Monday, April 09, 2007

Piece of Cake or Slice of Terror

It's time. I knew it would come, but it's upon me faster than I imagined. It's time for my son to get his vaccinations before he starts Kindergarten this year. I've been pondering the pros and cons of telling him he's going to have to go to the doctor and have a shot versus taking him there unknowingly and springing it on him, thus eradicating any trust he might have in me and damaging him for life. No pressure.

This, and the fact that I had a medical test performed on me a couple of weeks ago have got me thinking about the deception of the medical industry. "You're going to have a Tilt Table Test," the doctor told me. "They will put you on a table and tilt it around for approximately 45 minutes and take your blood pressure in various positions to make sure that your body is responding correctly." Sounds easy enough. Piece of cake. I think I'll take the novel I'm reading. It must be boring to lie there for 45 minutes. They gave me a pamphlet on the test, which I thoroughly read. (I have a tendency to do that...see my post about my hair dryer) The pamphlet said basically the same thing as the doctor, but mentioned that they would need to insert an IV for a possible second part of the test where they give you medicine to raise your heart rate while continuing to monitor your blood pressure. Hmmm, interesting. The doctor didn't mention that.

When I arrived for the test, the nurse led me into the room and had me lie down on a table. Then she strapped me down (yes, I said strapped me down) to the table and told me it was in case I fainted. No problem. I thought, I don't have a fainting issue. I have a dizziness issue.
Then she stared my IV and tilted the table to an upright position. She asked me various questions about how I was feeling and if I was dizzy. I told her a little, but not bad and the test went on in this manner. After 20 minutes, she laid the table back down and said, "Well, we're done with that part, but now we'll do the second part." Then the fun (and the lies) began.

She turned on the IV meds and told me I might feel strange. She was not kidding about this. She tilted the table upright again. My heart began to race. I began to sweat and feel as though I was running a marathon, even though I was standing perfectly still. My arms were numb-like and tingly and I felt as if I couldn't raise them up no matter how much money you might offer me. I began to black out. Now, one thing I DID read in the pamphlet was that as soon as a drop in your blood pressure was detected, the test would be over. "OK," I panted, "Everything is going black....I can't breathe, I can't see. I think we're done here." I was drenched in sweat and begging for mercy. "Just another minute" she told me. Another minute? Another minute? Is this lady crazy? I will not live another minute. Then it dawned on me. I was alone in the room with this lady. She was going to kill me and there would not be any witnesses. I really began to panic. I told myself to just go ahead and pass out. Make it all end. Go ahead and die, it would be a great day to meet the Lord. But I just couldn't completely lose consciousness.

Then....finally, after what seemed like hours, she tilted the table back down and I began to come back to life. I was gasping and trembling and thanking God (literally) that I was still alive. I saw a glimmer of hope. That's when she hit me with, "OK, now we just have to do the whole thing one more time."

"Excuse me?"

In summary, I did not read my novel during the tilt table test and I think I'll let my husband take my son to the doctor for his vaccinations.


Anonymous said...

Oh my made me nauseous just reading this and imagining what you must have gone through! Praying for a diagnosis/treatment that will restore your health and your sense of balance SOON! God forbid that you should ever have to "anticipate" going through that again! And...I agree w/you...let Daddy take him to the dr. Perhaps tell him about the "shots" when they are in the waiting room!;-) And emphasize the fact that all "big boys" have to go through that before they start school!

Cari Johnson said...

Thanks for your prayers. I don't ever plan on having that test done again...but as soon as I say that, they will make me do it! Thanks also for the advice about my son. He's like his Mom...a chicken at heart. But I know his Dad can get him through it! :-)


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