Post-op appointment 4: Tuesday 20th May 2014

Today is the 21st May 2014, and yesterday I had my penultimate (hopefully!) appointment at the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

I’m not sure exactly why, but I was extremely nervous for this one. I was pretty unproductive on Monday, instead choosing to chill out and try and feel less nervous. I went to bed fairly early and woke up on Tuesday morning at 7am, an hour before I wanted to! I was hungry but also nervous, so only ate a piece of toast for breakfast.

By 9.15 we were in a taxi and arrived at the train station in about 10 minutes. We’d left plenty of time so I was able to go to the loo, probably setting off a turnstile alarm because the previous person hadn’t locked it back into place and I was worried about losing my 20p. We browsed Smiths, but the magazine I wanted was sadly absent. Then we got on the train.

It wasn’t too full, and it was a fast journey – we got to London in 50 minutes. After a queue for the toilets at Victoria, we set off on the 25ish minute walk to the Evelina, passing some posh military events (hats and uniforms were out) at Westminster Abbey; a police pavement closure on Westminster Bridge (meaning we had to cross the road twice to get to the hospital); and a fire evacuation at the Marriot Hotel.

Obviously we arrived at the hospital intact and made our way through to the Evelina. There was some research awareness going on but we were far too focused on getting through the appointment to stop. We got to the desk and, after a small blip where she couldn’t find me on the system, we were sent up to X-ray. We waited no more than 10 minutes and for the first time in about three years had to sign a declaration confirming that I wasn’t pregnant (which you’re meant to do from the age of 12!)

We were met by the radiographer I recognised from previous visits, who is always very nice, and commended on my X-ray friendly clothing, although my trousers did have a zip on them and I had to change into my leggings, which I had brought specially. It was all going so smoothly until the X-ray plate got stuck in the machine! However, eventually they got it out and we relocated to another, newer, nicer X-ray room round the corner where they did the other X-ray and we were sent back to Ocean reception.

It was one of the fastest appointments I have done, because we had waited maybe 10 minutes at most when the registrar came out. I can’t remember his name (it doesn’t matter anyway!) and I think he was Greek – unfortunately there was a slight language barrier, his accent was really hard to understand! Anyway, my X-rays were fine, I got over (kind of) my issue with people touching my back, and the appointment was over in a flash. However, then my mum started asking about issues over spreading infections and the consultant (who was also there) started talking about septicaemia and I went into a sort of cold sweat (much like the pharmacy incident in January) and went and sat in the toilets until it subsided.

Once I’d recovered we decided to go up and visit Savannah Ward, as we had thought that I would be transferred (in fact seeing as I only had one appointment left I will stay at the Evelina until I’m discharged). We got up in the lift, but on arrival we noticed that it was a protected mealtime – we’d expected this but weren’t sure if it was 12-1 or 1-2. We took some photos though:

Savannah Ward (Lizard) from the outside

Savannah Ward (Lizard) from the outside

Once we got back down, we went back to St Thomas to get our M&S Food for lunch. As we were going into the shop, who should come out but Hazel Foale, the pain management nurse! I wanted to go and say thanks for the morphine she gave me, but she was on her lunch break so I didn’t. Anyway, we bought our lunch (submarine roll, Red Leicester, packet of crisps for me) and went to sit outside by the fountain – the area where we used to sit had fewer benches now. It was a lovely spot, and I took some more photos!

St Thomas' and a fountain

St Thomas’ and a fountain

It was time to go home, so we walked back to Victoria and had a quick browse in Paperchase (purchases: two notebooks for the librarians at school, which were well appreciated) and then we got the train home to Brighton and then changed to go to Hove. We got back at 3.40ish and it is a twenty minute walk home – I had somewhere to be at 4, so I speedwalked the last 10 minutes and did it in seven! Unfortunately now my legs hurt!

Just to give you an idea of what I do after an appointment, I went down to the church for our youth group revision session, had some Dominos there, then got home just before 9 and watched the Call Centre with my dad.

So, right now I don’t know what my next post will be, but look out for it! Please comment/follow etc! (It’ll be about exams by the way)

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