It’s Out!

No more loose ends! The feeding tube is out.

The folks at Interventional Radiology did not pass up their last opportunity to impress me negatively. Though I showed up early for my appointment, they waited until twenty minutes after my appointment time to call my name. Or actually, “Davis Paul?” in an Asian accent, which I took as the same thing. I was ushered back into the warren of halls and rooms that makes up UW Radiology-land. Finally, I was given a gown, and left in a curtained-off area of a hallway, used as an impromptu procedure “room.”

I sat there for another 20 minutes, until someone from the MRI department came by to put a patient in that area. She was quite surprised to find me, since I apparently didn’t belong in what is supposed to be the MRI holding area. She went off to find where I belonged, then walked me there.

This turned out to be the odd nurses station-cum-curtained holding area that I recognized from previous visits. There, the several people who work out of that space managed to not bump into each other and also find me a chair, so my waiting could continue. This was after I had a conversation with them about whether or not they needed a stretcher for me to lie down on. The nurses I was dealing with seemed not to know. Since there was no stretcher in the area, and I could only imagine what a challenge finding one would pose to their 8K brains, I confidently told them that I was happy with the chair, so that they could skip looking for a stretcher, unless they would need me to be on one for the procedure. The nurse I was looking at seemed overjoyed to be spared more work, and left me alone.

After another 5 or 10 minutes, some doctor-y types showed up, and expressed minor annoyance that I was “hiding” behind the curtain and they couldn’t see me there. I said, “Hey, I just sit where they tell me.” (I wondered where they had expected me to be; it wasn’t like it was a big space, and there was someone else on the other side of the curtain, wedged between me and the nurses desk. One doctor asked me a few questions, then, after a pause to go on the other side of the curtain and help explain to the other patient there what they were about to do to her, returned, opened up the kit, and began. Extraction was dirt-simple. I was told to grit my teeth, and close my eyes, and when I said I was ready, he pulled it out. Poof. Done. (I don’t know why I needed to either grit my teeth or close my eyes, since it didn’t hurt at all, and, on the scale of gross-outs in my life, was pretty low.) I was told the hole might ooze for about a week, so I would want to keep a bandage on it. I got some gauze taped on by the nurse who’d dumped me in MRI, who’d just returned, no doubt from leaving someone else in the wrong place. He jumped to help after the doctor fumbled and got the tape stuck to his gloves. How could one fail to be impressed with such competence? Frankly, I could have taped it better myself.

So, in all, a five-minute procedure I could have done at home took an hour. One assumes there might have been complications for which it would be good to be around medical professionals, but in the event, it did seem like a huge waste of time.

Afterwards I stopped by Otolaryngology and Carol looked at my little lump. This morning it is smaller, and looks even less inflamed, so Carol decided to leave it alone, and told me to call if it starts getting worse.

So, now at last, I’m home, without something rubbery dangling from my chest. Yeah!! I’ll be interested to see how long and how much I ooze, and whether I end up with a dent at the tube site.