My Inside-Out Selfie – or a Spaghetti-like Assault

How many of us can say they had a camera shoved down their throat with little notice, and with no huge anticipation? While I have been diligent in researching the procedures coming up during my bout with Thyroid Cancer, I did not expect this one coming.

Being a photographer, there is nothing as fascinating to me as the technology behind digital images, and the clarity and usefulness they have in medicine, especially. But who knew one of these tiny little suckers was heading for my left nostril?

This was a routine pre-op office visit. Answers to questions, processing information with my husband along to add interest. The surgeon, while a really nice, reassuring professional, a member of all the right societies, suddenly got up it seemed and produced a long, thin what looked like a q-tip, and all I thought was how can a piece of cotton on a rigid little dowel possibly be stuck so far into my face.

Turned out, when I thought is was going to be only a sample or something of the inside of my nose, it just kept going. Turned out, a digital laryngoscopy included a preliminary probe, which felt like a towel being dragged along the back of my throat. Well, that’s how it felt, anyway.

rigid-endoscope1

Next, the chrome and silver object of interest. A long tube, flexible with the tiniest camera I ever can imagine, on the end of it, slide its way down my nose. All this time, I’m watching it on a monitor. Was that a hair I saw? OMG. I need a wax. All I could think of was America’s Got Talent, a TV show that actually has occasional performers whose act is to pull spaghetti or string through their nose after swallowing it. Disgusting!

This little camera got pushed past the point of resistance, wherever that was, and my windpipe and vocal cords were right there. Right there, I tell you. I never saw such a sight. And hope never to again.

This was a reverse selfie! This was a trip through my insides to make sure the stuff was where it was supposed to be, and along with an MRI and bloodwork, and reassurance that everything would be all right just added to the experience of my thyroid surgery. I can’t wait to really say Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Spinal Thoughts X – Whatever Happened to Good Ol’ Aspirin?

Before I forget, I thought I’d record for posterity what was instilled into my system during my hospital visit in February. Sure beats the past, when a swig of whiskey settled the issue for a poor patient.

I won’t list the medications themselves. Just the side effects. This is an amazing review!

  • skin rash
  • high blood sugar, confusion, flushing, pain or burning at site of injection
  • belly pain, nausea/vomiting, constipation
  • dizziness, headache, diarrhea
  • emotional ups and downs, dizziness, shakiness, change in balance, hostility
  • low blood sugar, blurred vision, headache, nausea
  • nausea/vomiting, dizziness, constipation, lightheadedness
  • low blood sugar, nausea/vomiting, weight gain, irritation where shot is given
  • bone pain, nausea or vomiting, cough, flushing, feeling tired or weak
  • low blood sugar, stomach pain, constipation, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite
  • high blood sugar, confusion, flushing, pain or burning at site of injection
  • dizziness, tired, constipation, blurred vision, headache
  • nausea/vomiting, dizziness, constipation, lightheadedness
  • stomach pain
  • dizziness or trouble standing, ringing in the ears or trouble hearing, rash or hives, urinating less, diarrhea

I feel sorry for the medical staff, should even one of these symptoms arise. Or a couple. Actually, I didn’t have any of these side effects, at least that I remember, except there was one point where my ears did ring. I remember thinking “how do you actually pronounce ‘tinnitus’.” It was a hoot. No, more l ike a trill, don’t mind the pun.

Bear in mind, during the whole ingestion process, I was immobilized and unable to see much else than the ceiling or the curtain separating me from Shirley, as she continued her steady decline into helpless morbidity. When you are constrained to lying flat on your back for endless hours, the administration of those agents is actually a diversion, at least for me. Waiting for each episode of calmness, or sleepiness was a blessing during that stressful time.

Glad to be home. Not on most of these pharmaceuticals any more, and thinking a little more clear-headed. Hence, this blog. My advice – just be strong, and know it will pass. Or, as I said to my angels watching over me – you had my back!