The Second MRI was today. I woke up at 6:00 and showered etc and made the trek down to Tower On Lois. Unfortunately the Dr wanted to use the same MRI as the first MRI to get a consistent read with the same machine and tech and blah blah blah. you know the story. So I arrive at 7:10 am and of course the office is not open yet. 15 mins of AM Tampa bay on 970 WFLA as I wait for the people at Tower to arrive. It takes till 7:45 Grrr for them to show up. I'm of course the only person standing out side. The lady opens the door and When I walk in she asks me to fill out the same damn paperwork I have filled out at 3 different Tower Center. (Aren't they connected via the same database yet? ) I'm luck enough to have been here before so I'm granted a pass on the Patient information form ... However they can't find my script just yet. It was a last minute rush job scheduled by my smoking hot Nurse Practitioner Melissa at the Oncologist office. The front desk lady at tower said she would check the fax server ... Yeah it was there!!. I still had to fill out the same dumb questionnaire on why I'm having it done since my "Chart" was not pulled yet. (great time to mention I work for a company that sells EHR software Allscripts) Being a radiology site I was curious why they didn't use Radman.
We''ll they are happy enough to get me going on the MRI so you move to the changing room ... Small cubbie with a curtain and a bench with a locking drawer and tell you to take off your short leave your underwear on and t-shirt on and get a gown on. I of course had the same issue as last time with the "Gown" They suck and you can't tie them so you just walk down the hall holding the back together. I enter the room and Matt is there the same tech from last time. He of course recognizes me and asks why I'm back so soon. I go through the whole Dr wants to make sure the first MRI was read properly since all other tests thus far do not point to the Radiologists DX of Lymphoma or to see if it is in the spleen only, right now. (She also mentioned a bone marrow biopsy)
They want to see if the "Lesion" has grown I mention to Matt. He gave this puzzled look and said "They think it would grow enough to show the difference on an MRI taked 10 days ago?" Made me wonder how accurate these tests were at that point... So being a veteran of an MRI 10 days ago I hopped on the table and got ready for the IV. Matt attempted to get an IV started on my left elbow... No luck. He mentioned something about scar tissue and the IV needle bouncing off it. I of course had to let him know that The past 3 weeks had seen my elbows giving blood 7 or 8 times. So I could understand why there would be scar tissue... Maybe even a few old needles from the previous blood letting. I let him know the left Elbow was fine and he said nah... I'll try the hand first. (Never had an IV in the hand before.... Boy was I in store for a nice surprise...) So he proceeded to try the back of my left hand and tied the Tourniquet and started slapping the back of my left hand to get a good vein. He tried one and it was more than a little prick that he promised. Felt like someone had shoved a dart in my hand.. Now I used to be very competitive in darts in Washington DC back in the 80's and I've had darts in the back of my hand before... Of course much alcohol was consumed prior to the dart mishap.... I prefer the 2 pitchers of beer warm up prior to the dart in the back of the hand.
I mentioned my preferred prep of 2 pitchers of beer to Matt who chuckled and mentioned it may have helped since I was so dehydrated. I of course had to defend myself and let him know that the prep for the MRI clearly stated nothing by mouth after midnight. Matt let me know that was not 100% accurate as far as techs go... they just need an empty stomach 3 hours prior. So I could have woken up at 4:00 and chugged 6 beers..!!! Great now he tells me... Matt tries one more time on my left hand ...(were at 3 now) and they are getting worse because he not only shoves the needle in ... he also has to pull back and forth on it and shove it around to try to hit a vein. I think it drained Matt of his confidence as he went to get Gail the Nurse. Now Gail goes to the right elbow ..No Luck back of right hand twice... no luck.
