Thursday, December 23, 2010

The day of the "Procedure" has arrived...

Ian's gastroenterologist wanted to do a series of Upper Endoscopies with Esophageal Dilations; 2-3 procedures total, each one week apart. Oh, and he only had the "Endoscopy Suite" on Wednesdays.

That was a problem for Ian because, well, he's in college, and this semester, Wednesdays were a packed day for him. Lectures all morning, lab in the afternoon. He did speak with his lab T.A. and would have been able to make the lab up earlier in the week (of whatever week he was able to schedule his procedures.)

On top of that, he was super busy with studying and when I'd ask him if he'd called to set up the procedure, he'd tell me "I remembered to call, but by the time I did, the office was closed." Then Thanksgiving came and he didn't want to do the procedure the day before Turkey-day. Then, Doug and I went to Vegas for my software conference and, although Ian would be able to get a roommate to drive and take care of him, I didn't want him to burden a friend with that task. Then, he had exams. Before we knew it, two months had passed and it was time for Winter break.

Ian, home on break, finally had a chance to call while the office was open and arrange his procedure. "Wednesdays are booked; but we can get you in at our "other" Endoscopy Suite on a Thursday."

Wait, WHAT? We also had a Thursday option??? Ian scheduled for the 9:00 am slot (meaning he would have to be in Raleigh at 8:00 am for prep.)

We left the house at 4:30 am for the drive. Traffic was a dream! A little help from the GPS on my cell phone and arriving at the Endoscopy Suite was a breeze!

When they called Ian back, I thought I'd have a chance to see him before he went into the procedure, but I was wrong. I knew that there was a chance of a complication that could be pretty nasty; tearing of the esophagus is not a good thing. So, after 9:00 am, when I realized I wouldn't be seeing him until he was in recover, I regretted not fussing a little more over him. Prayers and "I Love You, Ian" thoughts were running through my head as I worried.

Around 10:00 am, they called for me. Ian was sleeping, peacefully. So sweet. My eyes started leaking. I sat in the chair next to him and rubbed his head. Not a movement. I tugged on his blond hair and massaged his forehead; he gently purred as he slept. His Gastro walked by and stopped to talk; the Eosinophils are still present, but Ian's esophagus didn't look as inflamed as it did back in October. The doctor was able to dilate with no problems, but said that if he had to do the procedure again, he wanted to do it in a hospital (as opposed to the Endoscopy Suite.) He said he did not want to do another procedure unless Ian has more swallowing difficulties and that he (the Gastro) would work with Ian's allergist and get him started on a swallowed steroid; it's the same steroid as asthmatics use, but instead of inhaling the meds, he'll squirt in in his mouth and swallow it.

The nurse showed back up and said, "I need you to talk to him and wake him up. Here," and she adjusted the head of his bed so that he was sitting up a little more.

His eyes popped open, he took a look at me and furrowed his brow. "How did you get here?" He was amazed at how the general anesthetic they gave him really knocked him out. The last thing he remembers was feeling a little drunk and the anesthesiologist telling him he'd be out within 30 seconds. He didn't believe it, but then, there I was, sitting beside him. He came to pretty quickly. I was thankful for that. Within 15 minutes, he'd had a small cup of water and was up and getting dressed. Still a little wobbly, but in good spirits.

"Feels like I have Strep Throat," he said.

"I'm sure! After what they just did?"

Dismissal was quick and easy and there were no restrictions, except that when he starts eating, start with mild foods like scrambled eggs.

Traffic on the way home was not such a dream; two days before Christmas and the highways were thick with cars and trucks... On the drive home, Ian was feeling more pain in his throat. We had stopped at his apartment in Raleigh to pay his rent. He took a look at the back of his throat and noticed that his uvula (the hangy-down thing in the back between the tonsils) was huge and had a black, blood-blister thing on the end. From there, things went down hill... The pain got worse along the way home. And while I was sympathetic to what he'd been through, I couldn't imagine just how rotten he felt. We had to stop at a convenience store to pick up some over-priced meds. They had Advil, but it wasn't the liquid capsules. So I got him (4) packs of the quick-release Tylenol. He said his pain (on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst) was at a 9. NINE!!! This kid has a pretty high pain tolerance. I've never heard him give ANY pains anything more than a 5. I opened two packs of the Tylenol for him and told him to take it. I told him to try to take a nap while I drove and if it wasn't any better in an hour, we'd open one more pack.

He did rest. In an hour, his head was up and he was looking around. I asked him how he felt and if he needed more meds. "No, I'll wait until we get home." Once we got home, swallowing his own saliva was nearly impossible. Eating a meal was torture. Poor kid.