Biopsy Day

Those of you that read my last blog, will know I deliberated long and hard about whether to wear a wig for my day in hospital. I wanted to wear the very short one with the long fringe since that’s the one that stays put and tidy while undressing. But the problem with that wig is that my own curls are now long enough to poke out, but not quite long enough to be contained by the very attractive hair net I have to wear beneath the wig. So I settled on the short bob, the very first wig I bought.

But enough of my vanity and back to my hospital adventure. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – Our NHS is bloody amazing. I’ve spent way too much of the last 14 months with nurses, doctors, consultants and healthcare assistants but I can’t think of a single time I wasn’t completely humbled by their kindness, compassion and patience. Every single one of them works incredibly hard. Non-stop hard. From the minute I walked into the day case unit they were looking after me; blood pressure taken, cannula carefully inserted into my tiny veins (just in case a blood transfusion became necessary), bed made, while simultaneously running (literally) around caring for other patients, making tea, serving food. Multitasking at its most impressive.

My consultant arrived at the unit bang on time at 1pm and after signing my life away he and one of the lovely nurses wheeled me off to the ultrasound room. There were no porters to do this for them and although Dr Oh wasn’t the best bed driver in the world (we nearly took out a couple of pedestrians on the way) he said waiting for a porter wasn’t really an option. We couldn’t afford to miss our time slot in the ultrasound room.

The procedure itself only took a few minutes. The anaesthetic was injected deep into my back. That really did hurt – but fortunately it was over in just a few seconds. Thankfully, I couldn’t really see what Dr Oh was up to when he took the biopsy since I was lying face down on the bed. But I know he was operating under ultrasound guidance (cold jelly!) and I had to take plenty of deep breaths for him. Obviously the anaesthetic took the edge off the pain from the actual biopsy but unfortunately it wasn’t pain free. It felt like someone inside my body punched my kidney. It knocked me a bit sick for a few seconds. I wish he hadn’t told me he was taking a second sample; that second punch was worse because I was waiting for it, knew it was coming.

It was soon over though and I was pushed back to the day case unit with Dr Oh, once again, driving the bed. I was told that I now needed 6 hours of bed rest. Strict bed rest. For 2 hours I had to lie flat on my back and not move – no tossing and turning no lying on my side and absolutely no getting out of bed. There is a risk of bleeding following a kidney biopsy and severe bleeding may demand a blood transfusion or even further surgery so, for once, I did as I was told and didn’t argue.

I needed the loo. How bloody typical. The more I tried to ignore the call, the louder it boomed. I felt like I might have been able to hold it for 2 hours but when the nurse confirmed that I was completely bed bound for the whole 6 hours I knew I had no choice. I was going to have to face the bedpan. Something else for my “shit things I’d really rather not do” list! What a strange experience that was! Trying to pee while lying flat in bed messes with your mind. It took me an age before I could force it out despite being DESPERATE at that point. It’s just wrong.

At the end of the 2 hours I was allowed to sit up slightly, eat and drink. Having been nil by mouth for a few hours by then I was gagging for a cup of coffee. It wasn’t quite the same drinking it through a straw due to not being allowed to sit up properly!

As you can see, the wig stayed on throughout the day. By this point I was regretting wearing it – they’re not made for lying down really. But as I explained in my last blog, once it’s been on for a while there’s no turning back #committed.

I have to say it was a long, tedious 6 hours. I’m not a patient patient and not good at doing nothing! But on a positive note I experienced no nasty effects from the biopsy either on the day or since. At 8pm I was discharged and allowed home.

Special shout out to one of my work bosses (he shall remain nameless 😀) who, having spent the day at meetings outside of the office, totally forgot that I wasn’t in work. This is me telling him that I couldn’t really look up a Bank of England spot rate from my hospital bed!

There will be mileage in this for years to come!


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