And it zigs and it zags and nothing points in the right direction, apparently.

We met with Dr. Brandabur this morning. I’m very lucky I scored an appointment at the last minute. He usually books up months in advance, but there was a cancellation, so I was able to get some face time with him before the next scary scope.

It was intense, y’all.

First, we cheered for all the drains I don’t have.

Then, he walked me through everything that had happened during the last scary scope, the one with all the perforation and badness.

And he showed me pictures. 3D pictures of my everything on the inside. It really helped, seeing the pictures, because now I feel like I understand what happened when the procedure went so wrong. But it was also difficult. So many times, he’d point to a shadow here, or a line there, and say, “So that’s not normal,” or, “yeah, that’s not supposed to be there either.” Over 20 years as a GI doc and there were things about my anatomy he’d never seen.

Doesn’t make a girl feel good to have to do the whole thing all over again.

Best case scenario: they go in with the scary scope, remove the stents, my bile duct drains properly into the right spot, they take some pictures, and we’re done forever.

Best case scenario B: they go in with the scary scope, remove the stents, everything looks good, we’re done, until 3 weeks/months/years/decades later, when my bile duct shrivels up again and we do this all over.

Worst case scenario: they go in with the scary scope, remove the stents, my duct doesn’t drain properly (or at all), or drains in the wrong spot, and they remove the scope and schedule a surgery.

Worst case scenario B: Perforation.

Worst case scenario C: Pancreatitis.

Worst case scenario D: On and on and on.

I’ve been trying to think of a word to describe how it felt, seeing the pictures of everything, seeing the actual fluid that was in lots of places it shouldn’t have been.

Startling. That’s the best I can come up with.

I’ve been startled by everything that has happened. So now I’m working to brace myself. I’m seeing a counselor to help me deal with the fear. I call her my Drama Doc. And seeing a drama doc is very necessary, because when I try to picture the next procedure? Try to imagine even leaving the house and walking to the car to drive to the hospital to do it all over again? I lose my shit pretty quickly. I’m not as strong as I thought, apparently. I dissolve for a bit.

I don’t really know if it makes sense to write about this stuff anymore. It’s not very interesting and it’s not very funny. I miss writing about running, and about accidentally flashing strangers in public.

So maybe this is the last step towards the old normal. I’ll do my best to deal with everything and to wake up unperforated. And y’all can just hang in with me a bit longer, if you please, and I promise to be awkward and inappropriate again soon.

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