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HAWMC Day 25: Story Time

Alright, I'm very wary of this, but I'm going to give it my best.

It was finally happening. After months of feeling awful, Maggie was finally going to the doctor. Or maybe it had been years. Who knew? She couldn't even identify what health felt like anymore, all she knew was that something had to change and this felt like the first step.

She sat in the backseat of her aunt and uncle's car on the way to the hospital, (she couldn't even get herself together to make it to the appointment on her own) wondering what the doctor would be like. Her experience with gastroenterologists had not been great so far. "Clearly," she thought. "Just look at the mess I'm in."

But as she walked in, she knew this guy was different. The office was comfortable and soothing. Copies of the New Yorker sat on an end table between two cushioned chairs. Maggie walked up to the counter where the nurse sat and said she was there for her 9am appointment. The nurse had her fill out all the usual paperwork and then took her picture. Maggie wasn't sure why the doctor needed her picture on file, but she went along with it and then plopped down, exhausted, in one of the large chairs.

Eventually, her new doctor came out himself and called her back to the exam room, but not before he met her aunt and uncle. The exam was pretty routine, but the doctor had this way of actually looking at Maggie when she spoke. And asking real questions about her life, not just her disease.

Once the exam was over, he asked her permission to bring in her Aunt and Uncle. She, of course, consented. Three sets of ears would be much better than one, especially since her ability to concentrate had not been at its highest recently. He went and got them himself as Maggie slipped out of the hospital gown and back into the yoga pants and t-shirt she had worn there. There was a knock at the door and her new doctor entered with her aunt and uncle close behind. They looked worried, but the doc had a plan.

He talked a lot about how sick Maggie was and about the next steps that should be taken to get her back to health. First, she would go to the lab to do blood and urine tests, no big deal. Then she would head downstairs to get a CT scan later that morning. "Wait? As in, I'm doing that today?" Maggie thought. She couldn't believe it. Normally it would take days to get in for a big test like that, and she didn't even have to wait until after the lunch break? Wow...

So, off she went. Stopped by the lab to get blood drawn (no problem), and give a urine sample (slight issue). She couldn't figure out the cup for the urine sample. It had weird holes and things... She tried to figure it out, but ended up screwing it up. The nurse gave her another cup to try again, but by that time she didn't have any pee left. She would just have to come back after the CT, so she and her aunt and uncle headed downstairs where a nurse handed her a bottle of chalky, white fluid and told her she had to drink it before she could get the test. Wonderful.

It tasted like a wax candle and took a while to drink, but she got it down, was led back to a small changing room and given another gown. She had almost felt weird about wearing yoga pants to a doctor's appointment as she got ready that morning. Her stomach was so tender, though. Anything else was too painful. Turned out, they came in pretty handy with all the changing she'd done.

The tech was a nice, younger guy. If she felt at all well, she might have thought he was cute. He joked with her to put her at ease. She was already pretty calm, but she smiled and laughed and joked with him. He asked her the usual questions, "Are you pregnant?" Nope. "Is there any chance that you could be pregnant?" Not even a little. He asked her to lie back and she realized that the cover of the fluorescent light just above her had a blue sky and clouds printed on it. The tech inserted an I.V. and warned her that the fluid they were going to pump into her might cause a slight warming sensation, but that it was totally normal. Good to know.

He then disappeared into a separate room. His voice soon came over an intercom, telling Maggie that it was about to start. The machine around her started to make noises. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, though, until the warming sensation. It was warm alright. It felt like she was peeing herself. "Is that what he meant? If so, he needs to find a new way to describe it. Oh, shit. I have to give a urine sample. I better not be peeing myself right now." Soon, the test ended. Immediately, Maggie checked herself for signs of pee. All clear. "They really need to fine-tune the language they use to describe that sensation."

The tech came back into the room, took out the I.V. and ushered her back into her little changing room where she quickly changed back into her comfy pants, folded the gown, and set it on the chair. She went back out to grab her aunt and uncle and headed back up the elevator to the lab to take a second try at the urine sample, this time successfully. Having finally completed all the tests for the day, they loaded up and went home. Maggie was asleep before they hit the interstate.

Alright. I know that's a really awful ending. I'm not good at endings. Ever. I'm working on it, okay? That was also way longer than I intended, but I really wanted to write about feeling like I was peeing myself. Because people should know! If I tell you nothing else on this blog, let it be known that when you go in for a CT scan, you will feel as if you've peed yourself. I promise, you have not. That is just the crazy stuff that they're pumping into your body. Seriously. Such an awful thing not to know ahead of time.


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