Today I had my pre-op appointment to prepare for my surgery Monday. I knew what to expect this time as I had to go through the same paperwork, questionnaire and tests as I had in June. I was scheduled to have bloodwork, and EKG and to meet with an anaesthetist.
I arrived at my scheduled time and took a number. #80! I looked around the room. There were only five people waiting so I thought, YES, this will be quick! I was called within minutes to the wicket. I checked in and was told to go to the “inner waiting room”. You see the “outer room” is a bit of a ruse because the inner waiting room had dozens and dozens of patients waiting. Oh, dear, this may take longer than I thought. I looked around the room remembering the last time I was here…when I was feeling smug that I wasn’t carrying a giant ziploc of pills for the medical staff to review. Well, that has certainly changed. I looked just like everyone else this time with my five bottles of various anti-inflammatory and pain meds. Yep, I had joined the club of “sick people” or at least had the appearance based on my pile of pills. I didn’t have to wait too long before I was called in to see the nurse. I was weighed and measured and then ushered into an examining room. The nurse opened my chart and and started to review the four page questionnaire that I had to fill out before arriving. She had a blank version and started to verbally ask the same questions that I had answered in writing. I thought, hmm, is my writing that bad? Is she trying to see if I actually filled this out or did I hire someone else to do it for me. You know, like when people hire someone to take a test for them or write an essay for school. My answers were all the same as the questionnaire I filled out before my mastectomy surgery in June. The only thing that has changed is I had one more surgery to add to the list AND I had to answer yes to having had stayed overnight in hospital in the last 12 months. Other than that, it was a repeat. Didn’t matter. Everything had to be reviewed again in great detail. Not a problem, I was happy to answer any and all questions again. After all, I want them to have whatever they need to ensure that my surgery goes well. The nurse reviewed all my meds, made note of what they were, what they were prescribed for, dosage and time of day they are taken. Wow, I have turned into my grandparents with my pill regime.
Once the questionnaire was reviewed and all answers given, the nurse prepped for bloodwork. She had a large roll of labels with my name on it. Those all can’t be for me, I thought. She quickly found a vein. I’ve been told I have great veins! Some people have a great smile, a fabulous figure….I have great veins. Lucky me. The nurse made quick work of filling vial after vial of blood. When she finished draining my vein, I watched her slap the labels onto the “vile” vials and asked what tests do they run?
“Oh there are a lot of things they will be testing for. They look for kidney and liver disease, cardiac issues, iron levels, hemaglobin, cell counts….” I started to glaze over as she rhymed off all the tests. I did sit up when she said “And this one is a pregnancy test”.
“Well, given on my list of surgeries it says I’ve had my fallopian tubes removed, I think you can skip that test!”
“Oh, dear” she said. ” I guess I overlooked that on your list of prior surgeries. Oh well, the lab will run the test to confirm anyway.”
“Mary and Joseph are going to have to move over if it comes back positive! I’ll be able to do the talk show circuit with that result.”
I could hear in my head, “Now let’s welcome a woman that without possessing reproductive organs, is pregnant! Let’s have a warm round of applause for Patti Hone!” Damn, if only Oprah hadn’t retired!
The next surprise was that since I had answered “yes” to having had stayed overnight in hospital, I had to be tested for “super bugs”. Charming isn’t it? Having been in hospital, I could have been exposed to and contracted some horrible virus or disease. Lovely.
“Do you test my blood for that?” I asked.
“Oh no. We need to swab for that. I will do a nose swab and I will give you a kit so you can go to the washroom to do a rectal swab.”
My day was just getting better and better!
After completing all the tests, I will spare you the details of the “swab”, I went back to the waiting room until I was called by the anaesthetist. Once again, he reviewed the questionnaire with me and then we talked about the surgery. I am to be at the hospital for 12:30 and my surgery will be at 2:30. It is scheduled to take approximately 2 hours. After, I am taken to recovery for several hours and then sent home. So if all goes as planned, I will be home around 10pm Monday night. Even though, this surgery isn’t as intense as the last, it is still major surgery. I will still be in a great deal of pain and I am nervous that I might have a complication again. I am far more prepared this time as I already have all the pillows and paraphernalia I will need for my recovery. This weekend I will be making soups and preparing some meals that can be just heated up and will stock up on juice, gingerale and easy to eat foods for the first few days. I have the same wonderful nursing care lined up so I know I will be well taken care of!
To think, in less that three days I will be on the operating table having my chest rebuilt. I sound like the bionic woman. “We have the technology. We can rebuild her.” Hmm, will I be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound too?!
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.