Monday, May 13, 2013

Staying Alive

it is 1:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  tomorrow night starts the holiday of shavuot.  i was supposed to have made a chesecake and a lasagna today.  i cannot move.  i travelled to tel aviv yesterday to do a ct and pet scan.  i thought it would be a 'piece of a cake'.  the actual bus ride wasn't  so bad.  it was freezing because the airconditioner was on way too high.  i shivered all the way there.  it only took 3 hours.  my daughter-in-law drove me to the bus in rosh pina.

i was suppossed to be on a 3 hour fast.  except for the 4 glasses of barium i was forced to drink, i didn't consume another thing until the rest stop at 7:00.  i bought some milk chocolates which made me more sick.  i already had the runs from the barium.  i tried to get out of drinking the artificially sweetened barium but it was a no go.  i sipped the awful stuff through my clenched teeth.  it took about 15 minutes to finish each cup of drink.

i arrived at the hospital at about 12:15 p.m.  i was told as soon as i presented the referral forms that they were made out to rambam.  unfortunately, i was at sheba.  that was an improvement from the last time when i showed up for a petscan and was told that i had come in a day early.  i quickly ran the equivalent of a city block, to the office of my medical carrier at sheba.  thankfully, they corrected the forms.  i then waited for about two hours to receive the barium.  i was already in panic mode as i watched several other people being served the dreaded concoction.  i tried to convince myself that they were undergoing a different procedure from me.  when the man gave me the barium i started to cry.  just the smell of the artificial sweetener, put me in trauma mode.

when i was in radiation treatment i had to redo the simulation process.  they come up with a new position to lie in while being nuked.  some lady handed me a glass of over sweetened glucose and told me to chug a lug.  like a fool, i drank the potion in one gulp.  that began a long journey into the world of nausea and infusion for me.  i was so sick that i couldn't lie down for my treatment that day.  i ended up in the emergency section of the radiation unit.  needless to say, i didn't make it to the simulation process either.  i drank the stuff the next morning very slowly.  i first took an anti-nausea pill.  i then took one sip of glucose with half a glass of water until i got it all down.

while i was hospitalized in internal medicine, i was deplete of potassium.  i had no veins left for infusion and the doctors were trying to force me to drink a very sweetened solution.  i tried to explain that i simply could not drink the stuff but they told me that i was being stupid and threatened me with a feeding tube.  just then, my angel, the head of radiology, entered and managed to get a line in, so once again, i received my potassium in a bag.  yesterday was a major break through.  i felt awful after drinking that stuff, but i never got violently nauseous.

i finally finished the pet scan at 5:00 p.m.  i was in that mri machine for about a half an hour.  the iodine that they inserted was burning hot through my body.  i felt suffocated by it. i felt like i was going to choke.  i opened my eyes once, which was a huge mistake.  i was inside the tube and i quickly closed my eyes and prayed that i wouldn't have a total panic attack.  i prayed as hard as i could that i should get a clean bill of health.  i couldn't wait to get the heck out of that place.

there weren't any taxis in front of the hospital.  i knew that i had a 6:00 p.m. bnei bus back to zefat and assumed that i had enough time to get there.  i finally saw a cab and  flagged it down.  the driver was bitching about the traffic for awhile.  he made me nervous so i told him to take me to the bus stop in tel aviv.  i just missed the zefat bus by 5 minutes.  i wasn't worried.  i was weak and starving.  there was no place around to buy a snack.  the next bus to rosh pina was in 15 minutes.  at 7:00 p.m. i got my blessed rest stop.  i still had the runs from the barium but i was strarving.  it was cold outside and even colder in the bus.  i didn't have the stamina to look around the store.  i grabbed some chocolates.  my stomach ached  the rest of the way home.          i got back to rosh pina in 21/2  hours.  i caught a sheruit, a shared taxi, and was left at the top of my street.

it was freezing.  i started to run home.  i soiled myself.  thank goodness, it didn't happen on the bus.  i came home and felt wrecked.  i lay in bed and couldn't get up to make some food.  i eventually, got up and made a sandwhich.  what an ordeal!

i ended up making shabbat meals for the kids.  i was supposed to just make the cholent for lunch.  they were sharing the night meal with another young couple.  i went to the supermarket on thursday afternoon to buy everything i needed for shavuot.  i was gone for a few hours.  i just got home when my son called to tell me that my daughter-in-law was dehydraded downstairs, and needed help.  when i came downstairs, she looked awful.  i felt strongly that she needed medical attention.  my son was at work and reluctant to leave.  i had to persuade him to come home and take her to the emergency room.  i got left with the kids.  luckily, they fell asleep early.

in that very short amount of time, i was overwhelmed.  my grandson was super hyper.  he was jumping off furniture and throwing objects into the air.  he wouldn't eat his dinner and was making a giant mess with the food.  i lost my patience and yelled at him.  he ran away from me to hide.  i couldn't find him.  i searched all three floors for over 1/2 an hour.  i was calling out his name the entire time.  i was panicked.  i was convinced that he had left the neighborhood.  his parents were at the hospital.  i didn't know what to do.  i put the baby in her crib to search the third floor.  she was screaming her head off.  i kept on looking outside for the boy.  i unlocked the door to the third floor even though logically, i knew that he couldn't be inside.  the door to the side of the roof was opened and there were pigeons everywhere.  before i knew it, cloey the pincher,  was inside the area catching and killing pigeons.  i couldn't get her out and i needed to get downstairs.  the baby was still howling and i still didn't know where the boy was.

suddenly a pigeon flew past me.  i finally caught it and had to dispose of it.  the door to the porch was locked, so i took it all the way downstairs and let it fly away.  i managed to grab my dog, and get a dead pigeon out of her mouth.  i took her back down to my floor.  she was incredibly agitated.  she wanted more game .  she was in a total blood lust.   i went to get the baby out of the crib and took another look in the laundry room for my grandson.  low and behold,  i found him.  he was sitting behind a huge box.  he thought the whole thing was one huge game.  it took all my strength not to clobber him.  i got the baby a bottle and she fell asleep.  i tried to shower the boy.  he made that a game too.  he tried aiming the shower hose at me.

when the two kids were finally asleep i collapsed.  the kids came home at about 12:30 a.m.  i was relieved to see them.  i made a cup of tea for the patient and went upstairs and passed out for a short time.  i was asked on friday to cook for them.  they cancelled the other couple.  i reluctantly agreed.  i made broiled chicken, roasted potatoes, cholent with beef and chicken, corn on the cob, and an israeli salad with tahina.  i had bought a cake and i made frozen pudding icecream.  my grandson had joined me in bed at 2:00 a.m. on thursday night.  he played on the floor til around 4:00 a.m. and went back to sleep until 7:30 a.m.  i didn't let him sleep with me on saturday.  i needed a nap.  i needed some time to myself.  he screamed his head off.

i didn't get much sleep on  saturday night.  my son asked me to come downstairs to sit the boy so he could take a walk with his wife.  i declined.  i felt shaky. i couldn't move a muscle.  on sunday, i got up at 7:00 a.m. to shower and get dressed.  i ate some yogurt and fruit.  i made sure to wear zipperless clothes.  i still had to take off my bra for the petscan, which was no easy feat with a tube in my arm.and got ready to travel.  i was a nervous wreck.

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