A Bridge Too Far

Me after my doctor's appointment...Shelbie bought a kiddie
pool for a photo shoot she had with her Hedgehog.
Ate my dinner alone- poolside.  LOL.  My dinner was actually
just a stiff drink of coconut-pineapple water. 

I drove home from the surgeon's last night thinking about the boundaries of life.  What they are, where they sit and how we determine them.

I have to have surgery on July 2. I don't think it's going to be a big deal but it's surgery nevertheless.   He will make a 1 1/2" incision on the top of my hand and take out a solid mass that has grown in the joint of my wrist and under the tendons.  It's creating constant pain, swelling and loss of function in my hand.  I asked him if there was any other possible thing I could do to avoid this but there isn't.  It's been a bother for almost two years.  For two weeks, it will be immobilized and for another 4-6 weeks there will be some "difficult" nerve and tendon pain as I retrain my hand to work again. 

As we visited about this procedure, I asked him if I could do it awake?

It was shocking to hear myself say that...He is going to open up my hand, dig around the tendons and all those nerves and I am requesting to be awake.  Awake?!! What kind of crazy notion is that and where did it come from and how can I possibly think this is going to be a good idea?  Then I asked if they didn't give me any narcotics or Versed if I could just drive myself home?

I didn't have anyone there on "Team Kat" suggesting I might want to try anesthesia, so awake I will be.  He didn't argue...questioned my mental status... but he didn't argue. 

He simply said, "Okay, we'll put a blood pressure cuff really tight on your arm to drain the blood from it, and then will just do a local and I should be able to work fast enough to get it out before we need to release the cuff."

Okay, that right there changed the location of my boundary a bit. 

I'm willing to have surgery with a local...and even awake...but I am not willing to have a blood pressure cuff squeezing blood from my arm!  Nope.  That's a bridge too far.  Tooooo far!

I have been living with myself for awhile now and I still don't get how I come to the conclusions I do.  This will be the third surgical procedure I have done awake.  I have had a D&C and uterine biopsy done without even a local...nothing.  That sucked!! It was million times more painful than childbirth.  It was two months after I got divorced and the kids were little and I had no "Team Kat" that could drive me to the appointment that was almost to Jackson Hole, WY so I chewed on a stick...I thought it was as stick, it was my arm, but it healed.

A couple of years ago, I had a lumpectomy with a local.  That was suppose to be a very simple 15 minute procedure but nearly 2 hours, 3 tumors instead of 1, uncontrolled bleeding later, he was able to complete the task and sew me up.  I vowed then, I never wanted to smell my own flesh burning...ever!

Okay, well this has become a longer than necessary post but my point is...it's funny how we determine the things we can and can't accomplish in life.  It's funny to consider the things that break us and the things that build us.  Where one is broken, another is built.  It's interesting to me and often it is the smallest thing that sifts out our strength, courage and determination, not the big, obvious challenges we face.  I suppose that is why we do sweat the small stuff.

In other news...Sam had a CBC yesterday.  We are at the point in time when all the treatment he received three weeks ago is gone from his system.  The IVIG lasts 21 days.  When that is gone, you can get a feel for what  you are dealing with.  If his counts were taken out by a virus or bacteria they could never find, then his counts, theoretically, would resume to his 'normal'.  Sadly, they resumed to almost the identical level they were when they admitted him to the hospital.   I texted our Immunologist right away and faxed the Oncologist.  Our Immunologist got back to me right away and he is very anxious about the situation again...I am too but I haven't heard back from the Oncologist yet about the plan.  Sam isn't running a fever so I guess we will just watch and wait until further plans are  made by the powers that be.


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