Thursday, April 28, 2011

All In The Day Of A Traveling Patient

Our day started awful early this morning. We were officially up at 5AM. A short time later we were out the door and on our way to a hospital in the Norfolk, VA area...about a 2 hour drive from our place.
On our way, Veronica wanted some good coffee, so we made a pit stop at our local Starbucks.
Unfortunately all I could do was drool at the sight of all of their food goodies that they had on display. There was no coffee nor food goodies on my breakfast menu this particular morning.
This mornings menu consisted of 2 large round cylinders that were full of a chalky liquid.
As it turned out, the chalky liquid contained one of my all time favorite flavorings for liquid chalk....Banana. Did I say one of my all time favorites?  NOT!!!! Chalky liquid no matter how it is flavored.....sucks.
I was able to get the first cylinder down in about a 40 minute period.
I didn't attempt to drink the 2nd cylinder until I was at the hospital awaiting someone to fetch me for my first test...a ultrasound test on my nether regions.
The 2nd cylinder was much tougher to swallow and keep down. Must have been something in that darn banana flavoring...go figure.
Now back briefly to my ultrasound test.
Now here I am...a 55 year old male that is basically butt naked except for one of those cheesy hospital gowns that you can never keep closed no matter what you try to do. They must have given me the "trick gown" because mine had 3 holes the exact same distance apart from each other and they were just big enough to put your arm through. I tried to put my head through the middle hole but it would not fit through and even if I got it through, there was no way I could have got my arms through the other 2 holes. Why 3 holes...I have no idea. I am sure that I could come up with a real witty answer about the use of the 3rd opening in the gown but then I would have to explain how I became such a great contortionist.
If you have a warped sense of humor as I do, you will get it.
All I will say is that Houdini would have been very proud of this garment.
So here I am with the gown on and in walks a rather young and not at all bad looking young lady dressed in the usual ultrasound garb. I should add that this young woman had NOTHING in the looks department on Veronica. Yes dear...I did remember that at times you visit my blog to see what I write. Did you notice what I just wrote about you  2 sentences ago?
Back to my story. It moves rather quickly from here.
The next thing I know, this young medical professional has my gown hiked up, has slathered some not too unpleasant feeling gel on her ultrasound wand and was using said wand to gently but very professionally caress my...hmmm....trying to use some writers diplomacy here.....sorry....that's not going to work here.......Kibbles and Bits.
Yes...I said the K and B words to describe my low riders.
I can hear it now..."Madea...did you hear what that old codger called his precious ones. Kibbles and Bits...now that's one crazy dude".
C'mon folks...we are all grownups here. Life is too short to get all prudish about certain things.
I call them as I see them.
The good news is that nothing completely natural happened during this procedure, that would have further embarrassed myself.
And before I knew it, this young medical tech was throwing me a couple of towels for the cleanup and telling me I could get dressed and go to my next test, which was a CT Scan.
I left that room feeling cheap and dirty with not even the lightest peck on the cheek for my efforts.
I slapped the best smile on my face that I could muster up and headed over for my CT Scan.
Compared to the Ultrasound, the CT Scan would best be described as anti climatic and BORING.
The CT Scan was over in a matter of 5 minutes. And this was the test that I had to force all of that banana flavored chalky liquid down my gullet....a lousy 5 minute test....I want my money back!!
After my fun trip to the hospital, Veronica and I hit the local Sams Club in that area to stock up on a few things. I sure wish we had one of those in our area. I would even be happy with a Super Walmart.
We also hit a grocery store before heading back to the Outer Banks.
On our way home we found a farmers market that was open and we decided to stop there. Got a really good deal on some sweet corn and some cantaloupes.
Once we were closer to home, Veronica decided that she wanted to try to see if a local thrift store had any pants or shirts that she might like.
She has been losing so much weight that we haven't been able to buy a bunch of new clothes at each new smaller size that she reaches. We figured it would be best to see if she could find some clothes that would keep her going until she reached her goal.
We actually had a good time together going up and down the racks looking for pants and jeans and shirts for her.
We found quite a number of items and the really cool thing was that a lot of the clothes were priced at amounts like $2.99 and $3.99. Some of the clothes still had their original tags on them. She got a bunch of stuff for around $40
The only down side was that they had no dressing rooms there to try the clothes on at the store. The good news was that if anything did not fit, we have 7 days to bring them back to the store for a full refund. You can't beat the deals and in this day and age, it would cost us more for the gas to get to this place than it would for a complete closet full of clothes.
One of our last stops was at a local jewelery store called Diamonds And Dunes. The reason for us stopping there is because years ago, while we were visiting Disney World, I purchased a 25th Disney Anniversary womans watch.
Disney only made 5,000 of these so I figured that I would put it away and it might be worth something one of these years.
When I decided to get involved with our local American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which is coming up in a couple of weeks, I decided to raffle the watch off and have the money earned from the raffle donated to the cause.
When I located the watch, the battery had died and I needed to get a new one put in.
I figured that no one is going to give up their hard earned money for a watch that appears not to be working and me saying "it just needs a new battery".
That is the reason for stopping at Diamonds and Dunes.
The owner of the store looked at the watch and decided that they should wait for the man who does all of the watch work.
After I had told them about the watch being raffled for Relay For Life, he told me that there would be no charge for the new battery. What they usually do in this store is nor charge for batteries but request a donation of which goes to a local charity.
So because the watch was being raffled with the proceeds going to the ACS, Diamonds and Dunes was going to put in the battery for free and waive the donation request too.
I thought that this gesture was extremely kind and generous.
You don't see small businesses do things like that very often, especially in today's economy.
I give Diamonds and Dunes a tip of my hat and a hardy "job well done".
If you are ever on the OBX, check them out. They really have some nice looking jewelery.
Their whole upstair display area was almost completely filled with Pandora items.
It was one of the more impressive collections of Pandora items that we have seen in our travels.
I won't find out the results of these tests until I go back to my Oncologist next Thursday.
All in all it was a good day and I think that I will have pleasant dreams tonight.

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