Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Last Minute Pituitary Surgery

This continues the story from my previous post about the pre-operative assessment I had before going into hospital for transsphenoidal pituitary surgery last year.

The few days before my pituitary surgery were a curious affair. I had been scheduled to go into hospital on the evening of Monday the 11th April, to have surgery on the 12th. On the 8th, I had a missed call from the hospital on my mobile; they left a message informing me that my surgery had been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances and to await further instructions.

 I completely freaked out. I called the hospital and tried to get some explanation or an indication of when I would be able to have the surgery instead; they explained that someone else whose operation had previously been postponed had been bumped up into my spot and they didn't know when the surgery would be. I hadn't realised until then that surgeons queue up a whole day's worth of patients needing the same operation; hopefully unlike judges they don't suffer from decision fatigue or feel the need to spice things up after the third transsphenoidal surgery of the day.

I was really upset. On a practical level, I had arranged my leave from work, wound up everything I needed to do and planned around my absence. My parents had both arranged leave from work and booked into a bed & breakfast nearby so they could come to see me in the hospital. On an emotional level, I was really nervous about the surgery and desperate to get it over and done with.

My boyfriend came over that weekend and we got hilariously lost attempting to go for a walk to a teashop, which obviously made me feel a lot better - especially when we eventually found it and had tea and scones. My parents said they would come up and stay on Monday night anyway, seeing as they had already arranged to do so, and we could all go out to dinner. So, I got over it and started to get used to the idea that I would have to wait longer for the surgery.

Half the office was pretty confused when I turned up at work on Monday, and I spent the day emailing people saying "lol jokes I'm actually still here". Then, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the hospital called. They said they'd had someone "drop out"* of their surgery the next day, so would I like to have mine tomorrow after all?

Of course my immediate reaction was to shout "STOP TOYING WITH ME" down the phone, but somehow I restrained myself and agreed. Then I just about had time to tell my manager and run out of the office to my house,** call my parents and tell them the news, pack, call my boyfriend and tell him the news, text various people, eat some dinner (at Nandos! highly recommended for pre- brain surgery snacks) and go to sleep.

Six weeks later, I discovered I hadn't even remembered to put my Out Of Office autoreply on. There were a lot of emails to go through.

One of the first things they gave me in the hospital was a pair of compression stockings, which I had to wear the whole time I was in there in order to avoid blood clots. They were extremely attractive - I actually still have them in a drawer somewhere. Next time I take a long-distance plane journey, I'll be sorted!

Anyway, the tale of the day of my surgery is a story for another day...

*Still not sure if that's a euphemism for "died"…

**Ok… a bus was involved at some point.

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