Five years ago this morning I had my lung biospy – the most painful moment was saying goodbye to wife M, knowing she’d have to worry…

Five years ago this morning I went in for my lung biopsy.  What I remember most about that experience were the final moments before surgery, which were the most painful for me during the entire experience.  Why?  I was worried about my wife…  

For the previous two hours, I’d been in great hands.  My wife drove me to the hospital, the nurses gave me comfortable pajamas and a robe, and everyone who came to see me was very kind and treated me with dignity. When it was nearly time for the surgery, they had me slip into a rolling bed with warm sheets, which were quite cozy.  The surgeon paid me a final visit to ask how I was doing, and I joked that it was most important that *he* was doing great, since he was the one doing the operation 🙂  Then it was time to wheel me away to the operating room and I had to say goodbye to WIfe M.  Five years later, that is still a painful memory for me…

I smiled and kissed her and reassured her that I would be fine and to take care of herself, but I had to fight very hard to keep my composure and although I was smiling for a split second as she kissed me I was worried I might lose it since I was so worried about her.  I myself was going to be in a fine place, since I knew from previous surgeries that the next five hours would literally evaporate for me and that literally the next thing I knew I would be in recovery with kind and caring nurses attending to me.  In other words, I’d be free from pain and worry.  

But my wife was going to have to spend five excruciating hours wondering how the surgery was going, if I was okay.  I didn’t want her to go through that, I couldn’t imagine having to go through that. Later, that evening, while the nurses were caring for me, my wife would have to go home and cook dinner for the kids and keep the household running.  And all the time — even if the surgery went well, which it did — we still had to worry about the results of the surgery: did I have something fatal?  

Everything turned out about as well as can be hoped, but I’m glad that moment of saying goodbye to my wife is over.

Five years ago this morning I had my lung biospy – the most painful moment was saying goodbye to wife M, knowing she’d have to worry…

Lung Biopsy area is sore today 

The area where I had my lung biopsy five years ago hurts today.  It feels like a pulled muscle, except it is right in the area of the largest score and I was having some issues feeling like I was getting enough oxygen earlier this morning.  My guess is — once again — this will be gone within a day or two, but am documenting it here in case I need to know when it started.  I looked online to see if there are known complications after 5 years, but nothing stood out in my search.  Again, I am sure I am fine 🙂  The last time I had a pain like this on this area was a few days after the surgery, when my chest and back swelled.  My poor wife panicked and rushed me to ER, but it is not an uncommon complication following lung biopsy where the lungs leak.  The oxygen goes into the tissues and there is a strange bubble wrap feeling to the tissue until the body reabsorbs the oxygen a few days later; it was cool enough that I had a few nurses stop by to push on the area to feel it, since it really did feel like bubble wrap to anyone pushing on my back and chest 🙂

Lung Biopsy area is sore today 

Glad to be living in the modern age!  I’d be pretty ugly — and dead — 200 years ago :)

I can say without fear of contradiction or bragging that I am a reasonably physically attractive person.  But if this were before the modern ages, before surgeries and healthcare and such, I’d actually be pretty hideous — and, in fact, quite dead.  

Why?  First, I’ve had corrective lenses since I was 3, which means I’d be almost blind pre-glasses/contacts.  Second, I lost a tooth in 1999, which means I’d be missing a front tooth.  Third, I had a major surgery in 2003 to repair a birth defect in my throat that didn’t surface until adulthood, and without it I’d have a pretty nasty growth on my throat.  Fourth, I had a severe break in my arm when I was 10 — from throwing a ball, not realizing it was broken so playing football with it, at which point it snapped like a twig (yuck) — which means my arm would be severely damaged (it still troubles me sometimes 30 years later, although it did also give me a strange freak strength in that arm for a number of years).  Fifth, my hair is nearly uncontrollable due to cowlicks and without the aid of hair gel and a talented hairdresser it would be pretty comical. And last, because prednisone literally saved my lungs and my life, I would have died a few years ago without the benefit of prednisone, which was only invented a few decades ago.  

So, although there are many things I don’t like about the modern world, I (and probably my wife, who has to look at me every day 🙂 ) am pretty grateful for the modern ages.  

Glad to be living in the modern age!  I’d be pretty ugly — and dead — 200 years ago :)

Irony of facing “near death” experience is that I now believe there is not life after death yet I am even less afraid of death

After surviving (for the foreseeable future) a potential fatal lung disease, I don’t believe there is an after life.  I’ve had too many surgeries where there is literally no passage of time — where I am talking to the nurses on the way to operating room then literally it is suddenly 4 hours later and I am in recovery room but it doesn’t even feel like a moment later — to let me think I’ll be alert after death.  But at the same time, any previous fears of death I might have had are gone — I am not afraid of death, it being simply a phase of life.  Do I want to die?  Gosh, no!  But I don’t fear it, and the one time I was choking and thought that I was going to die I simply thought, “So this is it,” with detached curiosity.  I find that strange – I should be more afraid of death than ever.  But it is a marvelous gift, to enjoy life yet not fear death…  I feel blessed in that way…  Of course, I hope I am wrong, and that there is an afterlife – I certainly am not an expert and respect anyone’s opinion who disagrees.

Irony of facing “near death” experience is that I now believe there is not life after death yet I am even less afraid of death