25 August, 2010

I'm a ball of nerves.

We arrived at the hospital and I was so nervous I almost forgot to pay for our parking in the UCSD parking structure. Les was more level headed and reminded me so we took care of that before finding our way to admissions. The admitting clerk was convinced I had only paid $122 of my deductible, and I know bloody well I had to pay $500 before my CT scan so I met the deductible. The $122 is the portion my insurance paid out for the $325 test so I should have a credit. They wouldn't admit me until that was sorted out, so we had to sit for 40 minutes until they got ahold of my insurance company who confirmed I had paid $500 and met my deductible. This was NOT what I needed on top of already being over the top anxious about surgery.

We found our way to pre-op admitting at last and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a private room for changing rather than a curtained area with a gurney. I changed out of my buttery soft grey shreddie Melos (they sort of look like cigarette ash) and my comfy top and into their ginormous gown and ugly tan grippy socks. I had gone commando and sans bra since I knew I would have to take them off anyhow. I would rather not lose nice lingerie and wouldn't want to wear old lingerie to the hospital anyhow, so commando it was. My vitals were taken and the initial admissions questions addressed, after which they started my IV. I have small veins and am not an easy stick so I suggested he put in a 20, which is big enough for surgery but small enough for my veins to take without blowing. In went an 18, and to my surprise, there was virtually no pain at all. One hurdle crossed. Les waited with me for about ten minutes and then we had a tearful goodbye as I was popped into a wheelchair to head off to preop staging.

I met with the pre-op nurse, expressed my wish to avoid an intra-op catheter if possible (I got the mother of all UTIs after my last intra-op cath), and also mentioned that morphine doesn't work for me for post op pain, but does give me a rollicking good case of urinary retention. They gave me a TV remote to watch TV while waiting for the anaethesiologist, surgeon and circulator. There is nothing on at 7 am anyhow, and I was far too keyed up to watch anything so I sat there wishing dearly for some versed. I met with the anaesthesiologist, got my questions answered and concerns about nausea and post op morphine addressed as well as being briefed on the agents he would use for me. All is good. Can I have some Versed now?

Met with the surgeon and his entourage of residents and interns and was marked. He gave the intern grief since her mark was rather more central than to the right and the plan is for a right hemithyroidectomy and isthmusectomy, with possible total thyroidectomy depending upon how things look in there. Met with the circulator. Can I have Versed yet? Got unhooked from the IV for a last minute potty break to hopefully avoid that catheter. NOW can I have some Versed? I could have used it an hour ago. They hooked me back up to fluids (hmmm...they use blood tubing. I certainly hope I don't need a transfusion for this!) and it hurt like a son of a bitch when they flushed the IV. Versed please? The line is still patent. Nancy came by from PACU since she works there as well as at the Kaiser Zion PACU and it was VERY good to see a familiar face. She was a blessing for a little bit until anaesthesia showed with my very much welcome 2 mg of Versed. We wheeled down the hall, though several sets of doors and into the OR. I scooted over to the table and they started getting me strapped down. The show is on the road. The next thing I know, I vaguely remember someone starting a new IV on me and someone saying that we needed it now because the IV had blown. After that, oblivion and no more nerves.

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