The Seven Day Countdown Starts.

One week to go!

This time next Wednesday the 24th June the total gastrectomy operation should hopefully be over; it will take approximately 4½ – 5 hours after which I shall be shuffled off to the ICU or Wollongong University.

Last Monday I had to attend the ‘Royal Prince Alfred’s Pre-admission Unit’ for a final briefing on what will happen next Wednesday and beyond. This briefing was not brief, it lasted for more than 5½ hours, Kerry and I arrived there at 13.15 and departed at 17.50. The Pre-ad Unit was packed to the rafters when we arrived but I was the penultimate patient to leave. 

In total I was interviewed, examined, X-rayed had two lots of blood taken and received my instructions from seven or it may have been eight different people. I can’t complain and I must say that  the amazing staff at the RPAH are nothing if not thorough. 

The biggest briefing I received was from Professor Sandroussi’s senior RN Susan M. who’s full designation is ‘Upper Gastrointestinal Care Coordinator’ and will be in charge of me during my stay, except for the 1 or 2 days when I shall be in the ICU.

During her briefing Nurse Susan went through the whole gory lot of what was to happen during and after, at times like this I’m glad I’m very hard of hearing, as I don’t particular enjoy listening to such stuff. That’s why I have Kerry along to handle that side of the business she has the stomach for such stuff I don’t have the stomach for it now and I certainly wont have one after. She explained how I’d have one tube shoved up though my nose down into where my stomach used to be and the pseudo (my word not hers) stomach will now be; this is to feed me fluids for 10 -14 days.

She explained that I’d probably have unimaginable pain for sometime and that there will be another tube with a button on it which I can press if the pain gets too unbearable which will release a small dose of morphine which will act quickly to numb it, this will last for a few days but gradually of course the pain will lessen, which is far better as far as I’m concerned than the alternative where the pain gets worse and I’d finish up dying a grisly death. 

Also I’m going to have another tube hanging from somewhere else so that should I have any problems in the first 2 or 3 months they can whisk me off to hospital and use it for something or other I didn’t catch what and frankly I don’t care I’m just happy leaving it up to them.They know what they are doing and I have absolute confidence in them.

The anæsthetist also spent some time with me after I’d had a 15-20 minute session with his nurse. Another type of nurse,forget what she was designated as, decided to take my blood pressure, I guessed it to be 137 over whatever, they’re happy with 140 over w.e and I was way out, 129 over w.e. which seemed to please her, she thought it was going to be way up for some reason.

Anyway plenty of extra blood has been ordered just in case I need it during the op and all systems are now go except I have to check with them again Friday and confirm that I’m going ahead and not chickening out and again on Tuesday afternoon when they will give me my instructions regarding fasting, I was going to say last supper but I didn’t want anybody to think I’d seen the dark, and what time to present at the hospital.

All in all it’s getting quite exciting and I’ve been reliably informed that my dear friend Ira has got a direct line to you know who, so all will be well.    

20 thoughts on “The Seven Day Countdown Starts.

  1. Praying all goes well, Sounds like quite a procedure. I have complete faith in you, so don’t let me down. Hope the pain is not as bad as they have prepared you for.
    Please try and keep me informed as i will worry about you, until i hear your ok.
    Love ya
    Lisa

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  2. Sounds similar to all the tubes and buttons I saw on my brother in ICU after his operation which sounds a lot like yours. Let’s hope they let you stay in ICU until you are feeling chipper. It’s noisy, but the attention you get is top class and very necessary, and they also do everything to make you comfortable and as pain free as possible. My thoughts are with you. For a second I thought you were coming down here (the Gong) for the op, then I remembered about your “after – after” plan 🙂 So I hope we DON’t see you down here. Good luck with it all. !!!

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    1. Thanks Gwen I’m very optimistic, I’ve been told that I’ll stay in the ICU as long as they think it’s necessary, I have been in ICU twice before when I had my carotids done in 2011 that was up at Mona Vale Hospital; and I agree entirely regarding the treatment, and at the RPAH I suspect it will be even better. The most amazing hospital I’ve ever been to. Where did your brother have his gastrectomy was it perhaps there and with Prof Sandroussi in command?

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      1. No sadly not. Cannot remember docs name, but the hospital was Bankstown. I’ve heard another top notch hospital is St Vincents, but not sure if they / their doctors do this surgery. My brother had never had surgery (believe it or not! – 67 years old), and had no idea what to expect. So when his “quoted” 1 week in ICU turned into two, he chaffed to get out of there, despite being barely conscious week 1. Then a week into being on a regular ward (when really he should have still been getting the extra attention), he effectively discharged himself from hospital. i.e. he demanded that the ward sister ring his wife at 6am and tell her to come for him. Not a fabulous patient, but luckily he is 18 months down the track and doing okay. But! he wasn’t prepared for post surgery depression so that was a hurdle. Also, he declined follow up chemo and radiation, but in the long run, in his case, that was probably the right call.

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        1. I was actually 70 before I had surgery for the first time, prostate cancer and the operation was done at the Martyr in Crows Nest by a team who alternate betweeen St Vincents and Crowie. With the gastrectomy that I’ll be having there will not be any chemo or radiation after; they are actually proposing trying to get me up on my feet for a few minutes on Thursday the day after the op, seems that at my age if I don’t start moving around blood clots can form and I’ll be a goner so come hell or high water I reckon I’ll be going for a sprint around the ICU on op day +1 The hospital staff seem to think I’m a pretty good sort of patient,, except whenI go wandering off. 😀

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        2. so long as your mind wanders off in the same direction as your body then i reckon all is right with the world. Personally, my mind often wanders off on its own, and sometimes I have to put up a missing persons sign to get it to find its way back home again. tee hee

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  3. Direct line, eh? And here I thought The Lord of Darkness resided in an area with no service.

    I suppose you didn’t ask, or it did not occur to you, but, do you get to keep the removed organ? Perhaps make a bag-pipe from it? Just wondering.

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    1. Actually I had planned to use it in a nice savoury Haggis come Hogmanay, I could just fancy serving it up to some unsuspecting relatives as a traditional Scottish treat, whilst I dine on half an hard boiled egg.
      Yes Ira does have a direct line so I’m reliably informed, one of her ancestors is a Polish Saint, and as she is a dear friend need I say more?

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  4. Brian,
    I notice Ira has put you in the Parish Bulletin, for St Brendan’s (Annandale) and St Michael’s (Stanmore), in the Prayers for the Sick; this means you have two parishes praying for you and don’t forget she has a saintly, Polish relative. I’m glad you have no intention of going to Wollongong on Wednesday, because I’d like to attend a few more of their luncheons with you.
    See Ira’s saintly relative on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB7TiFJWd34
    I’m glad you have been well prepared by the staff at the best hospital in Australia, Royal Prince Alfred and that you have confidence in them.
    When you are feeling up to it ring me. Ira and I will visit you, to distract you from the tedium of your hospital stay.
    All the very best,
    Neill.

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    1. Hopefully I shall only be in there for 10 -14 days in which time I’ll be walking around with a great tube hanging from my nostrils grumpy as hell and not very good company, however I shall find out where I’ll be and what visiting hours they allow, I understand the the RPAH is quite strict about the adherence to their times, I wont be taking my mobile in as Kerry will need mine so that she can do what I have to do, I won’t take hers with me it’s too complicated for my liking so it will be quite delightful to have a couple of weeks mobile free.
      I’ll drop you and Ira an e-mail before I go in, I’ll know exactly where I’ll be come Monday and what the visiting hours are. Thanks for the good wishes just a bit worried about Ira and her connections 👿

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