Monday, February 13, 2023

Contemplation

 Sitting outside as the sun began to dip below the horizon, thoughts were swirling around in my head. It had been a challenging day. 

I woke up at 1:00 a.m. as the cpap machine blasted cool air in my face. Quickly pulling off the mask, I got up to check the machine. It still had plenty of water in the reservoir. I wondered why the sudden blast of air. Had I quit breathing? I made a mental note to check later in the day. 

After taking a restroom break, I crawled back into bed, reaffixed the cpap mask and drifted back to sleep. I slept until a little after 4:00 a.m. and was jolted awake from an odd dream. I lay back down and tried to get back to sleep. Finally, after about half an hour of restlessness, I got up and grabbed my headphones. I pulled up a YouTube video by one of my favorite ministries and listened until I dozed off. I slept until just before 7:00 a.m. and was able to silence my alarm before it went off. 

I was having an upper endoscopy at 9:30 a.m. This would be the third one I'd had done in the past year and a half. I wasn't looking forward to it. 

My husband had taken the day off. Since I'd be under anesthesia for a little while, they didn't want me to drive. I was glad he was with me. He's such a calming presence. 

When we reached the hospital, the parking lot was full. I was surprised to see that so many people were already there and wondered if they were visiting patients or if they were patients themselves. 

The nurses on the gastroenterology floor were extremely nice. I was thankful they were attentive and kind. 

Soon it was time for the needle stick, the part I always dread. It's so hard for nurses to find a vein in the back of my hand. Those veins are very tiny. Although she tried twice, she finally had to move a little higher up on my arm using a vein scanner to find one big enough for the I.V. 

I was wheeled down the hall into the procedure room and met another nurse, the anesthesiologist and the doctor. I was unusually calm and knew it must be from all the friends that were praying for me. 

The nurse helped me get turned over onto my left side and placed a device in my mouth that would keep it open for the procedure. Then the anesthesiologist placed oxygen over my nose and mouth as she injected a white liquid into the I.V. She told me to take a couple of deep breaths and I don't even know if I made it to the second one before I was out. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room. 

A nurse sat at the foot of the bed monitoring my vital signs. She saw I was waking and asked how I was feeling. When I tried to speak, my throat was so sore I could barely croak out any words. 

I don't know how long I lay there before the doctor came in but when he did, I made a point of listening hard so I could remember what he was about to say. I was still feeling groggy and didn't want to miss anything. 

He told me he'd done several biopsies and he should have the results back in a week or so. He told me not to worry and to call his office with any questions. Then he left and the nurse began to remove the I.V. and told me I could get ready to go home. 

An orderly came to wheel me downstairs to the car. On the way down, I asked her how many patients they would see that day. She said the average was seventy. I was surprised.seventy endoscopies or colonoscopies a day seemed like a lot for an 8 hour period. 

I hadn't had anything solid to eat for almost 3 days and I was famished. My sweet hubby had promised to get my favorite, Chinese food, on the way home. 

We got home and I ate a little. I didn't want to overload my stomach, especially since I'd just had that procedure done and my throat felt like someone had taken sandpaper to it. 

In the back of my mind, I keep wondering how I'll react if the doctor tells me they found cancer. I don't know if I can go through that again. 

Since being diagnosed in 2014, it seems that thought has haunted me continually and I don't know how to get rid of it. 

I tell myself all the time that I'm not supposed to worry about anything - God tells me that in His Word, but sometimes, my flesh is weak and I can't help it. 

I don't think I'll be able to fully relax until I get the all clear from the doctor. 

My inbox holds an unread email regarding the upcoming annual National Cancer Survivor's Day. I've celebrated it every year since 2015, the year after I was diagnosed. This year, I'm not too keen on participating. I don't know why. I'm just kind of tired of cancer and everything to do with it.

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