A body shutting down.. ( part 4) shit just got real!

We arrived at Milnerton Medi clinic and went straight to the reception to book in.

Whilst I knew they were waiting for me, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how efficient they were. As soon as I mentioned my name the friendly ladies behind the counter informed me that my bed was ready , a porter was on his way and I just needed to sign a few forms.

I was starving. We had first left home that morning at 7.30am, it was now around 10am. I had one cup of coffee in me and was begining to run on empty. To make matters worse I couldn’t eat anything until after my biopsy. Yay me I thought as papa went off to grab himself a cup of hot coffee from the hospital cafeteria.

The reception ladies and I joked and laughed and 10 minutes after I arrived I was walking with papa and a porter to my ward. Such a contrast to the way I’d been treated at Blaauwberg Netcare.

We entered the ward, and I was greeted by the staff. Even those who walked past were smiling. I smiled back all the way to the end of the ward where my crisp , clean bed stood ominously waiting for me.

Secretly I was petrified. I’m so scared of needles, and doctors and anything medical actually.

I’d never had a CAT scan and I confused it with an MRI, wondering how I was going to lie still and not move as I was in so much pain.

And this biopsy! What was that. I knew they used a needle to extract tissue to examine but I didn’t know how exactly. Was it painful? What kind of needle ?

The nurses had followed and I chose a bed in the 4 bed ward. The only other patient in the large white room was an elderly lady, who lay opposite me and looked like she was in great pain.

I chose a bed close to the large windows. This way I could look outside and feel the sun’s rays as I sat waiting for the procedures.

Well aware that I’d be discharged later that day I didn’t have much with me.

A nurse pointed out where I could put my PJ’s on. I smiled and told her I was fine. I’m not a fan of being dressed for bed during the day. I believe it makes you feel worse. If you get up and are ready for the day your whole mindset changes. You more positive and focused.

So I sat, cross legged on top of the crisp white hospital sheet, in my mommy tights and comfy shirt as I unpacked my magazines and had my vitals taken.

20 minutes after arriving, a tall Jewish man walked into the room. He was clearly the pulmonologist. Ipad in hand ready to educate me about this mass they had found.

His soft eyes reassured me and I soon discovered that he was both efficient and factual. Two vital qualities in dealing with out of the blue strange masses occupying my body.

I heard his words as they wafted in confidence around me but the mental image of an elephant sized needle drilling itself into my soft flesh lingered in front of me .

I heard him mention CAT scan, biopsy, open surgery….. what?

No! I hadn’t signed up for this. No one mentioned open surgery or any surgery for that matter.

He continued to explain that the mass was large. My age and health didn’t make me a typical cancer target but they weren’t sure what the mass was and it was lying between my lung and my pulmary sac, hence the reason I couldn’t breathe as my poor lung was being suffocated.

They would first do the CAT scan to see what they were working with and schedule my biopsy for the next morning.

Excuse me? No one had mentioned an overnight stay. I was going home in time to cook supper and yell at the kids to help with chores. I’m meant to be at home to make bears tea and read his story. I couldn’t be in hospital overnight.

Anxiety started to seep through me as I tried to grasp just how serious my situation was.

The Dr continued… If they couldn’t reach the mass with a needle they would have to do open surgery. He just wanted to warn me that that the surgery came with a few risks.

My eyes must have betrayed me because, very calmly , my Dr explained that was a last resort and he gave the nurses orders to get my bed ready to go down to xrays.

I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t yet absorb all of what he had said to me.

How had my quick day trip turned into an overnight hospital stay? What if this mass was cancerous, or positioned wrong? What if they couldn’t reach it with the biopsy needle ?

What the hell did open surgery even mean ? Would I be lying wide awake with a numb shoulder as doctors cut deep into the painful flesh of my shoulder? Would this Doctor just reach in and grab out a handful of toxic matter to test?

I’d be lying if I told you I was not scared but I had such a little time to ponder these things before first worrying what actually happened in a CAT scan.

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