This morning I had my pre-admission appointment for my Total Hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Complete waste of time. They call you in to talk you through the form you filled out online, and explain the procedure to you. All of this could have been done over the phone.
I was late, because finding a carpark is hell. Then I needed to go to the toilet. And I do mean I needed to go. Sorry to be graphic, but when I need to go, it’s not negotiable. My last colonoscopy showed some inflammation, but none of the severe ulceration that you get with Crohns/Colitis. My gastroenterologist said that, considering I was on prednisone, and immunosuppressants, which are used to treat Crohn’s, that I could well have it, but it was suppressed right now by my Rheumatoid Arthritis medications. I certainly have flares of severe symptoms, and during my recent prednisone taper, the lower I got, the more those flares became a permanent state of severe diarreah and lower abdominal pain. Crohns/Colitis also commonly goes along with Spondyloarthropies, which adds to the likelihood.
Even so, what I have is mild compared to what a friend of mine goes through, with her severe Crohn’s disease.
I had to leave in the middle of the appointment to go to the toilet again. It’s embarrassing. And while I don’t have a formal diagnosis of Crohns/Colitis, I have the greatest empathy for those who do. It’s a very unpleasant and misunderstood disease.
I filled out the several pages of pre-admission information last week, and received email confirmation that it had been received, but the nurse today didn’t have it. She had last year’s form, from when I had my Cubital Tunnel surgery. So nothing on that form was correct or up to date.
Why do I even bother filling these things in? It does NOT inspire confidence. We didn’t go over pre-existing conditions, we did a quick look over my medications, which were mostly correct, I think, but there were a few changes. I take about 10 medications daily, I’m not 100% sure that what’s written there on that form is correct. I know they’ll re-check it when I bring them all in, anyway.
The nurse told me I’ll need to stop taking my daily aspirin dose, and but she doesn’t know when, so I have to call my surgeon anyway. I know that I need to not take my metformin on the morning of the surgery. I don’t know about my prednisone, I think I do take it. And to not bring my pain medications.
But I will be bringing my pain medications, I just won’t tell them about that. I hide them in my bag, because they are quite often an hour or two behind with their dosing. And while my rheumatoid arthritis usually behaves well after surgery, because of the massive stress doses of steroids they give me due to my adrenal insufficiency, I can’t afford to let the RA pain get out of control.
As with most surgeries, they recommend you get up and walking as soon as possible. And the more I lie down, the worse my RA gets. I need to move, and to move I need pain relief. To get pain relief on time, I need my own stash.
The nurse talked me through the admission procedure, and reminded me I won’t be able to lift anything more than the weight of a kettle for 4-6 weeks post op. I won’t be able to drive anywhere for 6 weeks.
Sudden reality check. I knew this, but it just hit home when she said it. How long that really is.
I figured I’d get lucky just this once and be able to have the vaginal surgery, which for most people is a shorter, easier recovery. Nope. (What was I thinking? Optimist…)
I don’t care about scars or anything like that, I don’t exactly have a bikini bod. It’s the longer time in hospital and the longer time recovering afterwards that’s the problem. I won’t have much help when I get home, and several people have told me bluntly that I will NOT manage on my own.
I’m contacting my NDIS support co-ordinator to see if any of my funds can be directed to a post op carer. I expect that will be doable.
I’ll work it out. The kids will have to help me a lot, and they are capable of the basics. Gamer boy makes a mean egg in the hole and sausage sandwich, and the Chicklet can make spag bog with the best of them. I will stock the freezer, and almost everything can be delivered these days. I’ll be fine.
The good news is that I am currently scheduled to arrive at 6:30am. I will most likely be first cab off the rank, she said they like to do the more complicated cases first. So fingers crossed that stays that way, because it’s a shorter fasting time for me. If I’m first up, I should be having a nice cup of tea by lunchtime.
That can all still change up until Monday though, and I need to call the hospital after 10am for final admission times.
And now I need to call my surgeon , and my anaesthetist about my medications. Which ones and when to cease them. And then I think I’m all prepped, and all there’s left to do with this admission is wait.