We hit the ground running this Monday morning on the 7am shuttle to National Jewish. The hotel manager, James, was our shuttle driver this morning.
The first shuttle was full so my mom took the second shuttle and met me at the hospital. I went up to the pulmonology department for a "respitory care sputum induction" . . . I'll leave the details to your imagination but there was a stuffed animal from the Mucinex brand holding a sign that said, "I Love Mucus!!" I guess it takes all kinds. I was just fine on my own - until I left my paperwork in the waiting room . . . dropped my coat in the hallway . . . and had to manage my purse in the appointment room - where's my mommy?!
For the second appointment of the day, we were sent on a goose chase to find an office in the pediatrics department of all places . . . wait - wasn't I just crying for my mommy?! . . . It was with a pharmacokinetics specialist. That is a huge word for someone who studies what medicine does to your body and how your system reacts to it. The doctor here has planned an all day study to test my body's absorption of prednisone and steroids in all it's forms. She read a list of side effects possible with long term steroid use and I had all of them . . . think it's a good idea we're having this test. The official day of drawing blood is on Wednesday - today was just the day to talk about the process and gather information about my history.
We then hit a roadblock . . . in the Amazing Race, this is a crazy task that only one person on the team can participate in . . . guess who got picked?! It was me!! Yipee!! The task was a esophogram barium swallow. I had to fast last night and this morning in preparation for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Wearing one of the beautiful gowns they have to offer here, I went into a little room and stood on a tiny platform. Over the course of the next ten minutes, I was laid down, sat up, moved my arms up, then moved them down, and in between all of this shuffling and moving, I was instructed in drinking a variety of thicknesses of chalk . . . gulp it, chug it, swallow once, swallow three times in a row, hold it in your mouth, swallow it down, drink some more, lay down, drink lots, gulp more . . . you get the drill - it was horrible . . . glad it's over . . . at least for now.
At 10:30am I went to a mandatory psych consult appointment . . . I tried to send my mom - she's seeing Willy Wonka every where we go since our trip to the chocolate factory - I'm starting to get worried about her . . .
Back to the day . . . I was finally able to eat and I was starving! We checked our appointment schedule and realized we don't have anything else until 4pm . . . so we waited . . . and waited. . . and waited . . . and waited . . . we played some card games . . . and waited . . . did some puzzle books . . .
And waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . and finally, it was my turn . . .
And yes - it is another barium swallow test . . . I'm loving me some barium!! (on the board it's called a fluoroscopy . . . a fancy word for swallowing crummy chalk stuff) . . . and if anyone is keeping track at home, I've had four of the seven tests offered on the biomedical imaging menu . . .
This test was not as bad as the first one but still not super fun - the purpose of this one was to see how I swallow . . . something I'm sure you've always wondered about . . . an x-ray board was brought over to my face - I mean really close to my face . . . then I was instructed on swallowing a variety of thicknesses of barium . . . watery, thick, pudding consistency, then a cracker spread with barium . . . would you like some barium to go with your barium?
I finished the test and we caught the shuttle back to our cozy hotel . . . I'll leave you with some photos (as promised) of our beautiful hotel . . .