Yesterday was the visit to the pulmonologist. Dave & I both left work early to get to the appointment, which was just down the street from our home.
We found the office after driving through a maze of buildings dominated by dental offices, physical therapy clinics and CPA firms. When we walked in, we were surprised to find that Dr. Bhugara shares an office with an OBGyn. So, along with several very young mommies-to-be, there were several new mommies there for their post-natal follow-ups and their screamy new spawn. Not good for nerves stretched thin already.
After completing another stack of paperwork, we were escorted back to an exam room papered with lung diagrams, COPD advertisements, and odd artwork, vaguely suggestive of respiratory systems. The overly chatty nurse asked a few questions, and then promptly launched into her own mother’s cancer horror story.
She finally wrapped up and left us, distracted by the vibrations of her cell phone.
Dr. Bhugara came in and right away, gave me the impression of someone who not only doesn’t appreciate questions, he doesn’t appreciate questions from a woman. He did a cursory exam of Dave, asking questions about whether Dave snores, whether he is rested when he wakes up, and whether he’d been out of the country recently. Then, he announced that he want to do a biopsy on Wednesday.
Wait a minute, doc! What about the PET scan? Aren’t you going to do any blood work?
We had been given the impression that they would do that first, and then decide if they needed a biopsy.
“Why would we do that?” Dr. Bhugara seemed puzzled.
When I indicated that someone on his staff had suggested those very things, he looked irritated and responded to Dave.
Because Dave has no symptoms of Valley Fever, and because he couldn’t read the results of the PET scan on his laptop, he would upload the information to the hospital system and use that to guide the scope for the biopsy.
He offered no ideas or speculation as to what could be going on, and proceeded to launch into the risks of general anesthesia and needle biopsies.
Poor Dave. I know that reviewing the risks of a procedure is standard protocol; but for someone so unused to all of this, a little sensitivity or some reassurance would have been nice. Dave had blanched visibly, and I could see the wheels spinning.
I rubbed Dave’s arm, and told him that he’d be asleep and wouldn’t feel a thing.
And, that was it. A few peremptory instructions, and we were back up at the desk to check out. More paperwork, this time, signing off on a list of potential risks. The only thing in Dave’s head? What if they puncture a lung and it collapses?
Good grief! Thanks, lady! You just guaranteed this poor guy two days of worrying.
I know. I understand that it’s required, and I understand that these people deal with this stuff every day; but, would a little bit of tact or some reassurances hurt?
Last night, and again this morning, Dave looked completely deflated. He’s trying very hard to keep the fear and depression at bay. I, on the other hand, am furious.
I feel like someone I love is being bullied and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. It is absolutely wretched to watch the man that I love struggle so. I am so angry. And, the whole time, as I’m saying over and over in my head, “It’s not fair,” I hear, “Life’s not fair.” I just want to spit.
We are on such a roller coaster these days, and our emotions are stretched to the breaking point. The barely contained rage that I hold for this insidious disease threatens to choke me, and spills out at odd moments. I thank my stars every day for my mother. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive mom. As I drove home tonight, I found myself sobbing, unable to talk. Mom just let me cry, and made sure that I know that she knows we’ll get through this.
We had a good dinner. Dave can’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight, and then we’ll go to the hospital tomorrow morning. I’m not exactly sure how quickly we’ll get results. I’m just hoping that they find some sort of infection that turns out to be no big deal.
If you would, please keep Dave in your heart tomorrow. The words of support and well wishes are a balm to us both.