The Bronch

Waking in the night, I thought I’d heard the clock strike 4. I was just about beside myself until I went to the kitchen and the clock read 12:53. After I went potty, I crawled back into bed but not back to sleep until over an hour later. I was able to sleep from about 2 to 3 when the timer beeped and I had t get up and get ready to go for my bronchoscopy.

To say I was dreading it would be the understatement of the year. I had it in my head that I could very well not survive the ordeal. I’d been told (and I’d read online) that I would be awake for the whole thing. I didn’t want to be.

The gauze 2x2s did little to keep my ears from hurting so I got my scissors and went to work cutting them off. When all was said and done, I had cut through the tubing and had to replace the cannula.

Portable_Oxygen_Tank_with_BagAt 3:45, my CIL came over and got me outfitted with the portable O2. I’d asked the man at the DME supply place about a portable condenser but he said Humana pays so little for them, they aren’t available for my plan. Since the fellow never showed yesterday with fresh tanks, I was stuck with two partials and, supposedly, a full (which turned out to be almost empty).

Getting in the van, I looked at the clock. Friday, 2:22. My CIL hadn’t set it. I forgot my pedometer has a clock.

Traffic was heavier at that hour than either of us expected but, in spite of having to wait for a train and hitting almost every red light on the way to the Mother Ship, we got to the desk at 5:58, EDT. I was to be there at 6.

The waiting room was half full when we went in, then got full to almost overflowing before I was called.

I was escorted to a room where I finished my registration, then on to Room 4103 where I was put to bed. The nurse got the IV in the first time and drew vial after vial of blood. At one point, there were four staff members buzzing around my little room. Shortly before 8 a.m., I was shot in the rear with a sedative. By the time the gurney carrying moi wound its way through a maze of corridors and elevators, I was relaxed but still awake.

Put in another little room, I was greeted by a woman who swapped my cannula with a mask that contained the albuterol and lidocaine. She took a swab with a numbing gel and put it up one nostril and then on the other side, as well. When the doctor got there and greeted me, I was given something to put me in LaLaLand. And, folks, I was OUT. None of this, “You’ll be awake” stuff. I was gone.

I woke myself, moaning and groaning. I couldn’t stop. I had the cannula back on so the bronch was over.

The woman pushed the gurney to an adjoining room and I was left there to become more aware. When I was able to open my eyes and keep them open, I was taken back to my room by two expert female gurney pushers. The men had kind of had it going all over the place but the women held it straight and true.

Back in “my” bed, I dozed for, seemingly, hours. It couldn’t have been that long since we were given the all clear to leave at 11:30 EDT. I didn’t need a chest x-ray. I didn’t know whether to take that as a good sign or an ominous one. I have no idea when I’ll get the results.

The IV sticker pushed me to the entrance and my CIL was still waiting for the van to be brought around. It finally showed up and he was able to get a partial tank to going. I’m about done with portable O2 tanks.

I leaned the seat back some and used the pillow he’d brought but I was awake. We talked, off and on, and I coughed a little.

It was about noon TT when we pulled in the driveway and he walked me to the house. I was shaky but I was okay.

When I sat down, I was out like a light after I’d emailed that I was home. I woke a time or two and felt like I was super-glued to the chair. My arms were so heavy, I couldn’t think about getting up. I’d estimate I slept a couple of hours.

On waking, one of the ladies from church had emailed about VBS. I had to put it on the church group on Facebook as well as forward it to the email group.

It wasn’t long before the doorbell rang. Cuz is the only one who knows the trick to getting it to ring but I’d talked to her on the way home and I knew she wasn’t going to be here. When I made my way to the door, there she stood! Unbeknownst to me, the nurse had told my CIL that I needed someone close by tonight so they’re staying another night. She came over a couple more times and got a list of things I need from ALDI and Walmart. I don’t know what I’d do without my Cuz and CIL.

I’d read the Flexible Bronchoscopy, Care After and it said I should expect increased coughing. WHAT?!! How can something that hits so often increase? It also said I should eat soft foods. I still hadn’t eaten anything so I mixed up some instant oatmeal with cashew milk and had that. Plus I’ve had a cup of Bragg Liquid Aminos broth.

If I have the energy, I need to do my teeth regimen. After that, it will be bed. I should sleep good tonight.

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