Monday, October 11, 2010

Y'know, I don't really like Valium all that much.

The PET, MRI, and lymph node biopsy are done ducklings.

I don't have any results yet; probably won't until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest, maybe Wednesday. The lymph node *looked* good, but we shall see.

I fell asleep in the MRI. Laid back, crossed my hands over my belly, shut my eyes, put my knees up on the wedge, and promptly fell asleep. The fact that I was listening to Diane Rhem on a podcast probably had something to do with that. Also, the fact that I feel safe and cozy in a small space, rather than claustrophobic. Nappy times!

Ironically, after the podcast, Charlotte Gainsbourg's album "IRM" came on. It went very nicely with the whanga-whanga-bonk-bonk-wobbawobbawobba of the magnet (she wrote it after her own MRI for an unruptured aneurysm).

I did *not* fall asleep during the biopsy. I had been told that they were uncomfortable, but being told doesn't prepare you for actual pain. It's a very fine needle they use, attached to suction, so it doesn't hurt going in.....but holy Christ, once it's in your lymph node? Sheeeit.

Again, it's like being shot in slow motion with a medium-sized bullet. The first stick wasn't bad. The second had me doing the familliar gritted-teeth, white-knuckled, every-muscle-tense dance as I said *urk* very softly. I was too afraid to do more, as the lymph node in question is just above and in front of the place my carotid artery splits into internal and external branches.

Wiggling probably would've been...bad. It's amazing, by the way, how sensitive lymph nodes are. Right now there is a small gnome pounding away at a couple of nerves in my jaw and sanding a nerve in my neck with a belt-sander, and that biopsy was at 11 this morning.

The PET scan was a lesson in anticlimax. First I got a stick to check my blood sugar (87), then I got a stick to put the nifty radioactive sugar into my vein, and then I got to drink a pint of Redi-CAT barium contrast along with my five milligrams of Valium. (The Redi-CAT? Was vanilla, and not too bad. Ask for it over the berry or banana flavor. It's pretty tasty.)

Then I went to sleep for 90 minutes. Turns out the Valium, in addition to keeping the more-claustrophobic among us calm, also helps keep the thermogenic fat in your back and neck from overreacting to stress and screwing up the PET.

Then I got up, went out for Mexican with Nurse Ames, and came home. I feel both as though I've lifted a whole lot of weights for a very long time, and as though I haven't slept in two days. Valium is not a fun trip; I guess things must've really been bad in the 1950's for it to get so popular.

The most surprising thing about the entire day was how *nice* everybody was. I knew some of the folks by name, some by sight, and most of them not at all--but it was as though they were all very happy to see me and had been waiting all month for the opportunity. Plus, the gowns they have in the imaging center beat the ones in the hospital all hollow. I'm thinking of going back and stealing a couple. They even offered me a pair of quite schwanky seersucker shorts to wear in the MRI. Since the size "small" gown came down halfway to my ankles, I didn't feel that they were necessary. (Query: how on earth do they size those gowns, that a 16 is a small?)

Well, it's all done. With what the good doctor Crane has now, we should be able to make a plan--at least a tentative one.



Anonymous said...

I totally agree about the valium. I take it prior to dentistry (bad experience has scarred me for life) and hate the way it makes me feel. Last 2 times, I was given xanax instead and it was waaaay better, except I cried a lot. (??)

Hope your results are negative, negative, negative!!!

bobbie said...

I prefer Xanax, too!

Thinking of you often ~~~

Anonymous said...

Very long time lurker, first time poster. You are in my thoughts every day. However, I love the valium.

Katie B said...

In regards to Valium. I had it IV once when my neck decided to cinch up so tight even talking brought severe spasms. By the time my nurse was done pushing it, I was a happy camper. It felt like a warm hug all over. In short, one of the best feelings i've ever had (it was also mixed with Dilaudid). As a former ER nurse, I was able to understand why people like the narcs so much....and I was asking for more before my first dose was totally in.

By the way, I quit ER after eight years and for the past few months I've been working at an outpatient Oncology treatment center. It's been quite amazing to take part in my patient's lives in such a meaning way. Thank you for your humor and updates. I have enjoyed, laughed, agreed, commiserated with so much of what you write. Thanks! Katie

terri c said...

Hoping also. I tend to be hypersensitive to benzos, such that 5 mg of valium can put me out, waaay out, for 8 hours. They really don't like that side effect for outpatient stuff. Plus I snore.

Eileen said...

How could you sleep during an MRI? I was relaxed, but SLEEP????????

How appropriate for a Brit - the WV is pototo!!!! You say, I say...

rebekah said...

I'm usually a very positive person, but I'm going to think NEGATIVE til you get your results!

Glad all that's behind you. Onward and upward.

Fordo said...

Thinking about you, Lady. Sending you good thoughts. Hope the test results come back good.

Crazed Nitwit said...

Gee, except for the biopsy part you almost make it sound almost pleasant. I dunno, the way my shoulders feels lately valium kinda sounds tempting. Glad you got this part all over with.

messymimi said...

Glad the tests are over, and praying that they show very good results.

Halie said...

Thinking of you and hoping you're doing ok. We love you Jo!

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

I love Valium. I also love your results. What a relief for you!