Here is a "live" blog of my one year bronchoscopy experience, the last routine bronch I will need!
9:38 am - Checking in, I'm asked if my visit today is accident related. Does an accident of genetics count?
9:45 - I am measured at 64 and a half inches. Did I grow? Post-transplant steroids, perhaps? Whatever the case, every half inch is important when you are a short person!
9:47 - My pulmonary function test (PFT) starts out with a lower than I'd like number (83% FEV1) which is normal for me. I typically add ten percentage points to what I score in the first run. Which is exactly what happened this time- my final effort was a 93%. Very nice.
10:11 - My wife and I arrive down the the Medical Procedures Unit. They confirm that she is my driver since I won't be allowed to operate a vehicle for the rest of the day.
10:24- IV is in. No matter how many times I've had an IV put in, I can never look at what they are doing. Same with standard blood draws. But I can access my own chest port without a problem. I think I have an aversion to veins being stabbed more than just needles in general.
10:30- I am so glad I am not a hairy guy as the electrodes are stuck to my chest. One less thing to deal with.
10:32- I read and sign the form saying I understand the risks of the procedure. It reminds me of how often we sign stuff without really reading it. This form warns me that "death" is a possible outcome from this procedure (infinitesimal though it may be), so this is slightly more important than an iPhone OS update user agreement.
10:37 to 11:24 - Nap! The doors open, noise is pouring in from all the hallway traffic, and the lights are on, but I don't let that stop me!
11:26 - I'm wheeled to the room where the procedure will take place.
11:32 to 11:36 - I inhale an analgesic through a nebulizer to numb my throat for the procedure and overhead a conversation between the two doctors about a patient with lymphoma. Of course, they don't violate HIPPA, but I do get to hear firsthand how medical professionals engage in debate over the best course of treatment for someone. Balancing immediate patient comfort with long-term health concerns sounds difficult to navigate.
11:45- My pillow is taken away in favor of a piece of foam which gently thrusts my head back to make access to my airways easier. The doctor gives the order to send the sedatives through my IV.
11:46 - I'm out.
Not sure when? - I remember moving from the procedure gurney to the movable one. Vaguely.
12:51 pm - I wake up from the sedation and, after a few minutes, I'm able to remain conscious enough to have them tell me the initial results of the bronch. (Looks pretty good).
1:17 - An X-Ray to confirm my lungs don't show any visible reason to keep me around is done. No need to tell me what positions to stand in, X-Ray tech-- I've got at least a hundred of these under my belt.
1:25- X-Ray looks good and the IV is out! I can leave and go eat-- not being allowed to have breakfast is pretty much the most annoying thing about this procedure.
1:31 - Made some wonderful choices in the cafeteria- lasagna and garlic bread with sautéed veggies. And chips and a brownie. Enough to account for having missed breakfast. ;)
When we got home, there was a package on the porch, and I had a hospital wrist band on-- just like the day I returned home after the transplant. I could not resist changing into the outfit I had on that day (well, the shorts are different; I outgrew the pair I wore in the original photos). Makes a pretty spectacular before and after, no?