Unfortunelty I did not get to go to Porte Jaune Paris yesterday. Eric and I arrived at The Mayo Clinic on time, checked in and soon they called me back. While I prepared myself to be sedated and enjoy a nice bike ride through my favorite happy place I had no idea what lye ahead of me. I was taken into the surgery room and told they would take my blood, spin it in some type of machine I could see in the corner of the room and then they would replace it into the hip bones. I looked at the doctor and asked “how many times have you done this?” (Dr. Kreymerman taught me to always ask.) The reply I received was “Never, you’re our first, so there will be several other doctors in the room observing.” I could feel anxiety flushing though my body as they began explaining they would be performing this procedure on both hips (bi-lateral) and they would not be using any anesthetic, in other words I would be awake. My brain suddenly became a foggy mess I could hear them talking, but wanted them to be quiet. I turned my head toward them and said “Oh no, I can’t do this while I’m awake” then the doctor explained it wouldn’t be any worse than getting a cortisone shot. I wondered how he knew that if he had never performed this before.
As he began to draw blood from my right arm, the first sting of the needle penetrating my skin and then being shoved into a vein brought me up off the table. I explained to them how hard it is to find good veins on me and that Mayo usually gets a specialist to come in for this part. After 4 sticks, they finally asked for the specialists to come in. I asked them to please stop everything and go get my headphones and phone from Eric so I could try to distract myself with music. The initial response was—-is she kidding? I looked at the nurse and begged her to please do this for me, The doctor agreed and off she went to get the music. My hands were tied down so I could not control the music, she put the wireless headphone in my left ear and went to playlists and pushed ‘purchased’ I soon heard music, but not the music I wanted to hear—what was this? The words were so distracting I could not concentrate the words to the song were ‘Punching Bag’–I asked them to stop once again and change it to my playlist called Church Music.
Instantly I could hear the beautiful music from our dear friend Clyde Bawden and began to relax. I tried to close my eyes, but the right eye would not close–I asked them to please close it for me and they did continually throughout the procedure. My veins continued to roll, the anesthesiologist poked and prodded until she finally found one vein they were able to suck all the blood out of, however it was not quite enough. A tear rolled down my cheek, as they apologized and asked if they could try on the left arm…at this point I thought “Do I have a choice?” After 10 pokes they were finally able to get more blood still not an adequate amount but we proceeded. I remember looking at all the doctors eyes, their mouths were covered with masks–as the tear rolled one of the doctors winked at me as if to say “I’m sorry”
“Try to relax, while we spin your blood.” The nurse rubbed my arms and held my hand while I listened to a beautiful song I’d never heard before. I concentrated on the words as I watched all the physicians gather around the ‘blood spinning machine’ “Hello my name is hope, I have made many smile, they’ve tried to keep me silent, they’ve sent rain and they’ve sent fire, but I’m strong and enduring, I am eternal” Tears rolled down my cheeks as the words continued “I know it’s hard to believe in something when it cannot be seen, but my name is Hope and if you are listening then you will hear me singing, I’ve held the hands of children and gave them reason to survive and I can feel their afflictions, please let me come in…my name is Hope and I spring eternal.” I opened my eyes as the song ended to see the physicians taking my blood out of the spinner and into a syringe–I was asked to lye on my left side. I will never forget what happened next, it was explained they were going to now insert the blood and he did, but not without me screaming in pain–“relax–relax” was all I could hear–that my friends was impossible to do.
The incredible pain I felt as the needle penetrated my bones made my body shake, it reminded me of what my body did when the nerve in my face popped. “Hold on we are almost done” as the depth of the needle made it to it’s final resting spot I screamed out in pain and asked them to stop, but it was too late the pain quickly and sharply made it to my ankle –it wasn’t going away, I shoved the sheet into my mouth and screamed by now I was sobbing the tears were not going to stop as I hid my head in the pillow. The Doctor moved to the other side of the table rubbed my arm and said “I’m right here” I immediately said with quivering lips “That’s what I’m afraid of” “Well she still has her wit” they all laughed as they turned me over to proceed on the left hip. I told them I needed to breath for a moment before we started–I asked the nurse to please put my ear bud back in my ear and find the song “Be Still, My Soul” I once again closed my eye and she closed my right eye as they began to force the needle in through the bone–I yelled “I can’t do this” “We are almost done, just relax” That word RELAX….what does that even mean….relax……? seriously…..? I was supposed to be in Porte Jaune picking wild berries, eating a crepe with Nutella, bananas and fresh shredded coconut. I wanted Eric in the room, I knew he would understand, he could calm me- The Doctor announced “Ok, we are all done”…. Was I supposed to say “great, thank you it’s been fun?” No, I hid my face in the pillow and cried uncontrollably, weeping, my body began to shake as my crying became louder and stronger the nurse rubbed my back–“I can’t breath….can you get my husband?” Within minutes they had me sit up and move into a wheelchair so they could take me to recovery. The transition was excruciating, since I was the first patient to ever have this surgery they were not prepared with pain medicine. I believe they thought this was going to be much easer than it was. I was still crying hard when they brought Eric back, I was embarrassed and I think Eric was a little shocked to see me in this condition.
I’ve been home a couple days now, I have the walker manipulation down–Up to the bathroom and right back down on the sofa. Nothing is permanent, not even pain.
XOXO Monya Bonbon