Thursday, October 1, 2009

DAY 489 - Day 392 in Recovery Paradise

I posted this recollection tonight on the cancer forum I participate in. Someone had posted a question to the group about the procedure for having one's feeding tube removed. Everyone chimed in with their story. This is mine - and I must say - it was very different from anyone else's...ha.

I couldn't wait to have my tube removed. I felt like I was a bit player in the movie "Alien". I waited too long to have mine installed - two weeks post treatment. I had told myself I was strong enough to make it through without the tube - I did, just for the length of treatment, but not for the post they say- the 2-4 weeks post treatment is the worst. I had lost so much weight and couldn't even keep water down, let alone protein drinks. I had to go into the hospital for 3 days to hydrate and be weaned off my warfarin (blood thinner for heart issues) and then had an operation to install the tube.

I figured it would be the same process to take it out. They took me back to a curtained-off cubicle in a post-op recovery room (about 10 cubicles in all). We waited for almost 45 minutes past the scheduled time and the doctor never showed. The nurses kept apologizing and paging him and confirming he was somewhere in the building.

Finally, I got up and put my shirt back on to leave, as I had to pick up my daughter from school. As we are walking down the hall, the doctor comes running up, coat flapping, out of breath, apologizing and telling me he could do it now. I told him we were out of time and he responded that it would only take a minute. I couldn't see how it would take an hour to put in without the same procedure in reverse. He didn't even have me take my shirt off. I laid down on the recliner; he says "This may smart a bit" and YANKED IT OUT! It made a huge snapping sound like a giant rubber band breaking. Everybody in the room could hear it. He put a bandage over it, taped it down, said "Good Luck" and disappeared down the hall. I was stunned. Maybe 10 seconds, from unbuttoning my shirt to sitting up and buttoning it back again. Now I have two belly buttons. My daughter says it is because I was "born again" and this is my second life. I like it.

Oh, by the way, it really did "smart a bit", but now is just a good story.

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