The One About the Hospital
May 21, 2002

hi kiddos,

first of all! there is a new spy club member!
jennifer “booyah!” lyngar, who hails from the mythical sands of reno, nevada sent to me via cookie magoo, the most fabulous keychain ever! EVER! it’s really a very cool key chain from RENO, NEVADA! and i show it to everyone! it holds my keys! i brag about it! i show it to all of my friends and say, “they love me in reno.” it has gold dice that spin! THEY SPIN!
jennifer’s spy club nickname is (are you ready jen? i know you’ve been waiting) Disco Millie. or D.M. for “short”. she’s in charge of the spy club’s credit cards and answering machine. thanks jennifer! you rock!

so i had to go to the hospital today. i believe i’ve mentioned my demon, hell-spawn stomach, right? well, lately the doctor has put me through several tests and today’s was extra special fun. note the sarcasm. and i figure since i had so much fun actually going through the procedure that you guys would have fun reading about my adventures at the hospital. and let me just tell you, if anyone can have fun at a hospital it’s gotta be me.

right, so this is the third “test” and i would tell you about the first two but really the one was rather boring and the other one was rather gross and involved “specimens” and i figure i’ll spare you all of that. so this third test is called a HIDA SCAN. and what the doctor told me was that they would inject my gall bladder full of dye and take pictures of it. that’s it. very simple very easy. and the only thing i had to do in preparation for this test was not eat anything after midnight the day before the test. also easy, seeing as how i don’t eat after midnight anyway, and it’s not like i can stomach breakfast first thing in the morning, right? i’d lose it fer sure. so far so good.

i wake up this morning all ready to take my test and wouldncha know it? i’m starving. wha? i’m never hungry in the morning. and it’s not like i’m hungry, i’m starving, as in the beast in my tummy is screaming. i don’t think i’ve ever been this hungry in my life! ARG! well, the beast will just have to deal. i have a test to take!

off to the hospital.
i get checked in and they give me a fashionable bracelet so’s i can’t wander off. and bling bling i’m on the second floor. and double bling bling the nurse tells me to go to “nuclear medicine”. huh?
nuclear? wha? i’m here for a gall bladder thingy. not a… a… um, nucular thingy. right? derp?
no! go to nucular! do not pass go! do not collect two hundred dollars!
off to nucular!

the closer i get to nuclear medicine the more RADIATION signs i see, as in DANGER! RADIATION, and ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE? THIS IS THE RADIOACTIVE UNIT. THERE’S RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL RIGHT BEHIND THIS DOOR. and also, THAT CHAIR YOU’RE SITTING ON? YES, IT’S RADIOACTIVE. GO BACK TO THE WAITING ROOM. IT’S SAFE THERE. HERE BE DRAGONS.

nuc med. great stuff.
so anyway they don’t give me a gown. so i’m thinking hey cool, no gown, this test must be easy-peezy japanesey. so i’m sitting in this chair waiting my turn at whatever and there’s a man sitting next to me also waiting his turn for his whatever and the nurse walks up to me and asks, “when was your last menstrual cycle?”
oh for crying out loud! geez lady! there’s a strange DOOD sitting next to me! pause here for my pink blush.
so i tell her and apparently my answer wasn’t good enough for her because she sort of stared at me (and my glorious hair) and asked, “is there a possibility you could be pregnant?”
i tell her no.
she says, “are you sure?”

i really, really, really wanted to say, “my life partner is good, but she’s not that good”. *wink wink*
but geez, like i need more people thinking i’m a lesbian.

so i opt for the truth, “yes i’m sure.”

and we move on.
i’m whisked away to a fake room where this other nurse starts an IV in my arm. right in the middle of my elbow. ow geez. blood actually spurts. “you have great blood flow!” the nurse says. i almost laughed.
what a terrible spot for an IV. but it’s not a “real” IV yet as it’s basically just a short tube sticking out of my arm and then she asks if i know what kind of test i’m having. i mumble something about a gall bladder.

“yes, they’re gonna inject radioactive isotopes into your blood and then a camera is going to take pictures of your gall bladder and liver. and then they’re going to inject some more stuff in you to make your gall bladder constrict, and they’re gonna take pictures of that too.”

see, the doc never mentioned ANYTHING about RADIOACTIVE FREAKIN’ ISOTOPES.
i’m not nervous about it or anything. i mean, carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope. and you never hear anything bad about carbon-14, do you? radioactive isotopes are our friends.

so i go to another room and it has a dark corner in it and they make me lay down on a bed and then they all leave. ten minutes later nurse diesel comes back and insists i take a pregnancy test. freak!
*sigh* right. i hafta wazz in a cup.
but here’s the thing.
i’m right handed.
the IV is in the crease of my right elbow. i can’t bend my arm. it’s straight as a board, and for this situation, just as useless.
she hands me the cup.
i enter the bathroom and stare at my reflection.

i try to bend my arm a little. no go. if i bend it anymore something will snap and i don’t need a needle floating around nor any spurting blood. crap.
so anyway, after 7 or 8 minutes of fenagling i manage to wazz in a cup and no splashes! wow, my left hand and i make a great team when we have to! cheers all around! and i come out of the bathroom triumphant and smiling ready to take on any more of their hospital skulduggery! tatdow!

so i have to sit back on the bed and wait for the pregnancy test to come back.
it took 30 minutes.

