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BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures

15 Mar 01 - 07:12 PM (#418644)
Subject: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: catspaw49

In another thread, some of us were discussing medical tests and how to tell others about them....a "Primer" of sorts on what to expect in everyday terms. It started with mammograms and went from there. To start this off, Matt, Biskit, Mousethief, and I agree that this is a reasonable explanation:

COLONOSCOPY: Drink a gallon of water and two quarts of milk of magnesia, crap yourself to death, then insert 3 foot of garden hose up your kazoo.

Here's another for you.......Its called an Endotracheal Echo Cardiogram or EEC:

EEC: Take a section of garden hose about 24" long and glue on ridged rings at one inch intervals. Then have someone spray your throat a few times with Chloraseptic and let them insert the ridged hose down your throat into the trachea. After about a foot is in, have them pull the hose back and forth while rotating it for about 10 minutes. Give them these instructions ahead of time as you will be preoccipied gagging.

Okay......who's next?


15 Mar 01 - 07:20 PM (#418649)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Matt_R

Spaw, I think you should tell Cletus and the Reg boys about those Colonoscopies! After they pump up yer colon like a balloon, you can give a 2-minute-long Olympic size fart!

15 Mar 01 - 07:22 PM (#418652)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: catspaw49

I think Paw can do that anyway Matt, but you're right. Like you, I didn't get the benefit of being drugged either.


15 Mar 01 - 07:36 PM (#418663)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: CarolC

The test for Menier's disease is a lot of fun...

First, you can't eat or drink anything for about 16 hours before the procedure, because you'll barf it up if you do.

The way they do the test is to have you lie down on a table. I think they hook some stuff up to you, but I can't remember because I was too preocupied trying not to barf up my empty stomach.

Then, they blow some cold air into your ear, and follow that by blowing some warm air into your ear. They repeatedly alternate between the cold air and the warm air while you succumb to the worst case of motion sickness you ever could have dreamed of.

Then they do the other ear...

15 Mar 01 - 07:51 PM (#418670)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Bill D

MRI scan for a bad disc in the neck....lie perfectly still in this steel tomb in the worst possible position (so that the disc HURTS) for 15-20 minutes while they take pictures...and the techie saying in headphones.."If you move, we start over!"

15 Mar 01 - 07:56 PM (#418676)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: CarolC

Do you have a bad disk in your neck too, Bill D? Did they do anything for you that was helpful? I haven't been able to get any good answers on what to do about mine.

15 Mar 01 - 08:04 PM (#418683)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Bill D

I do have the problem, Carol...several years ago, when it was really bad, I had a shot of Cortisone to shrink the cartilege that was pressing on a truly did help. Since then, I have had a couple anti-inflammatory drugs to combat secondary pain down the arms,,,right now I am on a roll..several months with almost no discomfort. I amVERY careful how I sleep and turn my head..(can't look up and back over my left shoulder...use the rearview mirrors in the van, and do NOT twist my neck around.)....I expect it will come back some day, and I'll need another shot. The 'solution' if it stays bad is surgery some day to fuse a couple of vertebrae...but the doc says "Do not do this until there is NO other way"

15 Mar 01 - 08:58 PM (#418710)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: wysiwyg


Lie flat with your legs up in stirrups, and your rear about to plunge into space, covered from the waist down with festive garb draped awkwardly over your knees. Enjoy the cool breezes circulating beneath the drape and up your usually sat-upon parts.

Ask a stranger to tunnel up the old Sugar Speedway and then crank the tunnel open as wide as possible. Chances are there will be a willing volunteer with tools at the ready.

Insist that the practioner (suddenly no longer a stranger) stick a knitting needle in you, as far as it will go. When it pokes you where you should only ever feel the tender kick of a baby-sized foot, tense up as much as possible. If you time it right, this is when the practioner (now past stranger status, and more like an intimate enemy) will say, "You may feel a little pinch."

Hold still as you realize that the knitting needle is not sharp-ended at all, but rather equipped with a little core-sampling screw like a sharpened drain augur, that will cut and then rip out a piece of you that you did not ever realize you cared about so much.

Smile. Make small talk with bystanders. Encourage the collecting of samples as many times and from as many locations in your inner space as the practioner (now elevated to the rank of demon) feels can be gotten away with.

Shaking all over will shorten the amount of time spent in this activity so avoid this. If this is not possible, wild sobbing and screaming may be efficacious in assuring all present in the building that you are fully enjoying getting your money's worth.

This is the ideal time, if you can manage it, to have flashbacks of difficult labors, lost babies, and-- if you are really lucky-- sexual abuses, violations, and disappointments. (If your soul is too numb to achieve these flashbacks, no worries. Instead, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you can count on having flashbacks of this event itself while contemplating or engaging in your next several sexual encounters.)

When it is ended, but before you can sit up, be sure to nod approvingly as the little blood-spewing pieces of YOU float before your eyes in a jar born aloft like a war coup by the proud, beaming hands of Satan, who did the deed. After all Satan deserves to receive admiration as much as the next professional.

Before you leave, thank everyone involved. Exit calmly, smiling at the ladies waiting for their turn to enter the chamber just quit. Over your shoulder, mutter one of two phrases towards the staff bidding farewell, through your firm smile. The obvious choice if Satan is a female is, "Fuck you very much." If Satan is male, you may use instead the famous French saying which translates as, "May a large-beaked bird peck you deeply up the ass." ("Va a coupe d'un oiseau avec un bec grand.")

This procedure is Ladies Only-- sorry guys, we do have a few prerogatives left, even in today's PC climate. And we get to repeat this several months later, usually, until "we are all better now." BUT-- if you are very, very good, you may qualify to accompany one of us next time.


