In readiness for my admission on Monday, I attended the hospital for my pre assessment. This is a series of test and checks to make sure I am fit enough to withstand the surgery.
This surgery will be completed at my local NHS hospital as it is too complicated to have at the private hospital where all of my other procedures have been completed. The consultant wants a team around him so that in the event that I need blood or a bed in intensive care, it would be available. If this happened at the private hospital, I would then have to be taken to the NHS hospital anyway, so better not to take the risk.
I don’t know about a ‘crisis’ in the NHS but they are certainly busy!
After a bit of a wait I was called in to be weighed and answer a series of questions about my health, past operations etc etc. Then blood tests (one in each arm, 20 minutes apart, this is something to do with making sure the blood, when tested, is definitely mine and not contaminated), an ECG and then another questionnaire.
Curiously, the nurse that did my assessment was the same nurse that completed Paula’s when she was admitted for her surgery. Nice to see a familiar face and she makes the whole process very relaxed, plenty of laughter which helps.
When completing this last questionnaire, it was identified that the wrong procedure had been written on the form, good job they checked! Luckily my surgeon does not complete gender realignment so they doesn’t appear to be a chance that I could go in as Mr & come out as Mrs!! Needless to say, when I wake from surgery I will be checking that I have all of my limbs and other accoutrements!!
Jokes aside, it shows that we are all human and that the reason they go through these questionnaires is not just a box ticking exercise, but to check and check and check. Good job they do.
The procedure they had me down for was similar to what I’m having but not as ‘complete’ shall we say. Anyway, it’s all rectified now so no harm done.
The ward I’m going onto runs an ‘enhanced recovery programme’. This is to try and speed recovery from surgery and enable faster discharge. I do believe you recover quicker at home in your own surroundings.
I’m to eat a low fibre diet over the weekend and at specific times I have to drink supplements that they have provided. Three on Saturday (today), three on Sunday and on Sunday night, one at 7,8,9 & 10 pm. Then on Monday morning, before six, I have to drink another two. These ‘drinks’ are packed with carbohydrates and give the body the energy it needs to recover. They say they really do help and I’m happy to get any assistance I can if it means getting home quicker.
On Sunday and Monday I have to use a special ‘shower gel’ to make sure I don’t take any bugs into the hospital. All in all, it sounds like I will be well prepared, at least physically.
It’s all starting to feel a bit real now!
Yesterday evening I had my last client meeting before I go into hospital and sent my standard ‘I’m going to be away from the office’ email to all of my clients that I have live files with. This morning I will record my out of office voicemail for my office and mobile phones. I have a colleague looking after things in my abscence so power has been well and truly handed over.
Am I worried? Not worried, apprehensive. It’s big surgery for me but routine for the surgeon, when I saw him last, in that week he had performed three of the procedures I’m having so just another day at the office for him.
Throughout my journey (yep, I’ve used it again) I’ve not thought why me, I’ve not really felt angry and not been that worried about any of the treatment. I’ve got annoyed, not at having cancer, because getting angry about my diagnosis is not really very helpful but annoyed at the effects it’s had on what I can and what I can’t do.
I hated having to check with clients if they had any germs during my chemo. I hated not being able to see friends and family if they had germs. I guess it’s a loss of control over what I’m ‘allowed’ to do, not that I’m a controlling person (well, not much!) but none of us like being told we can’t do something that we want to do.
Tomorow evening we were due to go to a birthday celebration of a friend of ours. She’s a ballroom dancer like us and we were so looking forward to going. But, given this regime that I have to follow tomorrow night we have decided that we will not be able to attend. It’s also a late finish, a reasonable length journey home and on Monday we’ve to be at the hospital at 0700. I am genuinely upset that we cannot go; this is the sort of thing that annoys me!
That said, there will be other dances and I have to make sure that I have followed the regime to the letter so as I’ve said many times, you just have to do as you’re told which is what I shall do.
So, we’ve got this weekend to enjoy then on Monday it’s an early start, I’ve been told that I should be first on the list so I’m hoping that is the case. I can have the rest of the day to recover from the anaesthetic.
As always, I get the easy bit, I’ve just got to lay there! I have said before but this week will be a tough one for Paula but she will be fine, I know she will. The support of our family and friends is always appreciated and I know they will all keep a watchful eye on Paula for me whilst I am incarcerated, thank you guys and girls, it means I can ‘relax’ and not have to worry too much about my best friend. She’s been great this whole time and I know I can rely on her unerring support and love in the next few weeks.
Thank you Paula, I love you so much.
I’m going to sign off now, the next time I blog will be after the op. The next chapter begins, let’s see what’s in store.
Thank you for reading.