Today I had to go into Bergan Mercy Hospital to have a repeat Chest CT done. I told you I had issues with a chemo pneumonitis….well, I have a follow-up appointment with my pulmonologist on Friday and he wants to see if the steroids cleared everything up. Normally your lungs should look relatively clear. Mine looked like a cloudy spring day with streaks of white cirrus clouds everywhere.
I was greeted at the door by masked medical workers and their questionnaires. They were very nice considering they were sitting right next to the door and were in scrubs. They had to be freezing. I was then offered hand sanitizer and asked if I knew where I was headed and then sent on my merry way. Almost all of the people that work at desks at the hospital were wearing masks. My radiology technician was not. There was a waiting room and we all spread out to avoid being too close to one another.
I am not a big fan of these scans. I have had enough of them already to last me a lifetime. So I have to admit after reading my Lenten devotions this morning, I prayed about this. I have a port in my chest to avoid having a bunch of needle sticks. However, the techs in the radiology department are not qualified to access these ports; they have to call one of the oncology nurses to come do it. So it is really easier for them to just start a peripheral IV (in your hand or arm). CHI has recently gone to new IV needles/catheters. They are so much more painful. I am usually pretty good with IV’s being started on me. I was a nurse in the Air Force, and am pretty at ease about those kinds of things. However, the last three scans I have had (in the last couple of weeks), I have really had some bad experiences. It feels like those catheters aren’t letting the needle do its job and then they feel rough as they are advanced. Anyhow, with that in mind, I was dreading today. All of my former CT scans were with contrast, so I had to have an IV. I prayed for grace this morning at my appointment. God listened! I didn’t need an IV! I was in and out in about 10 minutes and was thrilled about it. Because I leave for the Mayo Clinic tomorrow, the nurses there asked for me to get a disc of my CT scan today to hand carry up there. I asked about it and the techs had it for me in 5-10 minutes. My biggest complaint of today was that there was so much road construction around the hospital that I had to go a very round about way home. Goodness, if that is what bothered me today, I am indeed blessed. I do have to say that I was more nervous going and sitting in the hospital than I am going to the grocery store. Call me crazy, but that is how I feel.
Since I try not to let cancer rule my life, I am going to chat about something different. How about homeschooling a high school girl! Good gravy, that may just kill me before the cancer does! We are on week #2 of what Westside School District calls “Extended Learning”. Whew. Last week was ROUGH. Here’s my take on this. People in college classes have the choice of taking online classes. They normally only take one or two at a time. You really have to be pretty organized and diligent about doing your required work. When I was living in Japan, I worked on my Master’s degree and it was all online. You only took one class at a time because that way you kept everything straight. My newly 15 year old daughter (who was not given a choice) is now doing 9 online classes. She has a hefty schedule but two of her classes were more hands on: Art and Intro to Fashion (sewing). Whelp….kinda hard to do these classes hands on now. So they are having to kind of rewrite these classes…with videos to watch and worksheets and papers. Last week in a 24 hour period, I had 10-15 emails from her teachers. Some had assignments, some had project deadlines, some had expectations for study time and facetime with the teachers over Zoom. If you know me at all, you know I am a very organized person. Color-coding everything is my passion. I was totally overwhelmed. Lily was TOTALLY overwhelmed as she received the same emails I did plus duplicates from Google Classroom. Rich called me from work and asked me to take him off the school email list because he couldn’t wade through all the school messages to get to his work messages. The next day….the same thing. It was awful. Lily and I sat down and read through every email and wrote down assignments and due dates. Monday rolls around and we didn’t hear from any of the teachers until after 3 p.m. Today, we received emails from her teachers and it sounds like most of them will only be emailing once a week with the whole week’s assignments instead of everyday. Today the planner I ordered for her came in the mail. We sat down together and set it up. It is color-coded and has everything on there for each day that she can see easily. I am hoping this will help tremendously, especially since I will be gone for a day and a half and Tim will be the one cracking the homework whip. She hasn’t heard from her Engineering teacher at all yet…and she said he never emailed the class during the school year, so I hope that this is somehow going to workout as well. I have to admit there has been yelling….tears…on both sides. The one nice thing is that I let Lily sleep in until 0930 and she starts her work around 10. She is NOT a morning person. This is helping a bit. Anyhow, off to make sure she is actually reading her book for Global Intolerance and not painting her nails…..sigh. My love, empathy, and prayers go out to the rest of you homeschooling your kiddos!