15 Mar 01 - 09:17 PM (#418724)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: alison

Carol.. I didn't have to fast for my Meniere's test one..... it was great... like being on a really good roller coaster......... she did my good ear first.. and when I went "Weee Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"... she said "Oh dear the other ear is REALLY going to be fun"... and it was...... admittedly the having a balloon filled with cold water in your ear cannal was uncomfy..... but I thought the roller coaster was good...... damn shame the result had to be positive though!!!... ah well........

I was going to come in here and do the good old "pap test" or "smear" (as we used to call it at home) (Ben Elton used to do a great routine on this)... but Susan has already covered most of it...

you lie on an always uncomfy table, usually in a cold room stick your feet in stirrups.... point your private bits at face level towards a stranger.. who ALWAYS has cold hands.... and by the way the afore mentioned private parts are ALWAYS pointing towards a door where anyone could walk in at any second... failing that they will be pointing towards a window which SHOULD have curtains...

if you are very lucky (read 'rarely) he, (pray he's a he.. 'cos the women are usually rougher)... will have warmed the speculum, (LARGE metal object shaped roughly like a ducks beak, only the width of a toilet roll insert).....

anyway warmed or not... hopefully he will remember to lubricate this (trust me I saw one who couldn't find the KY, run it under the cold tap for lubrication..... owwwwwww)..... before he proceeds to ram it up a part of you that would rather be treated a bit more gently....

having done that.. then he cranks it open.... just for the sheer hell of it.. and swivels it a bit to find the cervix...... then comes the immortal line.... "Just try to relax - this might be a little uncomfortable"!!!!!

then... he takes a little scraper thingy and scrapes some cells off the cervix... all the while the "duck beak" is open in a full throated "quack"... eventually he will close it (you hope) and remove it.... at which point you breathe a big sigh of relief until he says "OK lets just do a little check."

you are now in for the thrill of a bi-manual examination...

basically he shoves one hand up inside you pressing at least a couple of fingers against the cervix.. while at the same time the other hand is pressing through your abdomen trying to get the top of your womb.... great fun..... I think it's just something they do for kicks myself.....

I probably made that all sound a bit gruesome.... BUT I do strongly recommend you have it done regularly..... it is better than what could be missed if they didn't do it....



15 Mar 01 - 09:58 PM (#418746)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Ebbie

Good God! These are the things I try not to think about beforehand or to remember later. Y'all are very good at bringing back memories.

I do agree that it is a good idea to have these procedures done, even if only for baseline information.

For my next colonoscopy, however, I plan to be asleep, or at least giggly. By the way, as I was sliding out of the car at home that day, I gave a slight cough- and, legs wide apart, waddled into the house...Liquid aluminum, I swear.


15 Mar 01 - 10:17 PM (#418756)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Allan C.

Actually, Spaw, I really enjoyed my colonoscopy except for the total weirdness of the entire concept, the extreme discomfort and the sense that the end of the "hose" would soon find an exit through my mouth!

If there is a next time, or for those who haven't yet had the experience, ask if they have a "teaching scope". This wonderful device splits the fiber-optic view that is normally only seen by the clinician and allows you to see what there is to see. It is not unlike watching a video of a portion of a Disneyland adventure ride through Magic Mountain or whatever. But then, I'm rather easily entertained...

15 Mar 01 - 10:21 PM (#418757)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: CarolC

alison... you're clearly a better woman than me. I can't ride a roller coaster without barfing. I can't even ride a ski lift without barfing.

Bill D, thanks. So you're saying the disk sort of shifted itself back into place?

15 Mar 01 - 10:34 PM (#418767)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Matt_R

Oh yes Allan, I had the big screen TV up there, so I got to watch the scope take the ride down my Magic Moutain Colon, as I groaned and just about bent the guerney rails in half.

15 Mar 01 - 10:36 PM (#418768)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: catspaw49

Actually Carol, discs very rarely "slip" or find their way back into place and you may have periods of less pain due to the lack of nerve immflamation, but what is generally happening is that the disc has herniated and the material of the disc is squeezing outward and pressing on a nerve. There are pain pills, anti-immflammatory meds, and cortizone, but at one point or another, you either live with the pain or have surgery.

There are a couple of differing surgeries depending on the cause and severity of the problem, the one being a fusion and the other a laminectomy. Docs would rather avoid surgery except as a last resort. In my case, I'd had problems (lower back) for 25 years by the time I was 40 and the last "go-round" ended with my almost complete immobility and constant pain that would not go away regardless of the med dosage and cort was a joke. I had a laminectomy (L4,L5,S1) and was fortunate to come out of it withy no side effects or problems and I rarely have any back pain now, unless I have to maintain the same position for hours on end.

I know exactly what Bill was talking about because even now its painful to lie completely flat and still for any length of time. CT's are tough for that very reason its also what makes heart catheterizations so tough for me. No pain, except for having to lie still and then be completely immobile for 4-6 hours afterward.


15 Mar 01 - 10:41 PM (#418770)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: MMario

I wasn't too thrilled with the internal palpitation of my appendix undergone when I was in high school. (and wouldn't you know the first doctor just had to have a second opinion!)

