Thursday, November 12, 2015

Normal No' Mo'

We went to the Support Group. It was at a weird time. 6:00 on a Tuesday evening and listen, I was nervous and the electrical pain shooting system in my healing belly was zoinking me like crazy-making me wonder if my belly was channeling some sort of internal distress signal.  In my imagination, this meeting was going to be something like 60 people and they were all going to be feeling not fine and that worried me. My plan was to sit in the corner and listen.  

Nod, nod, nod, hopeful smile. That's how I roll in Cancertown. 

P thought maybe 12 or 15 people and he had it in his head that I was going to ask a lotta questions and gather information in hopes-I think-of getting me feeling better because nobody has to bear the burden of me feeling not fine-more than him. 

And I have been feeling not-fine. 

We got there. Stopped at Security and asked where to go. The Security Officer looked completely mystified. (I know this look because I've done security myself. It's called: I thought this was supposed to be a quiet night.) Lucky thing, P had the actual poster announcing the meeting so we produced that and the guard kinda scratched his head and went to find someone.

Out came a lady from the Wig Department. It's not really the Wig Department, it's the non-doctor sort of service section that looks a little bit like a gift shoppe. She knew nothing about this meeting but immediately started looking into it. 

We were calm. For me-it wouldn't have been the worst thing to get to go home. Know what I mean? 

At 5:59.59, up walked a woman who said she was going to run the meeting. Hmm we thought. It was going to be a meeting of Ann, Ann and Philip and that was all.

Ann is the Cancer Czar's nurse. 

So imagine, we got to spend an entire hour having a gigantic chat with a cancer nurse. 

So cool. 

And we didn't even have to pay the usual 5 bucks to park. 



On the other hand. 

I've been feeling like I have a slice of fabric going down my throat. Maybe like the size of the tail of a very small kite. I can talk. I can eat and drink. My voice is it's normal self-ish, I think. But, it's absolutely not normal and I think this flare up is from the anesthesia tubes or having that 2 by 4 tube thing in the back of my nose or something horrible like that because-like many many systems in my body-It Wasn't Like This Before. (Ahh before. I knew ye well.)

I made an appointment with an ENT a few weeks ago, but I was deep in the elimination negotiation zone so I had to cancel it. Ear, nose and throat doctors are super jammed at Loyola.  Same for dermatologists. The next available was in Wheaton. 

You know how far Wheaton is? I never go there.

I worked yesterday. Hey-it was a bit struggley. I felt absolutely great for the first 15 minutes and the last 15 were the exact opposite. 

I drag myself to Wheaton. The reception lady could not have been lovelier. I waited. And they took me in. The Medical Assistant took my numbers and looked at my record and said: You had both of these procedures at the same time

Like, what, are you nuts?

I tell her that I am afraid-because I am a gagger. I've had to see special dentists that knock you out because I cannot bear having heavy equipment driven through the back of my throat. 

And I think it's gonna be okay because Ann-the Cancer Nurse told us, that if you tell your medical professional that you're scared-they're going to be extra double careful and make sure you're okay because that's one of the reasons they're in this game. 

Compassion. Uh-huh. 

This doctor and his nurse, they sat me in this old time (almost like a barber) chair and they both said, This is going to be easy. It's nothing. You're not going to feel a thing. 

And then he checks my ears, and pokes these nostril spreaders up my nose and says he's going to use some numbing spray, so, he sprays that in my nose holes and leaves the room.

He comes back with two, gigantic tongue depressors. One, he plans to hold my tongue down while he's going to try and scrape out what he calls, 'Tonsil Stones' out of the back of my throat. The very back of the back of my throat. 

I am immediately gacking. 

Next they're going in with a camera. "It's as thick as a piece of spaghetti-you'll be fine. You won't even FEEL it. Breathe through your nose." 

(I hate these people forever.

Oh Ann. You don't HATE them. You just dislike them.

Nope. I hate them forever.)

He shoves this UNCOOKED spaghetti camera thing into my right nostril. 

ACK ACK ACK, says me.

Left nostril. 


I went into full body cringe. I was heaving and retching and gacking and tears were coming out of my eyes and tears were coming out of my nose and and tears were coming out of my ears and I tried to get the guy to take the f-ing thing out but he wouldn't.

And he said: This is alllllll in your head. You're not choking. You're fine. Just breathe through your nose. 


He says I have reflux. I say, I have what? Oh yes, he says, it's very common after GI surgery.(I'm sorry, WHAT? We are like 7 weeks out. This is very common? I'm hearing about it now?) And not the normal kind of reflux. Some sort of magical OTHER kind that requires another pill. 

As I'm pulling my drippy eyeballs back into my head, the nurse appears with a prescription. She tells me not to expect it to work for at least three weeks.

I get home to Kristy McNichol-our personal Osco pharmacist. I tell her about the three week thing. She looks at me like I'm insane. No, she says. It should start working in about a day.

Here's why I'm never going back to Wheaton:

If I tell you I'm going to have a problem with your procedure? What I want you to do is think of a strategy. Do not tell me it's all in my head. You AND your nurse. 


1 comment:

  1. My ENT is Dr. Kurtzman in Berwyn. Don't know if he's in your plan... but I have the opposite of the gag reflex... everything gets crazy in my throat and I swallow and slobber uncontrollably. Serious jowly dog slobber. If anyone besides my shrink or my brain surgeon tells me something is "all in my head" they deserve to have their ankles gnawed on by fire ants.