Thursday, January 30, 2020

Kidney Saga part 5

The morning of January 6th I got my kidney biopsied. Well, it started in the morning, but took a LONG time to finish just because of all the protocols and procedures. The doctor went over the situation and made sure I understood the risks, including internal bleeding. I agreed, because I wanted to know what was wrong with me, but it was a little frightening. I've only had one biopsy before that I remember, and that was invasive and required knocking me out. So I was a bit scared and worried, but I wanted to know.

The biopsy was not what I expected. They took me to a CT scanner room and first checked my sinuses since I'd noted they were stuffed up or something since early November. Then they put a nasal thingy on my face and had me lay face-down on the scanner. A nurse put something on my back, talking about a grid as she did it, so I assume it was some sort of temporary grid marking. Then they put me in the scanner and told me to relax as best I could.

As an aside, I'm going to note that I was getting really hungry by this time. I started to think about it, and realized I hadn't had anything to eat in more than 24 hours and nothing to drink in more than 10 hours. I was feeling grumpy and scared.

Anyway, once in the scanner they started calling out numbers and a male technician said something like, "that's the route" and they gently pulled me out of the scanner. Then the tech and nurse hovered over my back for a couple of minutes. I felt nothing at all. I didn't even feel a touch. But apparently the tech-specialist was using a needle to do a core sample, drilling down through my back to my kidneys to extract three samples to send to the lab. The online chart has a description of the needle and the specific painkillers they used to numb my back, but I felt NOTHING at all.

When he finished, the technician said I would be sore when the painkillers wore off, but he thought it had been a pretty clean biopsy and I would only have minor pain. The samples were headed to the University of Washington to be analyzed. So that was me all over.

I was taken back to my room, where I told the nurse about my lack of food. She quickly ordered a meal for me, and I haven't eaten with such verve in a long time. The nurse then explained the food protocol at KADLEC, which involves the patient ordering off a menu instead of someone making all the decisions for me. I kept the menu, as it has a list of kidney-friendly meals on it, and it reminds me of my talks with the nutritionists when I ordered meals. Also, hospitals throw out everything in a room once a patient has left, for sanitary purposes, so the menu would have just been trashed.