Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

A visit to the ENT

Posted by Lissa on March 17, 2010

“Mike, can you look up the Vanguard place in Kenmore Square and text me the address and directions?”

Dammit, dammit, dammit.  When will I EVER learn to look this stuff up the night before?  Why aren’t I a prepared, responsible adult?  I know I should be at this point!

He promptly did so and sent me the directions from the Fenway stop on the Green Line.  So, naturally, I got it into my head to get off at the Kenmore stop.  Because I’m brilliant.  iPhone to the rescue!  I popped up the Maps application and the Vanguard address and, huddled up under my umbrella and desperately shielding the precious technology from the torrential downpour, made my slow way over the bridge to Fenway.

First I picked the wrong entrance and had to go back into the rain.

Then I got it into my head that I was there for an endoscopy (correct) so I went over to the Endoscopy department (wrong).  I sat there for ten minutes before I could check in and then they couldn’t find my appointment.  I resigned myself to the idea that I’d made a mistake; that there was another Vanguard building in Kenmore; that I was going to miss my appointment; and that it all served me right for not double-checking this stuff the night before.  I waited in calm despair, calling myself all sorts of nasty names, until the nice receptionist found me in the system and directed me to ENT.

I sprinted over to ENT — now five minutes late instead of being five minutes early — and breathlessly apologized to that receptionist.  Then I discovered that I’d skipped the general check-in receptionist and had to trudge back down the hall to hand over my co-pay.  (Thank you, FSA!)  All in all, I was a distressed, distracted, emotionally worn person by the time they actually went to stick a camera down my throat.

I’m putting the rest below the fold.  If you have a severe gagging reflex, you want to skip this part.  I have no wish to make anyone gag onto their keyboard!

I swear they make that lidocaine crap taste bad on purpose.  (Okay, no, I don’t think so.  But MAN is it nasty.)  I tried to taste it as little possible but it seems like there’s no escaping it.  (And in retrospect I was stupid.  I should have embraced the nasty taste instead of avoiding it.)  Sufficiently numbed, the doctor attacked approached me with the first camera, which peers into your mouth.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I’d say it was less distressing than the average strep test.

The up-the-nose camera, on the other hand . . . well, I kind of assaulted the doctor.

Remember that I said I tried to avoid the nasty taste?  Well, I didn’t sniff up and taste enough anesthetic and I felt the camera against my epiglottis.  In keeping with the rest of my morning, a dot of mucus got onto the camera so she had trouble seeing.  She jabbed around once too often trying to get it into my trachea and I snapped.  I RIPPED her hand away from my face, ripping the camera out of my nose, and gagged into the paper towels I’d wisely grabbed before we started scoping.  Choking and gagging, I fought not to throw up while she calmly told me to take deep breaths.

As soon as I could breathe again I apologized profusely.  She took it very phlegmatically and assured me that “it happens, don’t worry about it,” and waited for me to settle.  At my request, she lidocained me again and this time I sniffed fully, coating my epiglottis and trachea and esophagus with the nasty stuff.

Camera try #2 went better; she was able to get a good look at my vocal cords and I only grabbed her hand once.  It’s a weirdly fascinating, kind of gross, sexual-looking video feed.  (I’ll share it when it gets uploaded.)

The good news?  I don’t have any nodules on my vocal cords.  Hooray!

The bad news?  My cords are thickened and clenched-down.  I definitely need to have speech therapy.  Oh, and it was so windy getting back to the office that I had to close my umbrella and walk through the rain.  Better to be soaked than to be pushed over and end up with scraped knees and hands.

I was so emotionally and physically wrung out when I reached Ye Olde Financial Company that I wanted nothing more than to go home and cry.  Then sleep.

But, you know, that BS office work isn’t going to BS itself . . .

That is all.

2 Responses to “A visit to the ENT”

  1. Breda said

    How strange. I always thought you had the most delightful voice. I do hope you’re feeling better from your fight with the nasal invaders.

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