Saturday, February 6, 2010

Journey of the Shawl

The shawl and Fred and I went down to St Luke's Hospital and checked in at Patient Registration Services (admitting to us older folks) at 7 am yesterday. I only needed to finish binding off and weaving in the ends to be able to wear it. I finished binding off and then it was my turn to fill in forms. Forms all filled in, I started weaving in ends. At the hospital they had something called Transportation. This is where they have someone escort you to wherever you need to go whether walking or in a wheel chair. The young man from Transportation showed up when I still had an inch left to weave in. He is asking questions (what is your name, birthday etc) and I am furiously weaving. I am doing well at weaving and not so well at answering questions. Actually I am failing this quiz very badly. So I finish the weaving, put away the crochet hook, put on my shawl and the journey begins.

We went first to Nuclear Medicine. We had been told that the basic plan for our journey would be admitting, nuke medicine at 8, breast imaging at 10 back to nuke at 10:30 and pre-op at 11:30. Followed by surgery to last however long was necessary.
So the young man from Transportation took us to nuclear medicine and since we were there at 7:20, the girl said they couldn't start until 8 because the doctor wouldn't be in until 8.
No problem. I took a seat and got out a new crochet pattern I wanted to try, Widget Fantacy Flower Hot Plate. I got out my pattern and read the first line. Make ch5, join with sl st to make a ring. I know how to do that I thought. So I got two stitches on my crochet hook and realized that it is knitting that keeps the stitches on the needle and that I didn't remember how to crochet. Just then they called my name and I put the project and pattern back in my bag and (spoiler) never got a chance to take them out again.
The girl had been reading through the stack of papers that had come downstairs with me and decided that I didn't belong at nuclear medicine but at pre-op. We thought this was odd but what did we know.
So she takes us over to pre-op and drops us off. The gal there signs us in and writes down a complete description of Fred, what he is wearing etc. We go to find a seat and stop at the 'flight status board'. Don't know the real name but it tells where every patient is: pre-op, operating, recovery, patient recovery. I don't know what all because at that point I was whisked away.
To a room where you have to take everything off and put on the gown. with no back.
I played thousand questions, got an i.v., had my knitting bag taken away, got cute little blue footies, and put my shawl back on. I got to see Fred for a few minutes and had him take a picture of the shawl. He included me in the picture even though I said not to. Then the camera had to leave with all my other valuables.
Next stop was back to nuclear medicine where I had four shots in the nipple and watched the radioactive stuff travel from the nipple to the armpit. Also heard how I wasn't supposed to have the iv in yet. That took about an hour and a half. My shawl thought that lying on my back watching a tiny tv screen showing the radiation moving through my body was boring. I agreed.
Then we were taken to breast imaging where we were half an hour early, the doctor was busy and I wasn't supposed to have an iv in yet. So the shawl and I sat in a hallway in everyones way in a wheel chair. This did prompt them to get me moved up tho. I had them send word down to Fred because he had been told I would be gone an hour and then returned to pre-op. So I had another mammogram, the doctor inserted a needle, took a mammogram to check the placement, moved the needle, checked the placement (this was the side squish for those of you familiar with the procedure). Then with the doctor holding the needle in place we changed to the up/down squish and checked and adjested and checked. In the correct place and the doctor removed the needle leaving the wire in place. The wire was to guide the surgeon to the correct spot since there was nothing for her to actually see. Oh, and the wire stuck out about 5 inches. Wasn't exactly expecting that. The nurse wrapped it into a coil and taped it down so it wouldn't get caught in the shawl and ripped out.
Back to pre-op where Fred joined me. We found out that my operating room was behind schedule. My surgeon came in and said she was ready and I was ready and as soon as we found a room we could get to it. This was at 11:30. 12 o'clock came and went. 1 o'clock. Finally got to the operating room with my shawl on. They said my shawl could stay but had to sit on my legs to watch since they needed to be able to cut on the arm. And it all goes blank at that point.
Then I was waking up. Surgeon stopped by twice (maybe more, it is very foggy in my memory). I do remember asking for my shawl and the nurse telling me it was gone. That woke me up and I panicked. All I could think about was loosing the yarn Teresa had made for me. And all the time spent knitting on it while waiting for mammogram after mammogram. And losing Teresa's yarn. The beautiful, beautiful yarn was gone. But we found the shawl and I wrapped it around me and went back to sleep.
But the good news is. Surgery went well. The first look at the sentinal lymph nodes showed no cancer there, so only those lymph nodes and the bad one came out. The lump came out. The cancer came out. All the results of the biopsies on the lump, the cancer and the lymph nodes will be back on Teresa's Birthday. I can only hope that she is studying as hard for her part of this as I did for my part.
The shawl hasn't been blocked. The only thing that hurts at all is under my arm kinda towards the back. I can't see back / under there so I will assume it is fine. But anything that moves that muscle stings like the dickins. So I am not going to block the shawl anytime soon. The rest of me doesn't hurt as long as nothing puts pressure on it. If I move I do notice a twinge, so I am seriously thinking about not moving.
Update on Teresa's Birthday and I will try to have the shawl blocked by then. Although it has done a mighty fine job just as it is.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Hoping and praying that all goes well on T's birthday.