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.