Monday, May 26, 2008

just testing

Roe bent down by me and put the straw in my mouth so I might top off the concrete block forming in my gut. I could feel the curious heat of the IV contrast flow into my last good vein up to my shoulder and the wave of hot from the very core of my being started to radiate out from my chest, to my face, belly and um... my loins. The computerized man-voice told me to hold my breath. I slid through the giant mechanical donut and back. Second to last test, attempted for the third time: complete.

The dread laid pretty heavily afterwards as I was now that much closer to the final test I had scheduled- the upper endoscopy... which involved a long black flexible snake of a camera going down my throat. coughgagcough

running water
running water © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.


Despite all the really terrible/annoying/life-threatening/uncomfortable things that can happen, the rhythm of having a procedure has begun to lull me into a calm state. The series of questions with easy answers. Undressing and the billowy feel of the gowns. The swish of privacy curtains. The certain sting of the needle. Rolling from one room to the next. The string of faces I will forget the names of in moments. In the procedure room, Dr. Bertiger sat in the corner reading over my file. He asked what tests I had completed and having told him this was my last he decided to check and to see if my results were back for any of them.

scavenging angels
scavenging angels © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Prometheus Panel in the house. Lo and behold. All of the indicators- the antibodies- were either super low or not present at all for Crohn's or IBD. Not even borderline.

Which means NO CROHN'S.

Standing here on the cusp as I have been for now sixteen months, to my great relief, last week I was finally able to take a huge stride forward. Something inside me that has been clenched tight like a fist for ages is beginning to release its grip on me. I did, however, wonder why I still had to have an endoscopy if there wasn't going to be anything to look for. None of the other tests were back but he said that the Prometheus results were an excellent sign. Regardless we continued onward. The nurses explained that they used to use a narcotic/valium mix for the endoscopies, but changed to a non-narcotic cocktail that knocks people clean out and most awaken feeling wondering if they had a procedure at all. They had me lay down on my left side. Doc slid the bite guard over my head and into my mouth. My right arm hung in the air while the anaesthesiologist flushed my IV and hooked me up. The surge of sedatives made my wrist feel like it was going to burst and I recall groaning through the plastic tube in my teeth raaaahhhh the PRESSURE!!!

And then I passed out completely.

I awoke alone with a nurse who told me that everything looked completely normal. There is a certain order of awareness I have when I wake up. I ask the time. I ask for Michael even if I get shot down repeatedly. i wonder if the doctor will come talk to me. I never ask for drinks and something to eat, just will them to remember to bring me more. My final IV proved to be the worst I've ever had. I couldn't move my wrist properly until the next day. But my health, which had never completely left me, was now 'mine' again. Its a strange gift... like spending a lot of money to get yourself something you already own. Sure I'm happy its just an odd process to absorb the idea.

crush
crush © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

My post-op tears last week were entirely unwarranted as the Butcher will still totally be my doctor still. This Friday I will see him to make arrangements for what will be the (hopefully) the final surgery... in perhaps as soon as two weeks. If all goes well, a year and a half after this whole business began... I should be feeling like new. Hard to conceive of, but no longer impossibly distant and certainly not forever.

ciraflage
ciraflage © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

To celebrate my results and my freedom to eat what I want, more or less, I packed as much action into this super long weekend as humanly possible. Starting with visiting with some of my college friends, including my very talented friend Tatyana Jula, which landed us in the newest, tallest building in Philly, the Comcast Center. Although cityscapes and aerial views are not normally my thing, when you are presented certain opportunities, you do not pass them up. Philly is very nearly breathtaking from there... it could have just been the thinner air on the 26th floor.

liberties
liberties © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Sparkly penthouse parties, curbside brunches and shady tree park picnics filled the rest of the weekend. Michael and I visited Valley Forge with a formidable spread of goodies and we got to air our cameras out for a bit, which was pleasant considering last weekend's lack of photographic delights.

flame dame
flame dame © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

We also stopped by the House of Smoke and Mirrors to make sure it had not been demolished as a non-existent location would be awkward to work around for my upcoming fashion shoot. It was still in fine form, if a bit hotter than it was in March. It is among the houses I feel most comfortable in. Despite its emptiness, it still feels warmly occupied by the spirit of its former inhabitants. And if it weren't for the crumbling kitchen, it would be quite livable. These expeditions are one of the few times I find myself having homeowner fantasies... envisioning myself living in another space... though the lack of upkeep on these places gives me nightmares. We spotted a couple of other houses worthy of returning to check out. And the overwhelming number of deer grazing at the roadside gave me my requisite nature photographer thrill for the month.

rosehips
rosehips © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

How very lucky am I to have all this? Incredibly. Please can I keep it for a while and enjoy it before it gets taken away again?

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2 Comments:

Blogger manymuses said...

Just me catching up with you.
/bit of hugging

9:42 PM, June 03, 2008  
Blogger helveticaneue said...

hey you. I am long overdue an update here, I'm scheduled for inpatient surgery on the 18th and a whole lotta nervousness surrounding the pains to come. But I have a bundle of adventures aligned before then so that makes happies /some huggings

9:53 PM, June 03, 2008  

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