Thursday, July 20, 2006

A month of anxiety for nothing?

Note to the squeamish or those who don't wish to know about my va-jay-jay troubles...stop reading now and come back when I've added a new post.

Those of you who know me personally know that 4 years ago I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. It was successfully treated with high-dose hormonal therapy and as of May 2004 was cleared. I was maintained on lower dose hormonal therapy and I had several successive biopsies and complete D&Cs that showed normal cells. This changed in early June when my latest biopsy came back with abnormal cells. My gynecologic/oncologist (aka GYN/ONC) said he needed to do another D&C to "see what's going on in there" (as though my uterus is hosting a raucous party). Said D&C took place yesterday.

This was my day:
Got up at 3:45 AM, had to give myself an enema (after the one the night before), showered, and was in the car with The Wife at 4:30 AM. Made the trip to the hospital an hour away. Checked in at "Short Procedure Unit", was interviewed, given a shot of blood thinner in my stomach (whoever invented the stuff needs to work on the formulation - that shit stings like crazy), and fitted with lovely thigh-high compression stockings. Taken to waiting area outside OR. Interviewed by anesthesiology resident (who has probably been a doctor for about 3 weeks given his unfamiliarity with procedures and the fact that new residents start July 1). Anesthesiology resident soundly abused by nurse (she said she needed the chart to check me in, which took 30 seconds and consisted of asking me my name, what procedure they were doing, and my doctor's name. He gave her the chart but asked for the labs from it so he could continue his job. He was polite and professional; she was not. Then she snapped at him again when he asked where to find the surgical consent form in the chart.) Anesthesiologist arrived (resident's boss essentially). She did the IV (thank you, done in one stick; I hate when they let the resident try first when they know I'm not an "easy stick".) Then she decided that they needed to intubate me before I was asleep. I had to breathe liquid lidocaine to numb my throat (BLECH!), then they put lidocaine gel on my tongue (MORE BLECH!) and then they tried to intubate me (they had given me some medication to make me relaxed). I promptly gagged and threw up. It was lovely. They realized they hadn't suppressed my gag reflex enough (I could clearly hear all the discussion that was taking place) so they sprayed more junk in my mouth and had me gargle with more nasty crap and finally (I can see the cords...) they intubated me and knocked me out. They managed to give me a fat lip during all of this manuevering too.

Afterwards (when I was awake but only halfway) the GYN/ONC came to talk to me. Apparently they managed to put a hole in my cervix or detach my cervix from the rest of me in one spot so he had to put in a stitch and was sending me home on antibiotics. Then he told me the kicker: "There's nothing there. I don't know that I even got an adequate sample for the pathologist." Basically he was telling me that the lab may have made a mistake (not the lab at his hospital, the lab my insurance company insists all outpatient testing by done at). We'll know more in a week or so. It appears that I probably had a month or more of anxiety, a horrible experience with anesthesia, and a hole put in my cervix for NOTHING!

The day at the hospital was capped off by the fact that they won't release you until you pee. Normally I lie. I go to the bathroom, wait a few minutes, and tell them "I peed, now can I please go home?" Now they measure. You have to pee in a "hat" and you have to have a certain amount of output (100 cc or 3 oz) before they let you go. I tried to pee around 11 or 11:30 (after 8 oz of cranberry juice and a cup of tea and 1 liter plus of IV fluid) but no luck. Then I started drinking water and finally 3 cups later I went. Of course, after all that water we had to stop on the way home so I could go. The McDonalds we stopped at had no power but The Wife made a plea for them to let me use the bathroom. Peeing in the dark in an unfamiliar bathroom after having general anesthesia is its own special trip. The manager did give us 2 bottles of water though.

In the end all I really care about is that I am probably not having a recurrence of the cancer and I don't have to go back on the high-dose hormonal therapy (which has some major side effects).

No comments: