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Friday, July 1, 2011

Pre-Surgery Day-Doctorpalooza

After I returned to my room post x-ray I decided to get out the little notebook I had bought for my stay and record some of what I had experienced so far. Even if you aren't a writer type, I do recommend that anyone donating (or receiving for that matter) a kidney bring along something to jot down questions, concerns, ideas and thoughts. It can keep your mind busy and is also interesting to look back on.  The time in hospital will end up being a bit of a foggy blur so its good to have something to capture your feelings and help you remember some important things.

I sat on the little couch, scribbling away.  The curtain at the door moved a little and I sense that someone was about to enter the room.  It moved aside and in came a doctor. Then another. Then another. And yet another. It was kind of like the clown act with the tiny car at the circus...how many are going to keep coming through that curtain? I think it stopped at eight or nine. They all nodded at me (none of them really spoke) and positioned themselves all around the room.  I giggled a bit to myself, wondering how they'd all fit if I had selected a semi private room. It was Doctorpalooza.

The initial doctor who had stopped by earlier was there, with his female sidekick (I wasn't sure at the time if she was a doctor but I've since learned she is and is part of a cool project (MCAP) developed to support International Medical Graduates. It helps them integrate successfully into the our healthcare system. The program increases communication skills and knowledge of patient-centred care in Canada). Dr S was also there-I was happy to see him in this gaggle of new doctors. Once they all seemed to be in their spots, a slightly older doctor glanced around the room and introduced himself to me. His name was Dr. Y and it matched the one on my hospital bracelet. I started to connect the dots that perhaps he was my surgeon, or at the very least my appointed primary care doctor.  He went around the room quickly identifying everyone at which point they each said hello or simply nodded. I have to assume they were all transplant surgeons except for the one doctor, Dr. W that he identified as a surgical nephrologist. Introductions complete, Dr. Y informed me that this was the "transplant team" and asked how I was doing. "Okay" I replied. "Do you have any questions?" he asked. "No". Dr. S, perched on the bedside table to my right laughed a bit. I looked at him and looked back at Dr. Y. He asked if I would like him to explain the surgery risks. "Sure why not. I haven't heard them from you yet and I know you guys like to go over them". Another snicker from Dr. S as well as one of the younger looking doctors across the room. I was worried for a second that Dr. Y wouldn't get my friendly sarcasm as English is his second language (as was the case for actually all but one of the doctors in the room). He paused for a moment then beamed at me -he got it - and then did a Reader's Digest version of the risks. He then turned to the Dr who had come to see me an hour earlier and asked if the paperwork was signed. It wasn't so he and the lady doctor hurried out of the room to get it.

That left me sitting awkwardly on the couch with the remaining six staring at me. It was like they were waiting for me to say something but I wasn't sure what that was supposed to be. Tick tock.  More awkward silence. Dr S spoke quietly, addressing me not so much the rest of the room. "How are you? How is work?". I told him all is well with me and work although it will be nice to have some time off. He asked me how my writing is going gesturing towards the notebook on my lap. He then asked pointedly "When this is all done we'll see it right?". I smiled slyly and said "Maybe". Sarcasm totally missed, he said with concern on his face "I said you should-you really should. No maybe!". I assured him I would and that I had stuff ready to go.  Happy Doctor.

The consent arrived and I signed it. One by one they nodded at me and toddled out of the room. I would see them all again at various times in various pairings over the next few days but never again all at once.

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