Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lidocaine, Catheters & Computers

What do these three things have in common? Is it:

A) Jordan Guenette
B) Science
C) Fetishes
D) A Good Time

There's no wrong answer, really.

Well, a week after my first session with Jordan and it was time for the second half of the study. This was the longer of the two with the running time coming in at four hours. This was also the more interesting of the two sessions in that it involved all three of the items listed in the title. We started this soirée off with the Lidocaine. The thin gel was dripped into my right nostril and with the tip of my head it all ran down the back of my throat. It has a distinctive mediciney taste when it hit the back of the tongue but I've had shooters that tasted worse and they didn't even have as much of a numbing effect so I wasn't complaining. After a few minutes, it feels like there's a lump of something in your throat that you can't swallow. This is when it's time to get to business. Jordan proceeded with inserting the first of two catheters up my nose, around the bend and down my throat.


Here you can see it with the first one already inserted an with the second about to head on in. The tip of it has a balloon on it which is deflated when inserted...which was fortunate for me, 'cause man...well, you know. Anywhoo. The first one went down fairly easily. It went around the bend well enough and the rest of the way down with the aid of drinking water. The second one, however, had a bit more of an issue getting all the way along. It too, got around the bend without much issue but about two seconds after this...


...I was spitting a mouthful of water on to Jordan as the second catheter managed to find my gag reflex and try as I might to resist the urge, the nervous system won out:

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Probably for the best...

Okay, so aside from this little mishap the whole insertion thing went well. An alternate angle shows a successful insertion of both lines:


Now, never did hurt, it just felt...foreign. There was actually a bit of uncomfortable pressure at first but once the small guide wires were removed from inside the lines it was all fine & thumbs up.


ON TO THE TESTS!

For the next while Jordan adjusted the placement of one of the catheters (one sat below the diaphragm in my stomach and one above in my esophagus) and I got to just sit down, relax and hang out with my new friend, the Magstim 200 Mono Pulse, or Maggie as I like to refer to her. I'm going to be honest with you...Maggie is startling. She won't say a word for the longest time then all of a sudden she yells real loud and it kind of scares the crap out of you. Or to put it another way, that ring thing I introduced you to last week is placed at the base of the neck and when triggered creates a magnetic pulse that stimulates the nerves which control the diaphragm. It also manages to catch a few other nerves so my arms & shoulders would jump up a bit as well. This wasn't really the most pleasant thing ever but it's a hell of a lot better than using electrical stimulation and I did become accustom to it after the first few rounds. Again, not painful but foreign in a way. Below you can see all the marker lines where jordan placed the ring to find the most effective location, the full circle is where he got the strongest response (represented by squiggles on the computer screen) and all other stimulations were done from:


So yeah, more various stimulation tests, some involving the pinhole inhalation device, some while just hanging out and being all cruisy.


I'm sure there was a lot of science going on here but it's all kind of over my head so I didn't really ask. Once the first few were done and I became accustom to the process it was all thumbs up:


ON TO THE BIKE!

There were wires & hoses everywhere. Two coming out of my nose, one clipped to my index finger, three attached to electrodes stuck to my chest and shoulder, something else strapped to my forearm and a couple coming out of the device I was breathing through. This made set up a delicate procedure but after a bit of nudging and shifting everything was all set. I was given ten minutes to warm up and then the test was to start. I started the first minute at a low resistance and then the wattage was brought up to 298W - 90% of my peak ability as determined by last week's test. The objective was simple yet brutal. Sustain this output for as long as physically possible. That's it. Nothing else. Here's the "before" photo with my intrepid scientist, Jordan:


The first few minutes of this test were fairly reasonable, despite the fact that most people get worried they won't last long during this window. I think a part of it was that my legs were feeling a bit better than last week and a part of it was that I'm kind of awesome sometimes. It's hard to say how much of each played in. After about four or five minutes, though, the awesomeness started to wear off and it started to burn. Still within reason but every time Jordan's assistant came over with the "how are your legs and lungs feeling on a scale of 1-10" clipboard the numbers started to creep up and up. By around the ten minute mark things started to really suck. This is where having spent the past year and a half developing the ability to metaphorically punch myself in the face over and over came into play. It burns and it hurts and it would feel so very good to stop but you just simply don't. Twelve minutes goes by and I'm starting to let out small screams of agony. Oh, and just to up the ante a little throughout the effort (although, I'm assuming he had science reasons) Jordan would ask me to take in a deep, rapid breath at the end of a "normal" exhalation. This is normally no big deal but when your heart & breathing rate are pinned it makes everything hurt just that extra little bit more. These inhalations are a part of what ultimately did me in. Everytime I did one during the latter stages my cadence would dip just a bit and it would become more and more difficult to get it back up again. Then, after fifteen minutes and two seconds, I was finally beat. Here's the "after" photo:


Jordan had to physically help me off the bike and into the chair. No blurry vision this time but every muscle in my legs was on fire. Same for my lungs. Right away, Maggie got involved in things again while I tried to resist the urge to honk. Eventually, I caught my breath, endorphins kicked in and Maggie calmed down.

And that was it. the whole thing was over in less than four hours. Jordan got some good numbers, I got my ass kicked and Maggie agreed that we she won't keep yelling at me all the time.

I have to take a moment now as well to comment on how well Jordan ran all of these tests. He was very professional and friendly and made the whole experience actually fairly enjoyable. We're going to go ride bikes when the weather gets better.

Oh, there was one last thing to do...take the catheters out. This was far less delicate of a procedure than their insertion. The tape from my nose was removed and with a gentle, yet confident tug, Jordan pulled those effers right out with one pull. Again, foreign...and a bit burny as the stomach catheter brought a bit of my stomach's contents along with it. Once I had a drink of water and gave it a few minutes the burny-foreign sensations went away and it was all thumbs:


THE END!

5 comments:

((lyledriver)) said...

This is quite possibly the sexiest post on Project B ever!

THUMBS UP.

You can pretend you're doing this for the sake of science, but we all know you're into it.

bran_don said...

that's why options c & d were included in the list at the top...

Nick said...

I'M IN UR LAB, PROBIN' UR GUYZ

SCIENCE!

Edward said...

Very well written! Maggie seems like a cruel mistress.

Now, lidocaine in the legs to relieve the pain, or is that just a bad idea; survey says?

Seb said...

Met Maggie yesterday. She knows how to show you a good time for sure.