Thursday, March 29, 2007

The OSU experience

OK, so we weren't able to actually do the tests, but the people were really nice, which is a plus. Here's how it went:

Got there around 10:30, our appointment being at 10:45. We went to the Ross Heart Hospital, checked in w/ the outpatient (or "ambulatory") office (like a little cubicle), and then the receptionist took us down the hall to the Cardiac Lab. I was taken promptly (after having to fill out one of those god-awful forms with NEVER enough room for all my drugs). The techs had to put in a peripheral, which only took 2 tries, amazingly. One of the techs said they get a lot of cancer patients whose veins are shot from chemo, so they're good about getting the hard sticks, of which I definitely qualify.

Through the IV was injected some sort of radioactive material that would go to my heart so it would show up on X-rays and what not so they could get a nice look at the muscle itself and vein structure. I had to wait 45 minutes to an hour so it would absorb. And I had to drink a ton of water, like 2 1/2 bottles, in that time frame.

Now for most people I imagine this wouldn't be a problem (except for the bathroom thing). Well it is for me. I cannot drink a lot of water on an empty stomach. For some reason, it makes me nauseous, and it's also why I can't take pills w/ plain water (chalky ones, I mean. Capsules are fine.). So as I frantically tried to drink all this water (I did get about one bottle down), I was starting to feel nauseous. Plus my blood sugar was probably all out of whack since I'd been NPO for about 14 hours now.

When I went back for the heart scan (like the one chest scan that measures gas diffusion in your chest, but I forget what it's called now), I was nauseous, so the woman brought in a bag (they use bags and not basins. Those actually kind of work better.). I almost made it through the test...three minutes left, and all that water (plus bile) came back up. And since i was lying flat, it was an interesting process. So we have to do the test again, but there was no way it was getting done that day, because until I ate something substantial I would just throw up again. My blood sugar was 84, so yeah, it was low. The test is now rescheduled for next Thursday in the AM, so hopefully we can avoid the nausea problem. I hope so.

The place is HUGE. All the different hospitals seem like they're interconnected, and there are a lot of good signs, but it's still huge. And you've got the two extremes--the power walkers and the slooooooowwwwww people. There's almost never anyone in the middle.

Overall, not a bad experience at an "adult" hospital. Part II next week!!

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