A marathon day of appointments

Today was a marathon day of pre-op appointments. Surgery in 10 days. The cold/respiratory bug that I have caught is kicking my butt. My breathing is now starting to be affected by it. I feel like I have sprinted across the room when the reality is that I simply walked. Not so cool.

First appointment was with the gynecologist at 11:00am. It is roughly a half-hour drive to his office. So after sleeping awful because of the congestion, getting up to make sure the children were up, ready for school, and out the door for the bus by 7:15am it made for a long day. I had my pre-op with the hospital at 1:00pm and that’s right by their office, so essentially I would leave one and go straight to the other.

I was very up front with the nurse and doctor about the cold and how my asthma is flaring up. This happens any time I get anything respiratory. It is not because of a cough. I do not actually have a cough that is anything to speak of. It is just because my lungs get irritated and the airways just start to close off. I literally feel like I am running a marathon all the time. When I came down with the sinus infection before Christmas I had already reached maximum dose on my asthma inhaler to counteract the funky breathing. It kept it under control until I caught the respiratory bug on top of it.

Fortunately, the gynecologist supports my primary doctor’s opinion that she does not want me going under anesthesia when I am breathing like this. She told me that when I was in her office before Christmas with the sinus infection. The goal then was to clear the sinus infection up before surgery and to keep the breathing under control. Of course, that was before I caught the respiratory bug. He said that he would postpone the surgery if necessary. He, however, is willing to wait it out and see if I do improve. We do still have 10 days after all. He said that if in a couple of days I am feeling worse then we need to call it off for 2-3 more weeks, otherwise he was willing to go as long as the morning of surgery before postponing it. The appointment went well. He added one more thing to the list of “repairs.”

We’ll see what happens. I figure if tomorrow morning I wake up and I am not feeling any better, I will be on the phone with my doctor and will be in her office begging for mercy. The reality is, however, that this is probably not going to go away on its own. Colds typically end up in sinus infections with me because of my sinus cavities and their inability to drain completely on their own. Right now my ears are so clogged which is a good sign that things are not draining. Now before any of you go saying “you should get that fixed,” I have been there, done that, and have the t-shirt already. For some things there is no perfect fix for them.

The harsher reality hit me this morning when I was typing up the list of medications that I take on a daily basis in addition to the ones that I have had in my system in the past few months (things that might interfere with clotting, etc). I pulled my prescription history at the pharmacy and the mail-order place. My mouth fell open. I have been on antibiotics every month since July. That is roughly every 3-4 weeks. Well for some it was 6 weeks in between and others it was only 1 week in between. When you think the typical antibiotic course is 7-10 days, half of the fall and start of winter months I will have been on antibiotics trying to knock this crap out of my head.

By the way, the pre-op nurse at the hospital loved the TYPED up list broken down with what is taken daily, as needed, temporary but in your system, and what might be pertinent to your health history. This I put dosage as well. I gave the same list to the gynecologist office. They also were grateful for the detailed list. So do not feel it is overkill when your health is involved. The more clear and precise you can make this for people who are not your “normal every day doctors” the better off you are because there are no surprises.

There were no surprises at the hospital check-in process. The usual. They had the insurance information incorrect. I had to wait for them to get the new insurance information updated and verified. When they put in the information, it pulled up 2010 benefits instead of 2011 benefits. Fortunately, I knew that I had not met the deductible for the year so when she said I had it started setting off red flags especially when she wanted to argue about us having a co-insurance when I knew we did not in this case. Key point here is to have a good idea of what some of your benefits are before you go in especially if you’re doing it 2 business days into the new year.

The surprise came when the nurse was going through the list of orders and says, “oh, he wants a chest x-ray, have you been sick?” I am not sure if he would have normally ordered them for this type of surgery. I have never had to do an x-ray before undergoing anesthesia before. The tech let me look at the pictures and they were clearly shots of my lungs. At any rate, it was a little surprise. The other surprise was the special soap I get to wash with twice before going to the hospital. Once the night before and once the morning of surgery. I have never had to do that before either.

Of course, there is always humor in signing all the requisite release forms. Really? Some of the things were really silly for the surgery. I guess they have had people sue them over some of these things though or they would not be pointing out the obvious more than once. For example, with a hysterectomy, did you know that it is “permanent?” Yes, evidently it is. I figure if they are removing it, I certainly don’t want it back. I’ve had enough problems already, thanks. Oh and another one, did you know that it might cause “infertility?” Let me just say that I am pretty sure that if you take out the baby making parts, it causes infertility. Needless to say, the nurse and I were getting a good laugh out of them.

Anyway, I did not leave the hospital until 3:30pm and then had a 30 minute drive home. Considering I had not eaten since about 9:30am, I had a headache, was grumpy, and just flat out exhausted. The good news is that I am all ready to go if I get this respiratory thing to clear up!!!

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