Monday, March 15, 2010

Liver Biopsy

This is the place where they took a biopsy of my liver. Crazy that it was just one little hole because I felt like they were stabbing me over and over like a pin cushion. They did in fact take many pieces but I guess they stayed inside the one hole.

Getting this procedure done was a challenge. The first day they were supposed to do it, got me all prepped, sent me down to the preop room and then.... Tereza, Nathan and I waited and waited and waited until they told us they couldn't do it because the anaesthesia team was not available....wheel me back upstairs.

The next day was a go. They wheeled me down to the room. I think that Sara and maybe Ted and Aurelia had just arrived (they were in town for a the birth of Georgia Rose). When I saw Sara I started crying. Having someone new there, seeing me in that condition, brought up lots of emotions... in fact I am starting to cry right now as I type this. I also realize that I cant remember the order of things very well. Was the Sara, Ted, and Aurelia part the day before.... ? Anyway, as they wheeled me into the elevator a resident stopped us and asked if I was okay and what was wrong... I responded something to the effect.... of yes I am okay as long as it is okay to cry here. What I cant remember is when Sara, Ted, Aurelia, and Alyssa (I think I asked for Bear and Zane to not come in because it was too much for me) spent time with me int he preop room. Regardless one of the times I was in the preop room (I think it was the day before) Aurelia came and sat on me and we played with blowing up gloves and with the bed, television, and light remote control. It was really great for me to have her light, bright energy at such a scary time. She helped calm me and put life into perspective. The simple pleasures of playing with non-latex gloves and pressing buttons. The fact that she didn't seem to really get the severity of the situation was perfect for me.

Anyway, they drugged me up enough that I was already out before I left the preop room. The next thing I remember was waking up and asking Nathan if I was alive and okay... if I had had the stent placed yet and if it went okay.... Just as I asked him this a machine started beeping... his answer was delayed because he feared that the beeping was bad.... but then he assured me I was alive and okay. Is that what it is like to die.... just gone from existence like that....

The doctor came in to talk to us and tell us that it all went well and that they were able to get a piece of my liver while they were in there. I tried to ask him questions to which he responded over and over..... you wont remember anyway.... I pushed until he would be clear with me that they had indeed gotten a piece of my liver..... which was good because....

Then they wheeled me to get the liver biopsy done. In that prep room I realized that I had to urinate.... bad..... I asked the nurses what I was supposed to do about it and they got me a bed pan.... which is something I had never used so I did what seemed totally obvious to me (I was still super loopy from the anaesthesia) I started to get up so I could squat over it... the nurses had no idea what to make of this so left Tereza and Nathan to help me and left the room.

I was wheeled into the next procedure and they got me all lined up in the CT scan machine and drew on me where the biopsy needle would go in. There was some hustle and bustle going on and I suddenly remembered that they had already gotten a piece of my liver in the first procedure. I tried and tried (I thought I was yelling but probably wasn't) to get someone to hear me asking them to stop and check to make sure this procedure was still necessary. I felt more and more frantic as noone seemed to hear me. Finally I decided that I had to find everything in me that could make a sound and yell.... STOP... finally they heard and checked with the doctor.... They still wanted to take a chunk....

By this time I had to urinate again.... they had been giving me so much fluid.... but I was all lined up. The nurses told me I would have to wait..... I told them there was no waiting.... so they said to do what I needed to do..... So I peed..... and peeed.... and peeed.... and peeed... in fact I peed throughout the whole procedure and it felt sooooo gooood. In fact I am sorry that I ever learned not to wet the bed.

By that point I was not feeling very trusting of the team I was working with.... but there was no going back.... I felt that if I didn't have faith in the team they were more likely to mess up.... so I focused like I have never focused before and got into some kind of drugged meditative state, imagining that all was well.... that was the last time I could meditate until a couple of months ago.

After this procedure they wheeled me out and had me in a hallway facing a wall. I couldn't really hear anything but lots of unfamiliar voices and I couldn't see anyone even though I was surrounded by people who love me. Then I heard Aurelia's voice cut through the din.... I cant believe that I cant remember what she said.... the sound of her voice instantly focused me and relaxed me and I knew I was okay and that my people were there with me.

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