25
Sep
07

September 25, 2007

Today was pretty hectic – I had to go to the pre-admit clinic and get paperwork filled out and consult with a nurse. As it turns out, *she* is the one who determines what labwork I needed, and although she didn’t take the blood, she did take me over to the lab right after we finished the paperwork, so at least I don’t have to go in for yet another appointment. Whew!

She also told me that I need to bring my own toiletries for my hospital stay – even OHSU, the teaching hospital, provided me with a toothbrush and toothpaste when I had surgery there. I guess the need to try to be profitable is infringing on St. Vincent’s ability to provide such personal care items. I have to say, though, that in my experience so far, something like making me bring my own comb and brush is far outweighed by the quality of the people – everyone I have dealt with so far has been compassionate and gone out of their way to help me with all sorts of things. And if they don’t know an answer, they find someone who does (OK, it was “eventually” on the lab work question, but it did get answered!).

The nurse also described my surgery day in quite a bit of detail. I’ll come in to the Surgical Waiting Area, and they’ll give me my hospital bracelet and a tracking bracelet (I gather it’s sort of like the house-arrest type of tracker – guess they take their check-in process pretty seriously. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”). Actually, I think they use it to scan in that I’ve been through each process, so that if I’m getting loopy from the drugs they don’t have to depend on me to say “yeah, I’ve had the lymph node dye injected, but they haven’t drawn the incision lines yet”. I was thinking about drawing some little smiley faces to greet the surgeons, but then realized that I would not be very happy with permanent happy faces as well as implants. . .

I also went to buy some pajamas and shirts that have button fronts. I am not going to be able to raise my arms over my head for a couple weeks, and as I was looking in my closet, I realized that all my pajamas and nearly all of my shirts and blouses are pullovers. Fred Meyers didn’t have any women’s flannel pajamas (well, they had half of women’s flannel pajamas – there were tons of flannel bottoms, but every single pajama top was a pullover-style), so I bought a couple men’s pairs. I also got some nice men’s flannel shirts, because there weren’t any for women. Go figure!

I’ve got an early day tomorrow, going to my last pre-surgery physical therapy appointment. It has really made a noticeable difference in my fitness level (not that there’s not still a long way to go to actually be fit, but hey – it’s better than it was!). Tony and his whole team are awesome – they know how to make something I dread (exercise!) fun. Thank you, guys!

Julie

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