Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Strapped To A Table

Yesterday was Angiogram Day.
Among the reasons my doctor ordered this study was to determine the extent of the tumor as well as measure the sufficiency of blood flow to my brain.

What they did was shove a catheter/probe of some sort, with a balloon attached, into a femoral artery (the groin area) and followed the artery all the way up into my head.
Kinda weird when you actually stop to think about it.
(you gonna put what, where? through there? and you've actually done this before?)

"Hey, ah... Can I have a lead apron,too? I'm feeling kinda exposed here."

Once things got under way, the balloon was inflated, restricting blood flow, while time ticked away waiting for something bad to happen.
I passed this test rather easily. As a result, the surgeon has a few more options at his disposal when cutting time gets here.

Was wide awake, and still didn't feel a thing. Not sure what they juiced me with, but it was good,happy stuff. Spent the time in a near dream state, but still wide awake as to what was going on around me, responding to commands and questions from the team (who took good damn care of me).

After about 2 1/2 hours of this, I was wheeled away for an angiostudy. Basically, a fancy medical sounding term for another type in a long succession of photography sessions I've been going through. They wanted more shots of my head,neck and brain.

Like I said previously, this is a major teaching hospital, with a large campus. Lots of out buildings and departments not always connected physically. To get to the next procedure, my lovely nurses would be taking me on mini road trip, so to speak.
As we got under way, I asked if I was going public.
"Yes" they giggled.
I pulled the blankets over my head and left one arm dangling lifelessly from the roll-a-bed.
"You're gonna freak everybody out!"
Just roll it, and take me past the cafeteria.Go slow.

They got a kick out of that.
"Gino, that lady over there is staring. Oh my God. You are freaking them out."
Shhh. Act serious.
"Pull your head out"

After about another hour of photography, it was time to head back to my recovery room.
I called a halt under a shade tree in the courtyard, and then tried to beg a smoke from a passerby.
"That's it. You're going in before you get us in trouble."
How 'bout opening the valve on that happy juice,then?

I'm still sore down there, and was told to stay mostly reclined for 48 hrs, and avoid any strain to the affected area.
Sounds like a good excuse to do nothing at all, guilt free. I'll take it.

I've got another one of these angiograms coming up, just before surgery. Supposedly, to shut off the artery(ies) so as to facilitate. (It's less messy,er... bloody, that way).


tully said...

My God, when you have a brain tumor it magnifies your personality?

Well, in that case, I'm praying for you Gino...


Once again, your ability to make the situation as good as possible renders any further advice or prayers on my part unnecessary.

Gino said...

not a brain tumor. a carotid tumor.
but its all connected to the brain through blood supplying arteries, indirectly, but the one effects the other.

just had a thought: some of this might be just around the corner from dr. brian's field of expertise.

and yeah,tulley.
sarcasm and dark/irreverent humor is how i normally cope.

tully said...

I thank you for that- but I have a feeling it's not just humor. Humor always has it's roots in the understanding. We laugh at the unreal and unsubstantial to preserve and uphold what we hold dear. There's never anything mindless about humor. For most of us, it's the most cognitive and revealing thing we do from day to day.

Gino said...

and you're right.

i'm not typically an oprah-esque kinda guy. and i'm not likely to start being one now,either.

Mark Heuring said...

Trust me, Gino - now is definitely not the time to go all Oprah. Prayers galore from Minnesota, land of Pawlenty.

Jade said...

So passing the test sounds like it's a good thing?

The road trip has me laughing... past the cafeteria. That's too much :)

Glad to see you are back online... one poorly placed mouse click can indeed ruin your computer day (speaking from experience) Good luck with your further recovery/testing. At some point tomorrow you should receive a pretty picture to look at.

Gino said...

yes, good thing.
it means when they slice my artery open, it will spout like an uncapped garden hose.
remember the 'water wiggle'? LOL
yeppers... gonna paint the O.R. red.

the nurses were sweet. not just attractive, but semi-flirtateous in their bed side manner. they been taught well how to calm a man's nerves.

my picture is coming? :) :) :)

happy day!
thank you.

Gino said...

mark: thanks for that.
this is no where near what you went thru,though.
i'm holding you as an inspiration.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Only you can make a dreadful medical procedure sound fun. Best of luck my friend.

Brian said...

Oddly enough, though I've operated on the carotid arteries of about 2500 rodents, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a carotid tumor. Modern biology is really, really specialized.

Anyway, I applaud your humor. Keep it up. You'll heal faster.

DJRainDog said...

Hey, G...Glad you're hanging in there...Looks like you manage to have a lot more fun than I do at the hospital. The nurses have not been so flirtatious with me as the docs have. Major teaching hospital, here, too, and I must say, some of the the ladies who show up on rounds in the morning are really fine...And at that hour of the morning! Smart, too, apparently. Somebody remind me how I landed in this gay thing? I'm really not good at it. *sigh* ;-)

Gino said...

hospitals can be fun once you realize you really have no control, and leave the seriousness up to the paid staff.

tully said...

By that recognition of your ignorance, you take on more control than was otherwise imaginable. Hence the Socratic Wisdom of "Know thy ignorance,"