Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The process of cancer treatment; Part V – MRI

Driving: It adds to the stress...

see the oncoming car?

We have had the required appointments made for tests within two weeks of going to the Cancer Assessment Centre. This was excellent. This was test #2 of three.
Give lots of time for a drive.
We had to stop for an 'oversized load'
as well as several tractors on farm business.
What I have learned is that mileage and parking fees are tax deductible. Who knew? Save your receipts and track your mileage.

It's nearly 90 km to the hospital. Driving takes its toll. Parking runs $13 - $15 per visit in the major parking lots, by the time you park, get seen, and get out of there! Street parking is limited to a maximum of two hours, and often appointments take longer than this.

I am grateful we are retired, and can drive. For those who must take OC Transpo, Ottawa's transportation system, it can be onerous. I cannot imagine.
"Lot Full" at 2 p.m.

12:00 noon First was giving the enema.
Note to self: before administering an enema, remove the protective cap. It makes the process much easier!
If you want to know what an enema is like, simply imagine diarrhea. It drains your energy. Take it easy.

1:00 p.m.    It was an hour drive to the hospital. We thought that giving ourselves two hours to get there, for a 3:10 appointment, was wise. Day time driving has been challenging, as many are on the road. We leave with enough time not to speed, and are passed by numerous drivers who are late or important enough to pass us

Upper 2 floors of parking garage
is under repair.
2:00 p.m. Arrived at the hospital. Parking lot #1, the sign said full. I knew they often have the odd spot available. Driving up to the ticket stand, it refused to give me a ticket. The guy in the lane beside me had a pass and sailed through. I backed up and tried that lane. No dice. Back out on the street, I drove to Lot #2.
Same problem. I drove around the building.

2:26 p.m. Lo, and behold, there was a parking spot open on the street. I grabbed it. There was time limit of two hours. I nipped off to purchase a parking ticket for the dashboard. There were many people trying to find a spot. I was grateful.
I paid $6.00 for the two hours. Not bad compared to some cities. Off we went up to the office.
$6.00 - two hours

2:30 p.m. We followed the signage to the MRI office. Arriving in the office, we were assigned more paperwork. What the heck. Happily, we retained the booklet the Cancer Assessment office had given us, and the information we didn't have off the top of our heads, we had written in the booklet. The clerk suggested we were rather early for our 3:10 appointment, and we explained it too 20 minutes to find a parking spot.

2:50 p.m.  I waited in the waiting room. Thankfully, the CTV News was on. They were waiting
I had a book to read,
but the TV news was a hoot!
'momentarily' for a press conference from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
A senior mother and her adult son entered the waiting room. We were able to giggle about the fooferaw. 'Momentarily' dragged on.
Off he went into the change room. Strip down to hospital gown. I sat and waited.
And waited.
Hubby ( I found out later) grabbed a magazine, dated 1997 while waiting for the injection to 'take'.
He said they gave him headphones, as the machine was noisy, clicking in rhythmic fashion. He's glad he isn't claustrophobic, as there isn't much room in it.

Take someone with you.
Big hospitals can be intimidating.
I tried to read my book, but new patients and family members began to fill the room.
We all joked about the press conference. It was a relief to think about something else.

'Momentarily' became 3:30, 3:45, 4:00 and still no hubby and no press conference. By 4:20 p.m. I realized that the parking expired in a few minutes. Sigh. Off went off to the desk to enquire when I saw we were done.


Suddenly, all finished, we were free to leave. Between us, we managed to reverse directions and find the car.

4:30 p.m. By now, with a shift change at 3 p.m., there was much parking available.
Getting dark. I didn't happily anticipate the drive home.
Sunset was lovely, with a storm on the way.
Rush hour traffic was just horrible.
 It was a long hour and a half drive home through rush hour traffic. We arrived in Perth at 6:00 p.m., hungry and tired. We ate out, and the cats were happy to see us at 7:00 p.m., having been cooped up all day.

Radiographer, Mark Harrison gives an MRI overview

My full series:



No comments: