Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Pause for Breath

Taking a breather this month because work is very busy and I need to focus on that...

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Splitting themes

I'm currently trying to think of a way to split themes within this blog. I have no desire to update multiple locations to discuss different things which interest me. This is a short post where I am listing the themes which I can see myself covering, and then subdivisions within that. It's not necessarily stuff I do already, but also things I have intended to write, or to think about.

  • Self
    • Things about my life, health, and that sort of stuff
    • Anything I want to abstractly grumble about
  • Medieval miscellany
    • Research and thoughts
      • Class / Seminar notes (general)
      • Paternosters
      • Death
      • Testaments
      • Material culture and trade in gems / beads
      • Books, literacy, and reading
    • Non-research interests
      • PrePetrine Russia
      • A.P. Chekhov
      • Cleanliness and dirtiness in the high to late middle ages
      • Medieval food - mostly eating thereof!
      • Medievalisms and recreation
      • Aristocratic households
      • Marches and borders
      • Languages & idiolects
    • Conference reports
      • Attendee reports
      • Papers given by me
    • Plans
  • ASD / Aspie stuff
    • Slightly different from "self" in that it is about the state of being Aspie rather than about my life
    • Research comments
    • "Doing X while Aspie" - comments on how it is to do mundane or common things while having an ASD/Asperger's diagnosis.
    • Perseverations (mine)
      • Trains
      • Games
      • Trees
      • Costume & Sewing
      • Hawks and Corvids
  • Librarian / Books
    • Information access
      • How people get hold of (accurate) information
      • How people find and use information
    • What I am reading currently (sourced via Goodreads probably)
    • LMS / LSP thoughts (me as Systems Librarian)
    • Data, Metadata, and Indexing
  • Tech
    • New technology I'm using (hardware)
    • Technology I'm using (software)
    • Technology wishlists

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Having a Laparoscopy Operation

OK, so I briefly touched on this earlier but I thought I'd write it out to try and think it through.

I was due to go in for a minor operation on the 14 December but due to winter pressures on the NHS the Trust decided to cancel all non-urgent operations to make more bed spaces in the Surgical Short Stay areas. I was caught up in that and mine was one of the ones cancelled.

Thoughts from that:
  • I don't cope well with unexpected changes. I only found out shortly before I was due to head in and had a panic attack trying to figure out what I should do now about work. Luckily my boss is a good person who calmed me down, told me to have that day sick and to take the next as TOIL, and then come in as normal on the Monday.
  • Winter pressure is to be expected. It sucks, but I'd prefer little old ladies who have fallen to have their hips put back together again, thanks very much! What isn't really acceptable is to allow departments to schedule surgery when you (Trust) expect to send out a cancel-all-operations order. Just don't book the damn operations, so we don't take unneeded leave, and the bed spaces are there. You can always ring someone up like you did in January to give them as "last minute cancellation" if you find out you have the capacity!
  • The NHS needs better funding and to lost Hunt of the Rhyming Slang. And most of the leading MPs of the current day.
So... fast-forward to a few weeks later, and I was wondering what was happening about my operation re-scheduling. I spent a week or so ringing on and off to try to get hold of someone in the department I needed to find out what I should do, if anything. One Wednesday afternoon I was chatting to Mum as I walked in the door after work and decided to have a go then. To my surprise I got through, and gave over my hospital number etc.

"Can you come in tomorrow?"
"Err." *flustered* "I would have to check with work but I think so."
"Well we'd have to book it now, if you can't then..."
"No, no, I think I can. I'll check now and ring back if I can't but I'm sure I can." *panicking now*
"OK, that's great. Can you come in at 12:30 please?"
"Yes, no problem. Is it the same as on the previous instructions re food/drink?"
We clarified that, yes, I could have BLACK tea, and some toast before 07:30, and then nothing except water from then until 10am, when it went to nil.
"See you tomorrow."

One panicky phone call to my boss later, and I was packing my bag of things to take with me. Then rang TGO at work to let him know and also to persuade him that taking the day off work was pointless - I wasn't exactly going to be around and I figured I'd be unlikely to get home before 6 anyway. Various other phone calls to my older sister to sort out nephew collection duties as usually they come to us after school on a Thursday while she does marking etc.

