MRN5186…sound foreign? It did to me too. It was the number I was given yesterday when I checked into the hospital at 6:20 a.m. for my 9:30 kidney biopsy. I felt good getting up. I felt fine riding down town. We found the place where I needed to be. We were 10 minutes early. I had pre-paid my portion of the bill only to hear, “I’m sorry, your room is not ready.” Jesus Loves Me This I Know…
8:10 a.m. I am brought to my room. “What are you here for?” the nurse asks. “An outpatient kidney biopsy,” I replied. “Why do they have you in a room then? Are you supposed to have the procedure done here?” “Yes, in the Radiology Dept. at 9:30,” I replied. She enters all of my information. I hum Jesus Loves Me This I Know.
8:45 a.m. The nurse enters. “Do you need anything; Water”? I reply, “I was told I can’t eat or drink past midnight, and I thought I was supposed to get an I.V. with something to take the edge off.” “Oh, I will check on that. I don’t think you will need the I.V.” Water would have been great at that point. I felt a little dehydrated.
9:40 a.m. “You do need an I.V. for pain meds” the nurse says as she walks in with the needle. “Pain meds? I was told that it would not be painful.” “I am just doing what the doctor ordered. Better to have it in.” “Okay.” She ties the tourniquet on my left arm. “Hum, no good veins,” she says. “Can we try the right side?” “Sure. No biggie. I won’t have it in for long.” “Hum, I can’t get any veins except for in the middle of your arm,” pressing where the crease of my elbow is. “Okay, go for it.” She takes out all of the stuff…lines it up on the bed…Knock! Knock! “Hi, I’m Patricia from the lab. I need to draw your blood.” There I was, both arms flat out, two tourniquets, blood being drawn, IV still trying to be set. The lab technician leaves, the very young nurse still wiggling the needle inside of my vein, blood dripping down my arm. “There, finally; we got it.” I look down, there is blood all over my arm, on the towel, the sheets and she’s doing the victory dance. Jesus Loves Me This I Know…
10:10 a.m. One of the doctors shows up from the Nephrology Group. “I’m doctor so & so…do you have any questions?” “Yes, what is my kidney function? How close am I to dialysis and how long does this take?” He explained that I have good kidney function so far; if I were to have a kidney disease, he THINKS I have the best kind because it’s treatable with steroids, and that the procedure only takes about 20 minutes. “The radiologist should only have to poke you once or twice, you won’t feel it, you will be numb and they will give you something for the pain. You will need to lay flat for about 4 to 6 hours after the surgery to avoid bruising, swelling, and infection. The nurses will monitor your urine to make sure there is no blood as well. You also will have restrictions for 48 hours, like no lifting, bending or anything strenuous. I was feeling good at this point; something positive.
11:30 a.m. My regular doctor comes in. He pretty repeats the same thing as his partner but says, “You will probably go home no later than 6:30 tonight if all goes well. You won’t remember a thing; they will give you good drugs to make you forget the procedure. You will feel lots of pressure after the pain meds wear off but you should be able to go back to work tomorrow with some restrictions. You will have some pain medication ordered if you need it.” Jesus Loves Me This I Know.
12:15 p.m. The lady in the green jacket arrives for me. I have had nothing to take away the anxiety. I look at my husband and softly cry, “I don’t want to do this. I’m scared.” He kisses my forehead, goes down the hall with me and has to help the green jacketed lady push the bed into the overcrowded elevator. He goes down to the first floor but has to leave at that point he is not allowed to go any further. A very shaky rendition is sung; Jesus Loves Me This I Know.
12:40 p.m. I am lying in this stark white hallway with nurses passing by. I notice I am lined up along the hall with other patients. Tears are rolling down my face. I begin to pray for my children, not formyself; but my children asking God to watch over them if anything happens to me. I close my eyes, Jesus Loves Me This I Know.
12:45 p.m. “Miss Farley, we’re ready.” They wheel me into the procedure room, the radiology doctor comes in and says to the nurse, “I need the bed turned the other way around.” The nurse replies, “Oh, okay, I had it set up for dr. so and so but we can do that.” They move me this way and that way, make me get on my belly, arch my back to put a bunch of blankets under my stomach, which at this point was very tender and gassy. I have still been given nothing to take away the fear, anxiety and near future pain. Jesus Loves Me This I Know…
1:15 p.m. No anesthesiologist! “Here’s the nurse. She is going to put something in your I.V. to make you relax. I will give you a local anesthetic so you won’t feel anything when I go into your kidney. I should only have to go through maybe two times but if it’s hard to get to, it might be a few more times.” Tears are pouring down my face. “Are you in pain or are you nervous?” the nurse asks. “I’m a weenie, I’m sorry. I am so scared. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen. I’ve never had to do anything like this,” I cry out. I feel the medicine go into my veins, I feel relaxed but not knocked out. “Okay, you are going to feel a stick.” HOLY COW!!! That was more than a stick but it was quick. “You will now hear a loud noise like this, BANK; that is me going into the kidney. “Okay,” I mutter out the word and silently sing Jesus Loves Me This I Know. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Five times and they finally got their sample. I’m cleaned up, rolled over and monitored for 15 minutes by the male nurse. I chit chat with him the whole time; don’t know if that was nerves or relief. He delivers me to this HOLDING TANK where I lay for 20 more minutes, no one monitoring me, until I get to my room.
2:15 p.m. The green coaters bring me back to my room. “Do you need help getting onto the bed?” The nurse asks. I reply, “Um yea, I’m not supposed to get up.” Low and behold, I did it myself. She said they would have caused me pain. I am brought some water and a graham cracker. Yummy! I silently give my words of praise and thanks for doing well; feeling no pain, back in my room and on the road to getting home.
2:30 p.m. My vitals are taken every 15 minutes per doctor’s orders for an hour and a half. When 3:00 arrives I ask the very young nurse what I need to do in order to go to the bathroom. Can I get up or what? “I’ll check on that.”
4:00 p.m. Ring! Ring! I call the nurse. “I really have to pee.” “Okay, let me check on that again.” Finally, at a little after 4:00 I am given permission to get up and go to the bathroom on my own. But no one stays to help. Thank you LORD, my husband was there to help me. He helps me to the bathroom. No blood in urine, which is what the nurses are supposed to be monitoring and not once did they do that.
4:45 p.m. My chicken and salad arrive with a nice fresh diet lemon lime soda. Oh boy!!! How in the world does one eat when they have to lay flat on their backs? The tray was just left there with no assistance. Know how? By your wonderful husband being right there, holding the straw, and cutting up the chicken for you.
5:30 p.m. Ring! Ring! Now by this point, I’ve been up three times to go to the bathroom, I’ve had no blood in urine, no bruising that I can tell and my vitals have not been taken in over an hour and a half. “Have you heard from the doctors? I am supposed to go home at 6:30 at the latest.” Same young nurse replies, “I will check.” I wonder how many times she says that. I have been given nothing for the pain other than two regular Tylenol, nothing has been ordered but at this point, I just want to get home. I knew my husband HAD to work the next day AND I knew my insurance would not cover an overnight stay for an outpatient biopsy. I was NOT staying. Jesus Loves Me This I Know.