15 Mar 01 - 10:51 PM (#418775)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: alison

and how can we forget RENAL ULTRASOUND....... OK its pretty minor... but....

to start with you have urinary tract infection... which entails running to the loo every 30 secs.... so they make you drink several glasses of water and "hold on".

so you drink your water.. think you're going to burst.. then turn up at the surgery where you are told.. sorry there have been a few problems.. we're running an hour behind!!!!!

so you sit in the waiting room with all these other people sitting with their legs tightly crossed.... and eventually (if you don't burst)... they take you in.. where they lean heavily upon your very uncomfortable bladder with the ultrasound... consult with their friends and say "yes that bladder is full"........ eventually after making you suffer they let you go to the loo which is usually through a curtain in the same room... so they can listen to you .........

as I said minor.. but very uncomfy....



15 Mar 01 - 10:53 PM (#418777)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: alison

'spaw I thought you would have regaled us with the joys of angioplasty by now.......



15 Mar 01 - 11:10 PM (#418787)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Little Neophyte

After I was given a line of demerol for my colonoscopy I was feeling mighty happy. So much so, that I started joking around with my proctologist. While he was doing his hose thing, he asked me how I was feeling. I told him that this feels wonderful! Better than any anal sex I have ever had!.
I thought he was going to drop the hose and slip on the floor from laughing so hard. Everyone in the place cracked up. It was a really funny scene.
During recovery, the doctor came over to my bed to see how I was doing. He smiled and said, "you know young lady, you have a very sexy colon".

Little Neo

15 Mar 01 - 11:23 PM (#418797)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Allan C.

Wow, Neo! What a pick-up line!

15 Mar 01 - 11:23 PM (#418798)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: catspaw49

Okay al.....Happy to oblige. I haven't had to have any angioplasty since the bypasses are all doing quite well and are in the same condition they were in following surgery. But angio is an extension of heart catheterization which is just the thing for anyone who likes watch prcedures and tests like Allan up there.

HEART CATHETERIZATION: You're lying on a narrow table and flat and basically uncomfortable with a huge machine(camera) above you and a couple of monitors on the other side. The crew preps you by giving you a shave (no, not your face or legs either) and washing you down with COLD water and some of that Beta-iodine stuff. Then he says, "You'll feel a little bee sting." This is fine except bees rarely sting you in the crotch, as they are going into a femoral artery. An temporary A-line type tube is inserted and the painful part is over. The doc inserts the cath probe and you can see (but not feel) it as it winds its way up to your heart. The screen shows it very clearly. For about the next twenty minutes, he runs it around here and there and takes some measurements of pressures and the like. At one point they inject dyes and you're told, "You may feel as though you're relieving yourself, but you really won't be." Sure enough, they're right!!! Then another blast of dye and with this one they say, "You'll feel some warmth." Uh-huh......Warmth my ass.....You feel like you've been set on fire from the inside for about 5 seconds and then it passes. You can watch all of this and even a layman can get a very clear picture of the heart functions although the numbers need some interpretation.

That's it. They pull the probe and the tube out ("You'll feel a slight sting" again) and they immediately clamp down on your crotch over the entry so you don't bleed to death. After about an hour of pressure, they bandage you and then you must lay flat for anither 3-5 hours until they are sure you aren't going to bleed out and you're done. Were it not for my problems in remaining still and flat, this is a piece of cake as far as tests go.

Angioplasty involves the same thing except they swap probes and the new one has a ballon type device they can inflate at various spots to open up arteries that are closing. another probe can install a shunt, ala Dick Cheney, to hold the artery open.

I also had a Mapping and Ablation which uses a sensor to find the electrical impulse locations and a laser to burn off the unwanted paths that create fibrillation. The only difference here is that they send the second probe in through the interior jugular in your neck and that stings like hell too. The one bad thing about this one is that in the process they can throw your heart into some strange and life threatening rhythms, so you have a set of fib pads attched to you during the procedure. For this reason they keep you in and out of consciousness. During mine, I got "zapped" 6 times, but never felt anything....on FIVE of them. Unfortunately I was "in" when they zapped me one time and THAT was being hit in the chest with a 400 volt basball bat. The Doc and several others did say, "Sorry."..........yeah, that helped.


15 Mar 01 - 11:28 PM (#418801)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Justa Picker

I see a parallel here in this thread. (Forgive me.)

Does anyone remember the sketch on Saturday Night Live with Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest as security guards talking about the levels of pain and discomfort through various circumstances and mishaps, that they both endured, and how they continually tried to top each other? (Fish hooks, razor blades, etc.etc.etc.)

15 Mar 01 - 11:38 PM (#418806)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: katlaughing

Well, Spaw, it could have been the fist of a big raw-boned rancher cum doc who was your GP standing by while they did a vaginal hysterectomy under local anaesthetic and your heart just happened to oops stop. No paddles handy, old doc who's about the size of Yeti just whomps ya a good one on the old sternum, jolts the hell out of your heart which dutifully starts up again and the only pain you have when you get out is a HUGE black and blue bruise the shape of his hamfist!

Gawd, I hope Steve's wife isn't reading this before she goes in tomorrow!


16 Mar 01 - 01:21 AM (#418853)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: catspaw49

Why do I hesitate to ask what it was they used for a "local anesthetic?" Butt end of a Colt???


16 Mar 01 - 01:50 AM (#418861)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Sorcha

Removal of lesion (actinic keratosis) from cartilagenous part of ear:

Needle stick deep into the cartilage x 3 for local anthestic, "This wil sting a bit" I said a bad word very loudly. The nurse then closed the door. Ear is now numb, and Doc proceeds to cut out cartilage with scissors--crunch, crunch, crunch......... Then she sews it up, pulling stitches VERY tight.....I thought my ear was going to come off. Don't forget to ask for an "ear tampon" to keep the blood from running down the ear canal and drying on the ear drum......took three days to get it all washed out.

