Friday, August 27, 2010

Adventures In Radiology

So, having needles poked into my neck is certainly not my idea of a good time. In fact, just the thought of needles being poked into my neck had me pretty nervous to be perfectly honest. But that’s life and when I found out that I was going to need a fine needle biopsy done on my thyroid, I had accepted that I was indeed going to have to deal with needles in my neck. The good thing was that this particular biopsy was extremely non-invasive and that the worst of it was the shot that they give you (another needle!!) to administer the local anesthetic.

So, yesterday morning bright and early, Sugar Daddy and I headed to the hospital where I was to be admitted as an outpatient to have this pesky little procedure done. We had to be there an hour and a half prior to the actual procedure time so that they could do some blood work. The woman that drew my blood for the labs was a real sweetheart. I explained that my arms were a really hard stick and she would be better to go in through the back of my hand. She was a little surprised how calmly I went through a blood draw… indeed, I was really quite the cool customer. I don’t mind watching the needle be inserted or watching the blood come out – and when she asked me to help her by grabbing the full tube and switching it out for the empty since her hands were tied up with the needle, I didn’t flinch. Finally I explained to her that my son is a type 1 diabetic and that the sight of needles going in and blood coming out were no longer disturbing to me… since I have to do this to Sugar Boy all the time.

We went back out to wait and it wasn’t much longer before they called me back for the biopsy. I was thrown off a little when they told Sugar Daddy that he couldn’t come back with us. There was not a lot of room where the biopsy was to be done and the radiologist preferred that family members not be present. I had brought him with as sort of my security blanket, and when I asked later if they could make an exception I was very kindly but firmly told “no”.

Once we were in the room the nurse started up the ultrasound machine and took a look at my thyroid. She seemed puzzled and finally said she needed to go and talk to the Dr. and that she would be right back. When she came back she told me that the images they were seeing on their ultrasound machine were much different than the ones that they received from the imaging place where I had the original ultrasound done. She said that a lot of it was the difference in the machines – the hospital machines were much higher-powered so they were able to see MORE than the original scan did. She said as a result the Dr. would need to take a look and that they would go from there.

My first impression of the radiologist when he came in was, “HOT DAMN!”. He was GOOD looking. (Hey, come on people - I'm married - NOT dead!)  But right away his quirky sense of humor far overshadowed his good looks. After taking a look himself with the ultrasound machine he told me that he was actually seeming MULTIPLE nodules on my thyroid and that they were gathered on what he believed to possibly be a goiter.


So, now what? He explained that the orders from my primary care physician were for a Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy on a single nodule, but that he felt I needed a bit more than that. He asked for my consent, which I gave and on we went. The shot administering the local I barely felt – the problem… It did almost NOTHING. I VERY MUCH felt the first fine needle biopsy that they did. He assured me that I was not supposed to have felt anything so they would give me another shot. He did so and started on the next biopsy. “I can still feel that!” was my response. He gave me another shot. Finally – the third fine needle biopsy was done and I didn’t feel anything but some pressure. At that point I said, “Ya know – the same thing happens when I go to the dentist… they have a heck of time getting me numb.” His response: “Uhhhhh – you could have mentioned that!” LOL Oops – I really didn’t think it would be the same!

Next he needed to do two core samples. This means that instead of a fine needle being inserted they were going to be using a much thicker instrument that he would insert into my neck and then snip off a small chunk of tissue to be tested. Oh joy. He comes back and he says, “Now, Donna, there is going to be a clicking noise when I take the sample. It sounds like this…” LOUD click sound (something like the click that the sen-serter makes when I am changing out Sugar Boys CGM sensor), and then he says, “whatever you do – DON’T jump when you hear that, K?”

“OK – got it… no jumping.”

He inserts this thing, and the next thing I know, he is THUNKING it to get it to where he wants it to be. Now of course – this whole thing has been ultrasound guided… and I am laying on the bed FACING the screen so I can SEE this thing in my neck and I can see him literally hammering it in. At this point I shut my eyes. CLICK – first sample taken. He inserts the next one – more thunking – and this is when he says to the nurse, “Ya know – I think the needles are a little dull on these things!” I had to suppress a giggle (after all I’m not supposed to move)… OMG did he REALLY just say that??? The nurse DID giggle. Good times.

When he got done he told me that the results could come back as inconclusive, in which case they would have to take a closer look via surgery – or possibly just remove the nodules and / or possible goiter all together. He let me know that I would be pretty sore the rest of the day (UNDERSTATEMENT!!) and that I would possibly have a bruise on my neck (Uh… yeah… from all the THUNKING no doubt) and that I should wear the band-aid he was putting on the rest of the day so that “I don’t ooze all over the place.”

And that was that.

We went home. Once the local started to wear off I was indeed VERY sore… and found holding my head up to be especially challenging. So I spent A LOT of time in bed.

Today I am still sore, but nothing like yesterday. I should have results back early next week. So, now we wait & see


  1. OMG...H-Y-S-T-E-R-I-C-A-L...not what you had to and are going through...but, I am laughing at the tale of the MD and the RN...the dull needle - LOL.

    Also, I have never heard the word "thunking"...smiles...I love it!

    Thinking of you and hoping for the best from the biopsy. Are you in much pain today?

  2. Praying for wonderfully normal results....and.....yeah, it was kinda funny. Sorry.

    Many hugs and much love!

  3. Praying for you with hugs for recovery!!!

  4. Oy, what an experience! I'm wishing you all the best! xoxoxo

  5. Thinking about you and praying for good results.

  6. At least they gave you some "eye candy" after they wouldn't let the hubbs back with you.

    Glad its over... keep us posted.