Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Roid Rage

If sometime around the evening of Dec 7th you find me out on the street lifting cars over my head and bending street lights into sculptural shapes while beating my fists on my chest, don't worry. Either it's a full moon or I've been endowed with super-human strength thanks to the dose of steroids I'll be taking. But Arley, you might be saying, don't you already have the strength of a lady ox? Why are you playing a friendly game of "Day in the Life of Mark McGwire circa 1999?"

Well, because nothing is ever easy when you're riding the Arley train. Today, I showed up bright and early to Vancouver General Hospital ready to have my hip socket receive some sweet lovin' from a big needle so that they could get a picture of what's going on with my Freaky Cyborg Hip. I changed into some sexy 18-sizes-too-big hospital shorts and limped off ready to steel myself, lie back and think of England. Soon, the technician came in to explain the procedure. He asked me some questions and everything was going swimmingly until I mentioned that I had experienced a freaky reaction to iodine contrast fluid a couple of years ago.

Long story short, when I was experiencing the world's most ridiculous case of mono, my spleen was so enlarged that you could see it poking out from under my ribcage and they did a CT scan to figure out what exactly was going on down there. After I filled out 8.3 million consent forms, they injected me with iodine to get a better look at my SuperSpleen, which was apparently cranky that it served only a minor purpose in the body and wanted a little more attention. I guess that SuperSpleen wasn't ready for its closeup, though, because a few minutes after the dye was injected, I turned bright red from head to toe and began to shake uncontrolably, which ironically wasn't one of the 8 million reactions listed on the consent form. The nurse gave me a big, old WTF, called a code something-or-other into the intercom and people started running around putting oxygen on me and hooking me up to monitors. Besides having to stay for an hour for observation (and being unable to drive my car home, which meant that A. had to come and get me), however, I was just fine.

Well, it turns out that sometimes when it comes to allergies, what starts as "shaking and turning red" could quickly turn into "big old heap of trouble" with repeated exposure. Long story short, they wouldn't do the test. Access denied! At first, I thought, "Well, darn, Arley. You should have kept your big, old mouth shut!" I realized very quickly, however, that it's better to postpone the test for a few days and be sure that I'm not going to have one of those "patient on 'House'" reactions.

So what's an allergic gal to do? Well, they're going to put me on a course of steroids and anti-allergy medications a day before the test and hope that the second time's a charm. Luckily, they were able to re-schedule me for Dec 8th, so the delay won't affect my appointment with Dr. SecondOpinion on the 21st. And, hey, maybe the steroids will make the rash I've had since the hip replacement clear up. Hey, a girl can dream.

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