Twas the Week before Surgery...

...Lena was doing her best not to eat the whole house.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. Fact is, I'm okay with the extreme low-carb diet, even with the new instructions the doc included last I saw of him on the 22nd.

When I saw Dr. Baptista on Monday (12-22-08) I'd hoped for a private session, and was disappointed to learn it would be another group session. Just how in the hell are you supposed to ask about your particular surgical situation in a group? However, they made it clear you could ask him for personal time afterwards, and I did. We negotiated and worked out a way to get around my particular problems with IV's and needles.

Dr. B apparently doesn't care for PIC lines and specifically called them "lazy." He is concerned about infection, and in a case like mine where we must be concerned with not only my blood thinners but also my sleep apnea, a PIC line is not ideal. Instead, he would prefer a central line to be placed in my aorta or clavicle. Even his body language said how he felt, because he leaned forward and kept his eyes on my face. Every time I had to take a second to get around my fear of needles, his hand or arm twitched, as if he wished to pat me on the shoulder.

While I shook with fear inside, I swallowed and repeated what I thought he'd said. Dr. B nodded agreement with every salient point. I will appear at the hospital at the appointed time, two hours before my surgery is scheduled. I will have to endure one subcutaneous shot in my belly of Heparin. Nothing can change that. It must be done. However, if I can bear that, I will be wheeled into surgery without having to go through frustrating every nurse and lab rat in the hospital while they try to establish an IV. Instead, the anesthesiologist will give me nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas, a substance I'm very familiar with at the dentist's office) to relax me and send me off into la-la-land before they try to establish the central line in my neck.

That conversation did much to reassure me. Yes, there are some leftover hangups that are causing me nightmares, mostly due to the way Orange Park Medical Center screwed me over. They're still the ones with the recent horror of 17 sticks before they got an IV established, not to mention the anesthesiologist that disobeyed my GYN during my hysterectomy. I have a hard time trusting hospital personnel, especially anesthesiologists, ER nurses, and lab rats --er, techs.

But on to better things. I must say, I'm pleased with the pre-op diet. For all intents and purposes, it's much the same as what I've been on right up until the 30th, two days before my surgery. On that day, all hell breaks loose for me, but I can bear up for two days. I hope.

On the 30th and 31st, I'll have my first blood thinner shots here at home. I'll have stopped taking Warfarin on the 28th. Also on those days I begin the colon cleansing diet. That one's a bit rough, because you still have to maintain the carb and calorie count or less. Here's the particulars:

The only things you may consume are:

1. One gallon of water or clear liquids per day. No red colors, please.
2. Sugar Free Jello
3. Sugar Free popscicles (No fudge!)
4. Coffee, unsweetened tea, hot tea
5. Crystal Light, any flavor
6. Propel Water (Not Gatorade!)
7. Bouillion cubes/granules with no bits. Watch the calories and salts!
8. Artificial sweetner like Splenda
9. Please crush all medications

I'm trying to be smart about this. I've begun drinking a meal replacement shake to substitute for either breakfast or lunch. I'm hoping by the beginning of next week that I'm replacing at least two meals a day and eating very light foods like very well cut up pork, chicken or fish, well-cooked veggies, and egg/tuna salad. If I can get my stomach used to having very little in it, then those last two days may be even easier.

If I can survive next Wednesday and Thursday, I'm golden. But it may be the longest 48 hours of my life. (sigh) Wish me luck.


Anne D said…
Lena, my thoughts will be with you next week.

The surgery is a tough decision to make without the other issues with your health, but I'm certain you will cope with everything in grand style!

Probably the next time we see one another we will be unrecognisable- you from your lap band early 2009, and me from the bypass surgery I'm hoping to go through later (or earlier depending how things go) this year (down at the center in St Augustine). 2010 looks to be the year of the sleeker silhouette :)
Lena Austin said…
::HUG:: Yes, and we'll enjoy the new wardrobes! I've already bought patterns for both a maillot and a bikini. (wink) Don't know if I'll ever have the nerve to wear the bikini, but it's fun to dream.

Dante has already teased me about having the plastic surgery to remove excess skin, telling me I'll have "seams like a teddy bear." LOL! Evil man.
Anne D said…
LOL! Seams like a teddy bear! That would have earned a bruised shin around here :)

Tony's supportive of me having the surgery, but he shook his head when I finally made the decision to do it, mainly because I'm not at all the person all about using surgical means for beauty (not against it, just like you, I'm not at all happy with needles and scalpels), yet here I am going to go have a procedure that fairly much guarantees I will be up for plastic surgery... oh the irony.

I've been eyeing up the racks at Dillards, I'm seriously going to get my shop on about 12 mths after :)

A fairly good friend of mine had the bypass surgery done Oct?/Nov? 2007, she's down 150pds now and has a total new lease on life. She was within a few pounds of me, so I can only hope I'm just as successful. I want to surprise everyone on the next trip back to NZ. Hubby, on the other hand, is already grieving his loss of readymade hot water bottle (our trips to NZ are usually made in winter and NZ houses in the most part don't have central heating/air)
Lena Austin said…
Give him an electric blanket and tell him he'll just have to keep YOU warm! LOL!

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