Bladder scope--in Office procedure:
Assume stirrup position indicated above. Tube is inserted into "out going" orifice; lidocane is pumped into the tube. Scope the size of a drinking straw is inserted into said orifice, and rammed all around the bladder. Also available on TV......."Oh, that red spot? It's OK, it's just a little bleeding where I rammed your bladder with the scope. You may bleed a little after this..." means take OB pads. Since bladder/urethrea is numb, you get to wet your pants for 3 hours. (This one was dear Kate's, not mine.)

She also got to do a fasting out patient cystoscopy---NPO after midnight for a noon procedure, which was finally done at 4 PM. At least they gave her a general for that, so she doesn't know just what they put where, but it was all sore for 3 days....

16 Mar 01 - 01:57 AM (#418863)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Seamus Kennedy

I went to have my deviated septum (some folks say it's the least deviated part of me) fixed. Lying on the table with a valium drip - God, it was good! - and some other drug - I can't remember which, but God, it was good too! Why do you have to wear a johnny which exposes your butt when you're having your nose worked on? I was partially awake and talking to the surgeon who was performing the operation while he was breaking little bits off the bone in my nose with what felt like a vise-grip, and I could hear the "CRUNCH, CRUNCH" as he did so. I asked him to let me see the pieces, which he did, before he dropped them in a little stainless-steel dish with a "Ping!" justs like Doc Adams in Gunsmoke used to remove a bullet from a patient, hold it up in the forceps for inspection, and drop it into a little steel dish with a "Ping!" The pieces of my nose bone were much smaller than I had imagined them to be when he was breaking them off.... Finally, after he had broken off 6 or 7 fragments, he said he was done, and would I like to take the pieces home with me? I said, "Oh yes, I would!" And when I woke up 2 hours later, there they were waiting for me in a piece of gauze by my bed. Incidentally the operation did not cure my snoring.

All the best.


16 Mar 01 - 02:16 AM (#418869)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: roopoo

Well, the gastroscopy I handled by telling myself that I had already birthed 3 kids, and this couldn't be worse. In my darkest moments I can still feel the little beggar rooting around my stomach and then having a quick peek in the old duodenum. All this to find I had nothing wrong except the slight hiatus hernia, which I already knew about from the barium meal 12 years previously.

The barium meal. Now there's a nice one where they make you drink something to blow you up, and then open out the passages, and also the gunk itself to show up on screen. They then tip you in all sorts of ways which, when you feel your belly's about to explode ain't too comfortable. And afterwards? Make sure you have Dyna-Rod's number!

Childbirth? That was ok I suppose except for about 10 minutes after bearing #2 with no stitches (yay!) the midwife says she needs to give me a quick internal as the monitor clip for the heartbeat, which had been attached to the baby's head, had caught me as she came out and she needed to see what damage, if any, had been done. And would I PLEASE just try and keep my backside still and on the bed! Oh good, It's just a scratch!


whose sister-in-law is married to a consultant Gastro-Enterologist, (speciality Gastroscopies and Endoscopies, which is what we Brits call the camera inserted where the sun don't shine). No he didn't do mine. They live in Scotland, not Yorkshire. I had the barium meal in South Africa.

16 Mar 01 - 04:45 AM (#418906)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Lady McMoo

These stories are all very entertaining and I have had one or two of the above-mentioned procedures myself but I would HATE to think they might scare some people off having potentially life-saving diagnostic or therapeutic treatments.

Sorry to be a party pooper...


16 Mar 01 - 05:46 AM (#418914)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Grab

Bowel exam. I swear, I'd never even considered the possibilities of attaching a camera to a stainless-steel sex toy before.

And local anaesthetic into a hand. Take a LONG needle, and starting at the blade of the hand, push it all the way in until it's about at the base of your thumb. Inject with a good shot of anaesthetic, and watch your hand swell up like a balloon. And then repeat if they miss the nerve centre - by this time your hand will be double size with the volume of liquid injected.


16 Mar 01 - 11:51 AM (#419113)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Bert

Well I guess I was just lucky. Went for the Colonoscopy and the quack says "I'm going to give you something that will make you a little drowsy" and inserted a needle into a vein in my hand. I woke up and it was all over. Ha, ha ha haa ha!

But for the dentist it's always the other way around. I always tell them beforehand that the stuff doesn't work on me but they insist on giving me the standard dose. After waiting the required 20 minutes or so they are most surprised when my jaw isn't numb so they give me another dose. It usually takes at least three.


16 Mar 01 - 11:52 AM (#419114)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Bill D

Carol...I didn;t have slipped disc..only sharp edged bone pressing on a nerve due to deterioration of connective cushioning cartilage...they reduced that tisseu with the shot, and something is not pressing right now

16 Mar 01 - 11:53 AM (#419115)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Kim C

I have to say, I go to a lady GYN and she is great! Except I have never liked the part where they smush on your internal organs.

My dad used to tell a story about getting shrapnel in his eyeball in Korea. They had to pop the eyeball out of the socket. Eeeeeewwwwww.

One of the most fun things I ever did was get my widsom teeth out. Seriously. Mine were growing straight in so the extraction was simple. No pain, good drugs, and people fussed over me for about three days. :-)

16 Mar 01 - 12:06 PM (#419131)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: catspaw49

Mooman, I must say that thought did cross my mind, but on the other hand, most of these are short term "pain" for long term gain. Frankly, I am simply amazed by many of them. Think what has happened in our lifetimes alone in terms of testing. There was very little more exotic than x-ray when we were kids. Next week I'll be having a live camera inserted inside my aorta! Not to mention the virtual techology now being used in micro-surgeries, which is why I'm having the see if a heart valve can be repaired without opening my chest. Good lord, its only been a few years that they have been able to do ANYTHING at all for the problem, let alone this less invasive procedure.

