Today I look back with thanks that I made it through another year. The reason I am bringing this up so late after New Year’s Day is because of some medical testing a couple days ago.
Friday I finished up allergy testing at Hackensack’s allergy center. I was being tested to see if I was allergic to something similar to novocain.
Tests show I am not allergic.
It’s a happy result because this test comes six months after a pretty scary situation last year.
When I had my breast mammogram, doctors said there was an abnormality that they wanted to check with a biopsy. The doctor would not sign off on me taking the injection to numb my breast because the substance used was similar to novocain. I have had a bad reaction to novocain in the past. At a dentists office, when I was around 22, I had two wisdom teeth removed and my face blew like a adult sized chipmunk with acorns stuffed in its cheeks. It took days for my face to deflate and I had heart palpitations.
I was told I would have had to wait for weeks, probably months for the allergy test. . Then I could get the biopsy to confirm that everything was ok.
I did not want to wait because of so many stories I’ve read about women who waited after getting warning about a bad mammogram or test for cancer. There are countless stories about women who died because they didn’t do anything fast enough — but waited. The doctor said she could not be sure if this was serious or not. I wanted I could wait at my own risk. I didn’t want to wait.
The doctor said I had the choice to do the biopsy without any numbing. She said it may be painful. But the tests would show if there was a more serious issue with my breasts. I took that option.
I remember that day saying a special prayer to keep from feeling pain.
The doctor said she needed three samples.
Essentially she would inject an instrument in my breast and clip a sample of my flesh near the area that was suspect. The nurse offered to spray the outside of my breast with a cooling spray. She said it would only help so much. I had to brace for the pain.
I closed my eyes. The first injection went in. Then I heard a loud — bang! It was the sound of the beast clipper taking the first bite out of my breast. I flinched but It didn’t hurt. My prayers were answered. Thank you God and your angels for help – I said in my head.
“You did very well,” the doctor said with a surprised tone. “I have to take two more samples. Just let me know if it becomes too much.”
I shook my head yes and gripped a towel on the bed and closed my eyes hoping the second chomp wouldn’t hurt just like the first time.
The needle went in but this time it felt like a hot poker. I flinched and said — Ahhhyyyyeeee.
Then I heard another — bang! This time I think I spoke in tongues and said Jesus a couple times. A tear streamed down my right cheek.
“That’s all I’m going to do,” the doctor said. “I’m so sorry. You are so brave. You did more than I expected. Most people couldn’t take this. Are you ok?”
I shook my head and wiped my tears. My head was spinning.
I had blood all over my chest. The nurse quickly mopped me down and put in a large bandage.
I had survived an outpatient surgical procedure with no anesthesia. But man was I in pain.
A few days later results came back negative.
At least I know if I have to do another biopsy I won’t have to do it without numbing. Still I hope I won’t have to do that again. Getting two surgical bites out of my chest is no walk in the park.