Saturday, March 03, 2007

Amazing Medical Mysteries

I love medical shows on TV. Real and fake stories that take place in the ER, babies being born, surgery. Until yesterday, I never really understood why people hated hospitals. As a white, almost middle-class person who has had health insurance for almost all of her life, my experiences with doctors and the medical industry have mostly been good. Sure, there was that unethical prick who gave me TMJ when he unnecessarily removed all of my wisdom teeth when I was twenty-one and didn't know any better. But I thought that was an exception.

To be clear, yesterday's CT scan wasn't all that awful. I am not maimed, scarred, or deformed, and I am still breathing. However.

First of all, it was a big-ass snowstorm. I drove, even though it's only a half mile to the hospital, because I didn't want to be damp and sweaty during this scan. But the roads were bad and my car is mysteriously flashing its emergency brake light at me every ten seconds, so I was damp and sweaty anyway.

Also because of the storm, I had to go alone. My daughter was home from school, so K had to stay with her instead of going with me.

After fasting all night I had to drink this awful Gastroview in 24 oz of liquid during a specific fifteen-minute window. Which I did, and which promptly made me sick to my stomach and prompted several hurried visits to the loo. All of which I expected.

But then at the hospital, they moved me through that place like I was a passive piece of meat, not bothering to tell me that I would need an IV, or that they would be putting drugs in me during the scan, or anything, really.

"Get naked and wait," was basically the word of the day, and I managed not to cry, but it was really hard. The IV solution dilated all of my blood vessels at once, which felt like a hot flash and also like I'd peed my pants, but I didn't. Thank goodness.

After all that I took my bruised arm and went home, and wept uncontrollably for twenty minutes because of low blood sugar, and my powerlessness at the hospital, and for fear of what the scans might find. I don't know what would be worse--if there was something, maybe it could be treated. If there was nothing--that means that there's no explanation for some alarming symptoms, and probably means either more tests or else another one chalked up to Things They Don't Know About The Human Body Yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally LOVE all medical shows too! I find them really interesting.
When my little brother and sister whinge that "it's not fair!" or "Life sucks!", i remind them that ALOT of people are worse off. Even with new age medical care.

Eagerly awaiting your next post!:-)


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