Help, Even When I Didn’t Know I Needed It!

Ever since October 2011, a successful CT scan for me has been defined as one where I am allowed to leave the hospital.  I’m pleased to report that today’s CT was uneventful.  I checked in on time, got my CT done quicker than anticipated (More on that in a minute.) and got the hell out of Dodge.

How did I get so lucky as to have my CT done ahead of schedule, you ask?  Simple.  I typically try to schedule my CTs on Sunday mornings because that’s when the wonderful and talented Dr. Ronit Grinbaum (she-who-originally-operated-on-me) has clinic hours and it’s a good time to stop by and say hello.  I really wanted to see her this morning, as the last time she saw me was when I was in the ICU and not very communicative.  I wanted to have the opportunity to thank her (again and in person) for coming to see me.

We were texting back and forth and agreed that when I started my second preparatory drink for the CT, I’d come up to the clinic to say hello.  Which I did.  We waited for about 15 minutes before she called us in.  After the usual pleasantries, Ronit expressed confusion as to why I was required to have four drinks over the course of two hours and fifteen minutes (the normal protocol) as opposed to “One, maybe two drinks with the CT immediately thereafter.”

“Why do you say that?” said I.

“Well, you have no colon and the drink is literally going right through you,” said she-who-knows-my-medical-history-by-heart.

“Not sure what to tell you, Ronit.  But they gave me a drink, so I’m drinking.”

She then sits at her desk and dials the CT department.

“Hi, it’s Ronit.”

Now, I only hear her side of the conversation, and it went something like this:

“I have a patient here, Alan Braverman, who is supposed to have a CT this morning…. I’m wondering why he needs to drink so much since he has an ileostomy and the drink is not being absorbed at all… Alan Braverman…  What do you mean you don’t know who I’m talking about? He has a big plastic cup with a sticker and his name on it that you gave him… Braverman…  Alan…”

At this point, Tammy smiles at me, enjoying the fact that an attending physician at her own hospital seemingly also gets the runaround.  It’s not just us schmucks.  Anyway, back to our heroine:

“Good, you know who I’m talking about? OK, so he doesn’t need any more drinks.  He’s ready now…  Yes. Now.”

We chat for a few more minutes and then Ronit suggests we go back to the CT department.  We did and, wouldn’t you know it, they were ready for me.

Even when I’m not in her care, she takes care of me!

So, the past few weeks have seen my triumphant return to the office in New York, as well as a quick weekend jaunt to Cleveland.  It really was great to be back at work with my colleagues and truly feel like I was part of something.  But, it was even better to go to Cleveland to see my cousin’s new daughter!

Most shockingly, I think, was that I did something I never thought I’d do: I took a private Pilates class.  Yes. You read that right.  Since she started eons ago, Tammy has been bugging me to do Pilates.  Sure, I know it’s a good thing and can help, but I’m just not “there” yet.  Anyway, I’ve been having trouble with my right shoulder since the surgery (Normal, according to the physical therapist.), as well my posture.  So, I gave in.  Tammy asked her Pilates instructor if she’d be willing to give me a private class.  I have to tell you: it was rather relaxing and enjoyable.  We started with the basics.  Literally.  Apparently, I don’t know how to breathe… But, now I do and I practice every chance I get.  And I had many opportunities in the recent past – with the flights to and from New York, the drive to and from Cleveland and while walking around Manhattan. So, I’ll be going back this week, again.  Who knows what I’ll advance to this time!

Later this week will also see a (hopefully) routine follow up with Avi the surgeon, as well as the second series of experimental vaccine injections that I started three weeks ago.

Thanks and stay tuned…


About Alan

F---ing Cancer since 2011.
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3 Responses to Help, Even When I Didn’t Know I Needed It!

  1. Brian says:

    You do make me smile. I love Ronit and I’ve never met her.

    Keep up the good work and now I will have to rejoin an exercise class and follow your example.

    Love you all


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Ilana & Avi Kohn says:

    great update! keep em coming

  3. albert says:

    I was really hoping you spelled that wrong and by “private pilates” you meant “private pilots” class. Anyway, I assumed the best and read it that way anyway! I think I’ll start calling you Captain B.
    Glad to hear your doing well.

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