I Just Don't Want to Know!

This may be a bit of TMI, but I thought you might like a look into vein surgery. I'll start off with this-

veins photo: veins veins.jpg
All veins are not created equally
Almost a year ago I went in to get my nice, inherited varicose veins looked at because they'd started bothering me a lot. It used to be that they'd only ache during peak canning season when I stood a ton for long periods of time.

It turned out that my insurance required me to wear compression hose for six months before they would even consider paying for anything. They wouldn't, of course, cover the cost of those hose-a hefty $65 bucks, nor did I have a clue at how nice they would look on. Through the heat of the summer, I wore those babies with pride. *snickers along with everyone else*

Then the doc tells me I have to have a long ultrasound to find which veins were the problems. Happy to oblige, I made the appointment and returned with bells on. Once they got annoying, I took them off, however. I got to wear these ultra cool fake material shorts. Then I got to stand there for a good 45 minutes while the technician gelled and then pushed and pushed that little ultrasound device all up and down my legs.

It was not pretty.

And truth be told, I had to sit several times because all that pushing on my veins made me feel faint and totally sick. It was a terribly long 45 mins. And she found six veins to be the culprits. The insurance would cover the surgeries. Yay!

veins photo: varicose veins 002.jpg
Aren't varicose veins pretty?
I wanted to know how much I would be paying out of pocket for this little venture and they said they'd call me with the figures. Two months passed and I called to find out what the hold up was. Well, he hadn't run the numbers yet and would get back to me. I scheduled the appointment for about 6 months later. Two months before the surgery, I called the dude back and he called me right back with the numbers- I would have to pay 1800 bucks. No joke. Whaaaa?  The surgery was scheduled to take 1 hour and I would have to pay that much? Crazy. How much was insurance paying anyway?

A week before the surgery, I kept waiting for a letter or a call telling me what to expect and the all important question...what should I wear. It never came. I got to wondering if I really was getting the surgery after all. I gave up on waiting for them and called to complain that I hadn't received a letter. I was informed that they don't send out letters and that I was scheduled to get a call tomorrow-the day before the surgery to confirm my appointment.  Whaa? 

This appointment was almost 2 years in the making and they want me to remember everything I was told 2 years prior. Not happening. I have a hard time remembering stuff from 2 days ago let alone 2 years. The lady gave me the scoop and I showed up with my hubby so that he could take me home.

The doc then goes through the procedure with me-like a dry run-and then surprisingly, he whips out the ultrasound and starts showing me all the veins he's going to cauterize from the inside of my veins. Yeah, not what I wanted to see or hear about.

So, I take my defensive posture and start talking like crazy. I even started talking to the cute little girl that appeared to be completely out of place, not knowing what to do. What do I ask her? What kind of school did she have to go to in order to get such a fascinating job. She says, "I didn't." Whaaaa? I try again. "So you finished high school and then..." She answers, eyes flicking to the floor and the doc. "I didn't go to medical assisting school." Then the doc says, "She's getting on the job training." 

veins photo: Veins TreeFace.jpg
This is how I felt during this conversation
I bet I was her first. No kidding.

Then the doc says the magic words to her. "Do you have the checklist?"

"What checklist?"

"Didn't so and so give you a checklist?"


"Go get the checklist from her, would ya?"

I could see he was bit upset with that little revelation.

A minute later, both girls enter the room. "Don't you have a checklist for her?" he asks the new girl.

"No. I never got around to it after what happened, happened."

Uh, what happened?

"Well, it's not really fair to send her in here with no idea what to do."

Seriously, they are having this conversation in front of me. 

Luckily, I guess, the 2nd girl stayed and helped.

The doc put his music on his player and I put my headphone in one ear to listen to a book. That's when I realize I will be sitting up with a full view of the surgery. I'm strong. I can take this. I can do it. No problem. Until, he brings out the long shots and the long thin catheters-skinny metal rods--and explains to me what he is going to do with those things. I want to turn my ears off, but it's not possible. The antiseptic is rubbed all over my exposed leg and then he covers the area all around it with lots of surgery material that left only my leg exposed.

He rambles on about how he's going to numb the area of the insertion and then and then. I'm sick. Totally, my head is spinning, Unearthy is blasting in one ear and his music and voice are filling the other. I get hot. I feel nauseous. I text my hubby in the lobby to get me some hard candy to suck on ASAP. I didn't even care if he bought it at the way over-priced pharmacy. Just get it and get her fast. To his credit, he did.

The young girl picked up on my distress and asked if I was okay. Score!  Uh, I think I might faint or get sick. 

This is where I thought I should be
the surgery
"Oh, that's normal for some people," the doc says. "When we start prodding and poking around veins, it makes some of us sick." He then addressed the young girl, "Get her a cold compress, that usually does the trick."  And while it did help, I still was right on the edge. And you won't believe it, when my hubby arrived, he came without hard candy. Close, but not quite. Skittles, chewy gobstoppers and mentos. I took a Gobstopper and the ultra sweet taste almost sent me over the edge. While the doc and the helper were getting a new catheter because the other one "would never fit in my tiny vein and it had to bend over a curve", I tossed the round candy back to my husband and I focused all my strength on tuning everything out except my tapping fingers.

I worried that the tapping might bother the doc, but it was either that throw up all over the sanitized surgical area. So, I tapped away, counting each tap. Once I got to 100, I started over. I couldn't concentrate enough to count how many 100's I tapped out, but it was a lot. And did I mention the doc no longer sang along to the songs or told me what was going on once the tapping started? Yeah, I think it bugged him...

The good news? Two hours after I arrived, I had two veins done. Yep. Only 2. I have to go back. No joke. 

I'll be prepared with some Ricolas and bottled water and make sure to tell him I just don't want to know.

Oh, and did I tell you that I have to wear those hideous hose with some other wraps for 2 full weeks. Yep. Pretty and lucky me.

Did you know Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips is now available as a complete ebook?

By Friday, it will also be available in print.

eBook- Kindle  Nook

Print-coming soon

What's the worst doc experience you've ever had?