Are we having fun yet?

I’m still feeling sluggish and useless after yesterday’s “adventure in medical science”, and am banned from continuing any of my physical therapy exercises (here at home or at the clinic) for my dislocated shoulder for a week. . . . feeling bummed out!  Despite my overly- extensive experience with medical tests/procedures/surgeries, the  “adventure” (an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of my liver) was more of a challenge than I had expected!  There were all of the usual pre-test rules and regulations, of course:

1) Nothing to eat or drink after midnight. 2) Do not take any medication on the morning of the procedure. 3) Arrive at the hospital at 7 am. . . . . although the test is scheduled for whatever o’clock.. . . .in my case, 9:30am.

Complying with rule #1 is usually quite simple. . . go to sleep before midnight!  I tried – I honestly did try – but sleep apparently wasn’t on the menu!  Coping with rule #2 is, I suspect, a somewhat thorny issue for nearly everyone “of a certain age”; if you’re not on blood-pressure meds (I’m not) or heart meds (I am), than you are probably on some form of pain medication (yes, between my RA and the afore-mentioned shoulder damage). If you happen to live anywhere in the great state of Texas, (especially in spring) you are probably miserable without your allergy meds, too! (Yep!)  Rule #3 probably isn’t a huge issue for some (or most?); in many cases, it allows one to leave the house later than usual because the hospital is closer than the office. In my case, it required ending my quest for sleep at 5 am to shake off the morning RA stiffness and engage Tom’s help in getting dressed and taming my hair ( because my left arm isn’t very useful at this time, donning a t-shirt is an acrobatic feat and the “simple” tasks of tying shoes and gathering my long hair into a barrette are impossible).

I realized that rescheduling this test (it was originally on the calendar for the day after my less-than-elegant battle with gravity at our son’s new house) before my shoulder had ‘fully healed’ was going to make the morning more difficult, but I want the results of the test sooner rather than ‘whenever’. I knew that getting out of my street clothes & into the ever-horrible hospital gown, trying to get positioned not-so-comfortably on the gurney, pulling my left arm forward with my right hand for blood tests and such was going to add a new dimension to “business as usual” –  but somehow forgot that I would be doing all of this without any of my pain meds – Duh!  Normally, the 7 – 9:30 am paperwork, weigh-in (they weren’t happy that I’ve dropped to 97 lbs., but then neither am I!), undressing and waiting on the gurney would have been the same-old-same old, but there was very little which was routine or comfortable this time!

Murphy’s Law showed up, too; sometimes my veins act up and it’s difficult to get an IV started, and yesterday was one of those days. It took two rather painful attempts in my right arm and an uncomfortable success in my left arm! “Can you turn your arm over more for me?” “Uh, no, I can’t.”  The biopsy itself wasn’t a picnic, but it wasn’t terrible. . . . except that I had to stay very still with my left shoulder and the IV line both yelling at me!

The doctor’s announced plan was “We’ll do the biopsy here” (X marks the spot, between two ribs) “and then have you roll into whatever position for several minutes to minimize the chance of bleeding.”  Um, what?  I called and ascertained that no rolling to either side would be necessary before rescheduling this test, because I Can’t!  Change of plan, more ultasound readings (and more ink on my torso); the X was relocated to just below my sternum and the needle with the local anesthetic was slowly and gently inserted. Obviously, it went only as far into my body as was  needful, but I began to suspect that his target was my spine! The problem with local anesthetic is that you are not numb when that needle is inserted!

Then came three long hours of lying flat on my back, not moving, to lessen the chance of internal bleeding. Ugh!  Tom brought me home at 2 pm. I had (over-optimistically, as usual) planned a short nap and some time in my studio just playing with ideas. . . .  I was so wiped out that I wasted the rest of the day alternately trying to read (couldn’t concentrate) and staring at the ceiling (it needs painting)!

I’m not allowed to lift anything heavier than our smallest cat (Noel) or do any strenuous exercises (there goes my PT) for the next five days. Right now, I’m trying to talk myself into going upstairs to my studio to see if I can accomplish something. . . .Anything!  Since the “exercise” involved in trying to catch up on e-mail is wearing me out, that feat seems somewhat doubtful.  Guess I’ll just lay here and watch the action at our backyard bird feeders!

Sorry about the whining – I know a lot of you have much more serious things going on in your lives right now.  Hugs and positive thoughts to everybody!


Christy  =^o^=

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