Scan day is a finely tuned day. Normally it hums. (When it doesn’t: A Day in the Life) I head first to the hospital to be injected with a nuclear chaser. I plead with the tech to leave the IV in place, with sad puppy eyes if needed. I have a 90% success rate.
Next I rush to the doctor’s office to start drinking my CT contrast – yum! An hour and a half later I get my CT scan and the IV is removed (I like that part!)
I then return to the hospital for my bone scan, and about 30 minutes later I’m discharged.
Today is scan day. So far, so good. The tech at the hospital asked if I’d like him to leave the IV in place and was delightful in his glee over conquering my vein by “floating” it in with saline.
I am about 8 minutes late to the doctor’s office, which frankly I knew would happen. The office is particularly busy and I am trying to explain to the many layers of administration that I’m late for my contrast. I understand there are protocols. I know they needed me to see a nurse first, but I also know I’ve been playing this game for more than 12 years. They hush me. Then they try to reassure me that it’s fine.
Except it’s not “fine” because the clock has ticked down another 20 minutes. It’s not “fine” because I still need to get back for my bone scan and the window is short. It’s not “fine” because I don’t need this nuclear trace running through my veins unnecessarily, in the event I don’t make my window. And most of all, it’s not fine because we are looking to see if my cancer has spread even further and there is evidence it has. In fact, it’s not “fine” any time you cause greater anxiety for a patient simply because you aren’t LISTENING.