Saturday, August 22, 2009

I am home and OK

Since the biopsy I had yesterday was my third, and I never had had any problems, I didn't have any qualms about having it done this time. I was a little put off when I arrived at the Interventional Radiology unit and they didn't even have a receptionist. I thought it was really ratty compared to Reading Hospital and Fox Chase where I had had the other two. I thought NIH would look more high tech. The doctor, however, was awesome. When she heard we were from Pennsylvania, she told us she had graduated from Swathmore. She also graduated from Harvard medical school so I figured I was in good hands. And I was. She did the needle biopsy under ultrasound instead of CT scan, so she spent a lot of time pressing on the liver tumors and I think that was what caused the pain after the procedure.
When I complained of the pain in the recovery unit, the doctor had me hustled right down to CT scan to make sure there was no injury or hemorrhage. She came and looked at the CT scan while they were doing it. That impressed me. What didn't impress me was when the escort who was pushing my wheelchair knocked on the CT scan door, and the person who answered it was still talking to her co-worker about lunch. She gave us a look, then asked the escort:
Did you check in with the front desk?
Yes, she said to come right back.
Ok, Well park her over there.
Then she shut the door, the escort parked me moaning in my wheel chair and wished me luck as she abandoned me. When the snotty CT tech finally opened the door, she didn't even glance in my direction. I started yelling Help! Help Me! (I felt like the old person who is always your grandma's roommate in the hospital. The one who yells help the whole time you are there visiting grandma.) That got her attention anyhow.
The other thing was how slow they were to address my pain. I kept throwing up, even though no one would believe I wasn't really nauseous. They gave me oxycotin (Rush Limbaugh's drug of choice) and it did nothing. She kept saying my blood pressure was low (90/60) and they were afraid IV medication would lower it more. If I wouldn't have been so out of it, I would have said, "So give it to me already and sit here with a syringe of Narcan if I bottom out."
Nurses are big on "On a scale of one to ten how is your pain?" I assumed that was to figure out how to treat it. I kept pushing it up a notch or two every time she asked. When I finally got to 9 (after 3 hours) she came in with a big ole syringe of Dilaudid, and asked "Are you sure you want this? You are looking better!" I assured her that I did, and blissfully felt my legs and shoulders getting heavy and boom I was out.
After drifting in and out for a couple of hours, deliciously pain free, I ate dinner and said ok I am ready to go home. 4 of my doctors had come to the room that afternoon which was kind of impressive. Usually I more impressed with nursing and auxiliary staff than I am with medical.
So any way I am home relaxing today. My goal is to finish the vacation laundry and start on the weed patch this evening when it cools off. I miss that Alaska weather.