By the time my lymph node biopsy came around, things were starting to change in hospitals and healthcare facilities. My wife dropped me off and I had to go through my first of countless COVID screenings. This meant that at the front door, they took my temperature and asked several questions. The questions would change a bit from time to time, but I got very familiar with this process in the coming months. It went something like this:
- Have you been tested for COVID-19
- Has you been in contact with anyone who has been tested for COVID-19
- Have you had any new fever or chills?
- Have you traveled out of the country recently?
Once I got past the screening, the biopsy was largely uneventful (I consider uneventful a big plus when it comes to surgeries). I checked in and moved to the “pre-op” room. Here, they did a few pre-surgery checks (blood pressure, echo, etc…). I had a parade of visitors over the hour or so in pre-op including anesthesiologist, surgeon (my ENT doc), nerve specialist to watch over my nerves, etc…The most memorable was the anesthesiologist. He asked if I had been through surgery like this before. I told him I was knocked out to have my 4 wisdom teeth out. He said, “Well, this is a much bigger of a deal than that”. Wait, what? Of course, a biopsy on your neck is a bit bigger than having wisdom teeth out, but his response surprised (concerned?) me. They started the drugs to knock me out as we were rolling out of the room. I remember taking 2 turns and pushing through the doors to surgery. Next thing I knew, I was in recovery. I had a large incision in my neck (glued shut). It looked wicked right after surgery, but it healed well and is not that noticeable anymore. The whole area of my neck and face around the incision was numb for the next month or so after surgery. To this day, it has remained numbed around the incision, but the effect and area of numbness has continued to shrink. With the biopsy out of the way, it was on to the next week full of tests, starting with the bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday.