Daily Archives: June 5, 2012

Needles in Soft Haystacks

Well, not real haystacks.

Yesterday was an adventure. And by “adventure”, I mean “roller coaster”. I hate roller coasters. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground and enjoy the scenery rather than have my life flash by in a blur. But every so often one has to get on to prove to oneself that the roller coaster is not the boss of you!

Anyway, I had another mammogram done, as well as an ultrasound. I want to stress that everyone in the Radiology Department was beyond awesome. That doesn’t mean the mammogram was gentle, by any means. To add insult to injury, she had to retake it because she didn’t get enough on the squishy plates. Talk about an ego killer. Once she was done, I went back out to wait for the ultrasound. I felt relief because how bad can the ultrasound be, right? They place a bit of gel in the questionable area and swipe a transducer across to get an image. Piece of cake, right? WRONG!! It turns out it wasn’t just one nodule, but several, and as the technician swiped the transducer across it pushed against a tender area causing a rather large amount of discomfort. To make things worse, she kept missing it, because the cysts kept moving, so she had to dig juuuuust a little more each time to get a good view.


Not my actual ultrasound, but a good representation.

Now, imagine about 20 of them. Two of them were proving to be difficult, so the radiologists decided to drain the fluid in each one. And you may ask, just how is this done?

By inserting a syringe and withdrawing the fluid!!

Normally, this is were most people would totally wig out. And I came close, but when push comes to shove, you do what you must, right? So, I sat there as they explained the procedure, and told me how they would apply a local anesthetic so that I wouldn’t feel the needles (one for each cyst). That sounds good so far. Anyway, I laid flat on my back so that he could see the outline of the cysts better, and that’s when he noticed the bruise on the left haystack.

Doc: Wow, what happened here?

Me: Uh… long story.

Hubby: *snickers*

Me: A dog bit it, ok??

Doc: (laughing) This sure isn’t boring.

By now I was just itching to get this over with and done, but of course it’s never simple. I thought the local anesthetic was topical. Noooooooooooo…. it is injected. So there I am, on my side, arm way up over my head and falling asleep, scapula digging into the hard pillow used to prop me on my side, and the resident telling me to stay as still as possible and that I will “just feel a pinch”.

It’s a damn good thing he was a gorgeous redhead because I wanted to kill him on the spot. I was holding Hubby’s hand, clenching it actually, whimpering as quietly as I could, when I started to feel like my arm was ballooning. It was just like being at the dentist’s, only instead of drooling all over my arm just went totally limp. Thank you, Lord, for good drugs. As I watched the ultrasound, I see a needle being inserted into the area, and the resident wiggling it ever closer to the cyst. And what happens? The cyst decides to play coy, and move around!! GAH!!!! So he wiggles some more, into an area that is not completely anesthesized. Um, OY!! But as a good patient, I stay very still, and finally see him prick the cyst and withdraw the fluid. The second cyst was less problematic, but had to be wiggled into place. It was a very weird feeling having one’s haystack be moved around like that. But all good things come to an end.

Now it was time to go over recovery instructions. I figured it would be relatively simple stuff, watching for infection, keeping the swelling down, etc. I was taking it all in, until the nurse said I can only take acetaminophen for pain.

Excuse me??

I don’t get 12,000 mg ibuprofen?? No Vicodin?? NOTHING??? Acetaminophen just doesn’t work for me. I asked her why only that, and her reply was to prevent more bruising and bleeding in the area. To which I almost said, “That’s what Band-Aids™ are for, right??” But I was a good patient, and did as I was told. As I thought, acetaminophen did nothing for the pain, but the cold packs did. Unfortunately I couldn’t sleep with those, so I was a bit uncomfortable, but at least it beats the alternative.

So, in answer to y’all’s question, yes. I do have matching bruises now 😉