*GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING*
Although the picture may not be very clear, from it we can see that my trachea is. This photo was taken this afternoon, at 12:24 via a camera that was inserted through my nose. But before I get to that bit, let’s go through what happened earlier on…
I arrived at the CCVTM at 8:30am for my usual tests to make sure I was healthy enough to continue. I had blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and my spirometer done just fine. Then, because I was headed for theatre and would need anesthetic, the vaccinologists decided to insert a cannula, through which they could do my usual blood tests. So I sat up in the ‘blood chair’, by now quite accustomed to the whole blood test thing, ready to have a lovely plastic tube inserted into my inner elbow. However, my inner elbow did not seem to like this, and the doctor gave up squeezing it when she saw the look on my face.
But, I needed this cannula in for the Bronchoscopy, so they looked around for another vein. They couldn’t find one, (apparently because I was cold) so they decided just to do bloods normally, and make the doctors at the JR fit a cannula. So the lovely doctor – who if you remember, missed last time – found a vein that was deep, but he was feeling it so in he went… and missed. That was a painful miss, as it was deep in my arm. I think I screamed, and he pulled it out. By this point I thought I was about to throw up. So the doctors stopped for a breather.
They decided to take bloods from my usual arm (where the cannula had failed to go in) and all was well. We got in a taxi to travel from the Churchill to the JR. The taxi ride was silent and awkward. I got in with another volunteer and politely said “hey, I’m Ellen by the way” to which she did not respond. Fun.
We arrived at the JR, and I was separated from the other volunteers to have a cannula. And you literally couldn’t make this up – the doctor missed. When she eventually found a vein she liked enough, it was right on my wrist in such an awkward position, but by this point I was so ready to just sit in the waiting room for 10 minutes and not get stabbed. Unfortunately for me, I had been bumped down to last on the list, so I had a good 3 and half hour wait.
I was eventually called by the nurse and taken through to theatre. We went through some consent forms and a round of questioning before the procedure began. The first step was to numb the back of my throat with a spray, and to inject lots of lovely morphine into the cannula. Someone had the bright idea to add banana extract to the spray, so it tasted absolutely awful. Unsurprisingly, I gagged on the tiny plastic tube. Then it came to the actual camera, and I was fitted with a mouth guard. The camera went in – and I forced it straight back out. Anyone that knows me knows my reflex is appalling. After a second failed attempt and lots of apologies from the worst possible bronchoscopy patient ever, the doctor decided it would go in the nose.
I grabbed hold of a nurses hand and did not let go. It wasn’t painful as such, but it was so uncomfortable. I had a look at the screen and watched the little video of the inside of my lungs and I don’t remember much else. I somehow made my way through to recovery, and was awoken by a nurse after I had slept through the advised 1hr recovery time. I was greeted by a lovely print out picture of my throat, so I guess that’s a win.
My next visit will be day 28 (2 weeks) so I will update again then!
Thanks for reading 🙂