Monday, May 4, 2015

A Pain That Nauseates

Six weeks out from abdominal surgery, I was still in some pain.  My oncologist was reluctant to start Avastin until I had been examined by the surgeon.  The day after my iron infusion I saw the surgeon in his office.  I expected it to be a quick trip--he'd find all the sore spots, and send me on my way telling me, "It's just nerve damage, you're good to start Avastin".  Instead, this happened:

Surgeon:  Let's see that incision.  Hey.  Wow.  You have some stitches here, still.  These must be bothering you.

Me:, not really

Surgeon:  Let's just do this [Grabs tweezers.  Yank!  He pulled a stitch.]

Me (unspoken):  These need to come out WHYYYY?!!

Then, THEN!  He held the thing up to the light so I could see it.  Did I want to see that?  NO!  Of course not!  I am a person who is unable even to pull my children's baby teeth.  In theory, I am interested in All Things Medical, but in practice?   No, no, no.  And besides:  OUCH.  But he didn't stop there.  He yanked out another one.


Surgeon:  [Holds up...a length of...whatever it I could see.]

Me, weakly:  Yeah, I don't need to see that.

Surgeon:  Oh.  Hey look at that, Celine.  You've got a knot right...there!  [Scrounge, pull, probe, yank...  He turns around to retrieve some other horrific instrument.  Dig, pull, yannnnk] AHAAAA...there we go!

Me, getting sicker:  OWWWWW...You do know that I'm awake, right?  And that I can feel that?!

Him:  All done.  You did great.

Me: [sweating profusely] I am about to vomit all over your shiny floor.  And then pass out...and probably vomit some more.  That is not great, Doc...not great at all.

I can't remember how I got out of there.  I do remember sitting in my car, still parked, and trying not to throw up.  The sense of "something awful just happened" lingered on the fringes of my frazzled mind.  I was a mess.  I called Patrick at work from my cell phone.  Patrick, wonderful husband that he is, comforted me over the phone.

One nap later and the surgeon was forgiven, but I doubt I'll ever forget the way those stitches came out.

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