So where do I begin? What angle should I approach? The everything went well approach, (my tests went smoothly) or the I puked my brains out, couldn't get on an airplane home, I was scared shit less angle? Hmmm, why don't I just give you the straight facts on how my trip went step by step?
Well, I said my good-byes at home and got to NYC on Sunday night, Nov. 2Nd. Smooth flight. You gotta love Jet Blue with those awesome t.v.'s and comfy seats. I arrived too late to go anywhere or do anything other than to go to sleep and get ready for an early morning. I stayed at Sergio's cousins house (with Dave & Angie who are just wonderful!)
The next day, I woke up early and got ready for my appointment. Angie, Dave's wife thought ahead and ordered some hero sandwiches (a.k.a. "subs") for the long day that awaited me. What deli is open at 7:15a.m. I wondered? But hey, she found it and sent Dave off early to pick them (heroes) up and made sure he arrived with plenty of yummy food for me later that day after my fasting was over. I was told I needed to fast for 12 hours prior to my testing - the blood test and the CT Scan that I had to do. Mind you,I cannot survive without a cup of coffee in the morning but I followed the rules and had NOTHING! OF course, before leaving the house I had to take some pictures. I was nervous but I HAD to take pictures!
ME & ANGIE GETTING READY TO GO:
DAVE & I:
WHERE I STAYED:
ALONG THE WAY:
I arrived with Dave, Sergio's cousin at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital at 8:50a.m. Right on time for my 9a.m. appointment. I re-iterated to Dave that he should not stay with me because it was going to be a LONG day but he insisted! There were so many buildings at Columbia but the one thing that caught my eye was this one:
And so began my medical day.
9:15a.m. - I got called in to take my blood. Have I mentioned that I'm petrified of needles? How I'm going to get through all this I don't know, especially without me being able to complain who I usually complain to - Sergio! I'm a real baby when it comes to these things. The girl who was to take my blood was in such a rush I had to actually say, "Whoa! slow down you are going to hurt me!" By the time I cringed and looked away, she had drawn 8 viles of blood! Quick Draw McGraw I called her, or probably Garcia!
This was me trying to put on a brave face before getting the needle in my arm. I know what a wimp! I couldn't fake it very well!
THE VILES THAT INTIMIDATED ME!!
After the blood, I had my vitals checked, weight, height and urine test done, all rather efficiently I must say.
10a.m. - By ten a.m. I was being interviewed by Weinerschnitzel! Here I was all nervous about an interview with what I thought would be a psychologist, thinking I would have an emotional meltdown as I talked about my children with someone who could relate to what I was going through emotionally and INSTEAD, I got a psychiatrist right out of a Mel Brooks movie!!! Honest! Weird as can be! My name was called and I followed this tall lady with absolutely no introductions, into this little room and we sat down. She had short curly hair, with bottle cap glasses and was missing a bottom tooth and her last name was Weiner something. She had an accent like Klinger from Hogan's Heroes, really! I was so amused when the interview began (more like inquisition) that I was extremely tempted to snap her picture. I had my camera laying right there on the table as she took notes, I did too. Probably made her nervous. It was quite the experience but I passed with flying colors.
12 Noon - Okay, so now it's noon and I'm officially starving. I was scheduled to have my CT Scan at 12 noon. We walk over to the CT Scan department in radiology, which for some strange reason was in the Babies Hospital. The pediatric unit. Great right? Just what I need, to see small children suffering as I'm missing my own. Actually, it made me realize how extremely fortunate I am. So I sit down with Dave and we start waiting and waiting and waiting. By 1:45p.m. I'm a monster and ready to bite someones head off. I don't do well when I'm hungry. I had a 2:45p.m. meeting scheduled with a doctor, so I'm stressing that I will miss that. I still also had to get a chest xray and cardiogram done and a 3:45pm
with a social worker.
THE AREA I WAITED IN IN THE PEDIATRIC UNIT:
2:50p.m. - I get up and go complain. "Why haven't I been given that nasty chalk liquid to drink yet?" After all, I have to wait one hour after drinking it. I'm going to be late for sure. I know it. Five minutes, later, this technician guy comes out like he's serving margaritas or something with six bottles with straws. Two for each of us waiting - yeah, you do the math silly. It was me, an older lady and another 40-ish lady all anxious to get this over with. He explains. You have to drink each bottle in half an hour, after one hour, then you will have your scan and be injected with more dye for contrast via an i.v. Okay, so here starts my real anxiety.
Instead of calmly drinking my chalk-like drinks,,,,I'm hungry, I'm thirsty and anxious so I pretty much inhaled those nasty drinks in a heartbeat on an empty stomach as I dashed for another building to try to do my chest xray and cardiogram in that one hour span.
All I can say is it did not work out as I planned. It all went down hill for me there, physically speaking. That chalky drink gave me the worst stomach ache in history. Remember the scene from "Dumb and Dumber?" That's all I have to say.
By the time I got back to actually do the scan it was almost 3:45p.m.!!! I was afraid I was running out of chalky stuff inside my body and would have to do it again. Luckily, this was not the case.
Once inside, the worst part for me began and the anxiety. I was strapped down my legs anyway, I had an iv. put in my arm to inject more dye, which burns like a mother f!#@$% and the scan unit had Mickey Mouse stickers, Ariel the Mermaid and all kinds of cutsie stickers to remind me of my kids. Meltdown in progress.....
Once I finished this horrible procedure (at least to me anyway) I felt like I was truly going to faint. It was 5p.m. and I had no food in my system since 9p.m. the previous night plus lots of nasty dye. So I come out looking like death and Dave says, "Why don't you have a bite of your hero?" Good idea I thought. A bite, I inhaled that sucker!!! It was soo good. It's actually called a "Godfather Hero"
and it was!! So now, I'm off to meet the doctor, two hours late with two bottles of chalk substance in my body and a huge combo of deli meats!1 Oy! I'm feeling pretty gross right about now.
5p.m. - We hurry to the next building to see if by chance the doctor is still around. As I walk into the room the Dr. is coincidentally asking the receptionist if he knows what happened to me. I say, "Are you Dr. Cohen?" "Yes, I am," he answered. And I lucked out! I got a lot of my questions answered and he asked ME a lot of questions, similar to those the shrink did but I stuck to my story. :o) What I didn't know is that he was going to examine me!!!!! Oh, I can't even tell you how my stomach was at this point. Please don't touch my stomach, I kept thinking. Please, please. But that he did, my stomach, my kidneys, my heart. Lucky for me & him,,,no catastrophes. After that meeting I said to Dave I'm done. I didn't care if I still hadn't seen the social worker. I wanted out of there. And so ended my medical day at 6p.m.
By now all the stomach pains, stress, dye, hunger and everything else had creeped up on me. Still I said yes to going to a Greek restaurant. Conclusion - I got so sick I could not get on my flight that night home, even though I had promised Chi Chi I'd be there in the a.m. to take her to school. It broke my heart but it would have been a disastrous plane ride.
As soon as I got back home (their home) in Long Island I put my head on the pillow and
waited until the next day.
All in all it went well. At least until about 2p.m. or so. Everything else is just me being a baby. I'll have to wait until the end of this week for all the results and if it's all fine, the surgeries are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 20th.