Friday, September 30, 2016

The Biopsy

Yesterday, I went in for my biopsy. It was not SUPER fun, but I guess it was better than going to work for a two hour meeting.

I showed up at the hospital half an hour early, per their instructions, and then sat in the waiting room another hour. Biopsy tip number one: bring a book. Bring two, if you're a fast reader. I filled out two small stacks of paperwork and then spent the next while doing thing you do in restaurants when you see a waiter with plates and you look at them expectantly and they walk past, except this time, it was nurses. And instead of chicken tikka masala, it was more paperwork.

When I finally got called back, they had me strip down to my waist and lie down on a medical bed. The nurse checked out my nodules with ultrasound one more time, and then she drew an LT on my clavicle to make sure the doctor didn't bone this one up and go for the wrong side of the neck. Good.

So what's a thyroid biopsy like? Here's what to expect: lots of needles, and a pain / discomfort level on the order of 'getting a cavity filled.' For my two nodules, I'm pretty sure I got twelve needles. The first three were the same stuff dentists use when they numb your jaw, and it felt about the same. The doctor waited another minute and then started drawing tissue from the nodules.

Now, one of my nodules was on the side of my neck, and that was pretty okay. Kind of like someone pressing hard on my neck. The other was right on my adam's apple, and that felt kind of terrible. Imagine someone trying to shove a ballpoint pen through your throat. At least it didn't last long. Three more injections of the pain numbing stuff and three more samples, and the biopsy was done. The actual procedure lasted maybe twenty minutes, and then I was out the door in two. Total time: TWO HOURS. Then I came home with a bandaid on my neck and felt like sleeping the rest of the day.

Monday, I should know what happens next!

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