Friday, July 14, 2017

Of Course

I awoke to the sound of someone saying "Wake up, Mr. Anderson. You're in recovery."

It was the nurse.

Everything was black. I couldn't see a thing, but I could still hear her; like the lamp in the movie projector burned out but the soundtrack was still playing.

The audio track continued: "Wake up, Mr. Anderson. They had to stop the procedure. You're in recovery."

Wait. What?

The lights finally came on; bright hospital lights. Everything white.

"They were unable to complete the procedure," she said again.

My head spun, the fogginess of the anesthesia clouded every sensation.

I sat there and stared at the curtain, the fabric wall that separated me from the hustle of the medical staff.


As you may recall, my last surgery had to be aborted, as well. That's the last two surgeries--two routine, out-patient procedures--that had to brought to an end shortly after they began.

A few minutes later Rachel walks in.

What's there to say?

My mind was still in a fog, so I honestly don't remember if I said anything to her or not.

I didn't have a seizure.

Well, that's good.

The doctor visited with Rachel for quite some time after she called the surgery off, while I was in recovery.

I'm frustrated, but unlike last time, I am not raging with anger. I'm not yelling at the nurses or cursing to relieve my frustration. Instead, I just sit there. Staring.

It's surreal. I almost fall into a self-pity party because really, can't anything just go as fucking planned?

The doctor joins us a few minutes later.

She has terrific bedside manner. She's compassionate, concerned, and attentive--three reasons I have been seeing her the past couple of years. When she emerges from behind the cloth wall, I see the sympathy in her eyes, she seems just as frustrated as I am.

Bottom line: I have a very narrow passageway from my mouth to my vocal chords--and it needs to be straight. Mine, of course, isn't. There is also still quite a bit of swelling from the radiation treatments which makes the passageway even smaller.

So she couldn't get a scope down my throat--she didn't have one small enough. It's the second time in her twenty year career to see such a thing.

Of course. Of course, it would be me. I'm already in the 2% club for having a congenital bicuspid aortic valve; I'm one of the rare ones that has gotten staph endocarditis (and of the much rarer ones that have survived it--ok, that's like really good); and I've battled stage four tonsil cancer, which apparently the treatment helped screw up this procedure (though I think it would have been aborted anyway, even if there was no swelling from the radiation). I'm tired of being rare.

Ok. That's it. That's my fucking pity party. I'm done.

So, she couldn't remove the warts.

No removal. No biopsy. Nothing.

She gave us four options. The only one I'm going to tell you about is the one I'm doing next: we're trying again. She's going to get a smaller scope, probably one for a child, and we're going back to try this shit again.

Yeah, I'm pissed off about it. Yeah, I'm frustrated, disappointed, and sometimes sad.

But it is what it is.

If the next time doesn't work, then we'll go from there. I still have three more options, remember. But as some of you know, when you get down to the last few options, well, they all kind of suck, if not just completely outright suck. Here's to hoping we don't have to keep going through them.

So that's the latest. Thank you all for everything, Rachel and I appreciate all the love and support.

I'll let you know what happens next.

(No jokes about my small passageway.)