Thursday, October 15, 2009

Biopsy 101

So, today was thyroid biopsy day (oh, rejoice!).
Mom arrived at the apartment around 8:25, and we reached children's around 9:00. My appointment was at 9:30.
Of course, once we got there I found out there were other tests I had to do--namely, an ultrasound of the gland. So we trooped down to ultrasound (where the receptionist must be a ventriloquist in another life, because she hardly moved her lips), where I changed into a gown, got scanned, and then sent back to intervention.
Mom had gone to the bathroom and I was sitting there, watching another episode of Dora the Explorer (involving sticky tape that solves All Problems), when one of the nurses came out.
"Hey, did you stop in the lab and get a pregnancy test?"
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. No, I had not. "I just went to my OB/GYN," I said. "There's no chance I'm pregnant."
The nurse nodded. "I know. But we have to check all girls over 12." She slipped me a script for the test, and I went to the other side of the hospital to go pee in a cup. It took longer to get my name called in the lab than to actually do the test. So I did it, dropped it off, and headed back to intervention.
I dropped my purse and coat on the chair next to mom, who was back. "Where did you go?" She asked, after I told the receptionist that I was back (again).
"Pregnancy test."
"Oh, please."
So finally, I was called back to the prep room. My mom was hanging out in the lobby while the nurse took my history (including fun questions like "How much did I weigh when I was born?") , took my vitals, and assembled materials for port access.
As she was taking my blood pressure, I asked exactly what was going to happen.

She proceeded to explain it to me. Dr. Hogan, my favorite interventional radiologist (when someone puts a chest tube in you at 2 a.m., you sort of bond), was going to be doing the biopsy. My port would be accessed, and I would get the same drug cocktail I get for bronchs--fentanyl and versed. This would make me lovely and happy while they poked around. Another nurse would position a rolled-up blanket under my shoulder blades so my head would drop back and my thyroid would be wonderfully exposed. At this point, Dr. Hogan, using an ultrasound, would insert the needle and take two samples. A pathologist would be present in the room. All I had to do was lay there while he poked around.

The nurse brought my mom back and I gave her the 411 on what was happening. She was happy the port would be accessed, because that meant we didn't have to do it until November. Always good. The nurse got the port (with the old huber needle) accessed on the first try.

Dr. Hogan came in and told me what we were doing. He thought that these were just cysts, and therefore benign, but we had to double check because I'm me. He always does a great job and I trust him, so I felt very comfortable at this point.

Around 11:25, the nurse came back and took me to the third exam room, where I got up on the ridiculously thin table and had the blanket positioned beneath me (this took a few tries). I knew the other nurse who was going to be assisting, so it was just like party, party in there.

The first nurse began pushing the fun drugs and my mom left the room. I started to feel a wee bit happy, but also sort of weepy (which can happen, a fun side effect.) Dr. Hogan had me sign my life away on the consent form, and we began.

The procedure itself took maybe 10 minutes--I didn't really feel sleepy until we were almost done. I slept for about 30 minutes in their small recovery unit. Another nurse, who had graduated from Pickerington High School 20 years ago, watched this part of my day, gave me apple juice, etc., and wheeled me out. I wasn't all that steady on my feet. :)

So, after that my mom took me home, got me food, and I slept for a few hours on her couch. Bryan brought me back to the apartment around 6, and then we met my family and Aunt Patty (Who was in town to pick up her daughter, Kelly, from college) at Olive Garden, where we celebrated Mel's birthday (which is really on Saturday). I was (still am) a bit sleepy, and I can't drive until late tomorrow afternoon, but all in all, it wasn't too bad.

So we should get results next week, although the very preliminary look says it's just cyst stuff and we don't need to worry about it.

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