Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well I won't do that again...

I blurbed about this on facebook but let me expand a little for my distant readers or those whom might happen to stumble here in search of advice on a bronchoscopy.

First word of advice, negotiate some sort of hand signal or gesture to tell the doctors you're not doing well. Clenching your fist, moaning, raising your hands and waving did not work for me.

I'd been told I would get some anesthetic to numb my sinuses and then a little more to numb my throat. It was supposed to taste bitter. It was supposed to be -in-addition-to- an iv twilight drug that would make me compliant with their demands and forgetful of the entire procedure... they were wrong.

The doctor was running late for the rain and the traffic that I and my wife had managed to get through just fine and arrive on time. So I laid there wired up with sensors and ice cold oxygen in my nose under a hospital gown slowly freezing. Multiple "blankets" were piled on when I mentioned the iv drip was cold in my veins but they did little more than make me look like a dollar store Halloween mummy.

The doctor arrived and within what felt like thirty seconds I had some of that bitter numbing juice squirted in my nose, coughed against it, "here, bite down on this', and then (flooOORP!) in went the 'scope.

I coughed and coughed against more of the liquid and was told to just swallow it. I could not get them to back of or stop; there was not twilight effect of anything going on and I was most definitely awake and aware of the tube poking around inside me. I kid you not, it was terrifying.

This was where my gestures and gripping must have been noticed because I kept getting what were probably intended as reassuring remarks that we were almost done. In my head I steeled myself to just stay still and that it'd be over with soon. At no point did I fall asleep. I understand the need to get caught up after arriving late to work, but I don't appreciate my comfort being the corner that was cut. :(

Headed home, things just got worse. There was just a little blood with the first few coughs and that cleared up in no time. My chest however felt like I had simultaneous heartburn and severe congestion. It hurt to breathe. It hurt not being able to breathe deeply. I fought against panic for hours until I finally just begged Jody to pour me a drink; rum over ice. I needed something to dull the edge. I'm sure I was lit for a while but I needed a break from the pain. I was too tired to keep my eyes open and then I fought to find some comfortable position to try to sleep.

I've recovered a little over night but I still cannot lay flat without a lot of discomfort. Sitting upright is best for now and, though it is early in the morning, I am awake. Hopefully I'll have a little more recovery today and be able to lay down to sleep by tonight.

In the meantime, if you're getting a bronchoscopy, make sure they knock you out!!!

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Holy crap, sounds terrible! My stent removal was a little like that, only not terrifying. It would be nice if there was some recourse for what sounds like a screw up, but of course there probably isn't.