Drive thru Hospitals

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I went to check in for next weeks lumpectomy at the hospitals pre admission.  The staff were all very nice as I did the rounds, filling in forms, getting blood tests, ECG’s, and check up with anaesthetist.  Everything was going swimmingly till I came back from blood tests and found the anaesthetist had been and gone and would be back in fifteen minutes.  One hour later he did in fact return and we had our pre op meeting.  While waiting I looked around at the crowd waiting, some for pre admission like me, but most were waiting with their bags to be called in for there surgery, totally cold turkey and no transition from walking in and being knocked out and cut up.  To add insult to the cattle awaiting slaughter atmosphere, there was a sign telling us that the waiting room was for patients, and that relatives should wait outside.  So not only are you to sit there wide awake nervously anticipating what was ahead, but now you can’t even have someone there to hold your hand.

On the day of your procedure, you sit with your gown on waiting to be called, then walk in to the operating theatre and hop up on the table.

To be honest it made me hanker for the good old days when you went in for surgery the night before, so they could give you a sleeping pill and make sure you had a good nights sleep, followed in the morning by some nice pre op relaxer which made you all dozy and you stopped being at all nervous about the procedure you would be having, and not notice that you were hungry from going without your morning coffee and breakfast, and at which point you wouldn’t care if they cut a limb off you were so chilled.

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While I personally wouldn’t want to go back to the ten day mandatory stay in hospital when you had a baby, we may be swinging too far the other way.  They have been doing a study on the concept of a Drive Thru ER at Stanford in the US. which may have its merits, you can at least watch the DVD player in the car, and bring the kids if you need to.  This is all to cut money and time of course, the population is exploding, hospital budgets get cut instead of increased, and I suppose from the patients point of view everyone is so busy they don’t want to interrupt their business with inconvenient hospital stays. They already have Drive thru Pharmacies, Drive Thru Funeral Viewings, so  I suppose before long with surgeries becoming more micro and less invasive, and recovery time being less, you may be able to pull up at the drive thru Hospital, duck in and have your appendix lasered out through a tiny hole, while hubby keeps the motor running and pop back a few minutes later with a couple of paracetamol to swallow on the trip home, without having missed much of the programme you were watching on telly before the pain struck.

The Day clinic is closed on the day of my surgery, they are just doing a few emergencies in the theatre, so I get to go to the Surgical ward.  I may even get a bed to wait in as I will be staying overnight, I will need it as I start the day off with an appointment at Royal Perth Hospital for a lymphoscintigraphy (radio active injection in the boob) at 8am, then off to Armadale hospital for 11.30 to get ready for my surgery booking at 1.00 pm. I will totally be ready for a nap by then, so just for old times sake, I would like to be plonked in a bed in a ward to wait.  One can only hope.

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Waiting for Biopsy Results

Calendar: Medical Exam Reminder/ Doctor Appointment

GET REGULAR MAMMOGRAMS.  During the waiting days, you realize you were ignoring the signs. I had a feeling I was due for a mammogram, they usually sent me a reminder every two years. So here is the first thing TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF Like most women time is a warp, we are busy with family, husbands, grandkids, life and the thought comes to us every now and then, but meanwhile another years goes by. Because I was waiting for a surgery to send a reminder, I never checked and as it turned out it had been six years since my last mammogram.  I had just reassured my daughter a few months back that I get checked every two years and that I was due now. (she was concerned because I had been using HRT patches for years and my mom had breast cancer in her early forties, as it turned out my tumor was not an Estrogen feeder, I had a niggling little guilt that I had bought this on my self by prolonged use of HRT; medical people recommend no longer than five years and I had been using hormone patches for twelve).



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The way to remember to get your scan is to make a day each year say, 1st April, when you change the smoke detector batteries, or when there is a Commonwealth or Olympic games.  If you need to be checked every two years, as soon as they start advertising the games (not the hunger games), you know it is time to make your appointment for a mammogram.    Darlene Zchech a well known singer and Pastor in the Christian world, who has just been going through her own breast cancer journey this past year, was saying at a women’s conference that she would go each year on Christmas eve to have her Scan, then go shopping, only last year, by the end of the day, she knew her Christmas wouldn’t be the same.

I know many women who are over 50 years of age, and have never had a mammogram. With all the information that is thrown at us you would think we would all be right onto it, but the fact is it is like watching ads for third world organizations, we turn off the telly and forget about it, out of sight out of mind. Unless we make a specific day and lock it in, it just doesn’t get done, because the truth is, we really think stuff like this happens to other women, and we never think it will happen to us.

Get a diary, and don’t forget to look at it from time to time!