So I hope that anyone reading this thread takes into account what testing, no matter how its done or what they do beats the hell out of other alternatives, like death.


16 Mar 01 - 12:07 PM (#419133)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Matt_R

My wisdom teeth were impacted, all 4 of them lying on their sides. Procedure went great...Hootie & The Blowfish was on the radio in the operation room YES!! When it was done, my family laid me out on the seat of the van because my stomach was upset. I was staring up at the ceiling, fading in and out of consciousness. The radio was on, and "Hair" was playing (oldies station). But I wasn't so far gone as to rattle off a few interesting facts about the song to my sisters in seat behind me.

I slept the whole night. Next morning I took 1 pain pill and listened a new ELO album I got a few hours before the operation. That was the only pain pill I took. I was fine after that. The dentist was shocked! He said I should have been the poster for wisdom teeth removal!

NO PAIN!!! As Oasis says "Must Be The Music".

16 Mar 01 - 12:19 PM (#419146)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: mousethief

I couldn't read all of these so I hope I'm not repeating somebody.

To get your colon inspected, you strip down to your birthday suit, then put on a flimsy gown which barely comes down to below your crotch (good thing I'm not overly well hung) and crawl up onto a solid stainless steel table the approximate temperature of Little America, Antarctica.

Then get a barium enema. YOU MUST NOT FART.

Then have them shove a tube up your butt and fill up your lower GI tract with air. Pffsht. Pffsht. Pffsht. Pffsht. Just before you think you're about to float away (bottom-end up, of course), they stop. AGAIN, YOU MUST NOT FART.

Then they ask you to move in various positions while keeping your sphincter clamped to keep the air and the barium/shit mixture from getting all over yourself (and the stainless steel table, of course). Because, of course, YOU MUST NOT FART.

All this time, of course, your brain is preoccupied with exactly one idea:


Oh. And the tech is the opposite gender to you, and makes embarassing comments about things seen on the x-rays which have to do with your sexual parts [T.M.I. WARNING: EASILY EMBARRASSED PERSONS ADVISED SKIP TO AFTER CLOSING WARNING] (viz. the staples that were left in when you had your vasectomy show up on the x-ray, if you must know). [CLOSING WARNING]

Now, here's the fun part. You must get down off the Stainless Steel Freezer and walk to the toilet while holding your sphincter tighter than a virgin's cervix, AND NOT FARTING.

Once on the toilet, you may unload all that air, and barium/shit mixture. Wiping after this particular bowel movement is truly disgusting. And takes several minutes. And nearly a whole roll of toilet paper.

All this to discover that the cause of rectal bleeding was an Anal Fissure (brother of Amy Fissure) and not colo-rectal cancer. Which of course makes it all worthwhile (really!) as dying of cancer in one's early 30's sux (to put it mildly).

If you've read this far, you're braver than I.


16 Mar 01 - 12:21 PM (#419148)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Mrrzy

When in hospital recovering from my second back surgery (bad disks here too), the doctor was refusing to give me ANY pain medication out of fear of overuse. So I threatened the nurse that I'd just take the painkillers I had in my purse, and NOT TELL HER WHAT THEY WERE. So nursey comes back with - get this - IV Benedryl. The idea is that the SIDE EFFECTS would conk me out so I would be too asleep to need the pain meds. I tell you all, and I have a fairly extensive basis for comparison - NOTHING IS AS FUN AS IV BENEDRYL. I refused to go to sleep I was having so much whee-fun. And the next day they wouldn't give me any more, I must have been laughing too loudly or something...

On the other side, if anyone tries to give you an IVP (a procedure where they inject something radioactive into your veins and then take series of Xrays as the kidneys process the something), make sure you aren't allergic to iodine-based dyes. They told me I'd get dizzy, but I got hideously dizzy, and couldn't speak to complain about it, which they took to mean I was fine. They warned me that I wouldn't be able to drive myself home, but after I did get home, I found that I couldn't stand up at all. If I tried I would faint. But as soon as I was horizontal enough, I'd come to, usually just BEFORE hitting the ground. Not fun. I had to crawl with my head hanging down to get to a phone to call the clinic, they called the cops to take me back (this was during college), and the cops kind of manhandled me into the car (they wouldn't let me crawl, which I could do as long as my head was below my heart). Turned out I was having a reaction to the dye, which has some vasodilator in it to rush the whatever to the kidneys, and it took 4 days to work its way out of my system. During those days if I tried to become vertical I became, very quickly and painfully, horizontal again. They called it orthostatic hypotension. I think I heard them trying to take my bood pressure as I stood up (well, as they held me up so I didn't fall), and it was down to something too low to register, over 25. But the IVP itself was fine.

I also had to have a similar thing with my gall bladder, a "barium swallow" where you drink something radioactive and they take pictures as it goes through your digestive system. My gall bladder was too blocked for it (the procedure) to work, so they injected me with morphine (which dilates the bile ducts). Well, I'd warned them that I fainted, and they'd taken good care of that while putting in the IV, so all they did this time was inject the morphine into the existing IV... and I fainted anyway, dead away, and fell out of the scanner! Missed the whole morphine thing, too, the only time I've had the occasion to taste it...

