Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Give me your sputum!

Everything is going very well here in Toronto so far. All the tests have been pretty standard and not overly stressful. There has been a lot of waiting around but that is why I brought a book. Our B&B is not flooded and the food around here has been delicious.

The most stressful moment so far was yesterday when I went for my initial work-up (bloodwork, ECG, sputum). The nurse handed me the little cup you are suppose to spit in and told me they needed sputum. I told her that I haven't been producing anything lately so could she just give me a throat swab instead. She told me that wasn't possible and that I needed to go into the bathroom and cough something up. So I gave it my best shot. I coughed for a solid 5 minutes but nothing came up. I returned empty handed and she asked if I had done it right and then 'reminded me' on how to cough stuff up. This was the moment when I wanted to slap her and every other health professional who has ever lectured a patient on the proper way of doing a task that they have done their entire lives. But I didn't. People who slap nurses do not get new lungs. I patiently said that I did my best but I can not produce anything and that there was not much more I could do about it. She then told me that I couldn't eat until I managed to produce something because food would compromise the sample. That was when I blocked her out and went to my happy place. However, she did not notice that her audience was ignoring her and would not let it go. She lectured me on the importance of giving them a sample while she did my ECG and again as I was walking out the door. She made me feel horrible for not being able to cough anything up.

I went back to check the manual to make sure that I had it correct when it said that 'it is ok if you can not produce a sample, many patients are unable to cough anything up.' It did not say that I was not allowed to eat until I gave them something. Thankfully today when the CF nurse asked for a sample too (everyone wants my sputum!) she said it was fine when I told her I have not been producing anything. I told the doctor (who was very nice) about yesterdays ordeals and he was a little horrified and said she must have been on a power-trip and to ignore her. That made me feel better.

Tomorrow I am back at the Toronto General for my Echocardiogram and RNA MUGA where I hope all the nice nurses work.

1 comment:

~G said...

Yay Alley! You're doing great! :)
Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!