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Preop update (warning: long and hilarious) Preop update (warning: long and hilarious)

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Unread 04-30-2002, 07:56 PM
Preop update (warning: long and hilarious)

Allright, as many of you know, I was scheduled for preop this morning. In light of the fact that I knew I would have to prepare for endless hours of waiting and changing from one floor to another, I had breakfast before I checked in at 8:30 AM. So here's the rundown of the day.

*** 8:15 AM ***

Checked in for my 8:30 appointment. Of course I had to wait and during the waiting time I met Regina, another sister in the making. We made sure to exchange lively hyst banter until we were called to see our respective surgeons.

*** 9:15 AM ***

Finally get to see my surgeon. Surgery is going to last anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. They will remove uterus and cervix, leave fallopian tubes and ovaries. I will be in the hospital for three days, release possible on saturday afternoon (barring complications). A pathology report will be done and part of the removed organs will be part of a study aimed to research tissue and correlation to cancer/non-cancer developments - of course it does not mean a discount on your hospital bill. I will receive PCA morphine during hospital recovery.

Of course we spent a sizeable amount of time going through the consent form. This was the first highlight of the day: surgeon asked my forgiveness, but she had to make sure that I understood that hysterectomy will result in sterility (err.... DOH) and that I had so been notified. Further I she had to make sure that I understood that should my ovaries be removed (for any non fore-seeable preop reason), then I would be on lifetime hormore replacement therapy.

I asked about the Ovary Shock Syndrome: would my ovaries suffer a shock from having so much space around them and how would I know I am producing hormones? Ovaries are naturally shocked into realizing they have been living in a one-bedroom apartment and are moving to a fair-sized ranch environment. This change needs adjustment and I might experience menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. My ovaries should resume their regular activity within the next cycle. During that transition time the surgeon suggested I visit the Hyster Sister site (and did I hear about it already? Yes, m'am) and unleash my moody ovaries on the sisters.

Surgeon decided I do not need any enemas, stool softeners (no icky stuff in other words). However I was scheduled for a 10:45 appointment in Day Surgery with the anesthesiologist.

*** 10:30 AM ***

Checked into Day Surgery Unit for my appointment at 10:45. Little did I know that I wouldn't be seen until 2:30 PM. Regina and I sat down and started chatting about all sorts of things to kill time. Soon we were joined by Joan, an 80 year old lady who had melanomas removed from her forehead that morning and was waiting for test results, and by Dianne, who would have to have her jaw wired shut in consequence of a kidnapping/robbery in her neighborhood. To cut it short: Joan's wish of a lifetime is to see Las Vegas to enjoy sex and money and possibly find a 30 year old man with stamina. Just that morning Joan had kicked the soda machine on the third floor causing it to overheat (the machine took her money but gave her no soda). A couple months ago Joan fell on her way to church and broke an arm. She was lying on the sidewalk and couldn't get up, so she waved at the passerbys asking for help. They didn't bother and thought she was an old drunk sleeping off a night of binging. Dianne was having trouble laughing and was holding her jaws together. Dianne's story was that past Friday, on her way back from the hairdresser, she got pulled into a car, robbed of her money and jewelry, punched numerous times in her face and tossed out at the next corner.

Whoever said that waiting is boring??

*** 2:30 PM ***

I finally get to see my anesthesiologist who told me that I will require general anesthesia and will be asleep for a good long time. She then proceeded to give me the bad news of the day: my hemoglobin is at 8.2 (normal is 14-18) which indicates a mini-relapse and might mean the end of my remission days from leukemia. Platelets and WBC however are within normal limits and that means that I might stand a chance to win yet another fight.

She proceeded to tell me that during an hysterectomy, a blood loss equal to 2 1/2 cans of your favorite soda can be expected. Since my hemoglobin is dangerously low, she asked my permission for a pre-surgery blood transfusion to be followed by another post-surgery blood transfusion. The choice was up to me. Refusing would have meant cancelling surgery for a non-acceptable risk of serious complications. I gave my permission without hesitation. I got a hug in return and I think this is the first time ever I have seen an anesthesiologist cry.

The anesthesiologist then proceeded to tell me that I needed more blood drawn to monitor closely my hemoglobin levels and I needed an EKG as well.

