But I remember, you know, before PCR’s* where it’s just a matter of a blood test and they can tell your counts, I used to have my bone marrow taken out, which was very painful. Every time I went for my sort of meeting, my appointment at the hospital just to get the counts, they would have to extract some of the bone marrow, and that was really painful and very, very uncomfortable. So I used to always ask to be sedated rather than be locally anaesthetised before they could actually extract it. So that was very, very uncomfortable but since then it’s been fantastic because now it’s only a blood test.
Tell me all the graphic detail.
Well, they would take it out of the lower back and, I can’t remember what it’s called, if there’s a specific term for that, but anyway they would locally anaesthetise the region and they would put me on my side and they would insert a huge thick big needle. And although I wouldn’t exactly feel pain as such but I could feel the needle inside of me and poking around and them extracting the, you know, the whole feeling of something being sucked out of my system. And that was awful, absolutely awful. It was, you know, I couldn’t bear it so I just said to them, “Listen, it’s probably best if you just sedate me so I’m not aware of this whole thing.” And they were quite reluctant to do that but eventually they agreed. And so the last few times I’ve had it it’s been that but, you know, PCR’s* have been a real blessing so that’s been great. Yes.
So what difference does the sedation make to you?
Well, I mean usually I would take time off work and go in for my appointments and that would really, you know, being sedated would really take the, it would, I wouldn’t have been any good even if I went back to work. It would take me a while to sort of get out of it and be awake and alert, but it would still make me, you know, leave me feeling quite groggy, a little bit unsteady on my feet. So even if I did go back to work, which I did, but then it, I wasn’t any good at actually doing anything, so I would just sit there until five thirty and then leave. So but with this it’s really, it’s very, with the PCRs* it’s just going in, a couple of hours, you know, it’s normal blood sample collection and then you’re fine, there’s no impact on the body at all. So and then of course there would be a feeling of soreness where the needle has gone in and your back has been punctured. So that feeling of soreness will probably last for a few days, so it wasn’t hugely pleasant.
So even though you felt groggy after having your sedation and it would interfere with your day’s work, you would still prefer to have the sedation to have your bone marrow taken out than have it without?
Yes, I mean just the discomfort of having the needle poke around and that was absolutely awful. I couldn’t bear it, so I just preferred sedation. So, yes it was good.
*PCR' Polymerase Chain Reaction. A test which looks for genetic changes in cells. It can find one leukaemia cell among a million normal cells.