Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Petri Dish

Tonight, my fate lies in a small, round, plastic plate of goo.  I had my bronchoscopy this morning, of course, not without some drama for good measure.

I was/have been for the past week beyond anxious.  Finally, this morning had arrived and it was showtime.  My mom and I were on the road by 6:30 am (me, unmedicated, in anticipation of the sedation to come).  Unfortunately, that sedation couldn't come quickly enough.  

I registered at admissions and went up to the familiar waiting room of the radiology department because, you guessed it, this procedure is done through IR (interventional radiology), just like almost every other diagnostic procedure I've had done in the past year.  

In a preventative attempt to keep calm, I had created a playlist on my phone last night to get me through the initial moments while I waited for an IV to be placed in my arm and for all of the consent forms to be presented for signature.  Sadly, the playlist wasn't quite cutting it when the first nurse to try the IV blew my vein.  Nice.  The second nurse (who had been known to stab me unsuccessfully in the chest during port access in the past) managed to get a line in closer to my wrist after all of the spilled blood was cleaned up.

Then, obviously, there was the humiliating pregnancy test (standard procedure even if the only possible way I could be with child at this point would be via immaculate conception).  Thank goodness I failed.  But I did succeed in providing a urine sample without spilling any pee on myself, my ridiculously unsnappable gown or the toilet seat (still wet with the morning's blue disinfectant).  Aaah.  The little joys in the life of a perpetual patient.

Just one more thing before the procedure could begin:  2 very painful shots in my right arm (all venipuncture must be done on the right arm due to the clot I had on my left side last summer).  SOB those things hurt.  Shoulder is still sore now.  This seems quite out of order, but the first one was a drug to dry up secretions (so there's no saliva in the way while they're putting a scope down your throat) and the second one was a pain killer.  Couldn't they have reversed the order?  A little compassion, people?  Would it kill you to use some freezing spray??  Jeez.

So, there I am with tears streaming down my cheeks, off and on for the next few minutes.  Instead of being upbeat and distracting (as other nurses have been known to do), they went about their business, only one stopping to pass me some cardboard tissues, apologizing that she had to see me back so soon.  Awesome.

Eventually, I made it into the OR and before I knew it, I awoke in time to get a chest xray (to be sure my lung hadn't collapsed during the scope) and to be wheeled  back into the IR prep/recovery room.

After a few hours, they agreed to give me water (something about my gag reflex not being able to work properly since my nose and throat were numbed for the scope, blah blah blah).  And delicious zesta crackers - 2 whole 2 packs.  I was ready to go.

Still quite woozy, we made our way back home, stopping at both yogorino as well as a water ice place to get "lunch".  

And now, I'm ready for bed.  Just a small step up from the emotional torture I was feeling a few hours ago, ready for the rest of my sleeping aid to help the time pass faster.  Because there is nothing I can do to make this outcome any different.  I can hope it's a good one, But I'm just waiting on those stinkin cells in the petri dish in the pathology lab of Pennsylvania Hospital.  C'mon, dudes.  Behave.



  1. we are waiting with you.

  2. sending cool and positive vibes during the waiting period