09 Oct From diagnosis to surgery
Once we realised I had gall stones, I needed to come back a week later to re-test I think it was my liver enzymes. We were testing to see if the numbers were still elevated/not. If the numbers were high then it means I damaged a duct when I passed a stone and I would then need an MRI, a stent etc ahead of surgery. Luckily, my enzymes were normal, which meant there was no permanent damage and I could book my procedure for the week after, Monday, 5 October, 2020.
I went for my COVID test on Friday, October 2 at Fourways life hospital. The test takes a couple of minutes, they open the tube, ask you to sit up straight, keep your hands in your lap, and bend your head backward. They then take a long earbud and roll it deep at the back of your nose for 10 seconds. It’s highly uncomfortable but not painful. It burns a little like if you get water up your nose in the swimming pool. The test costs R850, some medical aids pay for it. I’m on Discovery Classic Saver and to my knowledge, I haven’t received a bill yet. I went for my test at 13h00 and by 14h20 and I received a text to view my results, so that was quite impressive.
- I scrubbed off my self-tan for infection control
- I had the gelish taken off my hands and was only allowed a clear, nail hardener on
- My eyelash extensions were removed, as they tape your eyes closed during the procedure
- Remove all jewelry, earrings, and belly rings included
What to pack for the hospital:
- Comfy PJ’s, undies, and socks
- Slippers/flip flops and a robe if you want
- Toiletries, to brush your teeth, wash your face and give yourself a Portuguese shower
- Water bottle – I found it easier to pour cold water into my water bottle and I sipped on that throughout the night, as opposed to pouring glasses of water from a jug
- An eye patch – the hospital is bright and while the pain meds make it easy to sleep, an eye patch may help some ppl
- Earphones – you can download movies onto your phone/laptop to watch while in the hospital if you want
- Earplugs as you might have a neighbor that snores
- Phone charger and two-point plug
- scrunchie to tie up your hair
- Leave valuables and cash at home and bring a change of clothes to leave the hospital in the next day
- Pack your clothes in a small bag as the locker is small and cannot hold a big bag
The night before/morning of:
The night before, I had some dinner at 8 pm and didn’t eat/drink again. I needed to be at the hospital at 6 am on the morning of my procedure. You check-in, do the paperwork, go through to the ward, change, and then they come to get you when it’s time for you to go in. The hospital is well run and things just happen and move. I arrived at 06h00 and was taken in around 09h30. If you’re nervous, you may request pre-meds to calm you down before the surgery too.
In the next article, I’ll discuss post-op care.