Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Pancreas and the Kitchen Sink

Sorry to be away so long--Thanksgiving happened and the Pancreas stuff and the Kitchen sink and all--so I haven't been faithful to my blog. Again, sorry.

Thanksgiving was glorious. Our children and their partners and our three grand-daughters and John, our great friend, and Hanna who we've know forever. It was just great and profound and wondrous. Maybe I'll write about it sometime.

Then there is Bern's Pancreas. There's a growth on it--medical people seem to use 'cyst' and 'tumor' as synonyms when they talk about it. Found by accident when Bern had siaticia and thought she had a kidney stone.

Disagreement between doctors and radiologists in two opinions. And then, the second, more hopeful opinion doctor did a needle biopsy yesterday at Yale-New Haven Hospital to hopefully show that the growth (no matter what you call it) is benign and harmless. All went well except Bern, in the operating room, had a conflict with the anestesiologist, that, if we had it on tape would go viral on UTube.

(An aside here--my spell check has gone haywire and I am not in control of the correct spelling of anything right now. OK?)

So, it was a day trip to New Haven. We arrived at 12:30 and didn't start back to Cheshire until 6:15 or so. I wandered around, trying to find a place where I could smoke and since blocks of New Haven are property of YNHH and their signs are unrelenting and harsh--you can't even smoke on the sidewalks--the sidewalks for Christ's sake--anywhere on the five or six square blocks of the campus that is the hospital.

(Sometimes, when people are giving me grief about why I smoke, I tell them, "I am a Priest of the Lord, and as a priest I stand always with the oppressed. And who, in our society, are more oppressed than smokers?)

 So Bern had this ridiculous argument in the procedure room with the anestiseologist about how she was going to put to sleep for the procedure. The Dr. had been clear it would be that stuff Michael Jackson used to go to sleep and not general anesthesia. But the anestiseologist, insisted she was in charge. Bern, never someone to let someone she disagrees with 'be in charge', got in the 'go to sleep' doctor's face.

As Bern tells it, she said to the anestiseologist that she would not have two tubes down her throat since the procedure required a tube down her throat.

The anestiseologist said, "But they go to different places...."

And Bern replied, "But they enter in the same place...."

Apparently there was much back and forth and Bern's doctor came in and held Bern's hand and the anestiseologist finally was overruled by her supervisor and Bern got what she wanted. But it only goes to show, you have to 'manage' your health care.

I was to have a biopsy on something or other in my bladder my urologist did not understand and when I was moved to the operating table from the gurney, the anestiseoligist in charge saw a throat lozenge wax covering on the gurney.

"Did you eat that?" she asked harshly.

"No," I said, "I sucked on it because I was coughing."

She called off the proceedure.

My doctor told her is was "bullshit" and "crazy" but anestiseoligists have absolute, almost god-like powers.

I went upstairs and had the procedure in my urologist's office with a local. I would have preferred being asleep, I assure you, but the cough drop didn't make it a bad experience..

Besides all that, they tore out our kitchen today. We have no kitchen sink for several days. You never know how valuable a kitchen sink is until you don't have one.

I encourage you to join me in pondering the remarkable, incredible, life-giving characteristics of a kitchen sink.

Just imagine, if you can, how much you don't even realize you need it. Astonishing, I assure you, to have no kitchen sink....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.