Wow! What a week this has been! I'm not even sure where to start!
Well, September the 8th was my last round of appointments before the surgery, so I had my mom tag along with me so she could get a feel for the hospital, meet some of the doctors and just maybe get a little more familiar with the whole transplant process.
The drive to the hospital was horrible! We left in good time, but it was foggy out and just about every road we took had some sort of construction on it. Once we got on the QEW, the traffic just stopped. Of course I started freaking because I didn't want to be late for any of the appointments. ~sigh~ Out came the cell phone so I could call the transplant office to let them know I would be late. No worries they tell me, just follow the schedule when I do get to the hospital. Turns out we were only 5 minutes late, so we headed up to the Surgical Consult appointment where we find the transplant coordinators assistant, 'Bryan', waiting. (Turns out, they had already changed my original schedule days ago and never let me know!) It's all good though, Bryan lead us down to 'Pre-Admission' and that's where my day began....sort of.
Because of the screw-ups with the appointment times, I was sent in for blood work first..I think another 18 vials worth! I signed some consent forms then was led to a consult room. I should also note that apart from regular OHIP coverage, I have some coverage from my workplace that upgrades me to a semi-private room. No real big deal to me if I have to share a room. A few minutes later, this wonderful woman named 'Olive' walked in pushing a cart-load of nurse/patient supplies. She tells me she will take my blood pressure, temperature, height and weight then some swabs. Swabs? What kind of swabs?
She pointed to a poster on the wall.
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Gadzooks!! A swab of my anus?? The conversation went as follows...
Me: A swab of my anus, really.
Olive: Really! (she spreads out several packages of 8" long Q-tip looking swabs)
Me: A swab of my anus, really huh? (as she swabs under my arms)
Olive: Oh c'mon now Mr. Chandler, It isn't really that bad.
Me: You wanna do this now huh?
Olive: Whenever you're ready, yes.
Me: They aren't paying you enough Olive.
Olive: I've been saying that for years now.
Me: I love you Olive, be gentle. (pants go down, I assume the position)
Me: Is that your knuckle I feel Olive?
Me: Sooo, ummm...you have plans for lunch Olive?
Olive was a real sweetheart and a great sport to put up with me, every time we saw her throughout the morning, she smiled at us.
The next visit was from a pharmacist, she went over the medications I was already taking and explained which meds I would be given before the surgery and during recovery....too many to list here though. She had me sign some papers and she left. Next up was another medical nurse to explain recovery procedures and to check my paper work. She also gave me a little map of where the check in for the surgery is. From here I had to go back up to the 10th floor for the second surgical consult. This surgeon, Dr. Ghanaker, was a very down to earth guy. He explained more of the surgical procedure and gave us a timeline of events. This surgeon won't be operating on me though, I guess they have a rotation and team up surgeons to certain patients. It was with this surgeon where I had to sign a bunch of consent forms. The really great thing was having my mom with me. Even though the doctors and nurses kept repeating the same information over and over to us, it was nice to have mom hear the same stuff from different people....kind of reassuring words. Know what I mean?
From here, we went back to pre-admin to meet with the anesthesiologist. He pretty much explained the procedures of his job and what to expect. Very technical stuff, kind of hard to understand but grateful he explained as much as he did. He also looked over my medication list and reviewed the results of my 'Pulminary' tests from a few weeks back. The only real problem I might have stems from this stupid sinus infection I keep getting. Other than that, I should be good to go.
My last appointment for this day was with 'Cailin Macleod', the transplant coordinator herself. She went over more procedures and gave me a bunch of paper work outlining the events of the days following surgery. She also told me what to bring and what not to bring. The information came at us fast and from so many different people, it was hard to absorb it all...I'm sure I forgot a third of what was said this day.
We left the hospital around 4:00 pm and went for some food. I figured if we ate first, rush-hour traffic could pass us by! With full bellies we headed home, stopping in Orangeville first to get some groceries. As we're pulling into the parking lot, I notice we had limited braking power! Yikes! A quick investigation revealed the main brake line rusted through causing brake fluid to leak everywhere! Sheesh!! We did make it home eventually, I parked the Ranger thinking I will fix the brakes after the surgery as I have my second car, the Golf, as my spare! Uh huh...coming home from work on Thursday night, the idler arm for the drive belt siezed up shredding the belts and screwing up the timing. When it rains it pours! Lucky for me, my brother came by on Friday to fix my brake problem. Surgery is 2 days away!
**EDIT** I posted this Friday, September 11/09. Why it says Thursday is beyond me!