancer.
I saw a local surgeon today. He said I am a "Clinic case" and told me to call the Main Campus of the Cleveland Clinic and ask for a referral to a surgeon. He said my case is "too complicated" to handle locally.
This is not good. This is not good. This is not good.
The Clinic referred me to a surgeon, so I will see him in a few days. Hopefully he will know what is wrong with me and how to fix it.
My GP called. He said that I have a mass in my side and that there are shadows around my lungs. He said I need to get a CT scan of my chest and my brain. I tried to get more information, but he wouldn't tell me much.
This can't be going anywhere good.
As I posted a couple days ago, apparently I have a large lump in my abdomen. I actually thought it was muscle because it literally takes up my entire left side, but when I showed it to him, my doctor said no, it's definitely not muscle, it is something else. I have since named it Lumpy and I have considered the possibility it is an alien. (My doctor said it's definitely also not an alien, but at least I made him laugh.) He sent me for a CT scan.
So, for my CT scan they told me not to eat for four hours before and not to drink anything for two hours before. Which was pretty easy, because the scan was scheduled for 8:30 AM.
Just like I do every day, I went running -- at 6:30 AM, in the dark and through the snow. Hey, might as well maintain a routine right.
I drove through a virtual blizzard to the CT scan appointment. OK, maybe it wasn’t THAT bad, but I couldn’t see the car in front of me and I had no clue where I was going, so it seemed bad to me. It was cold and the snow was blowing around.
I found the building, and parked Bertha. (Bertha is my maroon ‘91 Olds Cutlass. If you saw her, you would understand why her name is Bertha.) I walked in the building, found the diagnostic testing place without too much trouble, and signed in (after of course going to the wrong window the first time).
I was cheerfully greeted with a consent form and told I was going to get barium to drink. And I had a choice of flavors: berry or banana. Both sounded disgusting. Banana sounded less disgusting, however, I chose banana.
I read and signed the form and exchanged it for a 450 ML bottle of “Banana Smoothie” barium and a paper cup.
The 450 ML bottle of Banana Smoothie Barium didn’t look THAT bad. The bottle even featured a cheery picture of bright yellow bananas.
After much fiddling, I managed to get the bottle open. Then there was another inner safety seal, which I fiddled with for about ten minutes before it finally came off. It looked like Mylanta and smelled faintly like a banana.
So I tasted it. So, as you know, I am an attorney, and I will tell you: this was false advertising. I have had banana smoothies and none of them tasted remotely like this. It wasn’t that bad, but calling it a banana smoothie was like comparing Willie Mays with an average high school center fielder. No comparison. They should call it what it is: Banana flavored Mylanta.
I drank it. Then I just sat there. And sat there.
I quickly became bored. I brought a book, but there were too many distractions to read. Everyone kept getting called, except me of course.
Finally, after an hour, I got called. I was told to put on a hospital gown. Nothing like adding insult to injury. I changed and then walked into the CT scanner room. I was greeted with another cup of barium (more like half of the cup I had been drinking out of before, so I am guessing 8 ounces) and was asked a whole bunch of allergy questions. To my knowledge, I am not allergic to anything.
Or, I should say I was never allergic to anything before today ...
So the tech started the IV. On the sixth or seventh try. My arms look like someone beat me. The tech apologized profusely for having so much trouble.
Then, she noticed there were hives all over my neck. They didn’t itch or anything, so I hadn’t noticed that they were there. I mean, it's kind of hard to see your own neck, so unless they itched how would I know they were there? Anyway, the tech got VERY nervous and started asking questions like, uh, are you having trouble breathing? Have you ever noticed that when someone asks you if you’re having trouble breathing, all of sudden you start having trouble breathing? haha. No, I wasn't having trouble breathing.
The tech told me I must be allergic to the barium. She said don't drink it again and tell medical people from now on that you're allergic to oral contrast. No problem, I said. (I definitely wasn't sad about no more banana flavored Mylanta smoothies.)
So finally, the scan - the tech first took a set of pictures without the dye. It was quick and painless. Then she injected the dye. It made me feel flushed a little, but nothing too awful. And then another set of pictures was taken with the dye.
And then that was it. Fortunately, I wasn't allergic to the IV dye. I guess if people are allergic, it tends to be to the IV dye.
And so that was my first experience getting a CT scan. I guess we'll see what it says.
I went to the doctor today, finally, for the pain in my right elbow and shoulder. This pain has been there since the summer and it has been getting worse. Sometimes it hurts so much I am doubled over at my desk.
So anyway my doctor said it was a pinched nerve. But as I was leaving, I thought maybe I should ask him about that weird firm area in my side. He said he didn't know what it could be and said I should get a CT scan of my abdomen.
So in a few days I'm getting a CT scan of my abdomen, and I guess we'll go from there.