(typed on my iPad. Please excuse typos)
It’s embolization time. Game time. Operation “Find and plug the leak.” The medical version of Where’s Waldo?
Last night, when I sat down to write my blog post, “pop” went my lung. 60 cc of the stuff vampires dig. Fresh from the source. Hot, red and tasty – if you’re dead with fangs. Another fifteen cc and I would have been send to the ICU. Fortunately, I didn’t cross that line. I’ve been able to enjoy the day in my room working. But I’m tired because I had to maximize the folding bed to its most upright position, which is the same as sleeping against the wall with your ass on the floor. Comfortable it is not.
Medicine is funny. I always thought it was science. I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t think it’s progressed much father from the days of witch doctors. There are just more potions to choose from and the witch doctors don’t fight to the death when they disagree. Still, perhaps, one day the phrase “get a second opinion” will change to “get a fourth opinion.”
Do doctors agree on anything?
I’m not sure, as there has been much debate about whether to embolize me or not. First, one doctor told me that I needed to cross the magic mark of 200 cc of blood to make the cut and get the magic lung glue. Then, today another opinion arrived and the 200 cc barrier disappeared. “It’s a judgement call,” he told me. Oh, how the story changes from day to day.
The attending, who I like a lot, opened the door today and told me from the hallway that tomorrow was my lucky day – I’d won an embolization and a bronc as a topper, the icing on my lung-shaped cake. OH, YEAH, baby. Jackpot. Mama needs some new shoes. Let it ride on red while I load up on Jack and Cokes and fill my pockets with coins from the slot machine. Hold it, this machine pays off in enzymes. Oh, it’s the Wheel of Fortune – the CF Life version. Damn, I played the wrong one.
All week I was told IR probably wouldn’t notice my case because of that 200 cc minimum. The funny part is that they always had to guess at how much I coughed up. Is this science? Really? If 200 cc is such an important number, why don’t they give me a measured cup to cough the blood into? The doctors acted like carnival employees guessing someone’s weight. I asked for a couple of measured cups last night so I could get a precise measurement and stop the lottery guessing game. And my plan worked. Almost.
The doctor came in this morning and looked at the 60 cc in a cup and said, “what is that about 75 cc?” “No, 60,” I said. “Let’s just call it 75,” he said. “I want you to get an embolization.” I sat there staring with my mouth wide open. Science? I have a precise measurement in front of me and it’s circumvented by the doctor. I give up. There must be some advantage to making up your own measurements.
So, tomorrow’s the big day. Several months ago, my CF doctor told me the possible complications of an embolization. I can’t repeat them here because I’ll need to wear diapers if I do. I liked the one I had in Germany much better, as the instructions and complications were spoken in German. I just nodded and said, “sounds great, can I have the lung glue now, Herr Doctor?”
Oh, and though my idea to cough up blood into a measured cup worked, I need a bigger opening. Some of the blood missed, hitting my tennis shoes and floor. How much would you say missed the cup? What would you guess? My expert opinion on guessing blood on the floor? I’d say about 15 cc. 🙂
(to be continued, I hope)