Tuesday, December 04, 2012

it sucked and then I cried

UPDATE:  I still hadn't heard anything about my CAT scan results by last night, and this filled me with a strange kind of optimism:  if it was something truly hideous, wouldn't they call me right away?  But I knew that I couldn't play ostrich, so this morning I called my doctor's office.  They said that the test results were in the mail and that I should get them today, or tomorrow at the latest.  I tried to get more information out of the receptionist, but she apologized and said any medical information had to come from the doctor, who is conveniently on vacation all week.  I will, of course, keep you updated; continued finger crossing would be much appreciated.

As far as my beloved Ginji goes, I cannot even begin to explain what the hell the problem turned out to be.  The dude at the dealership told me and I was doing the RCA dog head tilt because it didn't make even the tiniest bit of sense to me how the one thing would affect the other.  But on the plus side, the keys didn't need to be recoded ($$), and the immobilization system didn't need to be replaced ($$$$); they only needed to replace some valve dealiemabob.  So the whole thing wound up costing me about $150 and a vacation day.  At least they had a free shuttle service, so I was able to go home while they worked on him and finally finish my backlog of American Horror Story: Asylum and Sin City, which I've had out from Netflix for over a month.

Oh, two funny things happened on Tuesday.  On the way to the dealership, the tow truck driver said "Not a great way to start your day, huh?"

"Oh, it's already been a hell of a week," I said bitterly.  "This was just the crap icing on the crap-filled Pop-Tart."

He laughed and said, "Well, they say when it rains, it pours."

"Been Hurricane Sandy up in my life recently," I muttered, and he guffawed and slapped the steering wheel.

"Man, you're funny!  You're not a comedian, are you?  Actually, you look like that one woman, 'cept I don't think you'd be living in [city name] if you were her.  What the hell's her name?"

"Janeane Garofalo?"  (I've gotten this comment before, but aside from long dark hair and glasses, I don't think there's any resemblance.)

"Yeah!  That's her!"

The second thing:  when the tow truck driver pulled into the dealership, a salesman came bounding towards us, frantically motioning towards the garage.  I couldn't figure out why he was so panicked until I noticed the couple looking at cars.  Yeah, I suppose a fairly new Honda Civic with a pristine exterior being towed in isn't the greatest advertisement for your brand.

Okay, back to work.

(Entry title swiped from Heather B. Armstrong's excellent memoir because oh boy does it ever fit)

When I got home from G's yesterday morning, I grabbed the first of my two Big Gulp-sized cups of contrast material, filled it with water, and gave it a vigorous stir.  Lollipop at the ready, I braced myself and took my first sip.


Okay, it wasn't exactly a vanilla In-N-Out shake or nothin', but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting.  It kind of tasted like pool water.

I finished the first cup at 9AM and immediately started in on the second.  Then, after peeing about ten times, I headed to the lab for my CAT scan.  I signed in, did the requisite ream of paperwork, and then sat down in the waiting room with my second cup of contrast.  A man only slightly older than me (which I found comforting in a strange way, not that I would wish this shit on most people of any age) was holding an enormous cup too, and when he saw me looking at him, he raised it in a toast.  Comrades in arms!

Finally, a cheerful doctor who looked like a thinner Santa Claus came out to get me.  After taking off my bra and jeans and changing into a super comfortable pair of green scrub pants, I went into the CAT scan room.  Dr. Santa said, "I know you've had your fill of this stuff, but I need you to drink one more cup of contrast." 

Noticing my face, he laughed and said, "Don't worry, this one's much smaller."

And, as it turns out, much grosser without all the water to dilute it. 

I laid down on the table and Dr. Santa covered me with a blanket, and then the scanning commenced.  Occasionally an automated voice would command me to breathe in and hold it, and then breathe out again.  I closed my eyes and pretended like I was in Prometheus.

Dr. Santa came back in and said, "Okay, now I'm going to start an IV."




"Um, I didn't think I had to get an IV too," I said, my lips trembling.

"Well, we want to make absolutely sure we can see everything, especially since you're so young.  I've been told I have a light touch, so hopefully it won't be so bad."

I squinched my eyes shut as he inserted the IV.  True to his word, it barely hurt, so I was grateful for that at least.  I felt a rush of warmth in my nethers---not the good kind of warmth in my nethers---and then I started to shiver.  I was thankful for the blanket.

More scanning...and more...and then silence that seemed to last for hours, but was probably only a couple of minutes.  "Hello?" I called out plaintively.

No answer.

"Hellooooo?" I sobbed, feeling more vulnerable than I had ever felt in my life, lying there on a table with an IV stuck in my arm, shivering, disoriented, in desperate need of a bathroom, nobody answering my call.

Finally Dr. Santa returned to the room and unhooked my IV.  He said that I would probably get the results on Tuesday, and I raced into the bathroom without even bothering to put my shoes on.  (I know, gross, but I have never had to piss that badly in my life.)  Then I got dressed, contemplated shoving those super comfortable scrub pants into my purse and deciding that I needed my karma as shiny as possible, and left.  I went home and napped before going to work.

This morning, I hopped into Ginji, turned the ignition, and nothing.  A green light I'd never seen before flashed on the dashboard.  Frantically, I pulled my owner's manual out of the glove compartment and discovered that it meant the immobilization system had activated.  This is to keep someone from using, say, a screwdriver to steal your car; apparently, it's also to keep you from using the same fucking key you've used for the last four years.

Dear God:  when I asked if things could get any worse, IT WASN'T A YOUDAMNED CHALLENGE.

So I burst into fat sloppy tears, ran upstairs, and grabbed my spare key.  Nope, same thing. 

Called the dealership, they said to have Ginji towed in.

Called Triple A, they said they'd send someone out within an hour.

Called my boss, who fucking LAUGHED.  This after I prefaced it by saying, "As if my health problems weren't bad enough..." 

Cried some more while waiting for Triple A.  And it wasn't all due to the car (a 2009 Honda Civic with less than 14,000 miles on it, I might add), of course; it was the cumulation of almost two weeks of pure fucking SHIT.

Eventually, a very nice Triple A tow truck driver came, hooked Ginji up, and took us to the local dealership about 3 miles down the road.  They said it would take about an hour before they could look at him (could be the keys' coding going bad, which is unlikely since neither one works; most likely, the whole immobilization system is boofed, which yay), so I took advantage of their courtesy shuttle and came home so I could write this entry and catch up on my backlog of American Horror Story: Asylum, which may provide some small measure of comfort.  Things might be sucking hard right now, but hey, at least I'm not locked in Bloody Face's basement!

And I still don't have my CAT scan results, so between that and waiting to hear about my car, my cell phone has turned into a time bomb and I'm afraid to hear it go off.