It’s been two days since I went to Dr. Mehta’s in Albany for my venogram and venoplasty. Shortly after my arrival I was taken to the holding area where I changed into a hideous hospital gown (the fabric’s pattern is the same in every medical facility and it is getting old). An IV was placed, and then I waited almost two hours before my turn came. (and I am not upset about the wait because Dr. Mehta is a man in demand.) I was sedated but still able to follow the doctor’s instructions during the procedure: turn your head, hold your breath, bear down. I was instructed to lie still, follow directions and let my nurse Natalia know if I needed anything. Getting the catheter inserted in my groin was minimally painful thanks to a quick stab with numbing agent. It felt like an IV being put in by a very proficient nurse; not bad at all. When the catheter was inserted I felt the lightest flutter in my chest, and actually things were so quiet and uneventful that I asked, in my slurred sedated voice, “Didn’t you find anything?” At that point my fear was that I was absolutely clear and the trip and everything was for nothing. But then I heard some mumblings and felt something in my neck. It felt like my sinus popped or squeaked, and the same with my left eardrum, and I heard some noises like the crunching of cellophane and the squeaking of rubber. And then I felt something….it felt like a balloon was being inflated in my neck. Because it was! It must’ve been a big balloon, like one from Jamesville’s Balloon Fest, because it hurt like the dickens! I said a series of “Ow-ow-ow-ow-ows” and just as I was thinking of telling them to stop, the pain subsided. (prob 45 sec total, max) Turns out my left internal jugular vein was 90% blocked.
I looked up to see the visual changes that liberated people talked about, but didn’t notice anything different. Of course the room was all white… (Note to Dr. Mehta: Please put a poster on the ceiling so we can test this technicolor theory.) Before I was wheeled out of the procedure room I asked the doctor how my vein got like that and he said he just didn’t know. So I, in my best demerol-infused voice, said, “Okaaaay. I’ll ashk you nehxt year.” And I told him that if my pictures were good enough he could use them in a book or slide show….or a seminar….and with that said, the great nurses rolled me away.
In the recovery area, I laid flat for an hour, part of that time with the catheter part in my groin (until a blood test for the heparin clearing out of my blood came back below a certain level). I was told not to lift my head up because it would put pressure on the insertion site, and by the end of the second hour I was sitting up, eating a snack and getting ready to go home.
Tomorrow I’ll post about the changes I’ve noticed thus far. And yes, there have been changes—all GOOD!!!