There's a lot more to it than I thought. I expected the pre-op checkup, of course. In case anybody wasn't sure, I passed. I'm healthy enough to find out just how sick I might be. Ironic, huh?
I couldn't get in to see my regular doc, but the clinic got me an appointment with another on the staff. After checking everything out, ordering labs, x-ray and EKG, he offered to pray with me at the end of the appointment. I declined, saying he could if it made him feel better, but he's not the one doing the surgery, so him I'm not that worried about. If my surgeon wants to pray, and it makes him a bit better prepared to do his best job, then go for it by all means.
I'm more concerned about what kind of music he likes in the OR. If I'm really lucky, it'll be classical, not rock or country western or jazz or.... Remember, they say even if you're unconscious, your ears register what's going on, even to the point of waking up depressed if negative comments are made about your condition on the table. So, Beethovan please, or Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Rodrigo, Vivaldi.... Or maybe ear plugs, eh?
Steve's pre-surgery orders were different from mine. Nothing about diet, just the nothing-after-midnight thing. The gave him some special antiseptic wipes to use the night before however, which still makes no sense to me. He was to bathe, then wipe down each limb with one and toss it, same for the torso. What was the point? All the normal bacteria were in the environment he remained in for hours afterward, including the ones on the clothing he dressed in afterward. He still got "sterilized" just before going in to surgery, as well as sterilizing the cutting field before the first knife cut.
I still don't get it.
I did get orders to stop taking ibuprofin and low-dose aspirin for 5 days before surgery, in other words, starting the next day. Ooohhh, fun. I get to work without any painkillers helping my knees? He did say I could take Tylenol, but that does liver damage in high doses, and I never found it helpful before. I was told for 5 days it wouldn't matter, as long as I took no more than a total of 8 extra-strength pills, spread out 2 at a time , 4 times a day. I've been doing that. I agree that there is a need to keep my platelets as sticky as possible. Don't want to lose any extra blood on the table. The first day it wasn't bad, likely because the ibuprofin and Tylenol were overlapping a bit as the first wore out of my system. I did note my blood sugar levels have been lower these five days given my usual eating patterns, and wonder how much ibuprofin has to do with it. I know it kicks up the blood pressure a bit, but never heard about blood sugar levels.
I still need to pack. They need my photo ID, my insurance cards, but leave the billfold home. Take off my rings, and bring no valuables. (So what do you call my driver's license?) I was given printouts of my xrays and EKG, along with a three-page medical history summary to bring. The doc was to fax these over to the hospital, but these are in case they don't connect. I'm bringing books, and a case for the glasses I'll need to read them. Toiletries are coming along, plus my cell and charger. (I wish I could give my cell to one of the OR nurses and ask for a picture of what they take out. Doubt it'll work.) The blood sugar test kit comes along. It'll be interesting to see how it goes with the combination of fasting, IV lines with whatever, and hospital foods. They said loose clothing (duh!). I'll wear out what I wear in, since the two hours I'm in it will hardly get it dirty enough to need changing, even the undies.
There was a call from the hospital OR staff explaining all the possibilities for parking. Not really necessary since I'll have Paul drop me off and go. He's looking forward to shopping at his favorite bookstore in Minneapolis as long as he's down in the cities and taking the week off work. But the whole call was necessary because the circle drive at the front entrance will be under construction. I could have him drop me across the street and walk in from there but there are steps, and I'm not planning on doing any since I'm not supposed to be taking anything by mouth after midnight tonight, so no painkillers for the knees. Oh, but then they changed that to mean I still take my blood pressure and allergy prescription meds. Just as little water as possible, please.
And then they changed it further to remind me not to eat anything the day before. That's today. Liquids only. The surgeon never mentioned it. Oversight? Or skipped due to the diabetes? But since the hospital staff mentioned that this doctor always requires it, I guess I'll work on compliance. Of course my definition of liquids includes yogurt, since that's just milk with bacteria added, and I just happen to have a supply socked in. I think pudding qualifies as a liquid the same way. Coincidentally, I have that too. Cottage cheese might be pushing it, however. All the other liquids in the house are extremely low in calories, so I'll be monitoring the blood sugar pretty closely today. After all, if it hit 83 on Friday with a normal diet, well.... Otherwise, coffee, tea, boullion, water.... BORING! At least I cooked the turkey for lunch yesterday so I got two meals out of it.
Steve joked that he wasn't going to call me today, that I'd be too cranky to talk to him. Well, he's part of what keeps me from being cranky. And yes, he already called. He's recovering in the one nursing home in Cokato, getting physical therapy for the knee. Today the dressing comes off, and he's looking forward to that. The knee implant feels more stable than the loose implant it replaced, so he's optimistic for a full recovery. We'll be recovering side-by-side, a hundred miles apart. I'm the lucky one who gets the two dogs, however.
It's time to go strip the bed so there are fairly clean linens to come home to. I won't want to do it when I get home!