I had a good time today. Its kind of strange considering the circumstances, but I really did. Getting up at the butt crack of dawn is never fun, but we got out of the house by 6:50 without casualty (ie no cranky tired children tantrums). Joey and I had the usual conversation on the way to the hospital, it always seems to end up with us considering choices for his next duty station. Thats a whole other blog in itself; the life of a Navy family.
I had several appointments this morning starting with my breast surgeon. I absolutely loved the nurse that came in and took my vitals before Dr. Grube came in. She was SO sweet, very caring and super personable. Its women like her that make me feel so warm and fuzzy and cared for :) What surprised me was when the Dr. came in she was completely unaware that I had already been scheduled for surgery, and that came with total unpreparedness. I guess with a women as busy as she, you have your life run for you by secretaries and nurses, and don't really know what is going on most of the time! I have the utmost respect for her and what she does and was impressed by how she quickly got organized with the correct paperwork and made sure we were all on the same page. This included further going over the risk of nipple sparing as opposed to completely taking my nipple and constructing a new one, which was Joey's main concern. I'm not sure if I have mentioned my reasoning for keeping my nipples before. I figure that I am already going to be somewhat disfigured, this gives me a chance to look even a teeny bit "normal" while keeping a piece of me that fed and nourished my two babies, simple as that. While waiting for more forms to be gathered my husband was "high" on coffee and talking my ear off and making me laugh. I can not explain how much better it makes things when he lightens the mood by saying something totally off the wall retarded :)
My appointment with Dr. Grube ended with her rushing out the door, I'm assuming her schedule hadn't left open so much time to talk with me. The nurse came back in and gave me a care bag of necessities put together by women who have had mastectomies. I was thrilled and touched, it even included little hand made pillows along with large shirts, toiletries, a "what to expect" booklet and a few other odds and ends. She also explained about the drains that i will have for at least a few days after surgery. When she showed Joey and I how to empty them, his face was priceless! I believe she used the words, yellowy or blood tinged haha. The drains will be in my breasts as well as my stomach to collect any excess fluid so that the wounds heal faster. As soon as there is not much coming out, I can have them removed. I was given a Rx for a couple of camisoles that have drain pockets in them so they are not hanging all over the place, quite clever.
I was then told I had to go and do some pre-admission testing, whatever that was. We were lead over to the waiting area where I checked in. The lady looked at me confused because I explained I was there for a 9:20 appointment, but I wasn't on the schedule until 1:45. UM, someone screwed up. I was supposed to have all of this crap done in the morning before my 10:20 CT Angio (scan of my stomach to show a map of my veins) for Dr. Fusi. THAT wasn't going to happen so they sent me up early to get the CT done and have a chest Xray while I was in diagnostic imaging. I was quite surprised at how quickly they got me in. The chest Xray was a piece of cake but the CT wasn't as fun. They have you lay down on a machine similar to that of the MRI but facing up. I had to have another contrast so obviously I was a little nervous about having an IV put in because of what happened the last time. The guy got my vein right away but shot some saline into it and I could taste it! It was pretty nasty. Then he hooked it all up and shot something else into the IV extremely fast and it hurt like hell! He explained that they have to shoot the contrast in fast in order for it to work right...booo. The scan only took about 5 min then I was able to go back down and begin the pre-admission testing.
We went into a little office where I filled out some medical release forms and made sure all of my info in the computer was correct. I was then taken to an exam room. I had to pee really badly so I asked the lady if she needed a pee sample first, she looked at the chart and said no, so I went. When I came back she called me Vanessa...uh, no? She hurried over to the nurses station and got MY chart and now Joey was laughing because I might have needed a pee sample after all. Jerkface. Luckily I didn't have to give one. I was poked once again so they could get several vials of blood.
My favorite person of the day had to be the anesthesiologist. She was an absolute riot. She was this amazonian black lady with an unusual accent. She sat at the computer and Joey and I managed to squeeze our butts into, what I guess was, a very large one person chair. She laughed at us and said she was impressed because she has patients who don't even fit in it by themselves! She was typing some stuff up and mentioned her bifocals and I told her how Joey had had eye surgery. She explained her fear of anyone messing with her eyes and how all she needed was for them them to be working on her and say "oops!" lol. She did a small exam on me, checking my throat, heart and lungs etc. Joey was just itching to know where she was from, because her accent was so different so he asked her. She replied with "the country north of here". OBVIOUSLY she meant Canada. She told us some pretty amusing stories of ignorant people that didn't get Canada on their first guess. ANyways, we finished up with some family and medical history and she basically told me I'm going to be just fine because I am so healthy. What took me the most by surprise was when she said the OR was booked for my surgery for 16 hours. WOWZAS. She explained how the surgery will most likely not be that long, but its booked just in case. She lead us out of the exam room back into the hallway and left us with the parting words of "you will do just fine, you two are great together, stay in love" :)
I find it so comforting to be in the hands of such kind and intelligent people. Yes, the breast surgeon seems to be a little out of the loop, but her staff has it together! Could you imagine being in surgery for HOURS on end with no breaks? I really do have the utmost respect for her and Dr. Fusi. Each appointment I have had has made this process seem even more real. This pre-op appointment was my last before the actual surgery on the 20th of January. I have had my good days and my bad, but right now I am anxious more than anything. Anxious to get it over with and anxious to start the healing process.