I had been waiting for this day since Friday. It was my day for the Bronchoscopy which was to determine if I do have a fungal growth on my lung.
Fasting is essential for any procedure (I don’t know why they don’t call it an operation as it involves a light general anaesthetic). However, fasting for me is easy as with the nutrition coming from the IV drip there is nothing to change really.
The morning was spent with a few exercise rounds and on one I met up with Sean on the treadmill as I jumped on the bike. Sean is a long time CIL patient (CIL being a very slow growing leukaemia). He has been in and out of here for 15 years and has just had his bone marrow transplant. He said it went well but he is not looking forward to spending the next 2 weeks here – especially as this will put him here for the Grand Final. He’s going to ask his doctor if he can have a few cans of mid-strength that day to celebrate! Sean works for a large Geelong based earth moving company and is hoping to be back on his excavator by February/March.
So apart from sleep and general rest in the morning (and 3 bags of platelets in preparation for the procedure) it was a waiting game for the transfer trolley. When they did arrive it was all systems go, as they have their time-slots downstairs and certainly want to get you through. An orderly from the theatre takes you down with a nurse from here keeping a close eye on the records and the tubes.
Going through the standard pre-op questions such as allergies, feeling sick, false teeth etc we discovered a massive problem. I was chewing gum! WTF it is just gum!
It just so happens that Jay, the anaesthetist, is a specialist on the topic of gum and has written medical papers on it. He said “You have not been fasting – chewing gum produces gastric juices in your stomach and is worse than drinking water. We cannot operate!…….OK, give us a minute and we will discuss the options…….. Yes, we can operate but there will be no GA you will have to do this all under local anaesthetic. We use a local spray for your throat and insert the camera and tube down there to the lung, it’ll be a little painful but has certainly done by others and there will be no anaesthetic risk.”
“I’m up for it, let’s go!” was my response.
So 45 mins later I get wheeled back out into recovery having full awareness of what went on in the operating theatre.
Not a nice day but at least that one has been ticked off my daily plan. And best of all Jan was in my room when I returned upstairs. The lovely Dr Jess also popped in to apologise about the gum mis-communication.