It is that time again folks – my one week update – Part 1. Yay!
Last Wednesday, I completed my 5th trip to the big city – my pre-op appointment. For the most part it was fairly uneventful and an appointment that I was told would take two hours, took just under one.
Brandon and I took the train to Toronto because we always seem to finish during rush hour and we’d rather not drive through that to get home. A drive that would usually take around an hour could easily take 2.5 depending on the traffic to get out of the city as well as on the highway. For those of you who are unfamiliar with greater Toronto area rush hour – it can be quite bad because there are only two major highways that leave the city and one privately owned highway. If there is an accident it can snag things up pretty bad. But I digress, back to my appointment.
We arrived at the hospital about 20 minutes early but we were taken in pretty much right away. They asked me when my surgery date was, and I said, “May 14th”. The receptionist looked puzzled and then replied, “Oh, we have May 12th on our paperwork”. The day I was given the surgical date, I won’t lie, but I was only half paying attention. That day there was a lot going on, so I’m not surprised I got the date wrong. Oh well, the sooner the better. May 12th it is!! I’ve already edited my phone calendar, you know, in case I forget. Haha.
We were guided into a large room with a chair beside the desk and two chairs directly across from me. I sat beside the desk and Brandon sat across the room in one of the other two chairs. I first met with the pharmacist to review my medications and allergies. Since I am on no medications and have no allergies (except for seasonal and recently discovered intolerance to cow’s milk) this meeting took maybe 5 minutes. Then we waited for the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist was very educational. She explained to me that I will be under general anesthetic initially and then I will be intubated in order to provide continual sedation since the surgery is quite long. I also will have an epidural inserted into my mid spine in order to numb me from my mid ribs all the way to my pelvis. This will there from surgery day up to day four or five depending on when I am ready to start eating again. Sometimes I wonder if I will feel like my top half is separated from my bottom when I wake up? After each health care provider left, Brandon would walk over from the chair he was sitting in across the room and give me a ‘good job, you’re doing well hug’. He has been incredibly supportive throughout this whole journey. Brandon is awesome and for those who know him, this is nothing new.
After the anesthesiologist left, we were welcomed by the nurse. She explained to us that I should not eat or drink anything after 11:59pm the night before. We were also told that we have to be at the hospital three hours before our appointment times. Kind of reminded me of when you fly internationally and how you have to be there three hours early…only this will be a whole different ride. The nurse also explained to us the visiting hours as well as what to bring and not to bring to the hospital. She mentioned to bring supplies in case I have my period. Apparently the anesthetic can make women spontaneously have their periods early. News to me! Before the nurse left she took my blood pressure and wrote requisitions to have my blood work done. More on this later.
Next came the doctor, my least favourite part and the reason this post is so late.
I was not impressed by the pre-op physician. He was very unprofessional and not even sure what his purpose was at this meeting. I have to talk about it though because I know some of my readers like to know details. When he entered the room, there was no handshake and only a quick, “Hello my name is doctor…” I’m not sure what his name was because he said it so fast. He went through my medical history in a blur (i.e. diabetes, heart conditions, high cholesterol, thyroid issues, etc). He said it as if he was in a worlds fastest speaking contest and then trailed off at the end so I couldn’t even answer him if I wanted to. I am 99.9% sure I had nothing he was asking about but there is always that 1% that hopes he didn’t miss anything he should have caught. During the whole meeting he kept looking back at Brandon, who was behind him and giving him what I called, “the stink eye”. It must have happened at least three times. At one point he said, “you think I know more than you but I don’t, what is the name of the gene you have again?”. Shouldn’t he know this? It’s in my chart?
Next came the auscultation. The part that makes me the most angry. I have training in how to auscultate and if he ever knew this, I’m sure he would have done a better job. I will put up a general diagram from google about the areas you should auscultate.
The doctor only auscultated the two upper anterior segments (the two black dots over the upper chest). He asked me to breath in and out; however, he did not listen to the entire breath sound and was talking to Brandon at the same time. Then he placed the stethoscope over my stomach for a split second (not to mention over my clothing) and at that point I was talking at the same time. I’m sure he didn’t hear anything but our voices and the rustling of my clothing. Worst auscultation ever. I’m sure my cardio-resp prof in University would have had flipped her lid on him. Before he left, he made a comment about the red laces on Brandon’s shoes could make up for the dimness above the neck. Brandon didn’t say more than one sentence this whole meeting so I’m not even sure where he got that from. Needless to say, it was very unprofessional. If I remembered his name, I would have complained.
Then the doctor quickly left. That was the end of my mini-physical. No description about the surgery (although I am well versed in it at this point but another explanation couldn’t have hurt), and I was too angry to ask any questions, plus he was in too much of a rush. I hate to be negative but that part was honestly a waste of his time and the nurse could have done all of that. Because I am young and healthy, he must have felt that this was not very important meeting to be thorough but it is still upsetting to this day about this meeting. Sorry to be Debbie Downer but something had to be said about that meeting. Okay rant over.
Part 2 to come! Stay tuned.