Biopsy Day at the RSCH on Monday 15 August 2016
I knew that this was the big one for me in these tests, I have never been under a general anesthetic before and I wasn't particularly looking forward to it, I wasn't sure what to expect and was a bit nervous. I was accompanied by Tina and we arrived at the hospital at about 0635 via Megan's taxi, my appointment being at 0700, (Thanks Meg). If any of you have had to attend an appointment at the RSCH the layout can be a little confusing and it took us 10 minutes to actually get to the correct reception point from the main entrance. There were several other people arriving for the same time and the waiting room soon filled up, there was one particular person who had a leg in plaster below the knee and he decided that he needed to take up four seats. There was plenty of room however so not too much of a problem. When we 'booked in' the receptionist indicated that my notes were unavailable at the moment, not a big deal, my appointments had been chopped and changed throughout the week from RSCH to PRH in Haywards Heath. The TV was on and we watched that. It wasn't until 0825 that they were ready for me, during this 90 minutes of waiting I could hear the 'laid out leg man' offering up many deep sighs of discontent.
We were taken downstairs to the prep ward and put in a cubicle with a couple of chairs. I had my vitals taken; B.P., heart rate and had to answer a series of questions regarding my general health, history, allergies etc. Then the Consultant, Drs and anesthetists who were undertaking my procedure came in for a chat, there were 4 in total. They got the camera up my nose for a look down into my larynx and in photographers terms we had a little bit of chimping. For those non-photographers out there: Chimping is a term used in digital photography to describe the habit of checking every photo on the camera display immediately after capture, often accompanied by noises such as 'ooohs' and 'arrrrs'. We all had a quick chat and they briefly explained the procedure to me and Tina that was to be undertaken . Shortly after they had all left one of the Drs returned to my cubicle and went through the procedure in far more detail, what would happen, what they were going to do, how long it would take and invited both of us to ask as many questions as we liked. The Dr explained that the first step would be an anesthetic spray that he would squirt in through my nostril, it would go down the back of my throat and and numb the whole area, he warned me it was unpleasant, tasted disgusting but the reason they were doing it was that I had to be awake for the first part of the process, I would then be given an anesthetic that would keep me semi-conscious, then I would have a breathing tube put in and they would go in for the biopsy after that.
The time came for the procedure and I was wheeled away to the operating theatre, it was smaller than I expected and there were 6 people in total in the room as we had been joined by a trainee anesthetist. After hooking me up to the machines and placing the cannula in my hand we began the process. The Dr sprayed the aforementioned anesthetic up my nose, I felt it running down the back of my throat and was prompted to try to get as much of the liquid around my throat as possible. The Dr was right, it tasted awful but this paled into insignificance when the effects set in. Despite his warnings of how uncomfortable it would feel, this felt like nothing I have ever experienced before, it was as if a large marble had been placed at the back of my throat, I could feel it sitting there but could do nothing to move it, I felt that my saliva was building up and that I would soon be drowning in in it. I was halfway off the trolley aiming for the door when they managed to settle me down, it was still disconcerting to say the least but they kept talking and reassuring me at all times and I began to relax a little. The doctor explained to me that he knew how I felt as during his time of training he had some put down his throat and he was able to talk me down and relax me a little more and eventually I was able to lean back in the trolley and control my feelings, The doctor than shoved some very large cotton bud type things up my nostril and explained that if the anesthetic had not worked, one of two things would be likely to happen; I'd either punch him on the nose or go through the ceiling. I admit that I was focused on his nose at that point. Fortunately I could feel nothing.
They then told me that I was going to have some anesthetic pumped into my cannula and I might feel a bit woozy. 'Bring it on, anything to calm down' was my last thought before I was woken in the recovery room by my Recovery Nurse, Alberto.
So the procedure was over and I didn't feel too bad at that point. About 30 minutes after I was in there the Consultant came in for a brief chat. He explained that he had removed all the samples he needed, and the next step was to collate all the results from my scans and test and they (my Multi Disciplinary Team) would determine the next course of action, unfortunately for me the stuff up the nose is likely to be necessary again, but at least I know what's coming.
After an hour and a half in the recovery ward I was wheeled back to the prep ward I was in earlier. I had my vitals monitored and was kept an eye on until they let me home at about 1620.
Remember, the patient with the broken leg. He was in the cubicle next to me and his procedure had been delayed. He wanted to go outside for a cigarette but they wouldn't let him so he proceeded to call every nurse who tried to explain to him what was going on a 'F**king bunch of cu**ts' not just once but on several occasions. If it was my decision I would have wheeled him outside for a cigarette, I would have wheeled him to the top of the road and I would have let his trolley go, stopping only when it had reached the English Channel and hopefully continuing on for a good few feet. What was even sadder was that my nurse told me it wasn't an uncommon event.
For the record over the two weeks that my scans and tests have been conducted I have been treated with the utmost respect by everybody. The Drs who undertook my procedure see dozens of patients every week, not once did they make me feel like I was, just another patient, I always felt that they looked upon me as their patient if that makes sense. The nurses who monitored me were attentive and you could see they genuinely cared, I have been treated with respect and courtesy throughout. It's a shame that some morons are only concerned with getting outside for a fag.
Today I'm feeling good, I was warned to expect to be sore for a few days but it is nowhere near as bad as I was anticipating. The worst part now will be the waiting but I've been reassured that the time spent waiting will not be adverse to my health at all, so that's a relief.
Updates to follow as and when.
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