16 Mar 01 - 12:29 PM (#419151)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Matt_R

Oh Alex, after I had mine, they didn't mention anything about usuing the toilet afterwards. So I suffered through intense & painful cramps for 15 minutes in the pharmacy waiting to get my medicine, and 25 more minutes on the ride home. THEN when I got home, I got to let it all out. The doctor said when I got home I'd probably be very hungry. After fasting from food and drink for 12 hours, having 3 enemas, the procedure, AND the crampy ride home, somehow I did NOT feel like eating.

16 Mar 01 - 12:37 PM (#419157)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures

Gee the worst thing that ever happened to me was having the light go out on the MDs gizmo mid-PAP smear. He kept jiggling it around trying to get it back on again. Finally took it out and screwed in a new light bulb. Teeth cleaning is more traumatic to me. All that grinding and digging. Add to it a dentist who asks "What are all those curly black hairs between your teeth?" Dental humor, I guess.

16 Mar 01 - 12:48 PM (#419167)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: mousethief

Oh. Wisdom teeth.

That was a trip. For some reason (kids! don't do this at home!) I elected to be awake during the procedure. All four were impacted, one of them nearly fatally. But everything in its place.

First the laughing gas. Let me tell you, I didn't laugh. But I was prepared to buy absolutely anything from the dentist. Swamp land, snake oil, Watchtower Magazine, you name it, I would have bought it. They never told me about the credulity side-effect. Wonder if it's widely known.

Anyway, then the needles. These needles had the unusual and physically impossible quality that they actually grew larger once they were inside your mouth and you couldn't see them. They seemed tiny when lifted from the tray, but once inside my mouth, they grew to be over 3 feet in length. Rather than give a single shot in each place, the dentist/surgeon would shove the needle in a few inches, squish some novocain out, shove the needle in a few more inches, squish more novocain out, shove the needle in still farther, squish still more novocain out, and so forth until the needle was clear through the back of my head, the chair, and the wall behind me. Strangely, no exit wounds were discernible the next day. Really thin needle, I guess.

Of course this procedure was done in multiple places in my mouth, over and over again, for approximately seven hours.

Then I was left alone in the chair to "numb up" (shouldn't that be "numb down" by the way?). I maintained sanity (well, whatever moiety of sanity I had before the procedure began) by counting the songs on the radio. Which were all pop-bubble-gummy songs I despised, but hell, you take what you can get.

Several days later, the doctor came back and began extracting my teeth. The first three came out with little fuss, but the suturing was torture. Every place on my head was totally numb except for about a 2 millimeter square area at the very corner of my lips (on either side). So guess what part of my face the suture was drawn across with every single stitch? And I could feel the blood start to drip down the side of my face, and then it ran into the deadened area and I could feel it no more. As it turned out they ruined one of my favorite shirts. But the torture of having that catgut drawn across the one un-numbed part of my head over and over and over and over and over and over....

If the Chinese Water Torture were to somehow become unusable (say on the planet Arrakis, for example), the draw-the-bloody-suture-across-the-un-numbed-corner-of-the-lips torture could easily take its place. I can't be entirely certain, but I think it was at this point that my toenails pierced the bottom of my Nike's and started to rip the naugahyde upholstery of the dental chair.

But the really fun part was yet to come, brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. Oh yes. That was ...

The Shattering Of The Really Impacted Tooth.

Ah yes. I remember it like it was yesterday. The fourth tooth just wasn't coming out, and the dentist apparently didn't want to drill a hole large enough to take it out whole (since the hole he had already drilled was three times the width of my jawbone as it was). So he elected to shatter the tooth in place, and pull it out in pieces.

Something sturdy was placed against the tooth, and whacked on the end with a sledgehammer the size of Delaware. Wham. My head juddered from side to side. "Again," said the satanic and demented dentist calmly. Wham. The chair came loose from the floor and skidded three inches to the left. "Again," came the intonation, and again Wham. "Again." Wham. "Again." Wham. "Again." Wham.

When the tooth was fully shattered, the three of us (the dentist, the assistant doing the shattering, and myself (still gripping the chair tightly with my toenails) were lifted (somehow) out of the parking lot and back into the 3rd floor surgical suite, and the dentist proceeded to pluck the shattered bits of tooth out of my jaw, and then sewed up the area using the diabolical torture-suture method described above.

Then large bits of cotton were placed in my mouth to soak up the blood and provide "direct pressure" to the suture area. These were changed approximately 4,279 times, and I was allowed to go home.

On the way home I was unable to keep my mouth closed (due to not quite realizing I still had a mouth (other than 2mm squares at the corners thereof), another delightful side effect of the novocain) and drooled down my front, thus ruining my favorite shirt in yet another place.

Then came the Percodan. Percodan is a delightful drug designed to be used in pharmaceutical emergencies when Syrup of Ipecac is in short supply. It produces very effective contractions of the muscles that cause the contents of the upper GI tract to be forcefully expelled through the mouth. At first this contents consisted primarily of saliva and swallowed blood clots (on which more anon), but eventually all of the contents were removed and the Percodan, still intent on doing the job it was being paid to do, tried to see if it was possible to actually throw up the lining of the stomach through the esophagus. This continued for what seemed several months, but may have been merely 13 hours.

Then we replaced the Percodan prescription with Codeine. This was supposed to make me loopy. Actually it had about as much effect on the pain that saying "stop that!" does to a meteor shower. But double-dosing, although producing no discernible change in my clarity of thought, did reduce the pain to the point that I was not required to scream constantly.

Oh, and about those blood clots. This was a side effect they failed to explain. The blood would build up in my mouth from the suture sites, and clump into these really disgusting gelatinous blobs, with approximately the same consistency as jell-o, although retaining that consistency at a temperature which would make real jello melt. These were, for some reason, impossible to spit out. Believe me, I tried many ways, and always without any success.

