Friday, 1 July 2016

Recap of the bronch

[Happy Canada Day!!]

So the bronch....I feel like I'm getting ptsd just thinking about it. The bronch wasn't until 11:45 on Tuesday which meant that I was very hungry (and, as Isaiah said, hanxious) when we got to the hospital at 10:30 for all the pre-op stuff. My hunger was made worse by the fact that I had to walk past everyone eating at the breakfast table to get to the bathroom in the morning.

The pre-op nurses were very nice and listened to me about where to put in the IV for which I was quite grateful. The nurse got it in the first attempt, although with quite a bit of painful digging. The other nurse was asking me about the medication at that time and asked me how I felt after the last bronch. My last bronch was in Halifax and went fantastic as the doctor super drugged me up. The last bronch in Toronto was not as pleasent. I told her that I needed more meds than the last time and she reminded me that I was suppose to be 'consciously sedated' and not 100% knocked out. I told her that I tend to panic if I'm not knocked out so just note that I need extra drugs. She didn't note it.

I felt okay because I had talked about it so much with the doctor in clinic that I still felt as though I would get enough meds. Then an inpatient person was rolled into the pre-op area with a different doctor (who I knew from all my time in the hospital). The nurses told me the new patient was being added to the schedule and going in for a bronch the same time as me. The doctor gave a play by play of what happens during a bronch to the in-patient woman and her family, which really freaked me out.

After a bit, I was taken to a freezing room where I was given the freezing stuff to gargle and the terrible mask.

The freezing mask
After being sufficiently frozen, I was wheeled off to the procedure room. That's when I realized I was getting the floor doctor for my procedure, not the clinic doctor. The doctor I had during clinic was with the in-patient woman. This new doctor was nice but not prepped for me. I also had a resident who I had never met before and while she was nice, I hate when residents do procedures on me because I tend to panic and they don't have enough experience to know what to do when I panic.

I told the doctor that I needed extra meds and that I had woken up last procedure. He reassured me that I was going to be given the same amount as last time which was enough to "knock him out for three days." I said that I needed more and that if I was awake during the procedure, I would unconsciously be fighting against them.

The resident gave me more freezing spray, explained all the things that could go wrong, and had me sign the consent. Then I moved over to the procedure table, the nurse gave me the sedation, and I must've been knocked out for a bit but it felt like I was instantly opening my eyes only be able to see the towel they place over the face and was choking.

I felt like I couldn't breathe and started to panic. I started shaking and kept trying to cough and all I could hear was the doctor and nurse telling me in a panicked voice to stop trying to talk. I'm not sure why they thought I was trying to talk? Do people do that? I definitely wasn't, I was trying to get the 'I'm choking and dying' feeling to stop. The panic in their voices while they kept telling me that it was almost over, that I needed to stop trying to talk and to just relax, did not help me.

Besides, has telling someone that they need to calm down ever actually worked?

I did not calm down.

I continued to hyperventilate, shaking, and half-coughing until they were done. It was terrible. Once the scope was finally removed and I was able to breathe again, I couldn't stop crying for quite some time. It was traumatic. The doctor kept asking if I was okay and I had no answer because my throat hurt too much to talk and I was just focusing on breathing. I kept shaking my head.

They wheeled me into the recovery room where I laid until the x-ray man showed up with the x-ray-machine-on-wheels to make sure I had no air trapped in my lungs. After the x-ray was done and cleared by a doctor, I was free to go. I got dressed and a porter wheeled me to the front door and then Isaiah and I walked back to the B&B. It was a clear sign that I wasn't given enough sedation when I felt okay to walk around.

Back at the B&B, I did manage to nap for the afternoon before we went out for supper and gelato. My throat was super sore yesterday and still a bit sore today but I haven't had any of the other possible side-effects (temp, coughing up blood, collasped lung, etc...). I imagine my throat is raw from me trying to fight off the scope.

Mmmm gelato to try and erase the trauma.
I'm still traumatized from Tuesday and I don't know how many more times I can tell these doctors that I need lots of sedation. I'm not sure how I don't convey my seriousness enough to these people. Is it because I'm not freaking out externally so they don't believe me? Is it because in my panic pre-procedure, I mostly just shut down externally instead of outwardly freaking out? Do I need to be actually crying for them to give me extra meds?

The doctors always say they understand but then never give me enough meds. I understand why they couldn't when I was first post-transplant as my lungs weren't strong enough to handle that many drugs. But I can handle them now! I was given loads last Nov in Halifax and was out the entire time and it was wonderful. I really hope this doctor charted how terrible it went so the next one, in 6 months, will understand that I'm not joking when I say "I need to be out so give me all the drugs," otherwise I really will be crying. 


Dave Malo said...

That's just plain frightening and unnecessary. Physicians should have to undergo a lot of these procedures themselves so they can appreciate the anxiety that their patients undergo, especially when they patronize you instead of listening to you.

Ruth Boughan said...

I think you should print off this blog post and make them read it before you sign the consent. What a horrible experience, Alley.

Faith said...

^^^ What she said!!! I think that's a great idea. Put your foot down, thrust this post at them and throw a fit until they agree to give you the sedation you need. Only then sign the consent form. Clearly they don't respond to people being, you know, calm and rational about their medical needs. *sigh*