This time around, I remembered to fast before my scheduled ultrasound appointment at a hospital in East Melbourne. The appointed time was 11.30 am early today. Since I woke up at around 7.30 am, that’s four hours of not being able to eat and not having breakfast. I actually went on without food for about five hours plus because I only had lunch at around 12.30 pm.
On the way to the hospital, I started to get a little nervous. What if they found something in the ultrasound scan? What if there are indeed gall bladder stones? What if it’s something worse? Yeah, I tend to worry easy and I tend worry a lot. I found a bit of comfort when I prayed for my problem to be nothing more than some weird muscle spasm.
I got off the tram at the tram stop along Victoria Parade in East Melbourne and saw a hospital across the street. I still had 20 minutes before my appointment. At the hospital, the receptionist pointed me to where their radiology department was. When I got there, I waited in line to be served at the department’s reception area. After maybe five minutes, it was my turn. It was only then that I found out that this wasn’t the hospital I should have gone to. The hospital I wanted had the same name but was a block away from Victoria Parade. Why have two hospitals near each other with the same name?
Anyway, I rushed out of there and jogged to the other hospital as I didn’t want to be late for my appointment. I still got there with ten minutes to spare so it was all good. The receptionist asked for my medicare card and she punched me into their system. I was asked to wait at the reception area for my name to be called. Meanwhile, I preoccupied myself by watching the news on the TV there. I didn’t want to get all nervous again, after all.
A little past 11.30, a radiology personnel called out my name and led me to the ultrasound lab area. She asked me to take of my shirt and trousers and to wear the white gown at the dressing room. I thought incredulously to myself: I need to remove my pants to get my upper abdomen scanned? Well, she must know what she’s saying so I didn’t argue. I stripped to my underpants and wore the white gown with the opening and the tie strings behind me like I see it worn in TV medical dramas (and that PC & Mac Ad when PC was about to upgrade to Vista).
When the lady who would actually do the ultrasound finally came to fetch me, she asked that I wear the gown the other way around and wear the opening in front so that she can scan my upper abdomen easily. I did that and proceeded to the ultrasound room. She told me that I didn’t needed to take my pants off. Great. I told her that’s what I was thinking but the other lady told me to remove my trousers. Ah well. I don’t mind being half-naked in front of medical personnel as much any more specially when my mind is worried about more important things like the outcome of the ultrasound procedure.
I laid on the bed and she got out that gel they put on the skin surface where the ultrasound probe thingy would be used. I was fully expecting the gel to be cold but I was pleasantly surprised when it actually felt warm. Hot, actually. It seems like the gel containers were being stored in a heated place.
The lady started to really press the probe hard against my upper abdomen (probably to get through the layers of fat I have stored there) to get a good picture of what’s going on in there. It was then that I realised that the area where I had felt pain when pressed against was now only barely noticable. I looked at the monitor as the lady swept the probe back and forth across my upper abdomen and taking snap shots of my internal organs. It was facinating to see. I even asked her how she could make heads or tails out of what’s being shown in the monitor. It looked all like noise to me. “Eighteen years of doing this, that’s how,” she joked in response. All through the procedure, I was really tempted to ask the lady, “so, is it a boy or a girl?” but thought better of it.
In the end, she told me she couldn’t find anything that could be stones or obstructions. If I had gall stones, I could’ve already passed it and it wasn’t there anymore. In short, she said it’s all clear. If I still have problems, it would definitely be something else and not gall stones or kidney stones. I’m glad she said I also have no kidney stones because I was always thinking that there might be stones in my kidney and one of these days it will break off, proceed to my bladder and cause a painful attack.
It was great news, for sure. My prayers were answered and I was very happy to be out of there. It’s certainly a lucky day for me.
Speaking of luck, when I got out of the hospital, the sky outside was so dark. I hoped then that it wouldn’t rain just yet as I didn’t have an umbrella with me. When I finally got to the shaded tram stop, the rain suddenly began to pour. And pour hard it did! That was close. In about three minutes, my tram arrived and I got on board. I was to meet Raquel along Collins Street near where the tram stops. Just when the tram got to my stop, the rain stopped, too. Very nice. I didn’t need an umbrella after all.