Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 4...hilarity and inhumanity...

I originally titled this something far more dark, because I end this day in a mood that questions any effort I have to fight this sh*t.

But there was too much funny stuff going on not to have some levity.

I checked in at 7:45 this morning for the second half of my MRI, which I learned would be long, and also involve (whooo-f'in-eee) ANOTHER IV. Every vein is looking like a flute at this point...I'm running out of places to stick.

Also, they made me sign a form indicating that I knew insurance was at the moment rejecting the procedure, so I'd be out of pocket $25K if they kept that attitude. What could I do? Here's a GREAT idea. I can call the alarmist nurse!!! What a moron I was. I called her and she started going off about how essential this was and how I could have brain tumors, blah blah blah. Anyhow, I went to sign the form.

And this is when I started laughing.

I am going to give away BB and my location for all but the least curious among you, but I might as well say, now, that I am in Arkansas. As I remarked to my original oncologist: "Arkansas? I thought they were still working on rickets, much less incurable cancer!" But Sam Walton of WalMart fame died of this disease, and donated $200 mil to the University here to build a myeloma clinic. And they hired BB away from MD Anderson in Houston, which is world-renowned in Cancer care. And he is the guy with this protocol that can deliver a cure...and so here I am.

So I've joked with friends and relatives many times about the medical community here. The three top 10 jokes I have shared privately but have been afraid to post for fear of giving BB away are:

1. The rickets gag
2. "I feel like I am going to be on a combination episode of Hee Haw and Discovery Health Network"
...and, finally, based on what I observed upon arrival...
3. "The capitol building's flag is at half-mast...did Goober from the Gomer Pyle Show die?"

Okay. I have laughed and joked about these things, and about the intake nurse wearing a barrel, and about instead of people signing in they just "make their mark." Hilarious, right?

Okay. I sh*t you not, here is the form I had to sign at the MRI this morning.



Do you believe this? Do you see where underneath the line it says "patient's signature...OR MARK?????"

I was going to put a big ol' "X" there and see what happened, but sanity prevailed and I signed my name in the Yankee tradition (all 26 letters of the alphabet come into play).

Okay. So I went through 90 minutes of MRI madness, which included YET ANOTHER injection, this time of some sort of magnetic crap.

And here, I must issue an aside. I have been exposed to more radiation, magnetism, etc. than anybody should have to. And I have yet to develop any superpowers. This, I feel, is bullsh*t. I should have the combined powers of Spiderman and Magneto at the LEAST at this point. The world should bow to my very whim. Add to this the many, many chemo agents that should turn me into a powerful mutant and the multiple PET and CT scans that expose me to cell-transforming radiation, and I should literally be able to control weather, turn iron into gold with a glance, and in short control the destiny of millions.

Instead, I have cancer and I'm stuck in Arkansas. Again, I say..."I cry bullsh*t!!!!!!"

Okay. I leave the MRI, we sneak a tiny little snack and have a sip of water because that is all that is allowed before our painful bone aspiration that hasn't been scheduled yet. I went to the library and logged on and posted the last blog entry, and then we got called to go to the next test.

Now they had put an IV in me for the contrast in the MRI, and I had the presence of mind to ask them to keep it in and seal it off so that when I went for whatever was next, in the odd chance they would actually agree to give me versed instead of the crummy non-sleep medicine, I'd already have a line into my arm. We went to the new hospital wing where they do the CT-guided aspirations and waited.

Now the notion behind this test is they are going to use another PET/CT scanner to determine the exact location of a lesion, and then stick a needle into me and draw cells from that. Mind you, the woman in BB's office told me SPECIFICALLY they do not pierce bone in this test, and I didn't need to worry, blah blah blah.

Nonetheless, they didn't want to give me versed for this, for whatever reason. But I then learn that they are going to take the sample from my right hip (the only part of my body not in pain at this point) and the lesion is deep, so they want to give me "conscious sedation" (i.e. versed). Hooray! I kept the IV in place for a good reason! But they also said that they thought the doctor might find an easier to access lesion and I wouldn't need it. Hmm.

