Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Doctor's Appointment

This post has no pictures...be thankful, not disappointed!

OK, this could be TMI for some. I will try to give as little detail as possible to my ordeal so as to not gross anyone out, but I will have to give some details in order to explain what has happened! I had a doctor's appointment today and am currently laying in bed trying to recover. I am in pain (though no longer on pain meds) and walking hurts tremendously, however, joyfully, I have discovered that typing has no bearing on whether I feel good or bad!

This is a female issue...so be forewarned! I have had many conversations with my doctor concerning the fact that each month I basically hemorrhage and attempt to bleed to death. It has been lasting longer and longer and so my doc....being cautious...has been testing me right and left and up and down and while there seems to be nothing "wrong" with me (just don't ask my family to verify that...we are talking physically not mentally....I digress)...there also seems to be no help for this situation. So, she recommended to me that I look into something called Cryoablation (I caution, read at your own risk...I just read the definition and I am horrified!)!

I decided to go forth.

So April 9th, I went into the doctor for a biopsy. I had NO clue what that entailed and I find, strangely enough, that was the BEST way to do things...having no clue what to expect gave me very little time to get upset, worried, panicked, terrified, etc. The biopsy was done in a room where they do ultrasounds for pregnant women. Next door to me was a woman hooked up to a monitor to listen to her baby's heartbeat. The whole time I am waiting for my "procedure", I am hearing that whoosh whoosh sound that is so familiar to anyone who has ever had a doppler on their belly listening to their unborn child's heartbeat. I got sad for about half a second thinking I would never have that opportunity again...then Caroline's infancy flashed before my eyes like a really bad nightmare (killed a deer on the way to the hospital, born with no major issues, cried constantly, cried, cried, screamed, cried some more, allergic reaction to nuts--ok that did not happen in infancy, but close enough )!!!!! Then I was ready for my "procedure"....with bells on!

The biopsy hurt like I cannot explain. I remember the doctor saying, "You will feel a prick, a small pinch and slight cramping." And then she began. I felt nothing at first and thought, "this is a piece of cake." Then it hit me...all at once. One of those pains that makes you want to slam your legs together, curl up in the fetal position, grab some advil and a heating pad, a large bag of chocolates, some chips, some sort of soda and lay there alternating between a sugar coma and a salt overload. One tiny problem...I am in an ultrasound room with three virtual strangers and one of them is in a position that does not allow for the whole fetal position to happen! I begin thinking that "whoosh whoosh" sound next door might not be so bad...(cue bad memories again...and hurry!)!!!

So, with that memory still fresh in my mind, I decide what the heck and sign up for the next step. The cryoablation. One of my best friends did this last summer with NO pain meds (she lost her prescription and was too embarrassed to call the doc and tell them that so she thought, "How bad can it be?"). YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION. She almost committed suicide on the ablation table. Armed with that info, I had my meds in a safe place and followed my instructions carefully! First instruction of the day...take a pregnancy test.

I did take the test, however, I failed to mention to Mark that it was necessary for today and we almost had to call the ambulance this morning for the hyperventilation he was experiencing...it was negative. Then two hours prior to my "procedure", I had to take 800 mg of motrin (though oddly enough the prescription given was 600 mg...hmmmmm?)...and then my favorite part...I got a valium. I have never taken valium before (though I could use one right about now)...had no idea how it would affect me. Apparently, I drool, I slurr my speech, I laugh at things that are not funny, and I get really sleepy. Oh, and I apparently run off at the mouth. On top of all of the meds, I had to drink 16-32 oz of water and then NOT GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE THE PROCEDURE. (read this as TORTURE)!

They took my blood pressure when I got there, twice, because it was so high, and I warned them if they did it again I might not be able to hold my bladder because somehow in a way unexplainable by the medical field, the squeezing of my arm by the blood pressure cuff was actually putting pressure on my bladder. (My BP was 137/93). I told them I was really nervous because I had been talking to my friend Donna who had this done with no pain meds...they just patted me on the back and walked me to the "sub-waiting" room (I think that "sub" stands for subzero because it was FREEZING)! I was almost asleep in the waiting room and then they called me back. They asked me how I was feeling and I blurted out, to a total stranger, "Well, other than the fact that my bladder is about to rupture and I did not bring a change of clothes, I am great!" They started laughing and asked me if I wanted to let a little go. I looked at the nurse and said, "I am on valium...I couldn't stop this raging river once it gets going even if I wanted to." They all laugh again and I get on the table. They roll in a machine that looks like a small vacuum cleaner with a hose and I get nervous...they ask me if I am ready and I answered something that made them all laugh but I don't know what it was...

My doc starts with telling me that it shouldn't be too painful to which I ask if she has actually had this done before...she says no and I give her a look as if to say...don't talk to me about how it is going to feel...you know NOTHING!!! She says...I am going to give you a local so you won't feel anything (read: BIG FAT LIE)! I felt the prick, and the pain of dilating my cervix (yes, dilating...quickly...which led me to ask if they could dilate that fast why was I in labor for 37 hours waiting to dilate to 10?) More laughter. Not from me. No answer to my question either. I get dilated...whoo-hoo and the procedure begins...which I can't actually feel.

The machine however starts giving out stats...how cold it is inside my uterus, how long the freezing process has been in progress, etc, etc. To me, it sounded like that voice at the airport that says, "Please do not leave your bags unattended. Unattended bags will be conviscated" or whatever it is that the voice says. Apparently, I began to recite this phrase and my 3 new best friends just die laughing! I was not laughing because the sweet, precious ultrasound tech kept pushing right on my bladder...you know the bladder that is full with 16-32 oz of water and has been for about 2 hours...the same bladder that is ABOUT TO RUPTURE! Yet she continues to push and I continue to try not to pee all over my doctor. I was somehow misled somewhere that this procedure lasts 90 seconds...well it doesn't....they cryo-ed the right side for 4 minutes and the left for 3...I think the 90 seconds come into play with how long you actually pee once the procedure is over! Now, all of this info (the dilating, the non 90seconds, the extreme cramping...)could have been in the pamphlet they gave me in April...(but like my birthing classes which I did not finish and required me to say to the nurse when she told me to breathe during labor, "I don't know how to breathe...I did not take my birthing classes")....I did not read it! So it ends...I go to the bathroom finally...for like an hour...meet them in the subzero waiting room and they tell me they have to take my blood pressure again before they can send me home.

Two of my three best friends walk me to the lab and take my BP...which reads...147/98...oh my! You will need to wait in the waiting room and we will have to take it again in ten minutes. I go to the waiting room, sit for about five minutes....look at Mark panicked and pale and say, "I think I am going to pass out." You know that feeling....you get hot and stuffy inside your body...lightheaded...feeling kinda sick... I am fanning myself and I hear in the distance, "You are only five minutes into this and already you are having hot flashes." I think that came from Mark, but I can't prove it because of the whooshing sound in my ears. The nurse comes back out and says lets take your bp again....so I sit down...still fanning myself and the nurses eyes pop out of her head...I am thinking she is going to say 160/110....but no...she says..."You just got your pass to go home...your blood pressure is 88/66." I'm sorry, what? Did you just say 88 over 66? No wonder I thought I was going to pass out...my blood pressure was plummeting...I was dying...I just knew it....did I tell my kids I love them? When was the last time I talked to my mom, dad, sisters, brothers, friends? Have I paid all the bills this month?

Then I hear, ok...see you in 2 weeks for your next procedure! HUH? You are sending me home to die? Next procedure? Oh yeah...I get to do this same basic procedure again (complete with another valium) on the 24th...maybe I'll take pictures during that one!

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