Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Pre-Op

Today was my pre-op appointment at the hospital. Another fun step in the journey.

I was feeling pretty tired, having had FIVE seizures between midnight and 9:30, when I left for my appointment this morning. I talked to my neurologist, who recommended that I up my medication a little bit. (I am to take an extra half tablet each time now). I added the extra half-tab as soon as I got home, and was seizure-free until 6:15 this evening.

The pre-op was comical, as the doctor had ordered an EKG and chest x-ray. The nice nurse at the hospital asked, "Have you ever had these done before?" I replied that I had, just a few weeks ago in the emergency room at another hospital. Next thing I knew, phone calls were flying between the two hospitals, and between the nurse and my doctor's office. Yes, he will accept the ER records, so I don't have to repeat the tests. Just gotta get them on my chart. Somehow. Before Monday.

And so begins the process of trans-hospital exchange of patient records - a process that is now governed by ridiculously insane HIPAA regulations. But hopefully I provided enough paperwork to pass the "thud" test so the ER can share my reports with the other hospital. And hopefully they will recognize the "STAT" designation written all over the request, as time is of the essence. Let us pray.

The pre-op was reduced to the donation of three vials of blood for chemical analysis. And a fun surprise: I get to come back early Friday morning for type & screening blood tests. No, can't do them today, or I will automatically die in surgery. Must be done three days before the surgery. (In my head is the clip from Monty Python's Holy Grail movie, where the scriptures tell them to count to three before they lob the holy handgrenade at the rabbit. "Thou shalt not count to two, except thou shalt then proceed to three. Five is right out.") I'm thinking TYPE - as in what is my blood type? A+. Always has been, always will be. (My mom said it's why I was supposed to be an A+ student.) Will be A+ today, and will be A+ on Friday. I don't know what the SCREEN is for. HIV? Plague? Drugs? Too many cookies? I'm thinking whatever it is, it's probably not going to change between now and Friday. But, hey - I don't make the rules.

Finally, they went through all my pre-op paperwork, including my medical history, my pre-op instructions, the little map of the hospital indicating where I am supposed to show up, the information packet about deep vein thrombosis (which should be entitled, "In Case You Didn't Have Enough to Worry About"), and my all-time favorite: a tutorial on the pain rating scale and how to use it to communicate with the hospital staff about how much pain I am feeling. Owie ow ow. Something I'd rather not think about right now.

This evening we had the second consecutive night of YUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMM!!!!! As in, kind and wonderful ladies from church have been bringing over meals that have been incredible. I mean, I love to cook, but I admit that my favorite food is "anything made by someone else". But this isn't just the "made by someone else" factor. This food has been amazing! We have very happy tummies.

So, anyway - one step closer to Cranie Day. Ew. Ow.

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