Conquering Trypanophobia

Nov. 15, 2013.
Three days ago, I heard four haunting words: “You may have cancer.”

It’s just been a tough ride.
I’ve seen multiple doctors.
I’ve already done 3 CT scans, 2 chest X-rays and a PET scan.
The docs want more information so I’m off to do a biopsy today.

                                        

It’s 9 a.m.

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I’m lying down in some foreign bed that feels like cardboard and I’m being poked and prodded at.

If you knew me well enough, you would know that I am petrified of needles (but after this experience, I’m sure I will never even flinch at the sight of another injection).

One collapsed vein… A second collapsed vein…

FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP INJECTING ME.

I’m crying and pumping my fists expecting the nurse to collapse another vein. Thankfully, her third attempt was successful.

                                        

It’s 11 a.m.

The IV has been in for an hour. The doctor is finally ready for me.

My aunt starts kissing me, my mother starts making the sign of the cross on my forehead, and my father is holding my hand.

I don’t know whether I should feel comforted or scared shitless.

I want to grab onto mom’s shirt and scream, but I fight every urge to do so. I have to do this whether I like it or not.

The nurse rolls me away from my family.

The film begins to roll, and my life becomes a movie.
I’m drowning in white walls and I’m blinded by bright lights. It’s all a little too Grey’s Anatomy for me.

I roll off to God-alone-knows-where.

                                        

It’s noon.

I anxiously lie in a CT scanner while the nurses prep.

I have to lie still. Not only is it hard not to move, but I also have to stay in fetal position with my arms crossed over my head (trust me, it’s as weird as it sounds).

I wait, and I wait, and I wait.
I talk to nurses. I talk to God. I even talk to myself.
My nerves get the best of me and I begin cracking some really lame jokes – I am not funny.
An hour must have passed (or maybe I’m just overreacting as usual).

                                        

It’s 1 p.m. I think?

The nurse says, “Are you ready?”
Hmmm… It’s about time, lady.

She tells me that she’s putting in the anesthesia… blah, blah, blah.

                                        

It’s 1 something?
OW!

I feel clenches coming from something and pinches in the insides of my body.

What the…

                                        

BEFORE AND AFTERIt’s 2:30

I slowly open my eyes.
I see faint shadows.
They fade away.

                                        

It’s 3 o’clock.

I smile.
Waking up to a bed surrounded by my family, the best support system, made me happier than ever. No pain can wipe that away.

By the time I’m wide awake, the nurse wants me to walk.
She says I need to do it to prevent pneumonia. I trust her. She lifts me up, I take her hand and we have a cute moment, which is interrupted shortly after we take the first step.

Shocking pains run up and down the left side of my back. I feel like a train hit me – there’s no other way to describe it.

My mind runs rampant. Surely those white walls scare me, but I really don’t know why I was so frightened before the biopsy – that was a walk in the park. This pain, however, is the real issue.

I sit back down after walking what seemed like 6 miles (mind you, it was actually 6 laps across a 50-foot room).

A few minutes pass and I need to pee. This would happen to me. Great.
Aunty Suze offers to take me to the bathroom but the nurse cuts her off and says she’ll do it. It takes a bit of time to reach the restrooms. Once we get there, the nurse lets me in and closes the door behind me. She’s nowhere to be found.

I can’t bend or make any sudden movements. I can’t laugh, cough and most importantly in this case: squat to pee.

There’s a metal bar next to the toilet.
I can do this.
But I drop. 

Nice.

I sit and I cry. My ass is touching the hospital’s bare toilet seat.
No cover. No toilet paper. Just bare ass to seat.

“You can’t shower for 24 hours.”
*Eh-hem.* “But, mam, my butt touched the toilet seat. I NEED to shower.”

Oh, please.

Homegirl doesn’t care that I am germaphobic.
She packs my bags and sends me home, making it clear not to shower.

                                        

What I learned today:

1. Never be scared for the calm or the storm. You just gotta cope and smile.
2. I always need to insisting that my aunt take me to the bathroom.
3. The twilight drug is AWESOME. Can I take some to go, please?

What I am grateful for:

1. My family.
2. God.
3. Painkillers.

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