Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Medical Procedures To Avoid

As a courtesy to my friends and readers, allow me to provide a list of medical procedures you should avoid. I learned the hard way that these are not my idea of a good time.

1) Foley Catheter. Many years ago following a surgery, a well-intentioned doctor gave me Compazine, a medication to minimize nausea. For the next few days my muscles tightened like a full-body charley horse. Another slight side effect was the fact that I didn't go to the bathroom for a few days.

Eventually I ended up in the ER. The problem was so obvious that even the receptionist knew what was wrong: an allergic reaction to Compazine. That medication often causes muscle spasms. And the bladder refusing to do what it's supposed to do. Grrrr.

For the blissfully ignorant, a catheter is a fat tube inserted into the bladder to release all the yellow water. And there's only one way to get the tube into the bladder. Ouch. Ouch.

A cute young nurse walked in with the near-lethal rubber tube. "Turn your head and cough" is a gross understatement. I'm confident that I levitated between five and six inches off the table. My life flashed in front of me. I saw stars. This is not an experience I'd recommend.

2) Barium Swallow. Many moons ago a well-intentioned doctor thought I may have reflux where some of the stomach acid comes back up your esophagus. And how, you ask, do you find out if you have acid reflux? Simple - swallow an element from the periodic table.

Barium is like the evil, evil brother of Pepto Bismol. Like a mixture of chalk and spillage from the septic system.

The technician handed me a big bottle and said "Here, drink this. And don't be sassy or I'll make you drink another bottle." I took a few swallows. Then I was supposed to drink some more. I got the barium in my mouth. But my stomach threw an all-out rebellion. I physically could not swallow it. I stood there for a minute with a mouth full of barium before I was able to gag it down. I reached up to wipe away some of the pink drool spilling out of my mouth. I wanted to drop-kick the doctor who thought I might have reflux.

3) Having Blood Drawn. I'll be the first to admit that I'm an enormous sissy when it comes to needles. One time when I had my blood drawn, I had an unfortunate outcome. I didn't watch the nurse put the needle in my arm (never have and never will). I felt a little prick but it didn't really hurt.

Suddenly I woke up to some strangers with concerned faces talking to me. I could see a lady's mouth moving but I couldn't hear anything. I didn't know who they were. I didn't know where I was. I didn't feel good. My lunch decided it didn't want to me in my stomach anymore. After a few minutes I realized what had happened, and what a huge pansy I was. What a wussie to pass out when you have your blood drawn.

So let this be a lesson to you. Avoid needles, barium, and any tubes near your groin. You can't say you weren't warned.


Tink said...

That's hilarious! I'm sorry for your unfortunate encounters with well-intentioned doctors!

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Hollie said...

It's gotta be the Reese genes that make us a bunch of sissies. Guess who had her blood drawn about 200 times during her pregnancy and passed out EVERY SINGLE TIME?!?! By nature of being a Reese, I think the wussie-syndrome is inescapable. And let's not mention the number of times I had to rely on you as I lay on the couch bawling so that you could change my earrings when we were young'uns!

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