So tomorrow morning I go into hospital...again. This is the second attempt at an operation I call a "Gallstonectomy" in my laymans language. It has a proper medical name but I can't remember it. Essentially they want to whip out my gallbladder because I have gallstones, and gallstones can lead to Pancreatitis. After surviving Severe Acute Pancreatitis in 2001, getting it again would be classed as "not a good result"
I first got the affects of the gallstones about 12 months ago at work. It was AGONY!! Eventually after driving home and it getting no better I went into A&E and eventually saw a doctor who determined it was probably gallstones, gave me an injection in the arse cheek whereupon after a 30 minute lay down it was like being reborn...seriously it went from "I'm dieing" to "Thank you Jesus".
A scan about 4 months later confirmed the little blighters and then a follow up to my GP was made to arrange for a consultation with a view to booking surgery. Thats when it started to go all cock-eyed. First they arranged for me to see a consultant at a new hospital close to me and on meeting him the first thing he said was that it wasnt the kind of operation they did there...groan!
Some months later another consultant was arranged and I saw him. He advised me that it was normally a keyhole operation however it may be slightly more complicated with me due to previous abdominal surgery. I may have to have a full open surgery. Apparently after my old operation my internal organs would be inclined to gravitate towards my skin, and as a consequence when they cut into me they wont know if they are cutting in to something they dont want to....oh thrilling! However the odds of me getting pancreatitis from leaving it was too great to not have the op.
At a later time I then had a pre-op assessment where they weight you, measure you, ask questions, etc and said it would mean the operation would be within the following 3 months. That didnt happen but eventually I got a letter through in January telling me my op was scheduled for Early March. All through this time since March last year I have been suffering bouts of the body cramps. You can never catch it with pills before its agony so not pleasant.
So the day arrived and I caught the bus at 7.00am, arrived in the ward, sat around with other sick and dead people for ages, then was seen by the nurses, surgeon and anesthetist and then put on a drip because my blood sugars were too high. What was to be a morning operation turned into the afternoon, then at 3.00pm they got me on the trolley and wheeled me into the pre-theatre room, connected all the cables, about to put the gas mask on my face and then....
A woman who called herself the Head Anesthetist came through the operating theatre doors and said "Im afraid I'll have to cancel this operation". Seriously? My feet were practically inside the bloody room! How close can you get?
Her reasoning was sound - she said that she felt it would be a complicated operation and was concerned that I would need close post op care and supervision that could only be got from the Intensive Care Unit rather than a normal ward. Unfortunately there were no beds available in ICU so I was wheeled back to my bed, whereupon my wife was amazed to see me so soon, got dressed, cables and tubes removed and ran to get a sandwich. I hadnt eaten for nearly 24 hours.
Although I respect here decision, what I never got answered was this: After seeing various nurses, consultants, anesthetist, GP over a number of appointments, why did it apparently come down to a chance last minute look at my historical notes before alarms were considered? What would have happened if she hadn't been there or just hadnt looked, and something had gone wrong?
You know beforehand I wasn't scared or worried...okay I got a little itchy as we were waiting in the pre-theatre room but that's natural I'd guess. I received the new operation appointment letter a week or so ago and kid of wish they had forgotten me.
I'm really not sure I am going to make it through this. Everyone says "oh you'll be fine" but unfortunately everyone who says that aren't doctors or surgeons. I'm more or less discouraged from saying it anymore and have to resort to making it a jokey comment. My wife and kids dislike me being so morose and wont discuss it but then how do you say "I love you" and discuss what to do in case? Ignoring it doesn't make it go away, but instead makes it worse for them if I don't make it through. I guess that's the way it has to be. Of course a fair sized part of my brain is also agreeing with the "don't be silly" comments. I mean statistically I should be okay...okay?
Oh well I guess we'll see eh? I wouldn't want to go to the bookies on this one though :)
I wont say "goodbye" to you all, and I wont say what good friends I think of you all as because the part of me that says "doofus" thinks its stupid to say such rubbish and then post back here in a few weeks time with "woohoo I made it" and be all embarrassed. However...