I had my pre-op assessment this morning at the Nuffield.
Beforehand I wasn’t absolutely sure as to what to anticipate they would do to me (yikes!)…. although had a fair idea of what to expect from my dealings at work over the years.…..part of me is really worried that something will show up in the tests that will delay my date for surgery on the 4th August. The main fear I have is that I will be carrying the dreaded Metacilin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus bug……MRSA for short.
Many people carry the MRSA bug on their skin without knowing it and in healthy adults it normally causes no problems, however, it can cause big complications if it gets into a wound. For that reason all patients undergoing planned surgery are swabbed/tested beforehand.Working in the health service and in hospitals does put you more at risk of being a carrier so statistically I am more likely than your average man/woman on the street to have the wee beastie….. I hope and pray I am not a carrier because if I am it could delay my date for surgery by weeks ……until I am `decolonised`.
Pre-op MRSA treatment (decolonisation), if required, consists of using a special body wash and nasal cream for about a week to eradicate the offending bacteria. You are then retested (swabbed) and must have 3 consecutive clear sets of swabs before you are deemed to be clear from being a carrier. That whole process can take several weeks…..my surgery is scheduled in 13 days…..you see my point!
For those of you who are interested I have added a really good easy to read information leaflet about MRSA. Just follow the link: MRSA Patient information leaflet
……. The letter from the Nuffield said to report to the nurses’ station at 10.30am. I was informed that I didn’t need to fast beforehand which was a relief…..no grumbly tummy going up in the car.
So after some breakfast (toast with butter, some ham and ½ a cup of coffee) we headed off in the rain, brollies at the ready…….it was a typical Scottish (monsoon season) summers day yesterday……grey, wet, warm and miserable!! …..still it suited my mood.
I was being accompanied by my normally `sunny`16 year old son…..for some reason neither of us were of a particularly chatty disposition so we just listened to the radio in silence as I drove up over the motorway.
I was quiet because it was really starting to hit home that this was really happening to me and I was deep in thought.….Michael I suspect .…just knackered after chatting to his chums on Facebook till silly o`clock when he knew we had an early start in the morning!
We arrived at the Nuffield 15 minutes early at around 10.15 which was absolutely fine…… I believe that punctuality is the politeneness of Kings and absolutely detest being late…. for anything……. Even if I am on time I feel like I`m late and get a wee bit edgy. I didn’t want to add to my background anxiety by being late or rushing about.
We reported to reception and were given directions to the nurses’ station (which for those of you who might be interested is along the corridor to outpatients and then up one floor in the lift. The desk is immediately in front of you as you get out. We were greeted politely and with a smile and shown to the dayroom. Very soon Elspeth the pre-op nurse came in and kindly offered us both a cuppa. We both opted for the coffee……. I was expecting a cup of lukewarm, weak, instant coffee (as per NHS standard) but was very pleasantly surprised when a nice young girl came in with 2 posh individual trays on which was sat a personal cafeteria of fresh, hot coffee, milk jug, biscuits etc. It was nice touch and made me feel special…….still….I suppose like everything else in life you get what you pay for!
While we enjoyed our coffees I was given some paperwork to complete….a booklet with questions about my current state of health, any previous health problems, medications, allergies etc.
About 10 minutes later Elspeth took me through to a side room where she went over the questions in the booklet with me. After establishing that I am currently in good health, have had no serious physical illness and no previous surgery she asked any about current medication. She advised me to see my own gp before surgery to have any tablets changed to a soluble or liquid form as they could cause some problems after banding.
Health history completed Elspeth checked my blood pressure…110/64 (good), pulse 80 regular (good), oxygen levels 99% (good) and…..da, da… weight 16 stone 8lbs (DEFINITELY NOT GOOD!).
With my height of 5`4“ that brought my BMI in at a hefty 39…….one point off morbidly obese…..fanbloodytastic!
I have put 8lbs since my initial consultation with Mr Galloway in June….this makes me feel really rather embarrassed and a bit ashamed. Still I suck it up and smile at Elspeth …..it`s not her fault and I am sure she is not the slightest bit bothered……after all that’s what I am here for is it not?
Next come the dreaded MRSA swabs………3 to be exact. One set from my inner nose, armpit and groin…………..PLEASE JUST LET THEM BE OK!!!!
Swabs done it`s on with a urine test (glad I didn’t use the loo when I arrived) which was clear, followed by a heart tracing or electrocardiogram (ECG) and some blood tests. Elspeth explained everything as she went along and I felt quite relaxed throughout.
After this she phoned the Resident doctor who came in very briefly to listen to my heart and lungs. Elspeth informed me that in routine checks they have picked up a few patients with heart murmurs ….so pretty important really.
I was fine.
All good so far…..yay!
Just waiting on my blood results and MRSA screen and then I will be completely happy in the knowledge that my surgery can go ahead as planned.
All this took just over an hour. We were ready to leave at 11.40am.
By this time the rain had cleared and it was brightening up a bit so I took Michael to the nearby Botanics for a wander round…..and a wee trip down memory lane for me. I hadn’t been for years and going bought back so many memories from my childhood. ……when I was a wee girl we lived in the west end of Glasgow. My nana (sadly not here anymore) used to take me there nearly every week. It’s the smell I remember the most and it’s not changed a bit in nearly over 35 years.
I think the smell of the botanic hothouses together with the Glasgow underground are two of my most favourite smells in the world.
Michael had perked up quite a bit by this point and was happily snapping away, taking loads of photos with his new SLR camera. It`s his new hobby and he is truth be told getting rather good.
By 1pm bellies were starting to seriously rumble so we took a wee strole down Byers Road for some lunch. We stopped at nice wee Italian and I ordered the homemade Minestrone soup which came with fresh parmesan, loads of black pepper and some lovely fresh, crusty bread. Michael opted for Pizza.
……Recently I have found that I am analysing everything I eat. I am still not making good choices though…..as the 8lb gain in 5 weeks proves.
The way I have been thinking goes along the lines of…….oh that will be ok with my band or that will be a complete no, no?……… i.e. will it go down or potentially get stuck or cause me to spew!
The way I should be thinking goes more along the lines of…….is this the sensible healthy choice or the not so sensible poor fattening, unhealthy choice?
It`s essential if I am to succeed I MUST start choosing the former rather than the latter. Unfortunately my mentality today is…….I am now on the big countdown.…..my pre-op diet starts in 6 days……..so what the hell……just enjoy what little time there is left sweet cheeks…….cos` it`s all going to stop next week`!
This week I have ate more bad stuff than I normally would have….the list includes KFC x 2, fish & chips x 1, cheeseburger x 1, Domino’s pizza x 1, chocolate, wine, crisps, cheese………you get the picture and it sure isn’t pretty.
I definitely am what I’ve eaten …….all 104kg of it!!!!
I ordered a wee book last week off of Amazon in an attempt at trying to get my `fat` head to play ball. It plopped through the letterbox this morning……all the way from the U S OF A!!
It`s called `The Emotional First + Aid Kit- A Practical Guide to Life after Bariatric Surgery`.
It came suggested by Dr Chris Oliver….a fellow Scottish bandit and orthopaedic surgeon from Edinburgh who has lost over 10 stones (well done Chris!!).
I have been reading up on his blog recently. `Obesity to triathlons`
I shall post my `heads` response in due course….