The very sweet nurse took me back and asked if I wanted conscious sedation and I say "hell yes, I do!"
I am lying on a gurney, and the doctor (who is soon to have his accreditation taken from him when I'm through with this motherf*cker) comes in. At first, he's very pleasant. He's probably my age, has a Dutch last name, we make small talk for a bit. Then he starts talking about how painful the procedure is and everything I will feel. I say "well, I'm gonna be on versed I won't feel a thing, right?" And he said "oh, you'll feel it...it's unavoidable and it's painful, but you won't remember it." I thought back quickly at this point to the three previous times I've had versed:

1. My two impacted wisdom teeth being removed. Consisted of IV versed, followed by passing out, followed by waking up in recovery, followed by going home. No pain, no recollection of anything.

2. My first bone marrow test two months ago. Consisted of IV versed, followed by passing out, followed by waking up in a wheelchair, followed by going home. No pain, no recollection of anything.

3. My bone marrow test two days ago. Consisted of IV versed, followed by passing out, followed by waking up on a gurney in the recovery room, followed by going home. No pain, no recollection of anything.

Sounds great.

Now...then this piece of sh*t says the following. And believe you me, I am reporting his scumbucket ass to the AMA tomorrow. I'll call him CAH (for creepy antelope hole...the erudite among you can translate in real time).

CAH: "So...you work for Disney, right?"
N: "Yes, I do."
CAH: "Tell me, did you have anything to do with that movie about the homosexual priests?"
N: "No, that was before my time." [this referred to Miramax's movie "Priest" released around 2002]
CAH: "Well that movie was horrible. AND NOW THE PROCEDURE WON'T HURT AS MUCH, SINCE YOU TOLD ME THAT" [I swear to God this is what he said, and he said it without a trace of irony]
CAH: "I thought about mentioning this all night...and as a Christian, it is my duty to tell you so."
N: "Oh yes, I think we fired the Miramax people over it" [internal response: as a Christian myself, you horrify me]
CAH: "Disney is about family."
N: "Well, the movie was released under the Miramax name, and it led to us firing them."
CAH: "It doesn't matter. Disney should have had nothing to do with it."
N: "I know...we respect what the brand stands for."
CAH: "Good thing."
N: "On our cruise ships, for example, we have no gambling."
CAH: [looks shot in the chest when I say the word 'gambling'] "Good thing. It's immoral."
N: "Even though it makes money, we won't do it. And we won't own a casino."
CAH: "Good. Gambling is immoral. It's terrible."
N: "We do let ESPN televise the world series of poker, but that's a little different."
CAH: "Maybe. I let my son watch that once in a while. But I have to tell you, as a Christian I have to make a stand. With that Obama fella [I expected him to drop the N word here] in office, we may have to have an abortion clinic here but I promise you there won't be nobody working in there."

I was so horrified by this point I was beyond the ability to form words.

Then they wheeled me into the room. The idea was they would put me in a PET scanner again, check for the hot spot, mark my right hip (the only part of me which didn't hurt at that point) with a pen, scan again, and then put some versed and painkiller into my IV. After that, I would be unconscious and not feel anything, but they would stick a needle through my flesh and muscle, break deep through the bone (3 cm through solid bone) and then take a core sample. That lying bitch in BB's office who said this didn't involve going through bone will pay, I promise you.

I'm figuring "whatever, I'll be out of it, doesn't matter."

The nurse comes in, checks the IV, shaves my backside and preps it, and then the guy running the PET scanner comes in, wheels me in, they scan it, they mark my butt. The nurse then says the IV is running. I say "are you sure?" She says "yes." I say "I don't feel anything." She says "you will in a moment."

Mind you, three days ago they said this same thing and I was out like a light.

So now, I'm not out like a light, and they say "okay, now we're going to insert the needle."

I say "don't do that...I am still conscious...I am feeling everything."

The nurse says "oh it's okay, you are able to converse with us but you won't remember a thing."

I say "no, that's wrong, I am not babbling like a drunk...I am lucid, I am fully cognizant of what is going on, I am not anesthetized."

What happened over the next 30 minutes is hard to describe, other than to say it was the most painful, horrible experience of my life. These motherf*ckers proceeded as though I was numb WHEN I WAS NOT.

When they first punctured my hip bone I screamed "JESUS CHRIST!" at the top of my lungs, and kicked out at the guy with the needle.

