I got the port in. They wanted to make another incision and add another scar to my chest, but the doctor was willing to entertain the possibility of going in the same old wound... he went to talk with his colleagues about it. He came back a few minutes later and informed me that most of his patients are old so the doctors don't worry too much about more scars. He was honest, but didn't seem too troubled by what he said. In other words, why would old folks care if they had more holes and scars in their bodies... they're old anyway? It was a glimpse of what I see everyday in the medical world... the distance the doctor has from his or her patients.
It all went well. It went very well in fact, except for the trip that began the morning. We were late leaving the house and I ran down the stairs to get the newspaper. I made faces at the kids in the window on the way down, and they stood on their chairs and watched and waved as long as they could. I was trying to memorize the three of them peeking out of the window. I thought I would make the picture of them my visual for the IV procedure. As I was trying to memorize (which is completely impossible with a person you love... they are so much more than their physical makeup), I was walking backwards and looking up at them. I tripped over a garden bed rock, flipped over, I mean feet straight up in the air, and then rolled all the way down the wet, cold hill.
Like a car accident, everything slowed down on my roll down the hill. I worried that the kids saw the fall and would be worried. I was worried that the kids would then run outside with no shoes on. I was worried that if they did that, they would catch cold. And as they were catching a cold, their insistence on more rounds of hugs and kisses would make us even more late than we already were. I was also worried about deer poop. The deer run up the stairs from Arlington Avenue, eat all of the roses they can reach and thank us by pooping on our grass. Beyond that, I was simply embarrassed. Not to mention, I was really, really wet and had been cold to begin with.
The kids, it turns out, did not see me. I was out of view as I fell. But a timely Tom was annoyed at being late (he had been waiting with the car in neutral and wondering how a quick grab of the newspaper could take so long), and he came to tell me so. He discovered me, clutching the paper and hunched over, wet, mad. Back in the car, he asked, "If we had a video of you falling, would it be hilarious?" I said, "No."
Twenty minutes later he dropped me off at Alta Bates hospital But then he had to drive quickly back to the house because I'd forgotten my must needed Xanax. It was the first time I took the time to thoroughly read the Patient's Rights documents they give me at every hospital visit. I took great pains to recall every medicine's name and dosage. I even read the Chronicle newspaper secretly behind my clipboard... I did not want to go down to the basement (where the procedure happens) without either Tom or my Xanax.
The nurses I had were great. I told the first about the phobia, and she used the IV spot I suggested. My Xanax had also begun to take effect, and I was a tad bit more relaxed. The IV was in with no problems and no pain. The nurse upstairs heard me about my last port installation and lack of appropriate medication and made adjustments. I remember them scrubbing this time, but nothing else. Phew.
Even in recovery I felt well cared for, and Tom was there when I was waking up. I usually wake up and start harassing them to get him.
That was my first major hurdle, and I did it. There are more for sure, but I've found my strength again. And I just admitted to Tom, when he asked again, that yes, if we had the video it would be freakin' hilarious.