Saturday, September 12, 2009

That time they severed my heeeeed

Ok, so this one time way back in April we're both studying and I look up and Joel's squinting at me like he does sometimes and I'm all, What?  And he's like, You have an Adam's apple and I'm all Dude, I do NOT have an Adam's apple.
But it turns out that I sort of did.  And we had no family doctor at the time so it took a while to get one, and then she poked and prodded my apple and was all, Ehhh, I'm not concerned but I'll send you for an ultrasound.  And the ultrasound people ultrasounded it and were all, Ehhh, we're not concerned but we're going to send you to an endocrinologist for a biopsy.  And then the endocrinologist stuck some needles in my neck and I did not like it.
ANYways, the results came back suspicious but inconclusive which means that it may or may not be cancer, but that even if it is cancer, it's what they call an 'indolent' cancer which is the opposite of an 'aggressive' cancer.  So!

Tuesday night we had steaks, and then considered night-nachos because I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight, and while we were considering night-nachos we fell asleep.  We are not made for this sort of lifestyle.

Wednesday morning Joel takes me down to the hospital and they whisk me off right away to the Patient Storage Locker, which is big and square and full of people lying in beds either bored or unconscious.  And they give me one of those little nighties that opens in the back which I totally put on wrong at first, and also a skeezy robe and some booties, one of which is broken.
And then Ridiculously Kind Nurse #1 keeps bringing me toasty blankets straight from the little blanket oven where they keep them warm (no jokes) and checking to see how I'm doing but other than that I'm just lying there in my little crib for close to two hours watching an orderly change the sheets.

And then like eight people come by one at a time to ask me all the same questions about who I am and if I have any allergies and what my birthday is and whether I understand the procedure that's going to be done to me and I'm tempted to make jokes about it still being me in this bed but I get that they're just doing their jobs and trying to make sure that no one accidentally goes in after, say, one of my kidneys by accident.  Plus, every time someone comes by I'm all, Yay, a person!  I WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!

And then Ridiculously Kind Nurse #2 comes to bring me into the OR Patient Storage Locker and I'm all, Wheeee, something is happening!  And she's like, Ahhh, not so fast.  You're probably just going to have to wait in there for a while, and also, I'm going to need to take your glasses now.

So I end up waiting in there for another half hour only now I'm blind, and then the surgeon comes by to ask me if I understand the procedure and to please indicate the lump for him and then he scribbles on me with some marker and leaves.  The man is seriously a robot.

And then the anesthesiologist comes by and looks vaguely like Joel and this is comforting, except that I haven't got my glasses on so he could really look like Charo for all I can tell.  ANYway, I give him a heads up that needles make me faint, and he says that if I can go ahead and faint I'll be doing half his job for him.  He is pleasant and I like him.

And then Ridiculously Kind and Probably Not That Much Older Than Me Nurse #3 comes to wheel me into the OR and introduces me to the three other Nurses in the room as though I were a pal of hers and not just some specimen they were going to dissect, and then I'm on the table and they're all fussing around me and sticking things to me and it's like being at the spa but less relaxing.

And then the anesthesiologist pokes a needle in the back of my arm and is all, That was the bad part.  But this is the good part!  And he holds up a syringe full of something brownish so I can see.  This is your rum and coke, he says.  It's your Kahlua and milk! says one of the nurses.  Your bellini! says another.  And while I'm trying to think of a cocktail suddenly it's six hours later.

So I'm back in my crib in the Patient Storage Unit and I'm conscious again and no nurses are coming to check on me and I haven't got my glasses on and my voice is broken and I can't make any noise and I feel like nothing so much as an infant.  A terribly bored one.  And it's half an hour before I can get anyone's attention and have them bring me a phone so I can call Joel, and also my glasses and my book.

And before Joel gets there, the surgeon comes back to say some stuff about the surgery, about how it went well or about how they found an army of gremlins growing in my throat or who knows, because I was still HIGH as a kite and I remember nothing except that he came.  I think.  That also might have been Charo.

And then Joel comes with a pot of yellow lilies only one of which is open, which are my favorite way to get flowers because then you get to watch them open one at a time and it's like a science project, or an advent calendar.  And then he sits there for another four hours studying while I alternately sleep and pretend that I am not sleeping.

