Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Practically a Spa Day

One of the perks of living with a chronic lung disease is that you can occasionally book a day off work while your doctor runs a garden hose down your throat and takes a look around. I try to think of it as a spa day, with my own handsome chauffeur to drive me around. 

We rise at stupid o’dark in the morning for the drive to Grace Hospital & Day Spa, and I hope my doc is getting a good sleep. A nice lady who calls me “Hon” checks me in. A fellow appropriately named Manny leads me into the prepping area where he gives me one of those fashionable one-color-suits-all, one-size-fits-none gowns. A nurse tucks a warm blanket around me to lull me into thinking she’s on my side. Then she sticks a needle in the back of my hand, a blood pressure cuff on my arm, and a clothes pin on my finger. Another expertly steers me into the treatment room. I assume the rubber chicken stuck to the ceiling is to boost patient confidence in the skill level of medical professionals.

My doc hands me a shot glass full of vile stuff to gargle. This numbs the back of my throat, which deactivates my gag reflex…although yours is probably kicking in about now. After he introduces a drug to my I.V., the colorful supply bins on the shelf start dancing a mildly hypnotic jitterbug.

They have me clamp down on a mouth guard, like a football player. Then a teensy-weensy camera goes down my gullet, and I see exactly what the doctor sees on the monitor in front of me. Of course, by this time, I am so looped I think I’m watching a documentary on cave exploration. Every time the doc squirts down more saline solution, I cough and the TV screen goes all snowy, like our old black and white used to do every time our next-door neighbor, Eddie Haddad, used his electric razor. Frustrated us kids to no end if we were in the middle of Bonanza.

Anyway, the whole deal is done before I have time to enjoy the sauna or mineral pool or a manicure. I’m wheeled to the recovery room which I’ll share with seven of my new closest friends who have also been scoped, although it’s not polite to ask where. I’m given another warm blanket. This is followed by a pleasant, dozy hour of quietly contemplating the meaning of everything. A cool glass of apple juice confirms that my swallowing mechanism is up and running again. 

I’m unhooked from all tubes and set free to dress and leave the spa—with some precautions, like no driving for 24 hours. Why couldn’t they say, “no cooking?”

On the ride home, a song comes on CHVN:
You are the way, You are the truth
You are the breath inside my lungs
You give me strength when I am weak
You are the one who lifts me up.
(from the song Shelter by Carollton)

I thank God for my lungs, my driver, a sunny day, a job with sick benefits, and for my good doctor and nurses. I can feel grateful and laugh at all this because I know that the one who’s ultimately in control is the same one who’s holding me in his everlasting arms.

Contact me if you’re facing your first bronchoscopy. I’m an old pro—and it’s practically a day at the spa.

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