Sunday, March 13, 2011


On Friday 11th I was back in Dunedin Public hospital for my pre-operation appointment.

I met with the House Surgeon and her attendant student, the Registrar and the Anesthetist. They examined me, tested all my vitals and took more blood tests. Feeling like I was signing my life away, I signed off on the op.

I also had an MRI, which was not related to the upcoming op but to problems with ovarian cysts I had last year, the appointment just happened to fall on the same day. I've heard terrible things about MRIs. About how loud and clostrophobic they are. I coped with it pretty well. I just kept my eyes shut and pretended I was having a nap. It was really loud though...

All up it took about three and half hours.

I will have to go in briefly the Sunday evening before the op to have an injection to thin my blood to prevent blood clots. Now you'd think that having a condition where low platelets (trouble with clotting) is an issue would make this unnecessary, but apparently it doesn't work like that, go figure.

At the same time they'll take blood from me in case I need a blood transfusion after the operation. Apparently they would normally have done this when I was there on Friday, but something about my condition means the blood will only be good for 48hrs rather than the usual 20+ days.

I have to present myself to ward at 7am on the Monday morning (28th March).

I will be given platelets before the op (though the Anesthetist thinks this is a waste of time and will have a discussion with the surgeon about it. The theory being that those platelets will end up in the spleen and be removed with the spleen so you may as well not have had them. I'll let them argue it out...) and then they'll give me more during the op, once the spleen has been clamped off.

The Anesthetist asked me if I wanted to be given something to dope me up and help me relax before going into theatre. I unashamedly said, "Yes, please!"

So my hubby will drop me off first thing, on his way to work. My folks will get the kids off to school and then come in to the hospital so that someone is there with me when I come around afterwards. Not that I'm going to be very with it, but (big baby that I am) I didn't really want to wake up alone.

All going well, the op will be laproscopic and will last about three hours. I'll have four small incisions in my tum, mostly on my left side, as the spleen is under the left ribs. One will be next to my belly button where they will insert the camera.

The reality is slowly sinking in...

I phoned the hospital yesturday to find out the results of the bloods they took on Friday. I couldn't believe it when the nurse said I was sitting on 200+. I was so taken aback I actually can't remember the exact number.

Once I hung up the phone a false, inner voice began whispering, "See you're fine, you don't need this op. It's pre-mature. You've had so many people praying for you; you're all better. You don't need this op. There's still time to get out of it." My inner Golem had awoken ... and has been tormenting me ever since.

Of course I know it isn't true. I know the platelets are high because the meds are working and without them I'd be a mess. As much as I don't want to go through with this I know I have to. This is the best and the most sensible medical option for me right now.

I didn't think my platelets had been this high since I was diagnosed with ITP but when I was talking to my Mum last night she reminded me that I'd broken the 200 mark once before when I was first on the Prednisone. I'd got up to 210 before the level started to drop off.

If I needed a warning about being sensible and taking my antibotics after the op I got one on Friday. One of the many people I spoke to said her friend's daughter had recently had a splenectomy but she'd stopped taking her antibiotics and now had peritonitis (fluid around the heart). Point taken: Don't be a git and stop taking your antibiotics, they give them to you for a reason!

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