Thursday, January 26, 2012

CT stands for cat

Some people move up scans because they think they feel a lump in their child's abdomen.  Some people move up scans because their kid just isn't acting right.  Some people move up scans because they can't bear the three-month wait.

Some people move up scans so they can hit their deductible so Daniel can go to speech therapy.


I willingly moved our appointment up to FRIDAY, January THIRTEENTH.  I did this knowing that my kids were tracked out, and I would be responsible for three Griffith children at the hospital on a date that is the namesake of some serious whackadoo horror films that put me off of summer camp indefinitely.

The night before the appointment, the recovery nurse called to let me know when Eve needed to be NPO.  Since we had a 1:30 CT scan, and I would have two other hungry children with me at lunch time, I was already prepared to do this without sedation.  Especially since Eve has had enough ketamine the past couple of times to euthanize a large Clydesdale and she still refuses to fall asleep.  Refuses!

Granted, Eve has woken up in the middle of the scan in terror while screaming that she doesn't want to be in that machine.  Yes, I get that.  But I really think she can do it without sedation.  She's four.  She can probably sit still for 5-10 minutes, especially if I promise her Taco Bell afterward.

Yes, I know that if she can't do it without sedation and she isn't NPO, we'll have to reschedule because she can't be sedated.  But I also know it's pointless because she can't be sedated even if she is NPO.

So thank you, but no thank you.  I'll be letting her stuff her face full of whatever will make her thirsty enough to want to drink the contrast.  We will do this.  It's Friday the 13th, and nothing. will. go. wrong.

We got checked into the hem-onc clinic and AMAZINGLY Eve peed in a specimen cup.  This stuff is like liquid gold, or at least that's how I'm gonna list it on eBay.  It is no easy task for me to collect urine from this child, and I've even had luck bathing a cat.

(Well, my kitten fell into the toilet when I was little.)

The four of us got taken back to a room and all the while, none of my children tried to play hide and seek in any of the other exam rooms where kids were getting chemo.  If you can visualize my tally sheet, it would look like this: CHRISTY: 2, FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH: 0.  If you can't visualize that, then imagine a bird pooping on a really mean person's head who had it coming to them, and then put my head on the bird.

That's me pooping!

Eve was perfectly happy with agreeing to do her scans without sedation, because I may have led her to believe that she wouldn't need a poke, only a prick.  A poke is Eve-speak for an IV, in contrast to a finger prick.  She can get pricked all day, but a poke is a deal-breaker.  She'd rather get her port put back in and poked through that than get an IV in her arm.  But she can't have it back because it's been turned into a Christmas ornament that hangs from the side of the fridge for the other eleven months of the year as a reminder of how weird we are everything she's been through.

Turns out that she did need that IV.  Apparently not only does she have to drink contrast, but they put it in her veins as well.  I guess I never paid enough attention before and thought the line was only used for sedation.  If I had taken the time to think things out, I would have realized her lungs can't light up from oral contrast like her kidney will.  But I'll blame this oversight on low blood sugar as a result of NPO solidarity.

Eve was not pleased.  Nat and Dan were pleased, though; Nat and Dan had child life's iPad.  Eve had a rubber band strapped around her arm.

Eve kept telling me I lied to her and turned on the screamage.  She was offered numbing cream and she tearfully accepted, only to cry more when it was put on both of her arms.  Had she turned down the drama for a moment, Eve would have heard the nurse say she was just numbing both sides and would decide which side to poke later.  Seriously, kid.  Calm down.  It's just a needle in your arm that I promised you wouldn't need to have.  Jeez, what are you, four?

After the cream was applied and we needed to wait for it to do it's thang, the zoo and I headed downstairs and got some contrast for Eve to drink.  For those of you who can't remember, contrast tastes like diesel and cat urine.  Which it probably is, because that sure as hell would make your insides light up like a Griswold Christmas.

Amazingly, this entire time my children are awesome.  On Friday the thirteenth.  And behold, miracle of miracles, I can dry out Eve's mouth with crackers and she'll willingly take sips from the contrast cup.  She says it still tastes like "yucky poop Sprite" but she gets it down.  First. time. ever.  She finishes the contrast.  Granted this was over ninety minutes for about eight ounces of liquid, but since they were out of yummy poop Sprite, this I'll take.

Screw you, Mr. the Thirteenth!

Back upstairs and Eve screams as the needle comes to the crook of her arm.  As soon as it's in, she turns off  the waterworks and declares, "That didn't hurt!" before looking at me and saying with her eyebrows, What are you looking at?  Nothing to see here.  Go fetch me my poke bead.  It didn't phase Nat or Dan, though.  They were making cupcakes on the iPad before asking why we don't have an iPad.

Be thankful that Eve had cancer, kids, or else you wouldn't even be touching one right now.  You're welcome.

Now here's the cool part about going back downstairs: we don't have to wait for a doctor to sedate Eve.  We can go back and just chill in the waiting room next to scanner.  And while we wait, Natalie sees a poster on the wall with the words CT Scan and asks what a CT scan is.

Me: I can't remember what it stands for.  It's something long, but it's a machine that takes pictures of Eve's insides.
Stranger in the waiting room: Cat scan.
Me: Yeah, I can't remember what that stands for.
Stranger: It stands for CAT scan.
Me: But those letters stand for something.
Stranger: CT scan is short for CAT scan.
Me: Yes, but those letters stand for something.
Stranger: CT is short for CAT scan.

Then the stranger looked at me like I was an idiot and turned his head away, obviously exhausted from trying to explain to me that they shortened a one-syllable word by adding another syllable.  (CT or CAT stands for Computerized Axial Tomography.  Meow.)

Eve laid on the scanner, put her arms above her head like a ballerina, and stayed still for over ten minutes.  The last time I remember seeing her lay still for that long was so long ago I can't remember.  It may never have happened.  It may have been Inception.

This is how much the nurses hate sedating Eve: when she was done with the scan without sedation,  they gave her two prizes.  There was clapping and whooping.  And it wasn't for Eve's sake, because it was after we left the room.  I could hear it through the lead door.

Scans all clean.  Labs look good.  Urine still gold.

Friday the thirteenth can suck it, 'cause I'm about to poop on its head.

1 comment:

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