Thursday, March 16, 2006

biopsy shmiopsy

Earlier in life, I wanted nothing more than to be a doctor. I was enthralled by science, especially medicine, and enjoyed learning about anything involving the human body. Cadavers? Cool. Close-up photos of surgery? Awesome. Giving my own blood? Loved to watch that big ole' needle find its way into my vein.

So fast forward a few years. My doctor ordered a bunch of blood tests last year and I ended up giving like 7-8 vials of blood after a long afternoon with no snacks. Totally fainted. They assured me it had nothing to do with nerves, but due to the large amounts of blood and little to eat.

A few weeks ago I went in for a "routine" biopsy of my thyroid. Turns out I have some larger-size nodules that the doctor wants to check out. It started out just fine. I wasn't worried at all. I was told to lay down on the table and wait for the doctor. And wait. And...wait. After about a half hour I was ready to fall asleep or freak out, laying there thinking about a needle in my neck.

The procedure started. Ultrasound of the thyroid? No big deal. Using a pen to mark the spots for the needle to penetrate? Child's play. Needle with lidocaine? Okay, a little bit of a burn. More burning. Ouch. Little needle to take biopsy? Up and down, back and forth, dabba dabba dabba. It's weird that your thyroid is just there all the time, but you never really notice it until the needle is stabbing it again and again to get a sample. The doctor turns to walk away and it happens. Sweaty palms, queasy stomach, clammy, clammy, "Uh, doctor? Feeling a little clammy over here." Spun around, head down, legs in the air, cool washcloth on my head, spinning room starting to slow down and come back to normal. Sweat break.

"A physiological reaction to the trauma of a needle in your neck," the doctor says. "Nothing to worry about. Not even related to nerves." Hmm. When did I get so wimpy?

My OB/GYN nurse practitioner recommended getting my doc to prescribe a little ativan (aka anxiety meds) for the next time it had to happen.

That was today. And I took the teeny weeny anti-anxiety pill (.5 mg) before the procedure. He even had to go in 3 times to get a really good sample this time. I did some deep breathing and finding of my happy place (on the beach with Ben and Hanalei). A little bit of blood, a few bandaids later, and I'm just fine. As the title goes, biospy shmiopsy. Maybe I'm not going to turn out as big a wimp as I thought!

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