Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thyroid Biopsy

Yesterday I had a thyroid biopsy, which everyone assured me would be not nearly as bad as being on the receiving end of a cortisone shot in the foot delivered in a giant needle long enough to impale your foot all the way through like a shish kabob, which I have endured three times. 

Before the biopsy, they did blood work and completely butchered my arm.  I had my eyes closed so I don't know what the phlebotomist did exactly, but my arm hurt worse than my neck.  I have a huge raised purple spot that is quite a bit larger than a quarter on the bend of my elbow.  My nine year old is very impressed.

Just before the doctor came in to do the biopsy, I was informed that this particular doctor does not believe in local anesthetics.  When he came in, he convinced me it would be better without pain meds because it would take less time.  I agreed and appreciated that mindset - let's get it over and quick.  In retrospect, maybe that wasn't the best choice.

From my discussion with my ENT earlier this week, I had imagined a fine needle biopsy would involve sticking a very thin needle into my neck, sucking out some tissue and sending me on my merry way.  Instead, the doctor performing the test said he would be doing three needle sticks guided by the ultrasound so they would be sure to poke the larger of the several nodules in the gland.  Not only did he do three, but he dug and poked the needle around in me for about 30 seconds at a time.  I counted the seconds so I could cope with being tortured.  If you have ever seen a liposuction done on tv, it was like that, repeated random shoving of a needle in and out.  The lack of control and having to hold still without swallowing while having a needle gouging me repeatedly was way worse than the pain.

When it was over, the nurse showed me the blood in the very large sample of fluid they sucked out of me.   "See, there's a lot of blood," she told me as if that could possibly make me feel better.  Then the two nurses chatted about Christmas baking, blocking my exit until I asked if I could leave.  How could they not see that I needed to get out of there rather urgently?

Today I am doing better and can move my neck around much more.  My arm is hurting a little less when I type.  Hopefully that is all that I will need to be done.  Hopefully they will tell me in nine days that I do not have cancer and will wish me a merry Christmas and apologize for the inconvenience.

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