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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Pre-Op Assessment

The day started with us taking Oscar to school and I popped in to let them know I will be going into hospital next week and to keep an eye on Oscar.  We then went for a quick shop for the BBQ food, I had an hour before my appointment at the hospital.  I dropped off Leonie and Sid at home and went to my appointment on my own.

I was in the waiting room when Claire Searle popped in to see me.  As the Pre-op was running behind, she did my obs (blood pressure/heart rate/temperature/height and weight) before I went in to meet Maria.  She was such a lovely nurse.  She asked a few questions then took a few swabs before telling me that I would now need to have an ECG done before seeing the Pre-op sister.  

The ECG was done very quickly, and without much of a wait, the nurse even said it was the most normal heart beat she had seen in a while.  I was given an envelope to take back to the Pre-op assessment and I waited to see the sister.

Sarah was also a very nice lady, who was a little upset as most of the information she had, had already been given to me by Jeanette the upper GI nurse.  She then went through my medical history in depth, asking lots of questions.  As it was now nearly lunch time she offered me a lunch voucher for the hospital restaurant.  

I went in and asked which were gluten free (there wasn't much choice) but I chose to have a salmon and onion fritater, I've never had this and quite enjoyed it.  For pudding I had peach and strawberry jelly with cream and it was all washed down with a nice cup of tea.  So far my day had been good and I sat on the hill outside the hospital in the sun for a while before my next appointment, I was really looking forward to the bike test.

After lunch I went back in and sat for a while in the waiting room.  A few people came and went and a doctor came in and the receptionist pointed at me, the doctor looked at me and shook her head, before disappearing again.  A few minutes later she came back, and I was again pointed out by the receptionist.  The doctor walked over and called my name, she was surprised that I answered and then asked if I would follow her.  On the short walk she told me she was surprised to see a young and healthy looking patient and that the bike test may not work as it was set up for weaker people.  I was sat down next to the bike and a two further consultants (one male, one female) explained that as I looked fit and healthy, they would put me on the toughest setting to try and get a reading.  I had to do some breathing into the machine to get a normal reading before getting on the bike.  Once on the bike with the mask strapped around my head, I was plugged into a heart monitor, similar to the earlier ECG.  They told me that I had to keep a cadence of 60 (I usually ride at 90) and that I couldn't talk throughout the test.

I then began and I concentrated on the numbers before me, trying to keep to 60.  It was easy to begin with, and I wasn't really trying, then after a few minutes she increased the resistance, this went on for what seemed ages and she asked if I wanted to stop.  I nodded yes as I was snow struggling to maintain a cadence of 60, although I was still riding within the range which was above a cadence of 55 and below 65.

She took of my mask and I was sweating, she asked me to cool down on the bike while she gathered the results.  When I sat down she went through the results.  She explained that they would see an average of 8-11, while 17 was excellent - I hit 34!  She told me that if I had continued for another minute I would have beat the bike and I wouldn't have got a result.  She finished with telling me that I was close to an elite athlete.  The female consultant called over the male consultant and she asked him to guess the result, he guessed 25, when she told him, he walked out muttering (I think I beat his score!!)

She took me back to the Pre-op room and asked for the results to be printed before telling me I could go.  Emma was in chemo today so I went over to see her.  We had a chat about the operation and she told me how she was doing in Chemo.  We had a few laughs and I was there for over an hour before realising the time and getting home.  Sid had had his first induction day at school and he told me he enjoyed it and was looking forward to next week where he would go for the induction on his own (Leonie was with him today).  The boys were being a little awkward so we got them bathed and into bed pretty sharpish before we settled down to watch the first game of the world cup.  In a week from today my stomach will have been removed.  I had a rum and thought about it.  The nerves are increasing, not so much for the operation, but the time after the operation, especially within the Intensive Care Unit.  Once I am out of there it will be a pretty straight forward recovery, and my time in ICU will only be two to three days, I am hoping I can get up to the ward as soon as possible and then I can enjoy my recovery, when I get home, I can then enjoy it on my own terms.

1 comment:

  1. Well done on the bike test, Richard. You certainly look superfit!

    Best of luck with the operation on Thursday and we all wish you a speedy and pleasant recovery.