Does not keep the doctor away. I eat apples every day. I make Layce eat apples every day and she’s not fond of them. We have one of those special kitchen devices that cut apples into six perfectly formed pieces sans the core. We are apple people. Here’s the story of how apples did not save me.
I went for a blood test. I did this despite the fact I am needle phobic. In the past I have vomited. I have nearly fainted. I have veins that collapse. The upside is I always pass the blood test with flying colors—good white cells, good cholesterol, good liver stats.
The nurse called to tell me I have elevated liver enzymes, high cholesterol and my hypothyroid meds needs to be increased. I wanted to study the lab work—that’s what the internet is for. I went in and got my lab work. I highlighted the areas of concern and then spent two hours on the internet methodically researching possible causes.
Then the nurse called an hour later. “Oh, I forgot to tell you the doctor scheduled you for an ultrasound of your liver.”
Did I mention I ‘d been to the hospital three times in the same week? The check-in woman said to me “Wow, you’ve been here a lot this week. Are you feeling poorly?”
“Not untiI I had a blood test.” My nerves were shot at this point. My liver? I haven’t had a drink in 6 years. That is what you get for cleaning up your life. My liver decided it’s not feeling well.
The liver ultrasound started with the tech asking me if I have a gall bladder. “Last time I checked.” I did get to look at my insides, including my heart. One’s insides are interesting. “Can I get a copy of that?” I figure people get pictures of their baby ultrasounds—I want one of my liver. No go. The doctor gets it.
The nurse called later that afternoon. “You have a tumor on your liver.” Pause. “It’s not cancer. It’s benign. You’ll have to have a CT scan of your liver,” she added.
I got the bag of apples out of the fridge and went out to the back yard. I am no softball player but I pitched them over the fence. Then I tromped back in the house and began to put my affairs in order.
I can’t eat or drink for twelve hours—this means no coffee. I sniffed Layce’s coffee before I left for the hospital. The x-ray tech was wearing those toe shoes that made him look like a playtupus—his toes were all prominently displayed. He got out the needle to put the dye in so my liver tumor will show up in Technicolor—that’s when the blood bath begins. He felt around for veins. He crinkled his brow and made his decision. The super-sized needle went in for the kill. There was a big poke and a heavy sigh. I made the mistake of looking over. There was this tube thing in my arm and it was leaking blood fast—as in all over the table, his fingers and my arm.
Another tech came in. “You need to cap that,” she said. I thought, uh, yeah before a vampire comes along for a snack. She gave the needle a try. More poking, more sighing. “The vein keeps collapsing.” She tried again. Another big poke another failure. “Let’s go get Sonya.” They both leave and so do I.
I got as far as the waiting room before they caught me. I had bloody fingerprints all over my arm and the vein still had the cap thing in it and I was still leaking. After the people in the waiting room have seen me, I’m thinking there might be a mass exodus. Yeah, Charles Manson is back there my wounds seemed to say.
“We’ll give it another try. It’ll work this time,” they told me. They weren’t exactly preventing me from leaving but Playtupus Man was guarding the door. “We’ve brought in the expert,” he said.
I agreed to go back in. My $120.00 co-pay was part of the incentive. I got back on the table. The expert came in. “Which arm do you want to use?” she asked.
I looked over at the bleeding one that Playtupus Man was wrapping up and Tech 2 was trying to wipe the bloody fingerprints off of. “Okay, let’s try the other one,” Tech 3 said. Another big poke, another sigh. “She needs a blanket. She’s cold and it’s affecting her veins. They keep collapsing,” Tech 3 said to Tech 2. “Go get her a blanket. And I think we need Betty. She’ll be able to do it.”
Tech 4 came in. She studied my whole arm, my hand and finally settled on a vein just above my wrist. “Make a fist.” I did. The vein got bigger. I’m pretty sure it was an over achiever like all the blood in my body was going to this one vein so we can get this whole thing over with. It worked. The dye went in. The CT scan took less time than the blood bath. I left the x-ray department with a few residual bloody fingerprints and three blue gauze Ace bandages on my arms.
When I got home, I walked into the office where Layce was writing about zombies. “How’d it go?” She took one look at my arms and the bloody fingerprints and pulled her T-shirt over her head. I heard her gagging. “Wash your arms and put on a long sleeve shirt. I can’t look at it.”
So much for spousal support. All I could say was, “It’s a good thing you weren’t there.”
“Here, have an apple,” she said, tossing me one.