Just over a week ago I received a letter from the hospital asking to confirm my presence at my operation, BY FAX! Who has a fax machine anymore? Well it turns out Mr F does, which is good because the thought of going to the post office during my lunch break is not dissimilar to shopping in Argos on Christmas Eve.
Anyway, Mr F saved the day and yesterday I went to my ‘Pre-admissions Clinic’.
Weights and measures
I first met a lovely nurse who measured me; 161cm, which is good to know as I still work in Feet and Inches. She also weighed me. I wanted to tell her that I’d just had lunch and I have a rule about going to the toilet before stepping on the scales… However, it seemed frivolous so I got on there and ignored what they said, safe in the knowledge I’m at least 1KG lighter when I follow my own ritual. Finally she sticks a thermometer in my ear and sends me on my way.
Mind my mouth
I am sent back into the waiting room – Twitter is a wonderful thing to pass the time. After a while the anesthetist comes to see me. She asks me a few things, like am I allergic to anything. I’m tempted to crack my joke about the horseflies (which is true) but the audience doesn’t seem right at the moment. She then asks how much I drink. I am really smug at this point and harp on about how I’ve been sober all of Feb and March. She doesn’t seem impressed and probes as to how much I drink normally. I fess up that it’s quite a lot, to which she looks relieved and scribbles something down. Apparently one of the drugs may tip me over the edge if I’m not used to alcohol It seems my indulgence has some benefits.
Finally she asks if I have any crowns or caps. I do, I have lovely teeth that I paid a lot for having knocked them out at 18 months and gone without any until I was 12, when some wonky brown ones grew back. She informs me that they might chip them… Urm… no you won’t! I ask her if I’m able to claim if they do? It may be nothing in compassion to how much it’s going to cost to chop my boobs off, but I could do without the expense of new teeth. I think she picks up on the fact that this isn’t a joke, and kinda says, yes I can. Mmm, I will be reiterating this point on the day of the operation. I clearly have everything in perspective.
More waiting and a bit more Twitter until I am met by a young Dr, who I know must be about 27, but she looks about 12. We go into a room and she starts by saying she’s not looked at my file. Oh, that’s OK then. She sees that I am having a prophylactic nipple sparing mastectomy with tissue expanders and so starts asking when I found my lump. So I tell her I have no lumps, I instead in possession of a faulty BRCA2 gene. She looks a bit blank and starts asking about my family history. (Insert much repeated family history wrap up here). She still seems confused as to why I am having this operation. It’s at this point I realise she has no idea what my lovely gene mutation is or means and so I begin to relay that statistically I’m pretty likely to get cancer of some sort at some point, that’s why they screen me, and that’s why I think this is a pretty good idea. She seems to get this now, and is not surprised at my negative reply when she asks if I have any questions for her? Only how old are you and would you like me to come with you on your rounds? (I didn’t say this I promise).
A bit more waiting, I’m even checking work emails now (kidding work. I was doing this all along) until someone decides to tell me to give blood. I am given a map to navigate the hospital and find the blood clinic. On arrival I am lucky enough to see a man move an Oreo from his forehead to his mouth on Minute to Win It before I am introduced to a nice Indian man.
Once you have been to hospital a few times you turn into your Dad i.e. tell the same stories with the same lame jokes over and over again. When it comes to blood, I always insist on telling people how tiny my veins are and how they look good but I’d make a rubbish junkie AH HA HA. Anyway, the nice man simply smiles at me as if I’m an idiot (fair call) and in what seems like 3 mili-seconds produces 3, perfectly formed vials of my blood. Ah, thanks.
So quite a few bad jokes and a little bit of annoying, I know everything Trisha later, I am sent on my merry way. And that s what happens during a very long, pre-admissions clinic.