Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm a Joker, I'm a Smoker...

Well, the bronchoscopy is over, but now I'm coughing like a five-pack-a-day smoker.

While I had a good doctor and very kind and competent nurses, the procedure itself was extremely unpleasant. Whatever utensils were stuck down my throat seemed to trigger a massive coughing attack in the operating room so, for twenty minutes, I felt like I was simultaneously drowning and choking.

I was trying to find my voice to say "stop," but could not and was only able to remain calm (if you could call what I was feeling calm) through the reassurance of the nurse holding my hand and being fairly certain that the medical team would not knowingly asphyxiate me.

Normally, this is a non-eventful procedure, but I found it and the recovery rather gruelling. Fortunately, I only developed a low-grade fever that broke after about six hours and the cough is better than it was the first day or two. Still, my ribs are killing me and my head aches from coughing so much.

I don't know how the Marlboro Man does it.