Friday, April 6, 2012

Bone Biopsy and Breaking Needles

So that is what the needle that was shoved into my hip bone looks like. Sorta cool, and honestly it didn't really hurt.

Here is the update from yesterday:

Around 6:00 am I was showered and ready to go. I took my first Lorazepam pill to get ready for my MRI and waited for my ride. With both girls in bed we decided to ask a friend (who I often refer to as my brother from another mother) to take me rather than trying to get the girls read by 6:45am. Steve came at 6:20, and I was feeling some of the effects of the pill. We checked in, I took my second pill, and soon went into the MRI room.

As I have said before, closed spaces are not my thing. I can handle just about anything better than closed spaces, well, except snakes but that is another story. So I had 2mg of Lorazepam to calm me down before going into the tube. Then the tech explained everything to me, had me lie down and put a washcloth over my eyes. We did a trial run and even though I could feel the edges of the tube on my arms, I did okay. Then we did the real thing.

I was in the tube for about 30 minutes. The tightness did not effect me nearly as much as I thought it would, thanks to the meds and the washcloth I am sure. One thing that surprised me was how unbelievably loud those machines are. With earphones smashed up to my head, I couldn't hear any of the music at all when the machine was running.

But after 30 minutes, I was out and all went well. I was still enough that none of the pictures had to be re-shot, and I was still feeling pretty good.

So I went back out to the waiting area where Steve was still waiting for me. At this point I am quite sure that the hospital changed the pitch of the floors a bit because I was tilting to one side as I walked, but I guess it might have been the meds. We went upstairs to check in for my biopsy, met another member of my congregation who led us to my room and then the waiting began.

Around 8:30 Jen came up with Sierra (Scarlett was at school). Steve left and they stayed until 9:15 or so. Then I did some reading and waited. The biopsy was supposed to be around 10:30, but they were running late. Finally around 11:00 am they came and got me for the next stage of the tests.

I was wheeled back down to the first floor and I found out they were going to do the biopsy in the CT room. I met with the doctor and went through the procedure with him, then I laid down on the CT machine on my stomach. They hooked some leads up to me as well as some IV's and then did a scan of my hip area. They did this so that they could get an exact site to take the biopsy from. Then they gave me some wonderful meds.

I think they did at least.

At this point, things get a little hazy. I remember parts of the conversations I have with the nurse, but not all of them.

I remember the doctor pushing over and over again on my hip.

I remember trying to crack some jokes (boy am I glad they didn't record what I was saying then!)

I remember the team leaving every once in a while to take another CT and make sure they were in the right place.

And then we were done.

As we were finishing up I asked the nurse how long the whole thing had taken and she said about 45 minutes. And then she told me that my bones were so strong that I had broken their needle.

Gotta love that - having bones so strong that I broke the needle. What actually happened was that the needles have little teeth on the end to grind the bone out and my bones were strong enough to bend those teeth down. So he had to push a little harder to get enough for the biopsy.

Then came one of the most painful parts of the day. As I rolled back onto my bed from the CT machine, the leads had to come off. For two of these it wasn't a problem, but the last one, well, it was on a part of my chest that had a fair amount of hair. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to just yank this one off, and man did that hurt!

Then I was wheeled back up to the second floor to rest and eat and let the drugs wear off.

I also had access to my phone, so I had a little fun in my medicated state doing Facebook posts and texting people. It is probably a good thing that my phone battery wore out when it did.

Around 3:00pm I was ready to go, Jen came and got me and I went home and napped for a couple of hours. After dinner (wonderful BLT's) I went to worship. Unfortunately I had to leave early because Scarlett had not napped and she was a little hard to control during the service.

Overall the tests went quite well, and the after-effects of the meds were not too bad. Now we just play the waiting game.

I am not sure when I will get results. One nurse said I would know by Monday and start radiation by Wednesday, another said I may not know until next Thursday or Friday and radiation would start the following week. All I can do is sit and wait and get ready to for the next step of this journey.

And so today I am getting ready by preparing for our Good Friday services. As I sit here and reflect on the Passion of Jesus, I am reminded that no matter what path our life takes us, we do not travel it alone. In looking back I see the face of Christ in Jen and the girls, Steve and his willingness to help, my staff who brought me three packs of bacon today, the doctors and nurses who are God's healing had in the world, and the list goes on and on. So I am enter this holy time with a heart of hope and hands of grace holding on to me.

May you have a blessed Good Friday.

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