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The next day (Friday, May 7th), I got in trouble with my pulmonologist again. This time, I had taken my cell phone along to the park, but I didn't answer it, and I neglected to listen to the voice mail until we were leaving the park. There was another message from him telling me that the results from the needle biopsy were inconclusive, and they needed a larger sample. When I called him back, I got an earful about answering my phone and keeping it with me at all times. How did these doctors function before cell phones? Anyway, that night I went in to the hospital at 5pm for the biopsy. I hurried to work out childcare and be there in time only to have to wait two hours for my surgery.
My surgeon was great, another Christian man. I've never before had a doctor take my blood pressure, but since most of the staff had gone home for the night, he was the one who did the pre-op things and got me settled himself. He'd added me to his schedule as the last surgery of the day, and then had a very full day with complications that backed everything up. His wife called while he was operating on me, as he was supposed to be home already. I don't envy doctor's wives and families!!
I was awake during the procedure, and the only bad thing was when they used a tool to cauterize. The nurse said, "If it smells like a BBQ, you're the BBQ." Nice! It's a horrible smell. Despite the late hour, the pathologist was on hand to make sure the sample was adequate. He's a wonderful, compassionate man! He is so well respected, that the doctors and nurses are all in mourning over his upcoming retirement. They hate when he is out of the office and a substitute takes his place. Apparently, none of the other Pathologists will talk to patients about their initial findings or gut instincts as he had done with me the day before. I was so blessed by him. While the surgeon worked, he stood at the head of the bed and talked to me. Of course, his idea of small talk was telling me about the different types of cancers I might have and what they would be looking for. LOL These doctors have their own sense of reality! It was really like having a grandpa there with me, and I kept thanking him for staying late for me. He told me that long ago he had realized that he had to live with himself, and he couldn't sleep at night unless he knew that he had done everything he could for his patients. What an amazing example of service and sacrifice! I was truly blessed when I found out that he was leaving for a family trip to Puerto Rico as his father-in-law is in the final days of his own battle with cancer, and they wanted to enjoy this time as family before he passed. He stayed until he had a sample he was happy with, some time after 8pm, and then went home to prepare for his trip the next day. Then, while he was in Puerto Rico, he called back frequently over the course of the next 5 days to check in with the lab; he spurred the other Pathologists on until they reached a diagnosis.
The surgery was not as simple as the surgeon thought it would be. It ended up taking 1 1/2 hours, and they had to cut a major muscle to get an adequate sample. I left the hospital at 8:30pm, and by the time I neared my house, I was in excruciating pain. I got to CVS just before they closed to fill a prescription for pain meds, and by the time I arrived home at 9 pm, I was completely exhausted and in tears. I also hadn't had anything to eat or drink since breakfast! It had been a long week!
Grace and Peace,