The Biopsy


I woke up, took a shower with antibacterial soap.  I used no shampoo, well I don’t really need shampoo, no hair on my head anyway, no deodorant or anything else on my body as instructed by the nurse for the patient prep.  I then just through on a pair of shorts and shirt and my crocs and headed to the office to square a few things away for the rest of the week.  I stopped by the bank to make the two deposits I prepped the previous day and then went to the office.

When I got to the office, I first went across the hall to another client of mine and explained to them that I was going to be having a biopsy later that day and if they needed anything for the remainder of the week that my partner Jamie would be able to handle anything they needed.  They did not have to do anything special to contact him, but just call the office as normal and to email me as all my emails will be forwarded to him.  Frank told me that everything was going to be fine.  He has gone through surgery, chemo, and radiation treatment for his Mesothelioma.  He said it may get rough at times, but once its all said and done with, everything will mostly be back to normal with just regular doctor check ups from time to time.  He said that if he could do it, I sure as could do it because was younger and healthier.  I told him that was my plan, I never give up, just one day at a time and get through the treatment to continue a normal life.  Another client showing support just helps me keep my spirits high knowing that people understand what I am going through and know that it may take them a little longer to get a response from me or my partner than normal, but they will still be there once everything is back to normal.

Another client emailed me about videos and posting them on the website for clients to see, they wanted to possibly see if I could meet with them this week.  I replied back saying that everything was in place for the video converting, I would just have to install the video convertor after hours which I could most probably do either Thursday or Friday evening from home following the surgery I had later today.  I also explained in the email that I possibly have Lymphoma and that my business partner is prepared to handle any questions or service needs that they have while I am unavailable.  I also sent them the tutorial pdf that I had created on how to use the program that I would be installing to convert mpg to wmv files for playing files using Windows Media Player without having to install other codecs or other media players.

Another client emailed me about updates to the website that we had started working on, but hadn’t done anything to it in about a month.  Since this client was upstairs in my building, I went upstairs and discussed the news with them.  I told them I would take care of the website changes later this week or weekend and then meet/email with them to discuss further changes and to add pictures to the website.  Again this client was another client who knew someone with Lymphoma who has made it through the treatment and now back to a normal life, so more positive reinforcement!  I then headed back to my office.  I packed my small travel laptop and then headed out.

I arrived home and took another shower with antibacterial soap to make sure that I was completely clean and ready for the surgery and to minimize the chance of infection.  My wife and my mother then drove me over to the hospital.  We arrived on the 3rd floor at the outpatient surgery center.   It was 2:15, and the check in desk was supposed to be open to 2:30, but the nurse had left for the day, so the volunteer brought me down to the 2nd floor check in desk.  I then waited in the waiting area for 10 minutes and then was brought into an office to verify my information, and then it was back up to the 3rd floor.  The volunteer saw me come out the elevator and led me to a room in which I would be prepped for surgery.  I was told to change into a gown getting rid of all clothing.  So I changed and there I was sitting in a blue hospital gown with patches of color.  I received a few emails about a password for a wireless access point and fixing a router’s static route.  I followed up on this with a few emails leaving it open to follow up after my procedure.

At 4:00, the first nurse came in and gave me a breathing treatment.  At 4:30 the next nurse came in and verified all my information again and went over all medications that I had taken that day and if I had eaten anything throughout the day, which I had not.  She said that I would have to have another EKG and she ordered that on the computer and she also ordered for an IV to be started on me.  She said everything was ready to go and since it was close to 5 I would probably have the IV started in the back if not right before I left.  The EKG nurse then showed up and attached the probes on my legs, chest and arms and then attached the wires.  She took her reading and then moved out the way so that the IV nurse could attempt to start the IV.  As usual they could not start an IV on me.  After about 3 to 5 minutes of poking around the IV nurse said that anesthesia would have to start the IV.  The orderly then arrived when the IV nurse was leaving and he rolled my bed into the preparation area.

