Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Journey to the Surgery Room

It is three o clock in the morning. I had my longest sleep since I was prepped for yesterday's surgery. Had it been the routine colonoscopy,(just like mammography, it is diagnostic test for people who have reached a certain age with high risk for cancer) my gastroenterologist could have performed it in her clinic. But she told me the reason for the procedure. My CATscan (known also as virtual colonoscopy) showed that illegal "aliens" have invaded my colon and she would like to find out how long they have squatted there-- "evict" them if necessary. She warned me however that if they are stubborn and had developed already a "colon-y" she would not touch anything.

According to wikipedia:
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Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the large colon and the distal part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It may provide a visual diagnosis (e.g. ulceration, polyps) and grants the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspected lesions. Virtual colonoscopy, which uses 2D and 3D imagery reconstructed from computed tomography (CT) scans or from nuclear magnetic resonance (MR) scans, is also possible, as a totally non-invasive medical test, although it is not standard and still under investigation regarding its diagnostic abilities. Furthermore, virtual colonoscopy does not allow for therapeutic maneuvers such as polyp/tumor removal or biopsy nor visualization of lesions smaller than 5 millimeters.

A week before when she was briefing me, I glanced at the wall. There hung her diploma. Here, if you're not an MD, you don't have to decorate your cubicle or your office with your certificates. The diploma gives you an assurance that the doctor doesn't say quack.

I did not ask where she graduated from. This was pre-Desperate Housewives/racial slur incident. That is an insult. Even if she were a graduate from her native country, her specialization residency was done in the US. Every foreign graduate of
a medical course has to meet that standards requirement.

Dr. Emer made mention again the name of a healing priest, Father Fernando Suarez. He said he is his friend. Hr promised me that he will e-mail him for prayers. Several weeks ago, my friend in New Jersey also talked about him and the changes he brought to the life of her close friend. And last Wednesday, Resty forwarded to me the youtube of the healing priest.

Minutes before we left, I played the youtube again. Then I saw the sign in the vestment that he was wearing.

My brother accompanied me in the hospital. I was 15 minutes early. The medical receptionist asked me if I speak Spanish only. It made me think if it were my looks or they only know Hispanic people as aliens. I have not seen a Filipino staff in that hospital. Most Filipinos prefer to live in California where the climate suits them.

After the "Signing ritual" with the front desk receptionist, a medical assistant took my vital signs, quizzed me about the medications I was taking, noted the last time I had my liquid intake and directed us to the third floor. In the waiting room, I was able to read the issue about all wars in the world in the Time Magazine, the latest causes of Britney Spear's meltdown and I even picked up some tips about making one's room appear look bigger.

The Endoscopy department is busy. I was called an hour past my schedule.

There were three RNs inside who prepare the patients for the procedure. I thought it was just a coincidence that they all wear the X-large size uniforms.Later,I found out that the physique
must be required in the department. A nurse can move the heavy gurney from the prep room to the OR all by herself.

After changing into a hospital gown, I was IV'ed for the medication and sedative; was attached to the heart monitor machine and oxygen tank; and the sphygmomanometer that checks the bp every 15 minutes. They checked my bracelet id twice; made me state my name twice.

Lately, I've been collecting a new bracelet fashion that I added to my collection on the rigtht---hospital id bracelet.

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Then the nurse wheeled me in the room where my specialist was waiting for me. She said that I will be sedated. Good. But I never got the chance to sleep a wink. All throughout the process, I was awake, watching the insides of my intestines came in the monitor in living color. Then I saw that the small camera focused on something and another instrument came into view. My doctor told me that if ever she will make incisions, she would be very careful.

After the process, the nurses wheeled me out. They thought I was sleeping. My doctor went to talk to my brother. Told him that I may experience to be a royalty. My urine will turn blue.

There are still mountains to climb but the load is becoming bearable because of your prayers.

cathcath's healing