From the beginning....

Welcome to my blog, which is predominantly about my journey pre and post "lap band" op...however I can't help but share my dating stories (oh the ones I have collected over the years!), cocktail-encounters and super London haunts along the way...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Pre-surgery assessment

I was so nervous beforehand, as I just kept thinking they'd find something wrong with me which means I wouldn't be able to have the surgery.

So it went like this...

I went to the hospital in the afternoon at my allotted time, and signed in at the Day Surgery building to say I was there for pre-surgery assessment. I filled in a form or two (name, age, doc's address), and then sat in the waiting room until called by the nurse to go over my form. I was pretty impressed for the NHS - only had to wait about 10 minutes.

A nice nurse called Harriet called me in. Harriet is from somewhere sub-Saharan Africa, with a pretty accent and a big smile. However, her English wasn't great. I'm sure she's a super nurse, as she seemed caring, but she wasn't the sharpest tool in the box. So anyway, she took me through various questions (do I smoke, how much do I drink a week, am I generally healthy, what other medical complaints do I have). She then had to take my blood pressure (which was fine), and do MRSA swabs. This is where I started having some doubts about her...I said "but if my surgery isn't for another couple of months, what good is it doing the MRSA swabs now? I could develop MRSA in 2 months' time and you wouldn't know." "Ah but we would know" said Harriet "because we would get the results from these tests and that would tell us. You would be contacted." "Sorry Harriet, you misunderstand me, I don't think I explained myself well enough" I replied - and then went on to explain very slowly what I meant (you understand the meaning of my question right?). Harriet eventually got the gist "Oh I see! Well they would know because if something goes wrong in surgery, they do the MRSA tests again straight away" she eventually told me. Hmm, not quite the response I was looking for...


I tried to ask her a few other questions - such as whether I would need anti sickness drugs after the surgery (I've never had a general anaethetic before, so no idea if I'll be sick). She didn't really give me a straight answer. However she showed me how to cough after surgery if I needed to (push a pillow against my stomach - gee thanks!). I figured out pretty quickly that she would not be a person to ask questions about the procedure to...

What Harriet did go through was the general checking in to Day Surgery. I would need to arrive at 7.30am, and there would be a few people having surgery that day from my surgeon. I wouldn't know where I would be in the surgery queue. And Harriet didn't say how long my surgery would take. When I come round though, I would have 4 hours "nil by mouth" (Harriet explained a few times what this meant, just in case the word "nil" had confused me...). I should decide (apparently) to sleep during this time. After recovery I would be moved to a ward (all female) and eventually I would then be asked to drink some water (I've read this on varous blogs), and sit in a chair for a bit, and my "escort" would be called to take me home at about 7pmish.

The escort bit was where I started to have a few issues. Does this mean I actually have to have someone come to pick me up? Harriet said yes - my mum or some family member would be best. Ah. I haven't told them yet. Harriet suggested I have someone stay with me for a few days - probably my mum. Hmm yes, same issue. This got me pretty teary actually - thinking about telling mum, and my sister. Not because I'm not close to them - we are very close (as I am with my dad). It's just the years of scrutiny that will await me - and having to answer all the questions at the beginning. I have enough questions of my own, I don't need other peoples' as well! That sounds very selfish, I know - but am just struggling with telling them. Apparently I need to call the surgery in 2 weeks to see if they have a scheduled date for me. Maybe best to tell my family (or at least my mum) when I have the scheduled date...

I will tell them, don't worry. Just need to find the right time.


On the questions thing - near to the end of the end of my 20 mins with Harriet I asked if I would have any contact with anyone else until my day of surgery. The answer was....no. I feel like I have lots of questions - things like, can I do all forms of yoga and exercise afterwards, and also sounding out my fears. Yep, I'm a bit scared of the surgery, but I'm scared of the scarring I may have afterwards (I get keloid scarring). What if the surgery doesn't work? I'm scared that I'll find a way to cheat afterwards. I'm scared I'll never be able to wear a bikini on the beach again. Or scared that I'll never end up falling in love because I'm too fat to be attractive. Ok, so the doc can't answer these more abstract questions, but I do have a list that he could help me with. I think I'll try and find out his email address and email him some...wonder if NHS surgeons know how to use email... ;)

I think I'll ask A some more questions too...

Anyway, I passed the test. I'm down for the surgery. Watch this space for a date...

1 comment: