I am really tired now from today. This biopsy took a lot out of me, plus I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night; probably from just being worried about today.
We got up this morning around 7, that is a little early for me. I usually get up around 8. It is difficult for me to get a good night sleep because my back always hurts so I am always changing positions during the night. We had our coffee and a bowl of cereal, yup I still eat cereal, and then headed out around 8. My appointment was set between 11 and 1, but we were expecting heavy traffic. Of course today, there wasn’t any traffic on the way there, there was a road closure so we thought there would be more but in fact there was less. We get to Guapiles early and went and made the house payment at the bank. Actually got in and out of the bank quickly today. Then we decided that since we still had plenty of time we would head over to the Maxi Pali and do some shopping. There was a tour bus in the parking lot and a whole bunch of gringos in the store. I am not used to being out in public with a bunch of people from the US around me. From there we stopped by the vet and stocked up on cat food for the month. Some things are a little cheaper in Guapiles than where we live so we stock up on those few things for the month. After that we headed to the clinic.
The same greeter was there again, always smiling, she walked us over to the counter to get registered and to pay. Total cost of the biopsy was less than $250, cheaper than our monthly insurance premium in the States. Then we waited. We did wait quite a while until I got called back. My husband went in with me. I had the same, very nice, gentleman that I had before for my ultrasound. He remembered me and made sure to speak English, even his assistant spoke good English. He sat me down on the edge of the bed and got me to relax, he knew I was nervous. My legs hung off the end and I had a pillow under my back so it made my head lean really far backwards; this makes it easier for him to do the ultrasound and biopsy. He found the tumor again, it is still the same size. Then he took the needle and inserted it into my neck. Keep in mind that I had no numbing agent either. I felt a little pinch going in, not so bad. But then he had to take the needle and move it in and out a little to collect the cells, he did tell me everything he was going to do before he even started the ultrasound so I was prepared. The needle was going in and out, think of a plunging motion, and boy did it start to hurt. I wasn’t allowed to talk or even to swallow, I had to stay perfectly still. My husband was next to me holding my hand, more like me squeezing his hand really hard. At one point I noticed tears in my eyes, but I stayed still. I just kept twirling my feet. He pulled the needle out, then informed me that he had to do it again because he didn’t get a big enough sample. I wanted to cry at this point. But I went through it again. I remember feeling myself tense up and he would calmly tell me to relax, then I would take a deep breath and try to relax a little. It worked.
He finally collected a big enough sample to send to the lab. He got a paper towel and wiped off my neck and he and my husband help to get me in a sitting position. I got so dizzy at that point. I was so hot too. My neck was super stiff and it hurt to turn my head to the side. The technician told me to take all the time I needed, there was no rush. He was very polite the whole time. Even as I was leaving he did the tradition Costa Rica farewell of a small hug and a kiss on the cheek and shook my husbands hand.
This is not anything that I would wish upon anyone, but it was a good experience. The staff and personnel at this clinic are absolutely amazing. Now we just play the waiting game on the test results. Anywhere between 10 and 15 days. If they call, it’s not good news. If they don’t call, it’s good news. These next two weeks are going to take forever. Until mañana, pura vida!