Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
Happy New Year. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t stay up to welcome the coming year…until now. On the 31st I went to bed at 10:30 PM and welcomed 2008 at 9 AM the next morning. Not that I need to defend my choices, but I had good reason to sleep through the ball drop and the confetti and the fireworks. Shannon and I had woken up at 3:30 AM on the 31st to catch a flight home. For what, you’re wondering. Well, I had an appointment at the hospital. Shocker, I know.
We thought it quite fitting that 2007 ended in the building where we’ve spent so much of the past year. Though it sounds depressing, I actually left with a smile on my face. You see, originally the doctor informed us that the procedure to check my kidney function would not only include an IV, but also a catheter. Even worse, I received the news six days before Christmas. I remember back to college during my years in the fraternity. One of the worst things about pledging was finishing pledgeship at the end of the fall semester and then going home to think about hell week for three weeks. I’m not sure which is worst, anticipating hell week or mentally preparing for the insertion of a catheter, all the while putting on a smile while unwrapping presents.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to find out Monday that the one doctor was wrong. I did not undergo any test using a catheter. Shannon said the smile on my face as I exited was priceless. The tests were not without some pain, though. Through the IV, the nurse inserted some radioactive liquid while a machine took pictures of my kidneys. That was fairly pleasant, just laying there staring at the ceiling. However, to wash the radioactive liquid out, she flushed my body with water while the renal scan continued. Periodically, she came in and out to let me know how much longer I had to lay there. Meanwhile, the walls of my bladder were expanding at a fairly rapid pace. Towards the end I was actually counting the seconds before I could tear down the hallway to the restroom. I don’t know what would have transpired had there been a line.
Overall, though, there is much to celebrate. My blood markers and CT scan reports for December listed me as cancer free. And of course that news, along with no catheter, allowed me to shout “happy new year!” a few hours early on the 31st, even if I was too tired for fireworks.