This One Definitely Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film.

Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My tumor would need to be removed but first my docs would need new CT and MRI scans to see how much it had grown after my biopsy surgery.  I was informed that this type of tumor was also the type of growth that presents in infants which causes birth marks.  Of course in babies it was only a small collection of blood vessels and tissue that effected the skin giving it a pink color. Inwardly I laughed at the irony.  Only I could manage to take something as innocent as a birth mark and somehow grow it so aggressively inside my head that it was eroding my skull.  Growing up my dad had always told me that I had two speeds; fast and stop.  I did something all the way or I did not do it at all.  Evidently my body was the same.

On top of the CT and MRI my docs also wanted me to undergo an angiogram in order to embolize any blood vessels that were feeding the tumor.  This way when we cut it out in less than 48 hours time the risk of me “bleeding out on the table” could be reduced to a minimum.

On the day of the angiogram I arrived at the hospital with my entourage in tow.  My mom, dad, and Matt.  I was so blessed to have them with me on that trip but the only problem with having that many people there to support you is that hospital rooms are not built for that many people.  The people who check you in should really ask how many you have in your party and plan accordingly.  The room where I changed into one of a collection of hospital gowns that I would wear throughout the week was a semi private room with only two chairs so my dad sat across the room on the empty bed.  The nurse who entered to start my IV, (whose name I can no longer remember but we all called her Nurse Ratched behind her back) freaked out.  She looked at him like my boss looks at me when he finds a typo in a grant proposal, sheer panic at the chaos.  She flapped her hands at him and sputtered, “Up! Up now! That is going to be someone else’s bed in a few minutes; what do you think this is? You’re very own private room?” It was at this time that I made a mental note to request a private room for after my surgery the next day.  For my own privacy and the poor Mayo nurses’ peace of mind that my entourage would not be disrupting the Feng Shui of the ICU.  My dad sensing that that Nurse Ratched was one step away from a meltdown decided to exit stage right and go look for coffee.

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2 thoughts on “This One Definitely Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  1. When my mom went in for lung cancer, my three sisters and I all went back to be with her. It was like the Middle-Aged Make Way for Ducklings Reenactor Society, trooping all over Mercy Hospital from ward to radiology to chemo suite to cafeteria all around the town.

    • I had my three little ducks in tow for this entire trip 🙂 While it might have felt ridiculous you guys are great! I’m sure your mom appreciated the support. I know that I did. It made me feel less alone (and afraid) to have people there with me.

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