It occurred to me that I could have said a few worse things to the born again sh*thead. So in the spirit of David Letterman, here they are:

TOP 10 THINGS I COULD SHOUT DURING A PROCEDURE THAT WOULD BE MORE TROUBLING TO THIS BORN AGAIN SCUMBAG THAN SIMPLY SHOUTING OUR LORD'S NAME IN VAIN

10. JESUS [EXPLETIVE DELETED] CHRIST!!!
9. MY BODY, MY CHOICE!
8. WHEN I GET OUT OF HERE, I'M GONNA GAMBLE AND DRINK FIREWATER!
7. WHERE CAN A BROTHER SCARE UP SOME WHORES IN THIS PLACE???
6. YOUR INABILITY TO SEPARATE YOUR JOB FROM YOUR FAITH IS INCREDIBLY DISTURBING!
5. YES, I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT GAY PRIEST MOVIE
4. AS A CHRISTIAN, YOU DISGUST ME
3. YOUR OVER-THE-TOP HOMOPHOBIA IS A SURE SIGN THAT YOU LOVE GAY SEX
2. I VOTED FOR OBAMA*
2A. DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GET YOUR STETHOSCOPE ON OVER YOUR KLAN ROBES, DR. GRAND DRAGON?
1. ALLAH-HU AKBAR - I AM THE 21ST HIJACKER!

Honestly, this m*therf*cker will pay. I will be reporting him to the AMA tomorrow.

(* I actually voted for Ron Paul, who called the current financial crisis with great accuracy)

Meanwhile, I have been operated on without anaesthesia. The went through 3 centimeters of bone. I kicked my leg out twice to try to kick the doctor (not the militant Baptist a**hole but the poor Indian guy stuck with the dirty work -- and as a godless heathen he'll burn in hell, no doubt).

After this, I left. I am resolved not to let them TOUCH me again unless they, without offering another option, agree 100% to administer WHATEVER sedation I demand. I NO LONGER TRUST THESE ROTTEN PIECES OF SH*T TO ADMINISTER MEDICATION.

They will pay for their sins. I wept from pain and emotional distress for the rest of the day.

I am on FIRE with rage. They are in deep, deep, deep sh*t.

Good night, all.

11 comments:

  1. Oh my God, Nick.
    Thinking of you. Sending you lots of love and peace.
    Hope tomorrow goes better. xo

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  2. Hang in there, buddy.
    I hope and pray today will be a good one for you.

    B

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  3. That was one of the greatest pieces of dark comedy writing I've ever read. Is it in bad taste to admit that I laughed out loud more than once? I only wish it was fiction. Hang in there, my friend.

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  4. I am glad you can keep your sense of humor despite a full day of science fiction. CAH scares me but your description of BB was entertaining. Welcome to the crazy world of MM. I also write about it at http://www.carepages.com/carepages/johnsmithsplace

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  5. This post left me speechless(almost). All I can think of to say is: I'm SO sorry you went through this nightmare, That comment he made about it not hurting as bad now was so over the line of what is acceptable that I can't even begin to think of a curse word bad enough to call him and lastly, when they lured BB over from MD Anderson, did it not occur to them to supply him with a staff that had some amount of brains and decency instead of a bunch of wack jobs? Does this hospital have the dueling banjos theme playing in the backround or what?!!!!

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  6. Whoaaaaaaaa. I'm speechless. And horrified. And, as a Christian, I think I just threw up a little.

    I hope you're able to get some rest and peace today. Say hi to that family with a million kids for me.

    (I loved your top ten. And Ron Paul is THE MAN.)

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  7. Hi Nick,
    Okay, so last night when I read this, I was so sick to my stomach for your pain. I just read it again and I have to say, I'm hysterically laughing from so much of it. Your list is awesome. Hope you're having a better day.

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  8. Nick,

    Since you're in Arkansas, I thought I'd share a little joke with you:

    How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Arkansas? Had it been invented anywhere else, they would have called it a teethbrush.

    I just want to let you know some of your fellow Bruins are praying for you and your family. We're also looking forward to your victory party after defeating this foe.

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  9. Nick,

    You've even got Trojans praying for you! You're in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.

    Possibly best Top 10 ever:)

    Fight On!

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  10. What is it with these crazy, sadistic f*ckers? You'd think they were paying for the anesthesia out of their lunch money or something. THEY MUST BE STOPPED.

    (deep breaths)
    Best wishes for continued healing.

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  11. Well, I had the same, tho I did not ask for sedation... What was given to me was something that was supposed to kill the pain (it did NOT, and I was screaming really really badly, tho I was not calling Jesus' name...) and the other to relax me. None of which did its work, least not when I think how painful the whole procedure was...

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