Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Kidney Saga part 10

I was told the stress test would happen Thursday morning. Turns out "morning" is a relative term in hospitals. While I had my usual blood draw at 6am, I couldn't eat or drink anything except the pills. I was taking my pills with a cup of pudding, since I have difficulty swallowing pills with just water. So I had just a little something. But not enough.

The stress test "started" at 10am when a tech came to put some tracer in my IV. Because the tracer is slightly radioactive, he checked the IV first and said it was leaking. I had to get another IV started before I could get the first step done, so that delayed the entire procedure by about an hour. Because my arms were so swollen, they had to use an ultrasound to get the IV in, which was interesting to watch but kind of worrisome for me.

In the meantime, there was a commotion down the hallway. I could hear it clearly even with the door completely closed. It started with a scream, then the voice of an older man yelling. Loudly. Very loudly. With lots of interesting words that you don't want children to hear and repeat. Lots of words. Some I haven't heard for a long time. Some I'd never heard in those particular combinations. Some I felt like I ought to write down for later reference because of the sheer creativity of them. At first it annoyed me, then it kept me entertained while I waited for the stress test to happen.

Sweary Man, as I mentally referred to him, was loud and abusive and hated the nurses with a passion. I thought he must have been a sailor or infantryman at some point in his life. As I listened, security was called. There are signs all over the hospital about how abuse of the staff is not tolerated, so I wasn't surprised. I heard him yelling about a blood draw and could hear a LOT of people trying to talk with him. He used the f-word a lot, and called the nurses the b-word. He made the word "woman" sound like the dirtiest thing a person could say.

I heard him throw something, then "get out of here!" bellowed loudly. Then he just started yelling "Go!" over and over. He also called a nurse a dumb-f**ing cow. Then damned her to hell. As I noted on Facebook at the time, it kept my mind off how hungry I was. I also resolved to be extra nice to all the nurses for the rest of the day. Not that I wasn't already as nice as I could manage.

Security finally arrived, and he calmed for a few minutes before ranting again. By this time I was feeling sorry for him because I realized he was terrified. You could hear the terror in his voice. I think he was a very strong person at some point, and didn't like the helplessness and had no way of expressing it except by being rude, crude and angry. I doubt he would want my pity, but he had my sympathy.

In my own world, the new IV was finally put in, and the tracer was successfully introduced to my system. At that point, I had to wait for it to go through my body. The tech gave me some water, at least, which was a huge relief. Turns out, a lot of the test was waiting for that tracer to get around. I was still in my room when Sweary Man woke up just before noon. I talked with one nurse, who rolled her eyes and just said he was in a lot of pain.

About noon they took me to the big machine, which was some sort of camera I think, and I got imaged all over. They gave me some sort of drug that made everything seem really odd and strange, then I was exhausted. They fed me a little carton of Boost to keep me awake long enough for the test to finish, then put me back in my room where I promptly fell asleep for several hours, but not until I'd had a meal, thank goodness. I apparently fell asleep before I finished everything. It took a lot out of me and I didn't even go on a treadmill.

Full Kidney Saga