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Three score and ten or more

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Back for a bit

I am a little offended by the blank space in my blog that represents almost the entire month of September, but I just haven’t been able to get myself up to writing something that takes concentration.  Medical thoughts have taken up most of my concentration, and I am not talking about socialized medicine.  We had one week this month that was taken up entirely by medicine. Between Janet and I we had an out of town Doctor’s appointment every day but Friday, and that included an appointment with our cardiologist.   We dealt with cataracts, glaucoma, aortic dissection, deteriorating retinae,  something that is dealt by a colorectal surgeon, and a variety of other physical factors that are natural results of coothood.

Then to conclude the following week, I had the doctor’s appointment from hell.  (Nothing wrong with the doctor, I am very impressed with him).  I had to go to University Hospital in Augusta, GA for a CT scan of my pelvis followed by a consult with the doctor.   My appointment was for 10:15 AM, which was acceptable to me in spite of the fact that Augusta is a two and a half hour drive to a hospital of which the location was a bit vague to me (I almost LIVE at the Medical college of Georgia Hospital so, of course, this surgeon was in a different Hospital)

I had expected to get out of the exam stuff by noon, have lunch with my lovely wife (we don’t go to doctors by ourselves much anymore) and be home for an afternoon meeting.   We started out fine until the phlebotomist couldn’t hit my vein to insert  an IV to insert dye for the CT scan.  After four or five dry holes, they sent for the IV specialty team, which was held up for an emergency elsewhere in the hospital.  At noon, I still didn’t have the appropriate puncture.  Finally a different lady came in an said “Let me try”.  I was willing, and she punctured me on one try and stuck in the tube.

I had downed a barium milkshake earlier in the day, but they decided to give me a second one to brink me up to “snuff”.  Two barium milkshakes in one day are enough to make one want to just “go ahead and be sick”.  All this while, Janet had been in the waiting room wondering what the heck was happening.  (She had experienced two CT scans earlier in the week, and knew that they didn’t take two and a half hours.)  Finally she got insistent and they brought her back to make sure I was still among the living.

They did the scan, sent the results to my doctor and I went to his office.  He was a bit  frustrated that he didn’t get adequate information so he sent me back for a cystogram.  You just know that the ladies in radiology were thrilled to have me return, especially when this procedure was not on the schedule so they had to find a room, dig up a radiologist etc., but they were good sports.  I wasn’t.  For a cystogram I had to “gown up” in the dressing room and then wander the halls till I reached the appropriate room for the procedure.  You can imagine how much fun it was for a fat old man to wander the halls of the hospital wearing nothing but hospital gown and shoes and socks, following a cute little blonde who kept “beckoning” to me.  Porn movie fortunes have been made of such things.

I then plopped on the table and “bared” myself for a preliminary xray.  After covering the “bared” spot with a sheet the blonde left me supine on the table as she left, reassuring me that as soon as an appropriate nurse could be found to “catherize “  they would pump my bladder full of dye and the radiologist would come take pictures for the systogram.  I laid there on the table for about an hour, listening to people in the next room talking and laughing (probably about me, I thought) and in came the nurse.

“Have you ever been catherized?’ she asked.  “Yes, I replied,” but I was usually unconsious.”  “This should be a new experience” she said.

She then took away the sheet that was there so that I could be modest when no one else was in the room, looked at me for a moment, and said, “Well, now we’re acquainted.”

She then grabbed my penis (previously referred to as the “bared” part) and started pushing the catheter into place.  I am not sure what problem seemed to be,but she kept asking “Does this hurt?”  (it did, sometimes, sometimes, not) and two lady  radiology techs came in and started handing her things and examining me (at least they didn’t laugh) and finally she hit gold because I felt urine running across my calf.  She moved the catheter into a container and the radiologist came in to pump my bladder full of whatever they pumped in.  He kept saying “Do you feel full? “ and I kept saying “No”, until finally the nurse came over. reacquainted herself by probing my lower abdomen and she said “He’s full.”  (I have been told that I am “full of it” before, but it never required an abdominal probe on those occasions.)

They took a whole lot of pictures, led me to an appropriate room to reliever myself of the dye (or whatever) and then I had another march through the halls in my “gown”, found my clothing and got dressed.  Now we had to find our way back upstairs to the doctors office for another consult.  He examined my cystogram still wasn’t satisfied and sent me back for another, lower, pelvic CT.  Janet, walking back mentioned that it was five P.M and she had had nothing to eat since we left home.  She mentioned that when we left, they were bringing some muffins into the waiting room and expressed her hope that there were some remaining.  There weren’t. 

I was led back for another CT, and when I returned Janet was just finishing off a cinnamon role, and a diet coke.  She handed me a bottle of water and said that the people in radiology had taken pity on her.

When we got back to the doctor’s, he expressed frustration, that they had not located the anomaly that my symptoms demonstrated was there (I have discussed enough embarrassing stuff, I won’t belabor you with the symptoms) so we are going to wait a while, have a colonoscopy and if the symptoms are still there, we may have to do an “exploratory” laproscopic surgery .  We got home a little after 8:00 P.M., ate a little and went to our beds to recover from the “appointment from hell”

It is such fun to get old.


At 6:48 AM, Blogger Ed said...

I think whenever I feel old, I will just come back and read this post and realize how young I really am... for now.

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you have many, many more days and years, but none involving hellish doctor visits.
:-) Mike

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

OMG! It sounds like hell but I had to laugh at your witty asides.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Norma said...

Don't let those colorectal doctors near your eyes again! I hope this week has no medical events.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Sheesh! I thought I had some bad doctor/hospital experiences...but this one clearly proves that I am a novice.


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