Matt and Gail are trying both hands now... I have both wrists with tourniquets on and they are both just smacking away on my hands... At this point I asked if they were also a day spa because the hand massage was feeling good and did they do pedicures. Matt mentioned something about only having to go to the feet for an IV once in his career and he avoids it at all costs. I asked if I could still book a full body massage after the MRI. A few chuckles but they were determined to start an IV in my well dehydrated body. I thought back and realized nothing by mouth since about 9:00pm the previous night and I was at the football game in the stands sweating like a soon to be stuck pig..... Its going to be a long hard morning at Tower... I'm not even in the tube yet... That was my main concern when I drove down... You know the dreaded tube time. I'm beginning to wonder why I didn't ask for a Valium like my manager at work suggested... (Who is a nurse by the way)
So no luck on my hands on either side and it really is starting to hurt now. I'm trying to keep from jumping and reacting so I go to feet wiggles. Gail at this point tried to curry a few sympathy points by letting me know she was an IV Guinea pig for the new Nuclear Med tech at the Habana office. I said the young Blond female student from Tampa Tech... She said yeah .. I let her know she was watching while they started an IV last week on me with one poke... I kept mentioning that it has always taken one stick and mentioned that my daughter had had to get 6 sticks when she was 3 and it nearly killed me so I know how she felt now... Poor little girl having to go through that much pain with no blood given.
Well Gail goes and gets a special needle designed to get in a deep vein and trys that on my right elbow to no luck. It was deep too... Matt at this point finds a promising one on the back of my left hand. It proceeds to disappear when he gets the IV kit ready. He goes back to smacking and finds one in the middle of my hand. Tries it.... no... luck. I start praying please Lord let these two get a good IV from my dehydrated body in one more stick. Well it worked because Matt got a good IV in in only 2 sticks... Yes I asked for one stick.... but we can't always get what we want right?
So yeah... 45 mins later and 10-11 needle holes later I get to get shoved in a tube and be claustrophobic for 45 mins. I had Matt put the headphones on Smooth Jazz WSJT 94.1 to calm me down. He seemed to like that ... (Guess he is a jazz guy too)
OK so IV flowing, headphones pumping jazz and I'm now strapped down to the table and shoved into the tube. I hear Matt on the head phones telling me it will be quick maybe 15 mins. And we start. I start thinking back to how many times I had one stick for blood and how I only have had 3 iv's that I can remember and they were all in the past 2 weeks. :Matt says ok deep breath and hold it. The machine goes crazy with all these loud sounds for about 30 seconds and I can then exhale.... I also think back to when my brother Bubba and I used to make what we called Pygmy darts....
To make one of these little terrors .... you take the end of a shoe string and clip it off and get a sewing needle and thread it though the middle.. Then you put it in a straw and voila!! Pygmy dart.!! They were fun at school for a few days then we got caught... So Bubba and I took to pygmy dart battles against each other at home. He was especially envious of my large dart made from sneaker shoe laces and a large sewing needle. He was even more impressed with the sting it made when I shot him in the back with it... He of course had to pull it out and yell run for your life boy.... And I complied... I tore across the living room and he nailed me on the back of my right hand... Aha! That's why the pain seemed vaguely familiar.... I had a pygmy dart in the back of my hand too. I reminded myself to tell Matt the tech...this story.
Matt tells me to take a deep breath and hold it.... More noise. This goes on for 30 mins... I knew it was not going to take 15.... Wonder if I can still get Gail to give me a massage??
Anyway the process was soon over and I walked out with about 6 band-aids on me and the people in the waiting room all freaked when they saw me. I looked at them and said... Yeah your next.... and the IV chick is new...That was little mean I guess... But what the heck.
I of course had to reward my self with a breakfast at Chick-Fil-A... Which does serve breakfast now... Thanks to my loving wife for letting me know that. I of course had to argue that they don't serve breakfast about 7 yrs ago when we were in Raleigh and happened to pass one at that exact moment and Amy said... "So why are all those cars in the drive through at 8:00am?" I let her know they were getting a good spot for the lunch rush.... =:-)
(Good comeback with such little time to prep you have to admit)
Well the lady at Chick-Fil-A freaked on me when she saw all of the band-aids... She proceeded to wash her hands 5 times with hand sanitizing gel while she waited for the second opportunity to get a little skin to skin contact on me with the final pass though of my bag-o-breakfast.
The day was definitely looking up from that point on... Let me tell yah.