Sunday, 9 September 2012

90. Pre-Op for the Finale (Phase One)

After a second night of insomnia and only 2 hours sleep I had to get up for my Pre-Op assessment on Thursday.

What is a Pre-Op?
Pre-operative assessments involve blood pressure, weight, blood, swabs and a chat about medical conditions. I can highly advise taking an 8am appointment if you can, as with doctors surgeries, the team gradually run late by the afternoon. I have, in the past, on a number of occasions now (I am getting old hat at surgery now) spent over 4 hours in a Pre-Op Assessment ward with an afternoon appointment. Hot, stuffy, boring as hell. My 8am appointment was over in an hour and half, brilliant stuff and the best experience of Pre-Op yet.

6.45am  Alarm...eurrghh!
6.55am  Cup of STRONG coffee
7.10am  Lashings of anti wrinkle cream
7.35am  Out into the crisp new autumnal air and into the 8am rush hour
7.45am  Discovered the 8am commuters are grumpier than 9am commuters and way more aggressive.  How rude!
7.58am  Arrived at the hospital and was spoilt for choice with parking spaces, this is a rare, rare event and I liked it.
8.01am  Entered the doors to a gentle world of fresh shift of hospital staff willing to help, smile and direct me to where I was supposed to go.  Felt sad that most would leave feeling knackered and frustrated having walked past some of them clocking off and going home on my way in.
8.03am  Arrived in the peaceful and friendly Erme Ward, filled out my form and took a seat, watched the Paralympic hand cycling.
8.10am  My name was called and the poking and prodding commenced.

Step One: Blood Pressure & Weight
Having just driven there with a bunch of aggressive driving commuters, I wasn't completely relaxed, plus I always get a little anxious entering hospitals. It always baffles me why they do this bit first for that very reason. My blood pressure was fine, 112/75 (blood pressure explained), but apparently I should have been dead with 238 heartbeats per minute!! Holy cow! Thankfully the machine wasn't working properly, so it was the old fashioned wrist and watch beat count = 75bpm. Phew! I was still alive!

The next bit was the depressing bit, the weigh in. I think all weighing scales in hospitals make you heavier than you are. I had an progesterone implant put in 4 months ago, and suddenly put on 8lbs in weight, which is good for my upcoming surgery but highly unusual for my stable weight record. Back in November 2011, comedy surgeon was concerned that I didn't have much fat for him to work with for fat transfer. I can officially confirm that he now has plenty to suck out and juggle around.

Step Two: Chat & Questionnaire
I ramble at this part. Sat in room with a closed door and a nurse, there is a 4 page questionnaire that the nurse goes through with you, asking about eyesight, allergies, previous operations (which I find weird as they have records of these..surely?), mental health etc. It is this stage that I realise I'm pretty healthy at 39 years old and feel lucky to be that way. The nurse was a lovely lady, we laughed a lot and found out that she had never had a general anaesthetic - lucky woman!

Step Three: Bloods & Swabs
The blood and swab nurse was lovely and chatty.  She took my nose, throat and groin swabs for MRSA tests and took my bloods.  A few pokings, a small scratch and a nice compliment about my dress later I was done, free to leave.

9.35am  Walked out of the hospital feeling good.
9.37am  Walked past the medic team waiting for the air ambulance to land.  As it landed about 50 feet away, a sudden upwelling of emotion came over me as I remembered the day my ex-fiance didn't quite make it to hospital in the air ambulance that tried to save him.  He died as it landed on the helipad at Salisbury hospital after a big RTA.  That day I should have been driving, not him, that day I was spared my life or serious injury at least, and although I have endured other battles, I am still here and I can still fight them.  My mortality is very real to me.  Most people don't think of death but I am very much aware that I am alive and I want to feel it everyday, not sit when I am 80 and realise that I sat on my arse, watched tv too much, stayed indoors, never took risks, did nothing with the time I had here on Earth.  I shed the tears that came from nowhere from the moment, wished the person inside made it, and then sat in my car and smiled to myself remembering some good stuff and then made my way to work.

The countdown starts here for Finale: Phase One = nipple reconstruction, back scar revision (part 2) and fat transfer for breast augmentation (amending one flat one to match the other with a little extra pillow plumping).

Weeeeee!! Here we go!


Anonymous said...

Wow. I don't know what to say to all that. Only - you are amazing! Good luck with the next phase!