Monday, March 21, 2011

Pre-Op Day

Talk about sleepless. Wow. My mother-in-law got here a little later than expected last night, so by the time I ran her through all the baby care notes, got her situated, had a glass of wine (or two), and grabbed a shower it was 1:00 a.m. when I was crawling into bed. Oh, there was also the trip my husband had to make to the 24 hour pharmacy to get eye drops for Kid #1 who seems to have picked up pink eye at preschool. Lovely. At 2:30 a thunderstorm woke me up. Kid #1 was crying at 3:30 and I found him sitting on his bed with all of his covers on the floor and unable to fix any of it in his half asleep state. I got him squared away just in time for the baby to wake up hungry, so I nursed him and then went back to bed. And I laid there and stared at the ceiling. I finally decided to just get up since our alarm was due to go off in 45 minutes anyway. I'm really glad I'm not the one driving this morning.

One great thing happened yesterday! I've been coaching (prodding, bribing, begging) the baby along on saying his first word and pretty much repeating "mama" at him 24/7 for several days now. It just seemed like it was time for him to start saying something and it might as well be that, right? Well, two days ago I swear it came out of his mouth once but he wouldn't do it again and we weren't quite sure. Then yesterday I had him laying on the changing table and he looked up at me and said, "Ma, ma, ma, ma!" and started laughing. It was so great! Once he had it figured out, he just kept saying it constantly. Needless to say, my heart was very happy. Quite a nice little gift the day before I have to leave my sweet boys.

So today is Pre-Op Day. When you travel to the Cleveland Clinic for this type of surgery, they schedule 5,000 appointments for the day before you are due to have surgery. It's going to be a whirlwind of a day, but it's meant to minimize the number of times you have to travel to the hospital, so I appreciate them being able to coordinate it all like this. Our first appointment is at 9:30 this morning with the stoma nurse and then we go through several other appointments including meeting again with the surgeon, lab work, patient education, and a few things that I'm not really sure what they are. I haven't figured out when exactly we will eat lunch or anything like that. I hope we can figure that out as my husband I both get super grouchy when we're hungry so things could get ugly if we don't get food at some point. I'm going to try to pop back in here from my phone as we move through the day to give my impressions of the different appointments, etc. I'd like to kind of capture what this day is like to help me remember and so people who are getting ready to go through it later will have something of an idea.

For now....breakfast.

Ok....I finally made it back. I'm adding this update from my phone, so please excuse me if it is even more hackneyed than my usual stuff. All I can tell you is pre-op day is no joke. Somehow the folks at Cleveland Clinic make everything run incredibly smoothly, but it's still a very long day with a lot of stuff to get through.

We started off with my surgeon, his nurse, and his fellow who will be seeing me while I'm recovering. They went over the procedure with us again and answered our questions. Then my surgeon had me sit on the table, stand up, and lie down so he could see where my stoma should be located. He made some marks with a pen and then his nurse told me she was going to tattoo me. I thought she was joking at first, but she went on to say she was going to drop some ink on my skin and then poke me three times with a needle. I made a joke about it being like a prison tattoo but she said she wouldn't know anything about that.

After we were done with them, we got a visit from a med student wanting to know if I would participate in a research study. All I would have to do is answer some questions before surgery and then at various points after for up to a year. I agreed to do it. It's little effort on my part and if it helps to improve care for future patients then I am all for it.

Next up was a duo of stoma nurses. They went over some patient education material and answered some questions. They also reviewed the stoma site selection to make sure it was going in a good spot. They will be visiting me during recovery to teach me how to empty and change the pouch and help me figure out which appliances will work the best for me. Someone will also come to the house for awhile to help with this until we are all comfortable I can take care of things on my own. Very cool.

At this point we were able to grab some lunch. I do not need to do bowl prep, just eat lightly for the rest of the day and no food or drink after midnight. Once we ate, it was time to check in at the lab. I had two separate blood draws by two different technicians. The first guy drew my standard labs plus vial #1 for blood typing. He second guy drew vial #2 for blood typing. I found it interesting that they do it that way to ensure your blood type is correct in the event you need a transfusion. Following the labs, we had some down time so we got some snacks and started wading through all the information we got throughout the morning. There is a lot! Then we had to see admissions where they made sure all of my insurance info was correct. Our last stop was an internal medicine doctor where my vitals were checked and a quick physical was done to ensure I'm healthy enough for surgery.

So yes, it was a lot all in one day, but they really run things well at this hospital so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I check in for surgery at 5:30 in the morning so I'm planning to sleep very soon.


  1. I am thinking of you today and the next few days and will "follow" you closely!!!! <3

  2. third try at a comment on your blog. you know me and this computer thing, not always the best match. just wanted to say i love you so much and will be thinking of you all day. hope you don't have too crazy of a day and can get some rest for tomorrow. love you

  3. I'm thinking of you! Here's to the first official day of Spring and a new pain-free life!

  4. Looking forward to hearing about how the surgery went. Hope you are resting right now.

  5. I've been praying for you girl and I know you're going to be feeling better soon.