I had my Pre Op this week getting ready for my reversal surgery and I thought I’d go through some of it I remember for the few of you who haven’t had one before. Going into hospitals can be daunting so this should hopefully help because you will know what to expect. The first person I spoke with was a Pre Op nurse. She took me into a side room and asked questions about my medical history, allergies, whether I smoke, have diabetes or heart problems. I was told the run down of the day of surgery, when I need to stop eating and drinking and that I will spend my first few days in a High Dependency Unit. She also enquired if I was on contraception and whether I wanted a pregnancy test or not.
We chatted and I explained that I am frightened about having my reversal surgery. I’m not ashamed to say this, I am scared, and I told her some my story, of New Zealand, and specifically about when I was in intensive care about to be transferred to another hospital. I had to be sedated so the doctors could safely move me. During that time I had what the nurse called ‘awareness’. This is when you are aware of what is happening around you, you may hear voices but you cannot move or speak. Patients can also experience strange and frightening hallucinations that will feel very real. I didn’t experience this, but I did feel like I couldn’t move and I awoke in extreme pain due to being turned over on my side only a few days after my ileostomy surgery. This has had a major lasting effect on me physiologically and a year later I still get upset talking about it. The nurse did assure me that this is a common occurrence when patients have spent a long time in an ICU. She said that I needed to make an appointment to see the anesthetist and tell him about my worries and they should put my mind at ease.
Carrying on with the Pre Op, the next step is for your bloods to be taken by a nurse, and for women, perhaps a pregnancy test in which they will tell you the result straight away. They will also check your blood pressure.
Your next assessment is an ECG (the bit were they put those weird stickers on your body and attach little ‘pegs’) and these are linked to a computer, this will only take a few minutes of lying down still. The best part of the assessment!
Finally you will be asked to blow into a tube as hard as you can. A little wolf may be on screen simulating your breath and blowing the little piggies house down. I don’t think this will be the same for every hospital but it was in mine. It will show your lung capacity which will be put inside your assessment file and that should be the end of the appointment.
This was my Pre Op in a UK hospital so please note it may differ hospital to hospital or due to the type of surgery you are having. I just thought I’d give you a little overview of what to expect and maybe help ease any worries some of you may be having! This is the easy part, in a few weeks I will hopefully have my surgery date. I am very nervous, but a little excited at the fact I won’t have my bag anymore.
If any of you would like to share your experiences personally with myself, then please use my ‘Contact Form’ or by commenting on the blog. I’d love to know about your own reversal or stoma op or anything related really, just make sure you leave your email address on the contact form so I can get back to you! :)