Thursday, November 16, 2006

What to do while waiting . . .

What is there to do while waiting to take a test, and then wait for the test results, when the test isn't even one I can study for in order to ensure a better outcome? My CT scan is tomorrow, and, while I've made it through the week pretty well, with only low level anxiety, today has been harder.

I stayed home from work today, because I spent most of last night in the bathroom, having "gastrointestinal disturbance." I woke still feeling sick, and tired from not getting enough sleep, to actually go to work. So, this morning, I caught more sleep and slowly began to feel a little better. But then, I found myself restless, worried but trying not to worry, about tomorrow's scan. So, what to do?

Sharpen all of the pencils in the house.
In a house with two school-age kids, pencils are hard to find, and even harder to find with a point. Tracking them down, sharpening them, and returning them to their various resting places was a totally engaging and satisfying activity for about half an hour.

Water all of the house plants. I'm always meaning to do this, but too busy, or it's evening (when it's not a good idea to water them), and sometimes too much time goes by between watering. Good for another half an hour (yes,I do have a few house plants!)

Go through all unopened junk mail (with a few bills and interesting pieces thrown in). I tossed out a lot of unopened envelopes from charities looking for donations (amazing how much mail you get when you make some charitable donations, and everyone wants your money), and from various sources. I also found a few unpaid bills that I need to attend to before I go for tomorrow for my CT scan.

Download all "updates" on my computer.
Also time consuming, but not attention consuming. Will the new update for Windows Explorer actually fix the problems the last one had? I have no idea!

Contemplate making a new "scrapbooked" page for the front of Patty's daily calendar.
She gets a calendar book that's 8 1/2 x 11" with a window on the first page. I personalize it for her with some pictures of the family in a scrapbooked page. I haven't done one yet this fall, and need to get busy! Perhaps that will be a weekend activity, because so far I've just thought about it.

So, those are a few of the lowkey things I've done to keep myself occupied today. And, I do actually have some good news about the delay between tomorrow's scan and seeing the oncologist (6 days, but who's counting?). I talked with my surgeon, Dr. M, from last summer, and he will read the scan online, and call me with his assessment, no later than Saturday morning. He also told me (Thanks, Woody, for the information about getting your scans on a CD) that I can get the visual images also, since they are part of my hospital record. He doesn't know if I can get the pictures the same day, but I can definitely get them. I'll find out more tomorrow.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I realize that I am immensely grateful for Dr. M, who is one medical person who actually gets it about the anxiety of waiting for test results. When I explained my concern, he offered to call me before I could ask. He said that with folks in remission, he frequently tells them to anticipate, with a six month test interval, five months and 29 days of relative peace of mind, and then a day of major anxiety. So, he'll call me Friday if he has a long enough break from his surgical schedule, or Saturday morning if he gets tied up.

Updates to follow as I find more things to do while waiting . . .

1 comment:

Sean Spence said...

Hey Lynne,

I like your site and wanted to let you know that I've linked to it at my blog, If you ever run across other sites like yours -- blogs of people living with ongoing health conditions -- that you think are particularly good, please feel free to let me know. I don't pretend to know what your life is like, but, as someone with MS, I do know what it is like to deal with a disease every day. For SharingOurDays, I'll be interested in linking to health-related diaries of all kinds.

Take care and please let me know every time I can be helpful.

- sean

Sean Spence
MS Advocate & Founder, SharingOurDays