November 2011 Appointment at the Evelina

Firstly, I am very sorry that I haven’t been posting, and that this means it’s very unlikely that I will be up to date by 1 year post op. Hopefully, my extra frees at college will mean that I can get on with writing this (as I am now), at least when I don’t have much work.

Today I am going to talk about the appointment I had in November 2011. Of all my experiences, this is one which I can’t really remember, so this post may be a bit light in detail. We had already had the bad news that surgery was imminent, so I was slightly more subdued in the days before the appointment. The Sunday before my mum and I had tried to go through the information booklet, but it had made me feel rather sick and hide in the toilet halfway through – we did skim the whole thing though, and think of a few questions to ask.

We got the train as usual, and then walked to the hospital. On arrival, we were sent up to X-ray, but luckily the wait was not as long as the last time we were there. When we returned to outpatients, we made completely sure that the nurses received the ‘Back from X-ray’ card, and awaited our consultation. We had the appointment with the actual consultant this time, Mr Lucas, but he also had the two registrars who had looked at me before popping in, probably to understand how you should break bad news to a patient properly.

After all the annoying nerve tests and physical examination, he got down to discussing the ins and outs of the actual procedure and the risks. I won’t go into them now, because I don’t want to and frankly can’t remember what he said anyway. But after that we were able to ask our questions – would it avoid my GCSEs? How long would I be in hospital? When would I be able to go shopping? The last one was my idea, but not because I go shopping a lot, I just wanted to know out of interest!

I was actually pretty calm, considering all the worry and pressure I was under, and I’m pretty sure we signed our forms and left. After a light lunch, we went to the Florence Nightingale Museum, which is on site at the hospital. I was studying the history of medicine for GCSE, but it was also an opportunity to do something nice while I was not crying about the appointment. I really recommend it, although it is quite a small museum and the audio tour involves a stethoscope so is a bit uncomfortable. You do get a sense though of Florence’s upbringing and what nursing in war was like, then and now.

Once that was over I bought a pen in the gift shop, and then we went home. I can’t remember at all what we did once home, but probably had a curry and watched something on TV. We had begun to play the waiting game, with the next step being a CT scan, which I will talk about next time.

Thanks as always for reading through this, and please comment below if you want to!

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