Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Yesterday was eventful for me.

I went to get my lump, Lulabelle, checked out. I went to the UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood, and was surprised when I managed to actually get where I needed to go with a minimum of hassle and screaming on my part due to traffic, etc.

I meet with the doctor and she checks out Lulabelle. She thinks Lulabelle isn't on my lymph node, but could be a salivary gland gone awry. She also says that I need a biopsy so that they get an idea of what Lulabelle is; cancer is the worst case scenario and since I used to smoke, it's a possibility. I'm not really freaked out by any of this, as it's not shocking news to me.

So they move me into a different examing room and two very nice pathologists, Dr. R and Dr. M, come in, sit me down, and explain to me that they're going to be doing a needle aspiration three times on Lulabelle. There could be discomfort, so they're going to give me a shot to numb the area, as well as spraying topical numbing stuff on the skin. Good idea, I say. Dr. M gives me the numbing stuff, and when that sets up, Dr. R goes in for the first sample. I feel discomfort, but no real pain. Hey, this isn't so bad, I think to myself. Dr. M goes in for sample number two.

That's when things get ugly. Dr. M goes deep with the gathering needle, and manages to hit a nerve in my jaw. Not once, but several times. The pain is bad; achey and sharp at the same time, but there's a special electricity to the pain that adds an extra component of true discomfort and I start squirming around in the chair. "You're doing good." muses Dr. M and keeps digging around behind Lulabelle. He pulls out the needle with hardly a decent-sized sample and starts squirting it onto several slides. I sit with my line of vision looking towards one corner of the room. I notice a weird whirlwind effect of what looks to be uncooked wild rice swirling in around my peripheral vision. I mutter, "I'm getting really light-headed." and WHUMP! I pass out in the chair.

I'm not one for passing out. The only other time I've done it was, go figure, the last time I got a biopsy, which was about 15 years ago. When that happened the docs had smelling salts on hand to snap me back. This time they didn't have that, so surreality time came in.

I remember a loud rumbling, like machinery running. I felt like I was being bent backwards with my feet being pulled down while my midsection was pulled up. There was some weird tugging at my neck in the Lulabelle area, as if I were plugged into an electrical outlet without the electricity. Over and over again my mind screamed, "Where am I? Where am I? WHERE AM I?"

Next thing I knew, I came to when Dr. M put a damp paper towel on my forehead and asks, "Are you OK?" Uhhhhhhhhhh, I think so, I shakily reply. I notice that they don't have any more needles sitting out, so I asked if they were done with the sample-taking. For the moment, Dr. M replies. They have to see if they got decent-sized samples to run the tests with, and they may need to take additional samples to make sure they're good to go. Ugh. They get me a cup of water and I sip away as I recover. I notice that I'm all sweaty, shaky, and the chair I'm sitting in has been reclined back a bit. Hmmmm.

As I came to, I figured out that the loud machinery noise I heard when passed out was the pathologists reclining the chair that I was in so that I don't slump to the floor. They then took the last sample while I was still passed out, hence my feeling that I was plugged into an outlet or something. I haven't drawn the vivid image I have of what my body looked/felt like; I'll do it soon.

I'm left alone while they check out the samples they've drawn. I didn't know if I could go through another biopsy if they didn't get what they needed. After a nerve-racking five minutes Dr. R and Dr. M came back to tell me that they got everything and that I'm good to go. YESSSSS! I sit for a few more minutes and then weakly walk out into the gathering darkness of outside and go home.

So what do I do after that? Most people would take it easy for the rest of the day. Not me. I'm an idiot, so I go to derby practice two hours later. I did alright, except I had to stop a few times when I got dizzy and light-headed. I had the best excuse of the night when I told the biopsy story. I should find out by the end of the week what the test results are.

Here's a close-up of Lulabelle:

Here's a double-whammy of doodling stupidity of me and my lump:

I keep drawing the lump on the wrong side; it's actually on the left side of my neck, as in the upper doodle of the double-whammy of ugliness.

Aaaaand another doodle of me, now that I'm fatter than I should be due to alllll the eating I did in December:

Oh yeah, I caught the second episode of Rollergirls...DAYUM! So much better than the first...I wonder why they didn't start the series off with this one as opposed to last week's. More skating, more focus on the sport, more about the teams...really great to watch!

1 comment:

Uccellina said...

Aww sweetie. *pat pat pat*