I got a phone call last week to say the hospital had a date available for my thyroid surgery this week and I accepted it. They wanted me to come in the next day for a pre-admittance appointment and I agreed to that too.
After the call ended I threw up!
I arrived for my 10 past 10 am pre-admittance appointment at 10 to 10 and spent 10 minutes filling out forms.
I spent 3 minutes with a nurse who took my blood pressure and made a note that I am vegetarian, 5 minutes with an intern who told me they will definitely not be taking all of my thyroid, 2 minutes with the anaesthetist who told me to quit smoking and said they will be putting a tube down my throat during surgery and it will probably leave my throat irritated.
After that I spent about 6 minutes with a lady who squirted anaesthetic up my nose and threaded a tube with a camera on the end of it up my nose and down my throat to check my vocal chords. She said it looked like I had a cold because the tissues of my nose and throat were inflamed but apart from that all was well. It was not only an uncomfortable experience, it also hurt a bit, probably because my nose and throat were already irritated.
Then they sent me to another part of the hospital to have my heart checked with an ECG which took about another 3 minutes to do.
Next stop was another department where they spent 3 minutes taking blood and the last task was to go to still another area and get them to scan the XRays, CT scan and ultrascan results I had been asked to bring in with me into the hospital system and that took about a minute to drop them off and another minute to pick them up afterwards.
I spent a grand total of about 24 minutes actually interacting with hospital staff but I was there from 9:50 am through to about 4:30 pm.
That’s more than six hours sitting around waiting to be seen!
At one point the man sitting next to me fell asleep and I spent the next 30 minutes listening to him snore!
The good news is they found nothing nasty in my throat, my heart checked out fine, my blood pressure was spot on and it’s all systems go for the surgery.
I am to front up at 7am on the day of the surgery and be prepared to stay at least one night.
At this point I have been told I am scheduled to have just one half of my thyroid gland removed. The intern seemed quite positive they won’t take it all but I will have to wait and see if she’s right.
My next task was to let them know at work that I have finally been given a date and book some time off. I decided to use all my accumulated sick leave, holiday leave, and a few unpaid days as well to ensure I have plenty of time for recovery. I have managed to wangle 20 days for recovery. They told me 10 days should be enough but a lot of people on the internet have said they needed three weeks or more.
My team leaders were really supportive and, when I talked about my fear of not being able to work if they damage my ability to talk, they said I might still be able to work doing online counselling with them instead of telephone counselling.
I have been searching for blogs written by people who have had this surgery and one of them was written by a woman whose boss told her, before she even had the surgery, that they were giving her job to someone else which made me realise how blessed I am to have such a supportive workplace and I thank God for them!
I plan to get my daughter to snap some before and after pictures to go with my blog entries as I found it really helpful looking at other people’s blogs and pictures.
One blog I found was written by a woman who had a devout faith in God. She went to church regularly, tithed even when she couldn’t afford to, had group prayer for her condition and expressed firm commitment to believing God would heal her but her last entry, two years ago, revealed she was no longer writing because she was feeling too depressed and negative and didn’t want to share such feelings.
I can only assume her life has not come back on track and she has no joyful story of “overcoming” to share yet.
I’ve had similar reservations about my own blog. Christians are supposed to be full of joy and hope and faith and my own struggles with depression, gambling, addiction and negativity seemed to be something to be ashamed of and to keep quiet about so it would not reflect badly on God.
I have not been calling on the word of God – “By His stripes I am healed” – or been on my knees praying for healing but it isn’t because I don’t have faith. I simply don’t have any need to ask God for anything. I am willing to accept whatever comes as His will and that includes death or disability.
If God wishes to heal me, He will do so, If not, prayer won’t change His mind. In the bad old days healing was all in the hands of God as the medical profession had very little to offer beyond chants, leeches, and herbs. We have come a long way but healing is still in God’s hands. Ask any doctor – no matter how well surgery goes the healing itself is not something they have any power over. They can maximize the chances of healing but they can never guarantee it.
It has been a long wait, two months, but the hospital has fitted me in well before the 90 days they have set as their goal maximum waiting time for semi-urgent cases for which I am thankful.