*** 3:30 PM ***

Martha the Vampire (read OR nurse in charge of blood drawing) got my blood (very slooooooow drawing because of my already depleted blood supply) and while we were waiting for the vials to fill, Larry (the EKG guy) told me about the amazing advancement in medicine that had been done just that morning. One of the new nurses, Mary, had been in charge of urine sampling and lab tests to establish pregnancy. During the whole morning not one urine sample had come back negative -- except Mary's. Mary had been proud to produce the only negative sample. That is until Larry picked up the urine sample and said: I'd be concerned if it had come back positive, since this sample belongs to John Edwards. Needless to say, I was laughing so hard that the blood started flowing faster

Then I was finally in Larry's hands for the EKG (which came back normal). I asked him what he would have done if it had come back abnormal and he replied that he would have had to get a heart from the freezer in the cafeteria.

*** 5:00 PM ***

I finally got my discharge papers and went back to the car, only to discover a $20 fine because the meter had expired *5 minutes earlier*

Surgery (TAH) is scheduled for 5:30 AM on Thursday May 2nd. I am going to be the first patient of the day and made sure to ask if Michelle, the surgeon, is a morning person. Michelle replied she actually takes extra care with the first patient since she has plenty of time -- I will check in with a Starbucks coffee for her just in case.

Instructions for Thursday:

- Please have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on Wednesday and nothing but clear fluids after noon on Wednesday: shortens clean-up times post surgery.
- Take a bath or a shower the night before or the morning of surgery. If you can't, please provide medical staff with gas masks.
- Brush your teeth and floss, we might take pictures.
- Do not use hair pins, hair clips, barrettes, or any hair decorations. Do not clip your hair to read: "I am finally free"
- Leave all jewelry and valuables at home, except for your copay.
- Wear no make-up: we will recognize you.
- Take off all nail polish. We appreciate if you clip your nails to avoid injury to the medical staff due to last minute hysteria or panic attacks.
- Bring all your medications with you: we will decide if you need more for your collection.

Ladies in Waiting, trust me: you are gonna be just fine
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Unread 04-30-2002, 08:27 PM
Hi Solaris

My you had an eventful day. I hope your hospital stay is a little more tranquil. But glad you had fun and made some interesting new friends.

We'll be waiting for you on the otherside. You are going to do just fine and make a wonderful new

I hope you don't need us over on Cancer Concerns message board. But we are there if you do. Lot's of open arms and for those special needs.

Drop us a post when you are home and feeling up to it.

Unread 04-30-2002, 08:40 PM
What a wait you had

My what wonderful stories you heard. I love the 80 year old. Hope I want a 30 year old when I am that age . Surgery is going to be a brezze after the pre-op. are going up. God Bless and we will wait for your return from the castle.
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Unread 04-30-2002, 08:59 PM
Preop update (warning: long and hilarious)

Thanks so much for sharing your sense of humor about your day-long ordeal. Good grief. Too bad you'll have general anesthesia - you'd keep the OR in stitches (pardon the pun). Your positive attitude will come in handy in the recovery process.

Hope the concerns about the remission possibly ending turn out to be unfounded. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Unread 04-30-2002, 11:39 PM
Love it

Thank you for sharing your pre op. What a big day it was for you! (and expensive thanks to parking meter).

Just popping in to wish you all the best for Thursday. I have to ask, do you a post-it note ready for your tummy? If so, what words of wisdom have you chosen?

Once again, all the very best wishes for your surgery and recovery.


aka buckkieofoz
aka HSChat Gail
Unread 05-01-2002, 07:16 AM
Preop update (warning: long and hilarious)

The pre-op was all day!!! I thought it was a procedure that lasted a couple of hours. I am to show up at the Dr. at 2:30 and hospital at 3:30. I hope my friend who will be watching my daughter will have your sense of huimor when I don't show up to pick up my child.
I am in the Dallas area too....Medical Center of Plano is my hospital
Unread 05-01-2002, 01:38 PM
Preop update (warning: long and hilarious)

Gail, I have thought of a couple of post-its...

"Take out drive through"
"Remember, you said bikini cut"
"Cut here [x]"

Unread 05-01-2002, 02:17 PM

Sounds like you had quite a day.. hopefully tomorrow (and the next couple of months) are quiet. to you and good luck.

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