So I had to swallow them.

This was possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever lived through. And yes, I've seen Cats, The Musical.

Well, that's about it. Within several days I was able to speak again, and within a matter of a few short weeks, eating became once again slightly less painful than dropping a bowling ball on your naked foot in a gravel parking lot.

My advice to persons about to have their wisdom teeth pulled:

1. Don't let anybody tell you stories about when their teeth were pulled. It will scare you and make you reluctant to undergo the same procedure;

2. Get the general anaesthetic.

3. Get all 4 done at once. If you only get 2 done, you may never go back for the other 2, and that would be a bad thing.

Thanks for listening!


16 Mar 01 - 01:10 PM (#419183)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Jeri

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but...
I'd heard horror stories about various medical procedures over the years.

Cortisone shot in shoulder - I'd heard those long needles that go directly into joints hurt like hell. Reality: Dr says "you'll feel a little prick." I felt a little prick, and could feel the needle moving around in there, but it didn't hurt. It just felt weird, because you're not supposed to have needles moving around in your joints.

Root canal: you've heard stories of root canals. For me, the worst thing was having the impression taken for a crown and not gagging. The procedure and aftermath hardly hurt at all and it put an end to months of pain. I had less pain from the procedure than I had chewing something prior to it.

Knee surgery (Anterior cruciate ligament replacement and cartilege removal.) It didn'hurt that much, but the swelling made it difficult to move it. Knowing what they'd done in there made me fearful of injuring it. Any one of 4 knee injuries had hurt a lot worse than the surgery. The worst pain I had from this surgery was in the OR, when the paraspinal block started to wear off while they still had the tournequette on. That hurt. They offered to give me another dose, but it would take longer to wear off, and I had to pee. I was NOT going to use the stupid bedpan!

I had a revision of an amputation (I've had several) of the end of my index finger. Again, sticking needles in joints don't hurt that much. The point where I wished I could rip the doc's spleen out through his nose came when the anesthetic wore off in half the finger and he decided to give me a local. Stuck the needle in the half of the fingertip that was NOT numb.

Spinal tap. I'm sure everyone's heard horror stories about these. Me in the fetal position. Doc says "You'll feel a prick." I feel a prick, and then some painless but unusual messing around. Doc: "'ve got really tight vertebrae...have to try somewhere else." Prick/messing around/success. The headache the next day was the worst one I've ever had - when I was vertical. When I was horizontal - no headache at all.

I've had an upper GI. Never had it up the wazoo, and almost never had it DOWN the wazoo. Almost never had it go down the toilet. That stuff is really cement. The procedure itself wasn't scary at all, but I wish they'd at least put a little umbrella in the stuff. Yum - radioactive cement coctail!

16 Mar 01 - 02:03 PM (#419250)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Mrrzy

Oh, yes, luckily I don't remember much about having 16 teeth pulled when I was about 11 - but I am still absolutely positively terrified of anything dental. I have all my wisdom teeth and they'll have to get them out over my unconscious body. Mom, on the other hand, had no wisdom teeth at all (and one of her tonsils grew back after they were both removed...) - her dentist says she's one step up on the evolutionary scale (don't know what her ENT would say. Maybe she's a mutant, maybe she's an alien). I am about to fire my dentist of many years now for hiring a new, young, hygienist, who can't chat while doing teeth cleaning, so I have nothing to distract me from my terror, PLUS she says stuff like Relax, you are so tense you're making MY job harder (which I really, really don't need). About the teeth pulling, my baby teeth apparently had adult roots, so they weren't falling out when they ought to, but the new teeth were coming in anyway, all over the place, wherever they could find room, like under my tongue. So they had to pull most of my baby teeth, wait for some to grow, and then pull some permanent (teeth too big or mouth too small, your choice) and some more baby. I remember having stitches inside my mouth practically up to my eyeballs because they broke a lot of the roots pulling the teeth, and then had to go excavate. Roots were twirled around each other most interestingly, apparently. All I remember is feeling some pulling on the underside of my jaw, under my chin, where apparently some of the roots actually reached. I also remember that the second time, they used a lot less anesthetic than the first (when they apparently overdosed me, Mom says I was asleep for close to a week), so I never went completely OUT, but nor was I present in any real sense. And it took years for me to learn to try to do that on purpose!

16 Mar 01 - 03:15 PM (#419297)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Justa Picker

Okay, I've read all the threads here in gruesome and gory detail. I'm primed now.

Please, someone relay your experience about a pilonidal absess and its subsequent draining.


16 Mar 01 - 03:23 PM (#419304)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: jeffp

Unfortunately, I can't think of any funny stories about pilonidal abcesses. I've had them, and all I remember is pain, pain, and more pain. I've had them drained by a doctor, and had them burst by themselves, usually after a bump that causes the most exquisite agony. It can be felt in your teeth. (For those of you who don't know, a pilonidal abcess is an inflamed cyst at the base of your spine - right at the top of the crack, as it were.)

If you go to the doctor to have it drained, insist on Novocaine beforehand. One doctor sprayed some sort of freezing stuff on it and it was definitely NOT sufficient! The smell is really nasty, and the mess is unbelievable. [gross stuff warning] Mixed blood and pus that drains for three days. Menstrual pads or panty liners are good for soaking up the drainage (and protecting your clothes). Change them often and (here's the fun part) periodically squeeze the cyst cavity to drain accumulated stuff and prevent it from closing up again.

JP, if you are suffering from this, you have my deepest sympathies. You might try soaking in hot water (as hot as you can stand). I did this religiously the last time I had a flare-up and it actually broke while in the bath and was fairly painless at the time. Plus, cleanup was a breeze.


16 Mar 01 - 03:29 PM (#419313)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures

Dated a sailor who had just that, JP. The hospital had a ward full of sailors all with the same problem. Guess you are born with it and it may never act up. But when it does - nasty flu like symptoms and infection. So they open it and leave it open. It has to heal from the inside out or it closes over a newly forming cyst. Now the fun part: Several times a day the open wound has to be flushed with Hydrogen Peroxide or some such liquid to keep it clean. It hurts like hell. The guys in my friend's ward had to do it for each other. Saved the nurses time and the theory was that they would be extra careful with each other knowing that they were soon to be on the receiving end of the wash. So you have an superating open wound that hurts like hell, a regular dose of HP which also hurts like hell, and if you are lucky, it doesn't heal properly - he had to go back twice before they got it to close.

16 Mar 01 - 03:35 PM (#419323)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

See file GELDEVIL in DT for a song on a time honored surgical procedure.

16 Mar 01 - 03:41 PM (#419332)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Justa Picker

No not me jeffp or Sinsull. I have dealt with minor ingrown hairs which were a pain in the ass but nothing along the lines of what you or Sinsull have related. But there's nothing like nerve pain.

I remember having a friend eons ago, who at the age of 22 decided to convert to Judaiism because of a girl he was very serious about, and of course had to undergo the required circumcision (and unfortunately for him he wasn't at birth.) He didn't smile for several weeks following...and we teased the hell out of him.

Oh and several months later he and the girl broke up.

16 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM (#419341)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: mousethief

Note to self: Never change religions for a woman, unless you were going to change anyways even if she weren't in your life. Especially when the target religion requires surgery.

16 Mar 01 - 05:09 PM (#419424)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: GUEST,Cleigh O'Possum

Miz Sinsull, I was wondering how on earth you could have such a condition that would cause hairs to be growing in your mouth. It sounds perfectly terrible and I hope...........Just a minute. Catspaw wants to tell me something............................

OH MY!!!!! Miz Sinsull........I am SHOCKED!!!!!!!.................... Cleigh O'Possum

16 Mar 01 - 05:38 PM (#419442)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: Kim C

Ohmagawd Alex!!!! I am laughing so hard! Not at your misfortune or discomfort but at your description. And I thought having a urine catheter to the bladder by a nurse in a Halloween costume was really something.

I think I had Percodan after my wisdom teeth but I don't remember having that same side effect. I was happy the whole time. :-)

16 Mar 01 - 05:44 PM (#419447)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: mousethief

Kim, you've made my day. If I can make somebody laugh, it's a gold-star day in my opinion.


16 Mar 01 - 11:42 PM (#419698)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: campfire

WYSIWYG got the same endometrial biopsy I did. Wonderful description.

A few years before the endometrial biopsy, I had cervical biopsies. Basically same procedure, except my doctor accidently (?) let me SEE the instrument of torture before insertion. Three little steel "teeth" that open and close in a triangle pattern as he squeezes and releases the handle...looked like "Alien" jaws to me.

Of course, you can't have a local anesthetic before they rip off little chunks of you, because the anesthetic might change the morphology of the cells in the samples. And a general "isn't worth it", because the whole procedure only takes a few minutes.

So the nice doctor turns Jaws loose up there, rips off a nice hunk of me (OUCH!!!), withdraws and places the sample in the vial. As he prepares to go in for another, he realizes my thighs are tense and quivering, and he says "You really need to relax"!

I wondered how relaxed HE would be if I were waving those three little teeth at HIS privates...

Six samples later, he decides that's enough. Swabs me out with some sticky stuff that's supposed to stop the bleeding, but stings like the dickens.

I'm so glad I'm a woman.


17 Mar 01 - 02:45 AM (#419783)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures
From: roopoo

Back to teeth: many years ago my SO had an abcess in the root of one of his front teeth, which were crowns anyway. The dentist decided that the root was no good and the other wouldn't last much longer, and duly got him booked into the dental hospital in Nottingham. Having been shot full of local anaesthetic, the procedure began with the age-old instruction "raise you hand if you feel pain". As they began the 12 front-to-back stitches required to anchor the gum back down, you can all guess that the hand went up. Then the semaphore started. I think he was well into some pretty exotic continental hand-gestures, while lying in a pool of sweat, by the time they'd finished.

I went to the same place to have my bottom wisdom teeth out. They decided to do them on 2 separate occasions and under local (I was breast-feeding a 3 month old baby, but not in the chair, I might add!). The first one required 2 stitches and levering out from the side with a rod, like an old tree stump. I have memories of the pressure on my jaw, the sounds, the vacuum tube in my mouth and what went up it, and all through the procedure the sound of my baby crying in the waiting room. I came out looking like I'd been in a fight, and it was a beggar to heal. The following day we went to a wedding and one of the guests said he had been nervous about asking me what had happened in case I had been beaten up. A month later I went for the second one, and here's where I can say that it was (relatively) fun: having had the required 10 minutes for the shot to work, I sat down in the chair with, unlike the previous occasion, just an old consultant and a dental nurse in attendance. In went the pliers, out came the tooth, followed by very quick and easy healing and hardly any swelling.


17 Mar 01 - 02:19 PM (#420006)
Subject: RE: BS: FUN Surgical & Testing Procedures

My girlfriend, 69, has so many replacement parts, that I'm not sure she qualifies as human anymore. What's sexual intercourse with a mechine called? I'm it.