It sounds like the title of a very bad B movie. I could only wish it were that. But the title totally captures last Monday morning.
The doctor decided he needed a chest CT to rule out “other things”. Don’t ask what “other things” might have been. It’s a question I didn’t even want to ponder. Yes. Call me Cleopatra. I’m the queen of denial.
So Sunday night, the nurse tells me nothing to eat or drink from midnight on. Okay… that freaked me out just a bit. A CT really is nothing more than an over-glorified x-ray. Next morning, they put in another IV port. Okay.. An over-glorified x-ray I kept telling myself.
So about 10:00 AM I walk down to radiology. The nice tech makes me lie down on the table. He then starts by putting a strap across my middle. Okay. I won’t fall. I promise. But better safe than sorry I guess. He then puts another one across my thighs. I feel the anxiety beginning to rise. I don’t like to be tied down. I was doing my best to try to breathe. Not an easy feat lying down when you can’t breathe sitting up. Then he puts another strap across my knees. And then another one across my ankles. Not good at all. I was almost to the point of panic. I just kept trying to tell myself that nothing bad would happen.
He then takes my arms and stretches them up over my head. Each wrist gets a strap as does each elbow. I swear I thought I was on some medieval torture device. At that point, I was doing my best not to scream.
He then starts the CT. It probably took five minutes tops. But it certainly felt like an eternity. At this point I’m thinking (sort of in the back of my mind) why the IV port. I wish I had never found out.
He brings out this contraption, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. He unties the hand with the IV port in it. He plugs me into whatever this machine was and straps my arm down again. I still don’t know what it pumped into my body, and I have a feeling I don’t ever want to know. He then says “pain”. All I could do was nod that I understood. I was already freaked out. And now he’s telling me “pain”. Great. Just freaking great.
He wasn’t lying about the pain part either. I thought my body was burning from the inside out. I’m not sure how long the second scan took. I don’t remember any of it aside from those first few seconds of burning. I don’t know where I went. And I really don’t want to know.
The next thing I remember I was back in bed and crying. A very nice nurse had given me an injection of some sort of benzo a few minutes before and was trying to calm me down. At least she pulled the curtains around my bed so the 4 Korean grandmothers in the room couldn’t see me.
I couldn’t tell this poor nurse what was wrong because we had about six words in common that were useful. And even if I could have told her, I was too ashamed to do so. I was ashamed of my reaction then and there as well as ashamed of the flashback.
For whatever reason, this is the one memory from growing up that I have yet to write down any place. And in all the hours of therapy, I’ve never shared it either. I don’t know why. It isn’t any “worse” than any of the other incidents from my childhood. I just don’t know why I can’t bring myself to write it down.