Last week, I went in for my skin removal surgery pre-op appointment. When I arrived, I was asked to get into a pair of paper shorts. You read that right; paper shorts. They were a pair of shorts made of the same material that paper hospital gowns are made of. Then, I went into an adjacent room and I was photographed from every angle as I turned on the floor. This was for before and after photos, I was told.
Then, the nurse discussed my pre-op instructions which included telling me that I can’t eat after midnight the night before my surgery, and a personal favorite: I need to shave my entire genital area the morning of the surgery to prevent (and again, this is no joke) a fire.
I was also given a class on the tubes and the “Bulbs” that will hang from them and how I will have to log my fluid production. As my body heals, two tubes will allow fluids from inside my body to drain, and I need to continuously log the amounts my body is draining as this is a metric the doctor will use to determine how well my body is healing. Eventually, they will pull one of the tubes out and I will be down to a single tube before they remove it altogether.
I was given the largest number of prescriptions for medications I needed to have filled prior to my surgery to include stool softeners and anti-nausea medicine. The former is because my stomach muscles will be very sore and straining hard to poop will be painful otherwise. As for the latter, apparently a lot of people come out of anesthesia with nausea and the last thing you want to do after having your stomach cut open and sewn back together (to include the stomach muscles themselves) is to hurl. These measures sound reasonable and prudent to me.
I was given a schedule of events, including washing my body with a shampoo/soap that will sterilize my body the morning of the surgery. Oh, and I need to be there by 6 am. So that means waking up pretty early to get the shampoo/soap and shave done.
I was also briefed on the recovery process and what to expect. Here, it gets muddy. No two people are alike, and neither are their pain thresholds. Some people have a lot of pain while others say there’s pain, but it’s not too bad. I tend to be a big baby when I’m sick, but at the same time, I have worked through some incredible amounts of pain before without letting anyone know, so it’s kind of a coin toss as to how it will go. I’m going to try to be brave and not be too much of a baby since my wife and daughter will be taking care of me in the first week after which it’ll be my wife taking care of me alone.
Surgery is day after tomorrow. I still don’t have any anxiety or fear yet. I’m literally putting it off as long as I can by not really thinking about it too much. I’m sure tomorrow things will change. I just hope I can sleep early enough to get up at 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning to get all the things done.
I’m supposed to receive a phone call sometime today or tomorrow to confirm my show time and to let me know that everything is a “Go.” Maybe that’s when my brain will override my attempts at ignoring the impending procedure and start the worry wagon. Until then, I’m cool as a cucumber.