Fresh snow and a new scan

I left the house yesterday at 5:30 in the morning, as I was to check in at the hospital at 8 a.m. for my scans (chest and abdomen).  There was a winter weather advisory, and I really hadn’t known what to expect on the roads. As it turned out, there was very little traffic, and only a light sleet was falling.  The drive was just a little over two hours, which is about as good as it gets.  However, I waited two and a half hours for my scans,  as one of the CT machines was down.

There are two waiting rooms, and before you are ushered into the inner room, you change into a johnny.  Shortly thereafter, an IV will be inserted for the contrast agent used during scanning. And then you wait some more.  It is in this second waiting room that conversation among strangers is likely to begin.  It is a small space, the chairs are arranged around the periphery, and we are all facing each other.  It is cold, and we shiver in our flimsy hospital gowns.  There is a general state of anxiety, but also acceptance, as most of us are veterans. Once, feeling curious about the particulars of a woman sitting across from me, I asked her “do you come here often?”  We both laughed at the question’s resemblance to a pick-up line in a bar, but also at its stark appropriateness in this situation (she was indeed a regular).

Yesterday’s conversation veered from the technical, as I struggled to operate my new touch screen phone, to the practical, as we offered where we’d driven in from that morning.  One young woman had come from Switzerland (it is not uncommon at MGH to encounter international patients), so she won the longest commute award.

At last my scans were done, my IV removed, and my little plastic ID bracelet cut off.  I quickly dressed and hurried to Whole Foods, where I was meeting my friend Ginger for tea.  After lunch and a lovely chat, I began the drive home.  It was sleeting heavily by then, and driving was not so much fun.  As I drove further north, the wintry mix became just snow.  It was just before 4 p.m. as I pulled into the driveway.  There is a pile of splintered wood where David has been splitting logs, and the fresh snow looked so lovely lying there, that I ran in to get my camera before I did anything else.  This is the resulting image.

14 responses to “Fresh snow and a new scan

  1. I know for my mother & others, it isn’t the actual scan itself, but more the waiting afterwards. May your results be the best you hope for Linnea! Sending good thoughts your way.

  2. Is not fair that I am in Canada looking at the grass and you are driving thru storms to shiver in unfashionable hospital gowns. We go so often for hospital scans that made to measure gowns with our initials should be provided.
    Great to be with a friend after procedures, we know that ginger is good for nausea too!
    Feel sad and sorry that your mother in law is joining our team. If she the nice lady beside David in the birthday pictures? Hard for him too.
    We say in Spanish ‘eramos pocos y pario la abuela’ word by word translation “we were a few (ironic) and grand mother delivered a baby”, as if we didn’t have enough problems already.

    • Guillermo, as always, thank you for your special outlook on things. I’m going to practice that quote before I go and visit my friend Cristina (fluent in spanish). See if I can impress her. She still laughs at my pronunciation of something which I believe translates to whore: I pronounce it “Ecoli”. Linnea

  3. I can give you 100 synonyms for whore in Spanish and none looks like Ecoli.
    Spanish putas don’t cause food poisoning like e coli. Remember cajones are not cojones.
    Cristina shares her name with the current infamous female president of Argentina. Up’s Obama ignores extended had of Cristina to shake hand of canadian prime minister. Great!

    • Guillermo, make sure you check out Wendy’s comment below. Yes, I was confused (again!) The spoken word (in any language) is not my strong point. Sometimes good for laughs though. Linnea

  4. Well, I am waiting for your post for your scan results. I know you were anxious last month with the four mm of anxiety…you are in my thoughts, my friend. I am playing catch up with your blog and just saw the Anticancer post. I just started reading that book today! Over the weekend I was in Phila. for my mother’s 92nd birthday and my brother had the book. Anyway, I am thinking of you and truly hopeful that your scan results are “unchanged”. And, I hope you can paint some more. You are multi-talented! Linnea (NY Linnea)

  5. Whore?! Where did you get that?! Mind in the gutter. The word is Hijuale (though you do say “Ecoli” to our great delight) and it means something like Yikes! or Lordy! No strumpets in sight.

    • W, eye carumba, or some such thing. Clearly I am thinking of an isolated incidence rather than a word in Cristina’s everyday lexicon: I will inquire further in person. Love, L

  6. Ay caramba! very funny, gringas using mexican slang, is hard for me too.

    Proper spelling, definitions and pronunciation:
    Expresses surprise or strong emotion, similar to Wow! Great! Yikes!

    Set speaker volume up and try it here:!/

    Linnea you got the idea right too:
    Hijole its a common expression in Mexico and the origin was “hijo de la chingada”, instead of using four letter words people say hijole, like americans may use “son of a gun” instead of SOB.

    In 1969 after 3 month English immersion courses in Vermont I got a job in San Francisco, 1 California St. Hearing the expression son of a ***** a few times I asked for the meaning and was told that it means bastard. I said that I was surprised with such poetic description for bastard. They asked what do you mean? I mean I imagined a couple in love, at night, under palm trees by the sea on the beach! I was good for laughs too. I also mistake the word sheet with a shorter one.
    My best friend is a female poodle, how can you call my pet a bitch? Wendy’s Strumpets is a new word for me, some kind of pets? Men best friends too?

    • Pues, esta gringa quiere decir que a veces uno tiene que decir Hijole! aunque lo que quiere decir es: Esta maldita vaina desgraciada e asquerosa que me deje de sobar! Besitos, Linnea

    • Hi there, Guillermo–

      Strumpet is another word for whore. Its origins are from the 14th century. Shakespeare used it in a few plays. Maybe that’s why it’s not hard to imagine it coming trippingly off the tongue of someone calling a pet cat or dog: “Where are you my little Strumpet?!” I love your grandmother delivering a baby expression. My favorite Colombian expression that I learned from my partner’s mom is: “Dios los hace ellos se encuentran.” Translation: “God makes them and they find each other.” We have nothing that comes close in English to capturing the meaning of this concept. And it comes in handy all the time!

  7. Hi Wendy: Good luck comment # 13.
    With my virgen poodle the words she appreciates coming trippingly off my tongue are squirrel and cookie. I imagine a ‘tiger in the woods’ repeating “Where are you my little Strumpets? Good at bloowing trumpets?”.
    “Dios los cria y ellos se juntan” in English can be “Birds of a feather flock together”.
    Wendy, Cristina, Linnea and Guillermo can be ‘The 3 musketeers and d’Artgnan”.

    Linnea’s blog is wonderful sharing with us her life and breath, comes trippingly off her tongue. A nice dark side is the interest in “ecole, hijole, scladese”, blame Cristina’s 1/2 Colombian side.
    When she uses scladese, only for special occasions!, does she means
    Italiano: mediocre – paccottiglia
    Inglese: cheap – crummy – inferior – low-quality – pedestrian – poor – ropey – shoddily – shoddy – third-rate – trashy

    Doing construction work in my basement got pain in my legs.
    “Estoy jodido de las bisagras y de los fuelles”, something in common with Linnea.
    See if you and partner can find a colourful expression like that in English.
    Thank you California girls for educating Guillermo

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