There were then two more phone calls from the hospital:
"I'm really sorry, I forgot to ask you before. Is there any chance you might be pregnant? You know we can't do the operation if there is any chance."
"Definitely no chance."
"That's great, see you tomorrow."
"Have you had a pre-op?"
"A pre-op? What's that? I don't know."
Explained what the pre-op was
"No, I don't think so. I wasn't scheduled for one last time either though."
"Hmm, well we'd better do one just in case. Can you come in a bit earlier?"
"No problem. When were you thinking?"
"About 12ish would be fine"

Early night and early up so I could finish breakfast before 07:30. As an aside, black tea is tolerable but I REALLY wouldn't choose it! Just before 08:00 the phone rang, with the withheld number again like the other calls from the hospital, so I panicked that they were cancelling.
"We do need to do a pre-operation and we can't go ahead without it..."
"I can come in now!" *panic* "I'm only around the corner in [local area]"
"Oh!" *relief-sounding voice* "Great! How soon can you get here? Can you get here for 08:30?"
"Um, yeah, OK, no problem"
"See you soon"

So panic stations! I'd walked about so Mum had been nearby able to hear when I was on the call. She'd just run a bath so I was pushed at it, Dad was summoned and told to ring a taxi now (road works between home and hospital meant she couldn't drop me AND get to the class she was teaching for 9am). Speed wash in the bath, grabbed some clothes, put things mentioned on the letter (pills, types of clothes, pads) in a bag, shoved in some books with a charger, tablet, and phone. Had some cash shoved at me by Dad and was bundled into a cab. Husband at this point is oblivious as he'd been dropped off at the station just before the hospital rang.

Got to the hospital without any problems, and went into the Surgical Short Stay Unit (SSSU) to find out where I was supposed to go for the pre-op. Pre-Op is in the bowels of the hospital, so I got down there in plenty of time. As there was almost no one else there I went almost straight in.
Pre-Op was:
  • MRSA swab of nose
  • MRSA swab of groin
  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure
  • "Do you have any allergies or intolerances?", version 1
  • Confirmation of data, part 1

All done by 09:00. I wasn't sure what to do next, so I ambled back towards the SSSU catching Pokémon. I debated walking down to Tesco nearby to get the gym there, but was worried about whether I was expected to stay on site so I didn't. Hung around in the SSSU registration area for a while until someone spotted me. Explained why I was there and that I wasn't sure what to do now, but that I didn't really want to go home and come back - could I sit in the Day Room? Nurse toddled off and came back to say they could admit me now and I could just park up on my bed and read if I liked or have a nap. So I did!

I read Ashes of Honor, some more of Games Creatures Play, and then a good chunk of The King Must Die, plus I got caught up on Facebook and Twitter (well as much as one can say caught up with either of those). I would have played Pokémon but I was tantalisingly just out of reach of the nearest stop and low on balls.

The rest of the time I had a number of visits from various people including nurses, the surgeon, and the anaesthetist, all who asked me for my allergies/intolerances, date of birth, and address. I know why they do it (so they know they have the right patient with the right notes), but it's both boring and exasperating after a while. At about 16:30 I was given my oh-so-sexy support stockings and put into the gown to be wheeled down. As I was moving from one bed area to another we took all my stuff with me to go into a locker while I was in surgery.

I came around about 6ish I think, and sat up. Lady next to me had had "growths" removed and was very groggy, but I didn't feel too bad so I stayed sitting up all the way back to the Unit. They found some endometrium where it shouldn't be, and removed it. Hopefully things will be a little better now... I had to drink a ton of water once I was in recovery because they won't let you out until you pee. My bladder was happy to take about 2 pints before it would go, so I was stuck there until about 8pm.

Other slightly random thoughts:
  • My anaesthetist was great and had a funky moustache. He agreed to gas me until I was under enough to not know there was a needle nearby. Good man!
  • I have a slow release bladder - I was still able to pee at nearly 16:30 before I was wheeled down, despite having drunk nothing since I was admitted at 09:30... Bodies are weird!
  • Gas is much nicer than injections but I was burping it for 2 days afterwards and it tastes BAD!
  • Recovery is both fast and slow - healing was very quick and clean, but I am still pretty tired 2 weeks later. It also occasionally twinges. I'm told this is because healing starts at the skin and works inwards, so while the holes are closed up now, the insides are still stab wounded.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

2017 - Life shenanigans

I haven't yet posted this year because I'm mostly thinking and not really DOING and I got attacked by that mean thing called Life... :)

Operation scheduled for mid-December got cancelled shortly beforehand which messed with my Aspie

I asked to see the local ASD specialists because I had some questions and because I had lost my diagnosis letter in the moved down here (I needed it for course reasons). I've ended up with a reassessment in February and I'm terrified they're going to take away my diagnosis. Illogical? Maybe. Real to me though.

Ended up with a last minute re-scheduling of my op just over a week ago. As in, Phone call at 15:50 to be in the following lunch time, and then altered at 07:30am to "how soon can you get in?"... More on that later.
Starting medication to hopefully kick my personal Plan A into action at last. 10 years in the planning on that one. No indications because I don't want to jinx anything!

I'm trying to work out what I want to do here, as in on this blog. I like the writing process because it's quite cathartic and no one else reads it! I'm half thinking of making it into streams and using two (or more) profiles to separate the different types if writing.

  • Medieval research notes
  • Life stuff - me, aspie,
  • Librarian / book things
Hmm, not sure.