ARG! 30 minutes!? what the hell? i can buy a test at the grocery store, bring it home, wazz, wait, and see the results in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES! and so you sit there and wait. and while you’re waiting you think things like, “golly, what a waste of time. i see why they would want to know if i’m pregnant or not the radioactive material probably hurts the baby it’s a good thing they test you first i wonder what’s taking so long? ha ha me, pregnant? what a bunch of laughs. i wonderwhat’staking so long? ha. pregnant. has it been 15 minutes? wow. heh, pregnant. hmmm. oh geez god, what if i’m pregnant? i mean, sure there’s no way i’m pregnant, but what if…. what if somehow i’m pregnant? and the lady comes back and says, “you horrible cur! you’re pregnant and you were going to hurt your unborn child with radioactive isotopes! i’ll see you in hell!” i mean, she’ll never believe me! i swear! i’m not pregnant! how am i pregnant? how would i explain it to jimmy?! jimmy i swear i don’t know how i got pregnant! i wasn’t pregnant and then i went to the hospital and then i was pregnant! it’s a magic baby! a magic radioactive baby! i’m not pregnant!”

a different nurse came back, “the results were negative, but i guess you knew that.”
of course, whew, yeah i knew that.

so ANYWAY the REAL test.
they inject the radioactive goop into me and then they place this huge cylinder over my upper torso and move it about 4 inches away from my body and face. it’s huge. and it hums. but it does not move. and i must lay very still and not move, just like the camera. and so there it is. nothing. for an hour.

so i kinda dozed off for a bit and woke up when a gaggle of nurses came in and started squawking and laughing about god only knows and then it hit me, i hafta sneeze.

there is only one other person in this world who sneezes more violent than me and that’s scott. scott’s whole body implodes when he sneezes. my sneezes just double me over ninja quick. i usually hit my head on something, like the steering wheel for instance.
here on this bed i can’t sneeze cause there’s this huge, expensive piece of equipment inches away from me. plus i can’t move or i’ll bollix the testing/picture taking. plus i’ll get sneeze juice all over this huge, expensive equipment and not only that but since it’s right in my face i’ll have to stare at my sneeze juice for the duration and gag. so i hold back my sneeze. my nose twitches like mad.
i wonder if anyone else has ever had to sneeze while on this thing?

so i look at the thing, which isn’t hard to do since it’s right in my face anyway and i notice that there’s “stuff” on it. and it looks as though not only has some poor shemp had to sneeze while taking this test, but said shemp actually did sneeze and apparently didn’t tell anyone about it. because there, not 5 inches away from my face, is dried sneeze juice splatter. oh man.

oh man! gag! and i’m taking a closer look and notice that this whole thing is quite dirty. filthy even. i mean, the crease next to the sneeze spittle looks as though it’s actually growing something on it. gag! and it’s not like i’m a germophobe. i’m not. i’ll eat an apple without washing it. big mystery why my stomach hurts.

anyway i’m checking out this huge, expensive, filthy piece of equipment and notice that not only are the sides dirty but the flat bottom part of the cylinder is all scraped up and how did that happen? and the more i look at it the stranger it gets ’cause then the bottom of it kinda fades and i can see… wires? and a lens of some sort. what the?
a circuit board? but isn’t that inside the camera?

i look up at the ceiling and the white tiles fade and i see… an air duct! and random pipes! holy geez!
i have x-ray vision!
what did they inject my blood with!?!

a nurse walks by and i see that she’s wearing a yellow sweater under her scrubs. gack! her internal organs!
i roll my head to the side and look at the wall. i can see the shemp in the bed next door! he has an IV too! i wonder if he can see me?!

don’t panic, jaimie. maybe this is just a side-effect and only lasts for a couple of…
a nurse chewing grape bubble gum is about to walk in to this room. she’s going to grab a clip board, cough three times, and walk out.

a nurse blowing a huge, purple bubble walks in, grabs something off the table, coughs and leaves the room.

ohmygod i’m psychic! somehow the radioactive hooha must’ve combined with my DNA thus enhancing my brain and giving me psychic impulses as well as x-ray vision! i’m a superhero! wait ’til i tell jimmy! oh wait, i wonder if this will hurt the baby? waitaminute…what baby? huh?

“ms. pickle? ms. pickle?”

i jerk awake bonking my head on the huge, expensive piece of equipment.
“ow! stupid piece of… huh?”

“ms. pickle, i have to inject the other stuff now. it’s going to burn.”

aw crap. and the test went on for another hour.

next week’s epitomb: jaimie wins a lame prize! maybe.

jaimie “i have great blood flow” pickle

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