Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Biopsy

It is not good to be nosy.  I can get myself into so much trouble by being too inquisitive.  Before the biopsy, I decided to look on the internet and see what to expect.  Not a great idea.  I came across all of these people who had horrible experiences with lip biopsies.  They had permanent numbness, and severe nerve damage and pain. 

Needless to say, I was a bit nervous going in.  I was to have Dr. Brian Hoban , an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, do the surgery.  Yes...I looked him up on the internet, too.  Nothing bad about him, that I saw...that was good.  I asked his nurse if he had done a lot of these...she assured me he did them all of the time.  I began to relax a little.

Upon meeting him, my fears were relieved.  He was such a nice guy.  He explained things in detail, what he was going to do, and what sjögren's was all about. I asked him about the possible nerve damage, and he said I may feel a tiny bit of numbness, but major nerve damage was very rare.   After he put the numbing spray in my mouth, he left for a few minutes to let it take effect.  He went to see another patient.  I could sort of hear them talking...not what they were saying, but I could tell he was being very thoughtful with them.  The nurse came in and said she was sorry I had to wait.  He had been given 4 new patients that day, and he likes to get to know them.  I thought it was very nice that he took the time with each of showed that he cared. 

They did the biopsy right in the chair in the room.  The nurse came in to assist him. He gave me the shot, my lip puffed up like a balloon, so I couldn't feel a thing.  He told me they needed to get about 10 of the little salivary nodes.  He said it was like picking up little peas.  At one point, he told the nurse, "I don't want to try and get that's under a nerve..I don't want to cut it."  You know me...can't keep my mouth shut even in surgery...  I mumbled, "Thank you!"  They laughed.

After a little bit, he says, "Almost....oh...we're losing her...."  I knew he was talking about the 'pea' but I waited until his hands were free from my mouth and said, "You know, that's not the best thing to say during surgery...."  The nurse said, "I was thinking the same thing!"  The doctor said, "Ok...point're right!!"  We had a chuckle about that, too.  Well...I did the best I could.....  :)

All in all, it was not a bad experience at all.  Nothing like I anticipated.  My stitches should dissolve in about 4-5 days, after that I should be able to eat regular food.  The pain hasn't been that bad.  I've taken nothing stronger than Advil.  The numbness doesn't even seem to be a bad issue.  I am very grateful for all of the prayers that have gone up in my behalf.  Thank you from the bottom of my....lip!

Thursday morning is another appointment with the rheumatologist.  I'll give another update after that.  :)

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