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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pre Surgery Day-Checkin' Me Out

After checking in (or being admitted I guess is the correct "medical" term) to my room at Foothills Hospital, I sat in my room waiting for about 30 minutes for whatever was supposed to happen next. A few nurses and an array of other hospital workers walked by the big sliding glass door to my room and peered in at me but kept going. Eventually curiosity got the better of one and she stopped.

"Are you a patient?" she asked with a confused look on her face. I realized my street clothes and lack of obvious illness or injury made me stick out like a sore thumb on this floor (and probably every ward for that matter). I told her I was.  She still looked confused but seemed friendly enough so I offered that I was to donate a kidney the next day to a "stranger" and as a result they were keeping me in another location. Her face lit up with interest and she came right in the room, right past the bed and sat on the windowsill by the couch I was on. She wanted to know all about what made me decide to donate, how the process works and  when my surgery was. I told her what I could (I didn't know how much time she had so I was trying to keep it brief). She reflected on what I told her and gaze out the window. "In this hospital we see so many people wasting chances everyday-you know by taking drugs, not taking care of themselves. It's sad because I also see so many people everyday praying for another chance". I nodded.  She turned to me and said "But now, here is someone like you who is giving someone a chance, just because you can". I wasn't really sure what to say to that so we both just looked out the window in silence for a few minutes. Eventually she asked me if I wanted to learn how to sit up with a sore tummy as I would need to be able to do that after the surgery. She gave me a quick demonstration then made me do it (I failed). She then left, telling me to keep practicing. I don't think I ever really got the hang of it to be honest but I guess I must have figured it out in my own way.

A little while later a lab tech showed up to take a bunch of blood for final tests. Shortly thereafter a nurse (who ended up being my all time favourite)popped up letting me know I had to go get an x-ray and that she had a wheelchair for me (LOL!). We laughed about how pointless it was for her to push me down the hall but went along with it anyway. She said on that floor they aren't used to people being as awake as I was! She pushed me about 20 ft to the nurse station where I was parked and waited for someone else to wheel me down to x-ray. Down in x-ray they were VERY adamant that I not walk into the x-ray room, I had to be wheeled and they were very careful to not talk about why I was there-they even shushed the lady who had wheeled me down. I should mention there was an OR nurse, two x-ray technicians  along with us-the halls were otherwise empty.  Not sure who they thought would hear who hadn't already. Once inside the x-ray room I was told by the one technician in a kind of scolding way, not to say out loud what I was having done at the hospital. While I had no plans to scream it down the hallways I was a little perplexed by his direction and tone. Because I was still in my street clothes, I had to take my bra off and put it in my purse-always classy. A quick chest x-ray and I was out of there.

I was returned to my ward and wheeled back to my room. A doctor who identified himself as part of the transplant team came in with a silent lady sidekick in tow. He asked if any doctors had come to talk to me yet and I said no. He thought they should "all be along soon" and asked if I had any questions. I felt like I should because I had no idea what the plan was or what was going on but I didn't know how to articulate that. I told him I didn't so off he went, leaving me to see what would happen next.

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