Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Brain Swabbing

For the last month or so, I've been having trouble with a cough that just will not go away. A couple weeks ago I went into the doctor and got some drugs for it, which did basically nothing as far as I can tell. I was supposed to go back last week, but I was busy and hoping it would just get better on its own. Today I admitted defeat and went back for a follow-up.

They did a bunch of stuff, including the standard 45 minute wait in the exam room, but also taking some chest x-rays and threatening to send me to a pulmonary specialist. Eventually he decided just to increase my asthma medicine for now.

But, he also wanted to test me for Pertussis (Whooping Cough).

Yep, that's the same thing I said "Whooping Cough? Do people still get that?".

Apparently they do, and while I don't think my cough sounds anything like Whooping Cough, the doctor wanted to test for it. "OK", I said "How do they test for it?". To which he replied "Oh, just a nasal swab, it's not too bad, a little annoying, but not bad".

I should have known better.

Shortly thereafter the nurse came in and pull out a 12-inch long wire rod with a padded Q-tip type end on it. She started bending it in the middle to have an angle on it.

I should have been suspicious.

So, we start the nasal swab, and it started out fine. Then it got a little uncomfortable, and then I started getting nervous because there was a lot of swab left.

Then it got really bad, with a burning sensation as she crammed what felt like 3.5 feet of swab into my nose and tried to tickle my brain.

I went "Yeeeeooooww" and pulled away as my eyes started watering like crazy and my nose started to run.

At that point I had to ask if she got the sample before I pulled away (hoping that she wouldn't have to do it again). She said "Oh yeah, I always know it is working when there is a burning sensation".

Gee, I wish I had known that before we started.

In retrospect, I think it was more of a surprise then excruciating pain, because when they were saying nasal swab I was thinking just collecting some mucus from my nose. Not trying to stick a swab into my sinus cavity. But it still wasn't much fun.


Bill Roehl said...

That was way too much to read this early in the morning. Wow!

Hope everything turns out ok!

McBrideFarm said...

Eek! That sounds like something you keep feeling the next day. I would not have dealt well with that. I hope the increase in asthma meds help...and that you don't have Whooping Cough!

Steve Eck said...

I seriously doubt if it is Whooping Cough. My theory is just asthma acting up.