And finally they decide that I can go home except that putting my pants on gives me the faints, and they want to keep me but Joel talks them into letting me leave and I am miserable by this point because I only thought I felt fine, and all this putting on of pants has made me realize that I feel horrible and I want to be in bed.  But we have to go fetch me some T3s and it's late and we drive all over town looking for a pharmacy that is open and I am queasy as hell but swallowing hurts so much that I can't stand the thought of...reverse-swallowing, as it were.

And I thought that I wanted to eat some yogurt when we got home because I had had nothing since the pre-op steaks except some jello that they brought me, and to be honest Joel ate most of that because my throat felt like razor blades and sea salt, but upon further consideration it turned out that I did not want to eat yogurt because I was already sleeping.

And sleeping is most of what I do now.  Also lying in bed.  Today I had a shower.  I mostly feel fine until I try to do something, and then I feel like an invalid.  Also, I thought I was going to be all tough shit and go easy on the pain meds, but then I realized that all that does for you is give you PAIN, so that you cannot DRINK and then you are dehydrated and also you have a raging case of hot-face and both you and your husband are pissed because you have to sleep with the fan on even though it is FREEZING in your room and you are both 100% swaddled in blankets except for your stupid hot face.  Now I just take the meds.

The end!  Oh no wait.  We still have to wait 2 weeks or so for the test results.  THEN the end!!


Chris said...

I did not know you had *this* blog. Great story and cool scar. Keep getting better. Btw, you 2 are very cute.

Kathleen Kelly said...

I follow you on twitter and I am very new to this. Exactly one week for twitter. First let me say that I hope all turns out well with your surgery. As I was reading it it brought to mind one of the very many surgerys I had. 12 years I had a spinal fusion and they went through the front of my neck to do the repair. Like you I thought it was the worst I ever had. Woke up and actually felt pretty good cause I was doped up pretty good. My husband said that he was there but I think he is lying, I do not remember him being there. Although I do remember the tv being turned to PBS and Tom Jones, no not the singer, was on. So later that night they want me to get up and walk. THe motion of moving my head forward was horribly painful. I had a hard neck collar on which did not help... Next morning the same thing except I had to have therapy.. guess they wanted me to be able to walk stairs or something. I hurt so bad that I just wanted them to leave me alone and let me die.. nope the insurance company said out she goes. The physicians nurse and I fooled the insurance company. The nurse told them I had not peed yet. Guess you can not go until you do. SO I got a reprieve there. like you also I had the worst sore throat I had ever had, so between the two I was miserable. But in time it healed, had to wear a collar for 3 months and slept in a recliner. So all that said the pain does get better and take the meds cause you really need them.

4 months ago had the same surgery again but they went through the back of my neck. Was no wheres near as painful, except I am still recuperating and still using a walker as I had spinal cord damage.

Take care

ramblin'andie said...

I'm glad that part's over with! I hope that you stop feeling tired soon, though if you have to have pain, it's kind of nice to sleep until the pain is gone.

Also I found your fruit blog today. I think you could blog about paint drying and I would find it hilarious.

Lots of love xo

Dana said...

I had the EXACT SAME SURGERY! Same place and everything! And my mom also said to me "Dude you have an adam's apple" (except she may have actually said "Dana, you have an adam's apple")

Speedy recovery!!

Lisa said...

You crack me up, even with serious stuff.

My word verification is "eatin". Earlier on some other blog I had "eater". I wonder if Blogger is hinting at something.

Anonymous said...

Chuckle... you are sooo funny and I like being entertained on any level, on any subject. You are the best! =0)

Luv Mum

Shari said...

Hi Raych
Glad the surgery is all over with and that everything went ok. Thinking of you. Hope you heal up quickly.
Wish we lived close so Sarah and I could come hang out with you and keep you company!

Lauren said...

You're the most adorable high-post-surgery girl ever. Also, that's an awesome incision thingie, and now just imagine all the lies you can tell when your kids ask you how you got it! Like, you can say, "This is why we don't run with scissors" or, "Take kabob spears very seriously" or... man, I'm coming up blank, and none of those others are very good either. Fortunately, you've probably already fallen asleep reading this, so I'm in the clear. ha-HA!

Alayne said...

I love how you can turn the most awful experience into comedy. I am sorry to hear about everything you've had to deal with, but I hope you're feeling better!


April said...

Glad your surgery went well. My son had this done 3 years ago. He as 11, and it looks like your scar is exactly where his is. His biopsy came back fine. It was a cyst that was the size of a toilet paper roll. It had started to grow around the side of his neck. Not that you asked for all of this info, but I hope your recovery continues to go well, and for good news on the biopsy.

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