Thursday, December 22, 2011
the cheese knife- diary entry part 3
Monday, December 19th.
Over the thanksgiving holiday, we told my family what was going on. It was a huge relief- I spent so many years lying to my family, and now that I don't, I hate keeping things from them.
It was a seriously beautiful day. In the 50's. I still can't believe how nice the weather is here- often I go out in my coat, scarf and gloves only to immediately take them all off. We drove to the clinic. Danny and I were both on edge, I didn't know where to go from the parking garage as I had walked there the first time, we snapped at each other and then finally found our way. We waited an hour. We finally got into the exam room, we waited another hour.
The Dr. came in and talked to us. Did we have any questions, no we did not. She made sure to tell Danny that we could not have sex for 4 weeks, and then she told him graphically why. Sheesh.
She inserted that damn metal speculum, I swear that thing is extra long, and then started rummaging through all the drawers in the room. She didn't have what she needed, she said. As she was rummaging, she told me that the LEEP tool looked like a cheese knife.
WTF. Why must you keep doing that to me? I don't care, nor want to know what the tool looks like, but comparing it to a somewhat common household item is not helping. Now every time I see a cheese knife I'm going to go into convulsions and have to explain to the paramedics that one time a Dr. took a cheese knife to my cervix and so now I'm deathly afraid of them.
She left the room in search of the cheese knife. I was on the table, legs in stirrups, metal speculum wide open. Waiting.
A nurse came in, rummaged around in different drawers, set out the appropriate equipment, and left.
I seriously began to doubt her ability as a Dr. since she didn't know where anything was.
She came back in and took another look with the fancy microscope. A long look. She didn't look that long last time, but I was glad she was being thorough. I kept waiting for her to tell me stuff like "Well, looks like your timing belt is shot," or, "you could really use some new spark plugs."
Then it was time for the local. A few shots to the cervix. My legs started shaking, my heart was racing, I thought I was on the verge of a full blown panic attack and that I was going to die. "It was the Doctor! In exam room 3! With the cheese knife!" But it was just my weak leg muscles protesting being in stirrups for that long. I had to laugh at myself, then breathe and count to 5 to slow my heart down.
She left again to let the local take effect.
I was so glad to have Danny there, with all the waiting and leaving in and out of the room, being on that table for so long. So much less scary.
She came back in and switched the LEEP machine on. I could feel her putting stuff in me, and I kept wondering if she was just seeing how much crap she could shove in there.
When she turned the actual tool on, and it had that high pitched electrical buzz, I decided that never again will I be afraid of a dentist's drill. Oh, you want to give me 5 root canals? Today? Ok! No problem! Strap on that gas and go for it!
Breathe. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
OMG, burning flesh.
Breathe. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
Thank god I can't feel a thing.
She shoved a few more giant q-tips and some gauze in me and I wondered OMG how bad am I bleeding right now? Then said she was finished, and finally, finally took out that horrid speculum.
I laid there for a bit, knees together, grateful that it was over. It's OVER!!!!
I leaned up to ask her a question, and saw the chunk of flesh that she had cut out of me. I forgot my question, and laid back down.
FYI. The size of a quarter.
She left the room for the final time, and I got to put my pants back on. I fully expected to be bleeding like crazy, but I wasn't.
I am so grateful that this was a MUCH less traumatic experience than the colposcopy/biopsy. With all the waiting, my anxiety built up and made me crazy with worry, but it was not horribly painful. If I have to get a biopsy done ever again, I will ask for a local first. A shot is worth not having that kind of torturous pain.
Speaking of torturous pain- I'm by no means tough, but I am not a total wuss either. I've had my nipples pierced, and I have a lot of tattoos. I can endure pain. I have learned that the pain and emotional torture that comes with "touching" my cervix is unlike anything I have ever experienced, and I never want to have to go through that again.
Walking out that door, the relief I felt was tremendous. We finished out the afternoon by going to lunch. It was so nice to be together out and about during the day- since the days have gotten shorter and Danny has been working so late, we only go out after dark. After lunch, we walked down Valencia street- a pretty cool street in the Mission, and did a little window shopping. Just taking a walk, holding his hand, feeling the sunshine- made my anxiety melt away and I realized how lucky we are.
It's December, and we are walking around in tee shirts. They caught it early! They caught it early. I am so grateful to be healthy. Even with all the crap, and all my whining about it- I'm ok. We're ok.
The recovery has also been easier than with the biopsy- but this time I am armed with painkillers. Yes, I am an addict taking painkillers. But I am certainly not taking them for fun- I am in pain and they help tremendously. They do make my brain very foggy, which I do not like, I can't get any sewing done.
Hopefully she got it all out, so I won't have to do this again!