Today was my first day at the H. Cancer Institute. I used an abbreviation because I don't want people searching for that place to get lost here. Anyway, I had to go for a bone marrow biopsy so the doctors can see if my cancer has spread into my bones.
Well, my level of anxiety was high upon entering this place. This is the first time during this ordeal that I have been around a lot of seriously ill people. These little realizations keep coming and this time it was that, yes, I am one of these really sick people. I didn't get used to it today but I imagine that it won't be too long before I will accept it and feel somewhat at ease.
Anyone that has had a bone marrow biopsy will know what I'm talking about when I say that it is an experience that is painful at times, really uncomfortable, and while not horrific it is not something that you'd want to repeat experience of. That is just an unnatural sensation: having your bone drilled into while you are conscious. You can feel the vibrations throughout your bones as the doctor slowly drills through it.
The most pain I felt was the shot to deaden the bone. The other pain was more of "What in the hell just happened there" kind of pressure and anticipation of things going really wrong. It was painful but nothing compared to having a nerve get clamped by an over zealous doctor taking a lymph node out of you.
The bone marrow doctor dude took three samples of the serum in my marrow and the fun part: a core sample. Why was it so fun? Well, he bent both of the huge core needles trying to get a sample from my right hip (the flat spot where your back meets the top of your butt cheek). The doc has to screw in this big needle that is a tad larger than a knitting needle in circumference right into the marrow to get the core sample. To get the core sample out the doc then has to manipulate the needle by forcing it around until the sample breaks free. The doctor can then pull out the needle and retrieve the core sample. Easy right?
Well, this doctor did not take into account my superman like bones. He bent the hell out of the first needle and lost the core sample. He was amazed and told me that while he's heard of this happening it is really rare and then mostly due to poor technique by the doc. This was the first time it had ever happened to him. He did in fact say that my bones were the strongest that he's ever had to deal with, other than trying to get through calcified crap. The second go around was just lovely. The doc was determined not to lose this core sample this time and I was praying to not have to go through the torture again. He really bent the hell out of this needle but this time the doc finally got the sample.
He showed me the needles afterward and explained that most bone will give way before the needle will. When he asked me in jest about how I got such strong bones I just told him I just drank my milk was all. That and never having worked a job that didn't involve hard labor. He confirmed these two points matter of factly after all the joking was over.
So, if you want to have strong bones, go ahead and drink some milk and become a beast of burden. Your bones will be strong as hell, your muscles sore, and all your joints will be ruined. Just think how beautiful they will look all bleached and on display in an anatomy lab.
I finally found a way to get into Harvard, ma--C-Boy out!
3 years ago