Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting Hammered, Literally!

Yesterday I had my second bone biopsy, since the first one didn't really produce any concrete answers. This time I had it done at UW in Madison. So after dropping the girls off at school Jen and I headed up for the procedure.

UW has a great facility and the people are wonderful. We arrived a little early and they got us signed in and ready to go in no time. Then a nurse brought us back to a prep room where I got into on of those wonderful gowns and hospital pants, she took my vitals, and drew blood to see how well my blood clots. Then the doctor came in and explained what we were going to do, similar to the last time with a few minor changes. This time they were taking the biopsy from the sacrum and they assumed that the bone would be hard, so I should be prepared to hear the sound of a mallet pounding on the needle to get the bone out.

Hearing a mallet pounding on a needle to get bone out of me, really!

So Jen and I waited until it was time to head in, then I got wheeled around the corner while she went to do work in the cafeteria. We went to the CT room and got all settled then they explained the procedure again.

Then came the happy drugs.

Now these drugs were similar to what I had last time, they relax the body and you you get tired, but never I was never knocked out entirely. They did an initial mark, ran me through the CT to make sure it was the right place, then went to work.

What I remember is the poke of the needle then some pressure as they got to the right spot on the bone.

Then the doctor said, "Now you will hear some hammering sounds."

I am very glad I was medicated at that point.

So the hammering began. I felt pressure in the area and with each pound of the mallet I was moved a little bit. Every once in a while they would stop, take a picture, then start again.

At one point I asked about the pictures, and they pointed to a monitor above my head that showed the pictures, so every time they stopped I would look at the pics and see what they were doing. It was pretty cool.

I have also requested a copy of the CT pictures and will post them once I get copies. On them you can see the area where they took the bone very clearly.

The procedure took an hour and fifteen minutes. They were very pleased with the sample that they got and are hopeful it will provide some answers. While we were in the CT room I also requested to take a picture of the needle and mallet that were used. The doctor said she would bring in clean ones to my recovery room afterwards so I could take the pictures. Below is the needle set that was used, she could not find the mallet.

When  she brought it in Jen asked if this was a common request, the doctor said no, it was a first.

Gotta love be unique.

Our friend, Dave Glesne, was in town so he stopped by during recovery as well. I was a bit loopy at the time, but it was great to have someone else come in and offer a prayer for us.

After two hours, and an omelet lunch, I was freed. My side was a bit sore, but overall very little pain.  We came home, and as the drugs wore off I got quite a headache, but that wore off in a few hours.

They said that it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before I get results, so it is more waiting, but hopefully we will get some solid answers this time.

So hopefully that is the end of the bone biopsies, and now we move forward with the next steps.

Have a blessed Saturday.

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