day at the hospital

It was just supposed to be a routine appointment.

[warning: long, rambling and not very interesting
– just the way it actually happened!]

Last January when I had my post-surgery check-up I mentioned that since the operations (this had been my third in seven months) I’d been experiencing a painful burning sensation along the outside of my right thigh when I was in bed. I couldn’t remember if I’d had it before the ops, and the surgeon thought it was worth me getting it checked out. Though he clearly didn’t think it was too serious as my appointment with neurology was made for six months later. Yesterday, in fact. Of course, last January I didn’t know I’d be back on chemo . . .

As a result, I woke up feeling exhausted and knew I wouldn’t be able to make it to the hospital by 9 o’clock but, rather than wait another six months, I thought I’d just head over a bit later and see if they could fit me in. By the time I got there it was just after eleven and when I showed my appointment slip to the nurse she said I was way too late and would have to come back another day. So I started to explain that I was on chemo and hadn’t been feeling well earlier and  – this keeps happening to me – I started crying! Honestly, I can barely say the word chemo out loud anymore without my eyes filling with tears, which gets quite embarrassing at times. But this time it also got me in to see the doctor, probably quicker than if I’d made it to the original appointment.

Was ordered up on the table and my legs were poked and prodded (with pins!), my reflexes and general muscle strength tested, and was told there was some “nerve thing” going on but it was unrelated to either the operations or the cancer. Then the doctor said she could set up some further tests, took one look at my face and said … “you don’t really want any more tests, do you?” And I said that I reckoned I was spending enough time at the hospital as it was. So the deal is that I’m going to see her again in six months unless the pain gets a lot worse.

A waste of time? Probably. But I decided to take advantage of being in the same building as the pain clinic and check back with them about my port. Why? Because every time one of the chemo nurses goes to put the IV shunt in they say – “oh, is this a double port?” I’d checked with the pain clinic once before and was told they were sure it was a single one, but when this  happened again last Thursday I asked the chemo nurse if it mattered whether it was a single or double … and she said that if it were a double port both vias would have to be flushed out regularly or I COULD GET A BLOOD CLOT AND DIE. And so I thought I’d better make really sure.

After talking to a couple of people at the pain clinic I finally got to see the boss, who poked around and said she was quite sure it was a single port (quite sure? they don’t have any records they could check?) but said to put my mind at rest she’d send me upstairs for a chest x-ray. On her way out I heard her say to one of the nurses that she was sending me for an x-ray because she wasn’t 100% sure it was a single port. Sheesh.

So up Nog and I went to the x-ray department and after waving my URGENT petition around I was in and out of there in about ten minutes, with the freshly developed print in my hand. And it was confirmed. A single port. What a relief!

After that Nog and I went out to celebrate. I’ll tell you why tomorrow…