Health

Not So Bad After All!

I’m happy to report that I survived the bronchoscopy & the lavage – and I don’t think I’ll actually need years of therapy to move on from the experience!  The psyche-out proved to be worse than the reality. And while the experience was not pleasant, neither was it the traumatizing torture I had anticipated. This is in no small part attributable to Dr. Lungs’ incredible capacity to communicate with patients in a manner that is calming, informative, human and respectful all at once.  The guy has a gift, I’m telling you.  Imagine explaining to a patient that you are going to make them gargle something that tastes like crazy glue, fasten a muzzle-like contraption around their mouth, stick tubes down their throat, poke around in the lungs a bit and then wash them out with “about half a pop can’s worth” of saline – and instead of having the woman run screaming from the room, she becomes more confident, calmer, less anxious.  Seriously.  Even throughout my cross-examination he remained personable, and cool as a cucumber:   “Am I going to feel like I’m drowning?” “No.” “But aren’t my lungs sort of designed to reject water?” “Yes; you might cough a little, but you probably won’t feel it.” “Am I going to gag on the tube thingy?” “No, the freezing and the sedative will take care of that.” “Can I please be heavily sedated?” “We’ll make sure you are comfortable.” “Can you make sure I’m a vegetable?” “Don’t worry, we we’ll make sure you don’t feel any discomfort or anxiety during the procedure.” “Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.”   Between him, the lovely nurses and the fabulous drug cocktail with which I was sedated (“We’re going to give you your martini now,” said the nice nurse), it was completely bearable.  Because I was completely stoned. I already had a cold and a cough going into it, and was told that might make the recovery slightly worse, but apart from post-procedure coughing I feel fine.  I mean, I was doped up to the nines and had to sign a waiver saying I wouldn’t make any legal or financial decisions today (wait… is signing a waiver a legal decision?) so of course I slept deeply and magnificently all afternoon, and now I feel fine.  Cough-cough-coughy and tired but fine. And now that it’s all just a slightly blurry memory, we have nothing to do but wait to see what the good doctor was able to discover with his lung-spelunking activities.  He assured me that it isn’t emphysema, and I’m still hanging on to his previous “99.9%” assurance that it isn’t lung cancer, so I can at least stop obsessing about those two horrors and focus on hoping for good news.

Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered a couple of times a week.