First of all, I seem to have messed up my NJM days due to all of the travel chaos and not being able to get entries in, but I’m back on track now. It’s Day 27! Welcome to my entry.
I was thinking about this quite a bit this morning as I got ready to drop the dog off at daycare and then make my way to the vascular hospital to get my CTA scan to check out my aneurysm. And what I was thinking was, attitude is everything. I’ve seen this time and time again with my doctor visits. With the exception of the first follow-up visit to the vascular surgeon (where I was extremely scared, agitated and anxious - Athena was a witness to this) I have taken careful steps to try to look and FEEL cool as a cucumber.
Now. If that means I have to dress in red stiletto boots, put on my ruby red lipstick and take a valium before the appointment, so be it.
And that’s EXACTLY what I did this morning!
And so before I headed into the hospital building, I snapped a selfie in front of the building with my “WTF” folder to document yet another medical appointment and as I walked back to my car, a very kind man said hello to me, telling me that he has “the same thing.”
And I was all, what? You have the same “WTF” folder (my medical folder has a GIANT print of the letters “WTF” on it and I think it’s totally appropriate for my situation)?
And he said, “No! I have a Mini Cooper like yours!”
He had just gotten out of a different car. But we struck a lovely conversation about Minis (I told him mine was named Mini Pearl and he talked about not naming his but loving it) while walking into the building.
Now. I don’t know what he was doing there as he told me that he was just there “to see a physician” so he may have been medical sales, an attorney, another doctor of some sort or whatever, but he was suuuuch a friendly older guy and I just trusted him so much that when he asked me if I was there for a meeting (I’d dressed somewhat as if I were ready for a business meeting - and I guess I WAS - I meant business this morning!), I told him that I was there for a CTA scan and to check on my “situation”.
And his tone softened and he seemed surprised that I was a patient. He wished me the absolute very best as I walked to the desk to check in and he went on his way to his meeting.
Then. A woman checked me in to the hospital and had to ask me a million questions and make me sign several electronic documents and such. It was all very matter-of-fact. But then she said she was going to escort me to the waiting room of the area where they’d be doing my scan (note that I’ve done all of this several times before, so I already knew where I was going, but they have to be official, you know) and it was on another floor of the building. As we rode up the elevator together she turned to me and asked, “Do you ever get tired of people telling you how beautiful you are?”
And I just about fell over.
Because…would ANYONE ever tire of being complimented? And secondly, it was just such a kind thing for her to say after we’d had such a formal, businesslike transaction. Her wonderful words seemed to put me on a path of paying it forward this morning.
In the next waiting room I had to fill out more paperwork and the receptionist and I seemed to have the same kind of rapport, each of us talking about our middle aged selves and yet how youthful we both felt. She was a stunning 47-year-old and we laughed about menopause (because I had to fill out paperwork stating that I’m NOT PREGNANT) and both sort of said that we’re happy it’s just about upon us (I haven’t seen my “meno” since June!). I mean, goodbye periods forever! I won’t miss you AT ALL!!
But at the end of our conversation, she said she had lost a lot of weight in the last year and that she was on her way to “looking like [me]”. How amazing! And yes, I realize that this stuff is superficial chatter - a lot of it was nervous chatter on my part, but it also felt empowering and it made me feel alive and it made me feel even more of that love from humankind.
Does any of this make sense?
What I’m trying to say is that by making these conscious efforts to engage people this morning, they, in turn, made me feel as wonderful and alive as I think I’ve ever felt. This was a very conscious thing happening in my mind. I don’t know if I’m explaining it well, but the bottom line is that it was a very, very good feeling during what could and IS a tense setting. Maybe that’s it? The tenseness was cut?
I was then escorted into the CT room with the big donut-hole machine and again greeted by the folks who operate the machinery and give me the IV contrast. They were kind, lovely, gentle people. I’m sure everyone who walks in that room is nervous as hell.
The guy who runs the machine - I think his name is Mike (he’s done my last three scans) is funny and makes me feel as comfortable as I possibly can. And the nurse - I didn’t catch her name this time - wanted to know all about my product designs (she’s Googling them today!)
The scan was as uneventful as I’d hoped. First the head scan without contrast - the bed moving back and forth in the donut hole as an electronic voice told me not to breathe or swallow…until it was okay to breathe…
And then another set of scans while the contrast ran through my veins and arteries…all of that dye, flooding my whole body, making me feel so warm and kind of druggy. Do you know this feeling? Have you ever had this done? Such a strange sensation. Is this what IV drug users feel? I wonder. I can’t say it’s a pleasant thing, but I can say it’s super interesting because you feel it just whoosh so quickly from your head and mouth and nose down through your torso and into your privates. It’s warm and makes you feel like you might have peed your pants. So weird!
When they were done they again treated me with care and compassion, having me get up slowly and helped me to my feet when I was ready. I’d talked with the nurse about Thanksgiving and having time off but I also thanked her for any time she’d been on call and worked on a holiday.
As I left, I ran into the same receptionist and we wished each other well and saluted each other’s GIRL POWER.
I truly felt so much gratitude this morning.
Now, let’s hope I get the answers that I want to hear as the result of the CTA scans.
I’m guessing I won’t hear anything from my neuro until after the Thanksgiving holiday, but I honestly believe that no matter what the news that’s it’s going to be okay.
With hope and attitude,