21 June 2013

Waiting Room and CT results

I'm writing this in the waiting room of my drop-in clinic as I wait to hear the results of my CT scan.  I'll be honest. I'm a bit worried. They said they probably wouldn't call me if everything was fine.

They called me.

The day of the scan went really well. I was in and out in 15 minutes, no wait, no muss, no fuss. I didn't even have to take my shirt off.  It was scan without contrasting pigment too so I didn't need to get injected with anything.

Gratitude is something I'm trying to practice more of so let's take a moment here to notice something. I just had a CT scan performed at the futur-y space-tastic Vancouver General radiology wing. I didn't have to wait more than a week and I didn't pay a cent (other than my taxes). Every time from now on that I feel frustrated about wait times for anything to do with healthcare I'm going to try to remember this moment. Oh Canada indeed!

So now the test is over and I'm sitting in another waiting room. It's funny that I'm waiting 2 hours to have my test results when I only had to wait 15 minutes for the test itself. It's no biggie though. Lots of people here are legitimately sick or hurting and are probably feeling worse about the experience. Then again, they probably aren't waiting to find out if they have brain cancer but let's not try to quantify misery. I've seen what healthcare is like in less fortunate places in the world and I'm very grateful to be right where I am, thank you very much.

It's amazing the way you react to stress. I always thought confronted with a moment like this I would be all terrified but instead I'm kind of a mix of scared and excited. It's the same feeling I had when I was waiting for marks for an exam I knew I had studied hard for: butterflies and adrenaline. The fear I would have expected but the butterflies.... what's that about?!?

I'm way too nervous and jittery to read or surf the web. Luckily I have a copy of Don't Starve on my laptop so I fire it up and waste a good hour stalking the majestic beefalo.

Drum roll please.........

Ok, so I don't have brain swelling or cancer or anything wrong with me that they can see. The blood work came back completely negative and the CT scan was spotless.  According to modern medicine I'm a much healthier and younger man than I look and feel.

The doctor said to take care of myself and treat the symptoms of the headache and come back in if anything changed. He also said to use caffeine and lower my stress if possible.

I wanted to ask him if keeping me in suspense for 2 hours about possibly having cancer would qualify as stress and if so, what would he recommend to avoid it. Instead I held my tongue and did a little, barely perceptible dance on the way out of the clinic.

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