Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Okay, now that I've had a Lortab and thus can function again....

Two things right off the bat: First, we don't know if the Cap'n will turn out to be benign or malignant. I'm still praying and focusing on benign, of course, and will let you all know via HN when we get path labs back.

Second, if you're one of those people with my phone number, please don't call me. Talking hurts way too much. Think of a case of strep plus tonsillitis and you'll come close.

Do not EVER refuse opiates after mouth surgery, no matter how much you hate them with the passionate flame of a thousand burning suns. I was a total idiot for doing so; thankfully, Nurse Ames had some Lortab stashed away at home and was willing to break the law on my behalf. Ain't no way Advil would be holding this pain even a little at bay.

So, the story:

Nurse Ames and I arrived bright and early at the clinic, having had a few interesting "hey, where the hell's the road we're supposed to turn on?" moments on the way. The Good Doc was gentle, thorough, and told me that I would not be able to look forward to evicting Cap'n Lumpy today, as he was way bigger than Good Doc wanted to take on in his office. "That is," he pointed out, "a rather vascular area."

He then took us into an adjacent office where I was presented with a bill for $Zillion and change. I signed all the consents and managed not to whack Ames when she leaned forward and said, "Hey....shouldn't that diploma have a date on it? And that one--is 'dentist' spelled wrong?" Ames is one of those people who looks, well, like Cherry Ames, yet who should not be trusted an inch. Not an inch.

Back into the comfy chair, mouth open, pleasant young woman explaining to me that they use propofol for sedation (how come they get propofol and my patients can't?) until I told her that I only wanted lidocaine. Which, actually, was the worst part of the whole thing: felt like I was being shot, slowly, in the roof of the mouth.

Then twenty minutes of cutting and scraping, then a couple of snapshots, then stitches.

The Good Doc explained afterward that whatever Cap'n Lumpy was, he peeled away in layers as he was being sliced into, so Doc just took him mostly out. He's still maintaining a much smaller presence in part of my soft palate, but I can already feel the difference. Lumpy was a not-vascular, granular, fatty tumor of a whitish-pink color, and God only knows what all that means.

I did have one very scary moment when Ames was out picking up drugs: either a small fresh hematoma had formed over the (seemingly enormous) incision site, or I popped a stitch while drinking broth, but all of a sudden my mouth started bleeding. A lot. As in, enough that I was leaning over the sink, just letting blood run out of my mouth, as I scrambled for a rag. After ten minutes of pressure, it let up (and felt much better almost immediately, which is why I'm thinking hematoma).

Ames walked in to find me scrubbing the blood off my elbows, with a blood-spattered shirt and a brow with lily moist and fever dew. She looked at me like I had all the brains God gave a turnip, and said, "Got any Afrin?"

I'd forgotten that the ENT guys use Afrin-soaked gauze for tonsillectomy bleeding. I'd also forgotten that I learned about that during an ED rotation in school.

Sometimes I wonder what the hell I went to school *for*, if I can't even deal with my own blood. Sheesh.

Anyhow. My throat looks like somebody set a freaking bomb off in there, and feels not too much better than if somebody had. Swallowing is a challenge; eating and drinking almost out of the question. Something tells me I'm going to be very, vewwy quiet for the next few days.

Keep up the good thoughts, prayers, and kharma deliveries, Peeps. We've got at least a week before we know which port the Cap'n hailed from.


messymimi said...

Headed for homeschool co-op this morning and had a flat tire, had to hitch a ride from the tire repair shop and got there late, wasn't able to check blogs earlier, and the whole morning I kept thinking, "Lord, bless Jo, whatever she is going through."

Yours is the first I have read today, because it is the one that matters most right now.

I will continue to pray that this turns out to be nothing but the Almighty tapping your shoulder for attention.

Lots of gentle hugs, and blessed sleep.

Anonymous said...


Isn't there some sort of lidocaine or such spray? Would it work there?

Fingers crossed (and toes... and hair... and... teeth?)

Just one of your lurkers.

Anonymous said...


Elaine said...

Ouch. I feel your pain. Hope that gets better soon, and sorry you have another long wait to get a diagnosis. Lay low, and take care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo,

I've been reading your blog (and several other nursing blogs that seem to have recently gone belly-up) for a couple years now, and you are one of the reasons I went back to school (in my 40s!) for nursing.

I am thinking BENIGN with you, as loudly as I can. Cap'n Lumpy is NOT allowed to mess with a source of inspiration that I desperately need as I struggle with Patho and Pharm. And my first clinical (next week).

I agree that there could have been worse signs during the Cap'nectomy, and am hoping this is just another instance of your anatomy manifesting an outlier (like the wisdom teeth, and what was it... missing ribs?).


Marie in NEOhio

Uro*MA said...

Lots of prayers and hugs your way from the northwest... Isn't there a pathologist you can pay off for the report sooner ? ;-P ? lol I wonder what the furry ones in your home think of you not talking? lol tooo quiet..

Good Luck


Anonymous said...

Dunno if you have Vicks Sore Throat spray there (me being a mere English wench), but it might be a good investment albeit rather puny in painkilling terms. Been sending you good vibes today, and waiting for the Cap'n to walk the plank.

Hope you have a warm purring cat or two at your side, and a skritch or two for Max,

Penny Mitchell said...

Benign, benign, benign, benign.


painting with fire said...

nthing all the fervent everything for BENIGN and hoping the pain gets a lot better fast! Sending thoughts of healing/no pain/good path results your way!

Bardiac said...

Thinking good thoughts for you. Take care.

Cartoon Characters said...

In cases like these, I always say: "Don't say NO to drugs". I meant to say this on your last post....

bobbie said...

As you well know, non-vascular = non-cancerous...
Those rogues can't exist without new blood ~

Enjoy your better 'living w/ chemicals' days ~~~

Keeping you in my thoughts and hearts ~~~

Homemaker Man said...


Lunch Buckets said...

1. Tons of good thoughts headed your way
2. Never say no to narcotics or n/v meds, if you don't need them you can get rid of them later but if you do need them it's way too much damn trouble to get them
3. Came home to two sick kids today, teens, GI issues. Felt a little panicked. Remembered I am a nurse. sheeesh.

Anonymous said...

Ick. So how the heck is your average Josephine supposed to deal with the pain and the bleeding without a handy nursing pal, her stash of wonderful pain killers and her calming influence?

I would have been in a very bad place had that been me.

I'm glad you had a good friend with you, and her lovely lortabs.

Keeping you in my thoughts,

Crazed Nitwit said...

I think I'm in love with Nurse Ames!! What an awesome friend! Prayers and hope the pain abates rapidly.

Dr. Alice said...

a) If it's nonvascular I see this as a very good sign.
b) Thanks for the Afrin information! That's really useful to know.

Molly said...

So I've been looking at pictures of really gross oral tumors, and I saw one that looked like you described Cap'n Lumpy as being, and it was totally benign.

SO GROSS, but benign.