Today was pre-op day in advance of my surgery, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, August 12, 2014. (Was that clear enough for everyone?)
I’m not sure how it works elsewhere in the world, but here, one is required to have a slew of tests done and then bring all the results to the hospital, where one spends the better part of a day meeting with an anesthesiologist, a med student, a nurse and a surgeon. At least that was the order of things for me.
You may recall that I’ve been through this process twice before, in the summer of 2012, when I had my first HIPEC done. The reason I did it twice was because I ended up changing hospitals shortly before the surgery. You may also recall the sheer enthusiasm I had for the process, enduring hours of trampling through the hospitals to the various departments where the folks I needed to see had their offices. You may also recall with wonder – as I do – the even longer hours waiting to see said folks.
Suffice it to say, I was not looking forward to today.
Alas, my fears were unfounded, for, I am happy to report, they got the pre-op process down pat at Hadassah Ein Kerem. Everything took place in one suite of (new) offices, the wait wasn’t obnoxiously long and the people we had to deal with were, dare I say, downright pleasant. Some were event apologetic for asking me the same questions as others had. (No, I don’t have false teeth. No, I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs, other than chemo. Yes, I’m healthy, aside from the cancer. Do I do exercise? Ummmmmm, sure!)
First was the anesthesiologist. He spent a long time entering info into the computer, asked me some questions, reviewed all my tests, listened to my lungs, liked what he saw and heard, had me sign some papers, and sent me on my way. Next was the med student. He spent even longer entering info into the computer, reviewed my tests, confirmed my medical history with me (instead of making me tell it all to him), listened to my lungs, poked me a bit more, liked what he saw and heard, and sent me on my way. Then came the surgical resident. He spent some time entering info into the computer, reviewed my tests while trying to stay awake, told me about the surgery, had a hard time thinking of some words as he was trying to stay awake, had me sign some papers, and sent me on my way.
“Will you be in the OR with us?” I asked.
“I hope to be.”
“I hope you get some sleep,” I said in my head, while smiling benignly.
Then came the nurse. She told me useful stuff like when I should actually come to the hospital, what to expect and so on. Then, in a remarkable display of big-picture thinking, she said that she wasn’t sure if my surgeon wanted to see me himself while I was there, since he didn’t indicate it specifically on my paperwork. She walked out to the nurses’ station and conferred with her colleague who then actually – get this – picked up the phone and called the surgeon! It turns out he DID want to see me, and I fully expected to have to go to his office.
But, no! He was going to come to me! Could this day get any better? I submit not. A relatively short while later, he actually showed up, seemed pleased to see me, spent some time entering info into the computer and even more time looking at test results, gave me some papers to sign. Then he sent me on my way.
So, what’s the moral of the story? I haven’t a clue. But it was a pretty good day.