Saturday 26 September 2009

The looming abyss of a deep biopsy

A future blurred by heaven

It was definitely in the 1990s in London during one of the Party in the Park concerts at Hype Park, probably the first that I went to see Bryan Adams.

This comes up because a variation of his hit single crossed my mind and got stuck as a lingering thought as I contemplated the next few minutes of my life, it was that dramatic and I can assure you I am not that given to histrionics.

The variation was, “I thought I’ll die and go to heaven”, it was me contemplating a future that had been made fuzzy that I saw release from an impending event than live through it as opposed to Bryan Adam’s past tense of “Thought I’d died and gone to heaven”.

The foot topology of pain

I was down to see the dermatologist which took the best part of two days to book, I arranged for a wheel chair with a raised leg to forestall the excruciating pain of blood rushing down to my feet exciting the over-active nerves that send messages of pain to my brain on the emergency line untrammelled.

I only half succeeded as having morphine 30 minutes before my appointment did not do the trick, I literally cried down to my appointment.

They were serious and prepared

When the consultant came in to see my feet, he ordered deep, I mean, deep poke it in and pull it out biopsies of the wounds, my restraint got the better of me where I should have blurted out – “You cannot be serious”. Serious, they were because without those biopsies we’ll be no wiser about why we were in the situation we were in.

Here I was thinking the dermatologist will rub a balm over my wounds and all will be well, with a pat on my head, I did get a handshake but instructions were clearly what I had not prepared for.

Thankfully, all those were to be taken under local anaesthetic but injecting that was painful enough, I ended up with 5 injections where at first the doctor expected me not to move my foot as she tried to prick me, I remonstrated, she had to get someone to hold down my foot because my reaction was too natural to overcome with the discipline she seemed to expect.

Interesting role reversal

One lady held down my leg and I had another lady speaking softly to me holding my hand in role-reversal as I was asked to breathe in deeply, surely, this is not the pain of labour in a maternity ward. I could not wish for an epidural.

I stuffed a towel in my mouth, bit on it and thought about a place with no pain as chunks of fungating flesh were extracted for laboratory analysis.

When finally the ordeal was over, it was not really over because on returning to my bed, I could call on no further shots of morphine for another 5 hours, meanwhile, I had a large morphine patch pasted on my chest.

No morphine anymore

Now, I am completely off morphine because it was the cause of my nausea, the new pain-killers just numb the feeling but do not kill the pain, I cannot say I am in agony but there is enough discomfort to make me uncomfortable.

Even whilst in hospital getting treatment, you are no less an experiment of trial and error till a full diagnosis is made and a regime of therapy or palliative care is offered as succour.

No, I did not die and go to heaven; I lived through the pain to tell another story of an event in my hospital life.

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