I have been obsessed with the upcoming surgery and yesterday afternoon received my last instructions.  I had a hamburger and milkshake for lunch and Mexican for dinner.  When some of my coworkers ask, I have said it’s my last splurge.  I have to eat whatever I want when it’s possible, because afterwards, there will be quite a price to pay.  Saying stuff like that around medical people gets knowing facial expressions with occasional personal anecdotes – I was told yesterday by one that she had out hers on an emergency basis, and the scars are still hurting.  I’m thinking that sounds like adhesions.  It occurred to me that there is a difference that the medical staff has to bridge.  Whereas I have worked on many peg tubes and treated and evaluated the input and discharge, it may be the first and only for the patient.  What is considered “good pathology” to the medical staff, is an intense experience for the patient.  “Good pathology” is a term I grabbed from the book “A Not Entirely Benign Procedure.”  It describes the symptoms and pathologies which are more rare/interesting which the medical staff have to elucidate/recognize/treat if possible.  So medical staff being real people will be discussing hair appointments, latest game, behaviors of a particular kid among themselves, open the door, say hi and immediately begin the evaluation of the hydrocephalus.  One is to know that an individual with an extremely large head has had hydrocephalus chronically because of the size.  The only way the bones could have expanded in such a fashion is if it occurred before the fontanelles knit.  Again, this is known because of seeing multiple patients from the perspective of the medical staff, but is personal experience for the patient.  The patient doesn’t have a prior disconnected training from which to draw impressions.  They don’t have multiple comorbidities from which to compare present symptoms.  It is usually: “I used to feel this way and this is what I was told”, or “I am feeling this way, what is happening?”

As nurse, I also have an idea what to expect from the surgery and procedures associated.  I used to work the surgical floor.  My spouse believed the staff were ready to be rid of me post the last surgery as I was asking about the ET tube, counting the drips on the IV chamber and asking the assigned rate, etc.  Most importantly, I was asked what I wanted and told them that I had missed my coffee that morning being NPO, and wanted a cup as soon as was possible.  They were nice and provided the same after I was moved out of the post anesthesia care unit.  I will probably ask the same tomorrow.  At least that is the way I am planning.  I also have the wonder if I will say anything interesting in post anesthesia as I may have to see these individuals again.  That’s one of the hazards of having a procedure in the same facility in which one works.   I don’t know what I said prior, but remember waking up post one surgery for which I had requested an epidural so I could be awake and have the doctor say what he was doing.  That doc and the anesthesiologist must have put their heads together because I was out through the procedure.  I expressed my disgust when waking (about sleeping through the procedure) and am sure that was quite an interesting comment for the staff present.  I don’t remember who, but one said that they only wanted one doctor in the procedure.

I need to stop my rambles and begin my last day as a more complete person than I will be tomorrow.   I wonder how many other parts are considered optional?  That may be an interesting list to compile.  I know brains and backbones are optional equipment for congress critters…. just saying.

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