The waiting area was a small alcove off the main hallway, with three hospital style recliners, small side tables that were covered in magazines and a couple of houseplants that were in dire need of watering. On one wall was an elevator – and the other was one giant window to the outside; we were on the second floor, and I could look down on to the busy street below.
Like the MRI center, it was quiet and cool – it had a little more activity, a few people walking back and forth, but for the most part it was calm. I was told to make myself comfortable in one of the recliners, and then handed off to a RN named Michelle – a young Asian woman, with dark rimmed glasses that didn’t seem to want to stay in place. Her whole nature was quiet, and initially almost seemed even more timid than I was. But once she started talking, she spoke with confidence. She knew what she was doing.
Once again, we began with the standard opening ceremony of every visit – peeing in a cup. As luck would have it, I managed to avoid getting knocked up or high in the 24 hours since my last urine donation, so…onward! I also had the opportunity to have my very first ever breathalyzer. I was informed of what was to be taking place – a cardiologist would be coming to place an arterial line in my left wrist at 11AM, then my PET scan would begin at around 2:30PM.
It was only about 8:30, so I had some time, so she encouraged me to relax. By that time I had settled down from the hallway trip, and was starting to get hungry – I had left so early from the hotel that morning I didn’t get a chance to grab anything for breakfast. I actually worked the courage up to ask her if I could have something to eat soon I was rewarded with a yogurt, a fresh orange, some water and – pause for the hallelujah chorus please – a warmed blanket.
I whipped my pink fuzzy socks back on and settled in…I was so calm and so comfortable, and felt so safe. After the grueling weeks of mental ups and downs, I was actually resting…and damn it felt good. Ahh yes…the calm before the storm.
Not long after I finished my breakfast the RN who was assigned to me for the day introduced herself. Her name was Brenda, and after knowing her for a few hours I officially wish for her to adopt me. She was one of those people who just glowed from the inside out, the kind who relax you just by being there – rare and precious. I don’t gush about people, but this woman was worth gushing over…whatever Yale is paying her, they should double it. Seriously. If I ever win the lottery, I want to hire her just to come sit with me and keep me calm. At the risk of beginning to sound like a groupie/stalker, I’ll move on.
That day there were only four subjects scheduled for scans – and there were three nurses on staff. I could not be happier with how I was treated…they made a potentially very unpleasant experience not only bearable, but repeatable. She brought me another warm blanket (happy sigh), then we went over exactly – in great detail – what was going to happen to me in the next few hours. By the time she was done, I felt as though I knew everything about everything – and that was comforting.