pre-surgery Tale – prepare to become a “hyster-sister”

Since my need for surgery came up rather unexpectedly, I had just shy of two weeks to prepare, one of which I was traveling. Given this short notice, if you will, my Type A Personality upgraded to a Type AAA+

As my visits to the Dr.’s office increased in the days leading up to the surgery, my concern with the receptionists’ confusion mounted. They continually tried booking me for follow-up pap smear appointments each time I left, staring at the computer-screen in befuzzlement. Ya, we are waaay beyond paps at this point here ladies. Eventually, I would just wave them off and smile. After all, I did give them some credit for being so kind.

Eventually however, their confusion turned into a 9-1-1 turn this freakin’ car around after I left the Dr’s office paperwork in hand which I needed for my pre-surgical appointment at the hospital. While looking everything over as my mother drove, I noticed my BMI was noted at almost 40. Directly above, I could see why. They had put my weight in at 270 pounds. Oh hell no! Even at 9 months pregnant with a 10+ lb baby I had not hit even the 200 lb mark!

So as my mother made a U-turn I called to let them know I am on my way back, alerting that this error has me weighing more than 100 lbs over my actual weight. I said while I realize I am well-nourished, as the Dr. noted in his report (which by the way means fat), I am not morbidly obese. If I were, I continued, I would surely qualify for a gastric bypass or lapband. I qualify for neither.

Once reaching the office again, I stop at the glass window, tell them my real weight and ask that they correct the error.  They actually question, “Is that what you really weigh?” Seriously!?! “Well y’all just weighed me today, didn’t you?” I asked. “Then one of  you put it in the computer incorrectly, isn’t that so?” I continued. At this point, I open the door to join them in their office area so they can get a real good look at me. They both give me a once-over, nod, and agree I surely do not weigh nearly 300 lbs. Thank you girls.

I calmly but firmly explain the reason I am so highly concerned is because the hospital will base my anesthesia, my pain medication, and everything else on my weight. Also, since this is a printed report it must be in their computer system incorrectly so I want it fixed, pronto! Just then, the Dr. comes out and one receptionist announces the obvious, She’s ba-ack!” He suggests I get it corrected at the hospital. Scowling, I snapped, “No!” He does an immediate about-face and leaves me alone with his two receptionists, as well as a medical assistant who has joined in to trying to help.

No one can figure out how to fix this thing in the computer so they tell me the best they can do is edit the report manually. I say this is not sufficient, and insist they call the hospital to ensure this error does not interface to the hospital’s HCIS. While I am listening, they make the call, and the hospital confirms nothing will flow over. I am still fuming but must keep on keepin’ on. On pre-surgery day, the appointment is an hour delayed so I spend the entire hour pacing, bitching, and moaning about how I MUST get to work because I cannot afford to lose anymore sick time! Tick-tock people, tick-tock! Finally, it’s MY turn!

The nurse was quite kind and I was amazed to see that despite my antics my blood pressure was only 111. Perfect!  Of course I answered all her questions honestly. I loved the, “Are you anxious about anything?” lmfao! Where should I get started? So I figured I’d stick with the showstopper, “Why yes” I tell her,  “I am very afraid I could die on the operating table and leave my children motherless, and if I die, they will be screwed.” She said she would simply note, “Anxious about surgery.”

My last stop was with the anesthesiologist and I could tell right way she had my number. She spoke very soothingly, reminding me how important it was for me to stay calm and relaxed especially right before the surgery as it would make the experience far more pleasant. We began to discuss my medications which I had listed. At this point, peeking into her computer screen, I notice they have a direct link to my pharmacy and can see every medication prescribed to me over the last year. Interesting. She recommends I use my motion sickness patch so I don’t get queasy in the cart. Ok, check. Next, she says, “Now this Klonopin (a benzodiazepine I take when I fly) I want you to take one the night before your surgery and one the morning of with just a sip of water.”

“What?!?” I ask, “But will that be OK with all the anesthesia you are going to be giving me?” Here I am already afraid of not waking up. “Yes,” she says smiling. “Buuut, that’s a benzo, I thought you couldn’t mix that with anything, I can’t even drink alcohol with those!” Of course I realize the DOCTOR is well aware of what this medication is but she does not belittle me, only gives me a warmer smile and says, “It is fine, this is not Grey’s Anatomy here.” Yet, I cannot stop! “I have never taken this during the day, unless I fly. Also, you want me to take it at night and the very next morning too, but then I might not be able to talk!” I stammer. “Uh-huh,” she says, still smiling.

Just then the light-bulb went on. I am starting to envision the goal here.

Asleep upon arrival. Uh-huh.

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