I hope everyone is well and enjoying the bank holiday weekend if you have one where you are! This is another self-indulgent mini-me update 🙂
Pre-Op No. 5
I attended pre-op last Wednesday for the upcoming stoma surgery. This is a revision surgery for my ileostomy, which has caused a few A&E trips since last year. Apparently, the small bowel takes a sharp turn at the end, and this can kink and twist on itself, causing agony and an obstruction, which had led me to A&E a few times. The fact that I haven’t had to go to A&E in the last couple of months makes me want to veto the operation and run as far away as possible. But, the stoma is also now quite flush to the skin and is causing a few issues with skin irritation; I know that if it keeps receding and goes under the surface there will be problems and it will need to be ‘refashioned’ anyway, so perhaps it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
… Here’s a little run down of the appointment, for those interested or who would like to know what to expect from a general pre-operative assessment …
The pre-op was quite straight-forward, but this surgery will be done at a hospital I’ve not had an operation at before. The appointment was firstly with a nurse to do the routine aspects, which was efficient though it did feel rather rushed. This included weight and height for BMI – I’m still a tad underweight according to BMI (though I don’t think this is an ideal measure of weight/health by any means!) but I have put on quite a lot since the colectomy last year. Then there was blood pressure, a blood test where she stole 4 or 5 vials of blood (greedy woman!) and an ECG (stickers stuck on the chest and hands to check your heart, which is pretty quick at under 5 minutes). Next up was another nurse, along with her watcher because she was still fairly new. She was absolutely lovely, but her senior seemed quite brief with me and I couldn’t understand much of what he was saying. She went through a lengthy booklet of questions, some of which were open-ended and others were yes/no and far quicker. Make sure to take a list of current medications with you, along with details of what conditions you have and a rough idea of any recent surgeries because if you’re like me you’ll forget all of it when you’re asked the questions!
Luckily I came prepared and had it all written down. I even picked up a 50p piss pot from Boots before the appointment to give them a wee sample as they’d requested I do this in the letter. They didn’t ask for it. I made sure they took it because I didn’t want this in my handbag for the rest of the day!
The pre-op team called me the following day after they’d spoken to anaesthesiology and had received my blood test results. I need a few other things tested (B12, folic, Vit D – all of which I have problems with) to double check them, and I need to speak to my GP again about the dizziness and occasional fainting, and also the recent heart palpitations. Palpitations are quite normal and common, but over the last two weeks there have been days when I’ve had them regularly (several times an hour) throughout the day, and it’s been quite disconcerting. But, I’ve then had two days of no palpitations. Who knows.
If you find yourself having them more regularly than you think is normal, or you are concerned in any way, please see your doctor.
Honestly, this stuff feels like it’s never ending. I still don’t have a surgery date but it’s anticipated to be June/July. As was the case was the last 4 ops, I haven’t got my head around it; I can talk about it like it’s happening to someone else, it just doesn’t feel like it’s me.
For my mother’s 70th, my brother bought her a pottery experience. I drove us there recently and we spent around 2 hours having a go on the potter’s wheel (fully aided by a pro, which is just as well as otherwise it would have been even messier!), making a ‘pinch pot’ of our choosing, and painting our
disastrous creations masterpieces. It will take around 4 weeks before they are truly finished as they need to be well cooked prior to collection.
Other Health Jazz
I’ve been rather up and down lately, and struggling some days to ridiculously frustrating levels. However, it’s swings and roundabouts and I’m trying to ride it out. Sadly the Duloxetine was one I had to call time on after only 3 days due to side-effects (extreme nausea, feeling zombified, dizzy) and deciding for myself that this isn’t the best time to start something long-term. I’m also not too comfortable with the notion of such a drug on a daily basis, so I’ll be discussing ad-hoc pain relief again with my GP soon.
The appointment I’ve waited for since August 2017, having been referred by my GP who thought the sort of swelling/pain in my neck needs to be investigated, has been cancelled and rearranged due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. It has now moved from June to November! That will be 16 months I’ll have been waiting. They say patience is a virtue…
I do hope you are all doing as well as possible. Thank you so much for reading and take good care of yourselves.