Once in the preparation area, the nurse came and checked on me and everything I had scheduled to be done.  I told her that I had gone over everything, but they were unable to start an IV on me in the room.  She then called anesthesia who came.  The first anesthetist said that to start the IV it was going to have to be all by feel because the he could see some but they were not big enough to start an IV in.   He localized my right arm above my thumb and attempted to poke the IV needle around but could not find the vein.  An anesthesiologist localized my left arm above my thumb and then attempted to start the IV on my left arm.  After two or three slides in and out, the left arm was started and I was ready to go.  The Anesthetist that would be overseeing my Surgery, Melissa, then gave me a cocktail in my IV.  She asked if felt anything and I felt a brief 2 minutes doziness come over me and then that subsided and I felt normal again.  However, I did notice that the cocktail took the nervousness and the edge off.  I then sat in the bed for about 5 more minutes and then Dr. Jacob came in to draw on my neck for the site of the incision and biopsy.  He then left and I was there for about 10 more minutes and then I was rolled to Operating Room #1.  They put the rails down on the side of the bed and helped me move from the bed to the operating table and then they took the bed away.  They then put the air mask over my face and started had me breath deep breaths.  I remember breathing about 25 or 30 deep breaths and then I don’t remember anything else.  I don’t remember getting tired, I don’t remember going to sleep, I don’t remember a single thing.

Next thing I know I was waking up in the recovery room feeling like I had taken the best sleep that I have had in a very very long time.  I felt well rested.  There were two nurses next to me looking at the computer and monitors when I started coming through.  I focused on seeing what time it was on the clock across the room and I could make out that it was 8:00 PM.  I started had some pain in my stomach and told the nurses that my stomach was hurting me about a 5 – 7 on the pain scale.  It wasn’t excruciating but it wasn’t comfortable either.  I believe the nurse put something in my IV because the pain subsided soon after.  My neck was maybe a half to a 1 on the pain scale, but that subsided as well.  I asked the nurse how long I had been in the recovery room, and she said I had been in there 15 minutes, so I arrived at 7:45.  I felt the blood pressure cuff pump up, and asked her what the numbers where and she said something like 116 over 68.  My oxygen level was 95-98%.  So everything was going good.  I was completely awake and aware within 10 minutes of coming to.  As I laid there I had a conversation with the nurse for about 20-30 minutes.  We were talking about the new medical system Cerner that she was using as I was already familiar with it since I my internist who is also my client uses the software.  She asked me who I worked for and I told her myself and then we had a discussion about my business to pass the time.  At about 8:45 she said it was time to roll me back to the room.  I got to the room at about 9:00 and my mother and father where sitting in the room waiting, my wife was getting coffee.  The nurse adjusted my bed and locked it in place, put my iv bag on the pole.  I told them my experience and that I wasn’t in any pain.  Everything had gone well from my perspective.  My wife then arrived and sat by my side and we all talked a little bit.  The nurse said that if I could start drinking liquids and hold that down then I could start attempting to eat.  My wife gave me 4 apple juice containers which I drank with no issues.  My wife gave me my laptop and I checked on the emails that I received while I was in my surgery.  I had also received a voicemail from Dr. Baum’s office for an admin password to install a program on the computers.  I remoted into Dr. Baum’s server and set the temporary admin password and sent into to the requester and the office manager.  There was some info for the static route that I would follow up with in the morning.  My wife had work in the morning, but she didn’t have her car at the hospital.  My dad left to go home to take care of the dogs and to sleep and my wife rode home with him and returned with her car.   My mother gave me 2 more apple juices.  It was 10:15 and I knew I was going to have to go to the bathroom soon.  At 10:25 I called the nurse who said she would be there soon.  At 10:35 the nurse got there with a urine bottle.  I filled up approx 800cc’s which was almost the same as an IV bag.  I then asked the nurse about the food she said that they had available.  She said they had a tuna salad or turkey sandwich.  I opted for the turkey sandwich, which she went and got and brought back.  I added the mayo and mustard to my bread and then ate the sandwich with no problems along with the graham crackers that was included in the plastic container.  I drank an additional 4 apple juices while eating the turkey sandwich.  My wife then arrive and I had to go to the bathroom again which I added another 700cc’s to my output.  I was still hungry as I hadn’t eaten in over 24 hours, so I had my wife grab the ham sandwich that was in the fridge.  I ate that, and it was good!  I had a few more juices with this sandwich and then settled down to watch some TV and go to sleep.  I woke up once during the night adding another 700ccs to my output, and then went back to sleep.

© Craig