Sunday, November 7, 2010
Looks comfy, doesn't it? I had a long, exhausting week, and I was really looking forward to my CT scan so I could get some rest without impacting my family. (I think they are getting tired of waking me up for dinner). I thought about it all day: how comfy the padding would be, how they give you those nice, heated blankets, and how they said it would take an hour so I could just lie there, listen to the hum, and doze.
Friday at 5:30, I'm wearing a hospital gown and am ready for my nap. I got in feet first, just like in the picture, arms over my head. As I imagined, I was given a warm blanket which immediately began lulling me to sleep.
Just as I closed my eyes, a disembodied voice male demanded "Breathe in." I was startled into obedience, and took a deep breath. Imperious, it ordered, "Hold your breath" and the machine started whirring around me.
It's pretty hard to sleep and hold your breath at the same time. So, I reluctantly held in air and gave up my nap.
The next set came, and the tech explained it would be a long one. She advised me if I couldn't hold my breathe as long as they wanted me to, then to gently and slowly let it out so I wouldn't move.
If I can't sleep than I am going to hold my breath.
When the machine told me to, I inhaled deeply.
And held it.
And held it.
Eyes open, I looked up and noticed on the machine two little light-up pacman graphics that were apparently designed to help me know when to hold my breath.
Oh, this is getting kind of hard. Maybe I can't really hold my breath this long. How long has it been anyway? Two minutes? Three? Why didn't I pay attention to the start time?
I looked up at the clock counting down the time. 34 seconds. 33. 32. I can do this. No, I can't. Yes, I can.
12, 11, 10....It's so hard. Just a few more seconds. I can do it, I can!
I did. Whew! The woman literally high-fived me when I was done.
If you think about it, she's probably really bored with her job - put people in machines, take them out, over and over, all day long. They have even taken away her ability to tell people to hold their breath - the only power she had. The machine has an electronic voice that does it now. (Why? Were the techs forgetting? Is there a study that shows people will hold their breath longer for machines than a live human?)
All she can do to make it fun for herself is to guess which people can hold their breath and which ones can't. She probably pegged me as a winner and was so pleased at herself for being right that she high-fived me. Maybe it was the first win she had all day. Maybe she had made a bet with herself, "If I get five right today, I get to buy a new pair of shoes."
No wonder she was happy.
I wasn't. Napless, I went home and was tired the rest of the night.
I see my oncologist on Wednesday and I'll hear if I have a disc problem then. I'm not worried about it either way.
You know, since I held my breath so long, I think I deserve a new pair of shoes too.
Macy's, here I come.
Posted by Ann aka ButDoctorIHatePink at 10:48 AM