Self-probing part of hospital assessment



I had my pre-surgery assessment/visit to the hospital recently, and that’s an interesting experience.

I got poked, prodded and probed – the latter self-induced.

Sound odd? It’s actually darned thorough.

Chatham Mazda from Chatham Voice on Vimeo.

The health alliance is a busy place. I’ve written here in the past about my surprise when I’m whipped through areas with minimal wait, such as diagnostic imaging. This visit wasn’t quite so quick, but there were so many stopping points that it would have taken a miracle for everything to line up in order.

I got there before 7:30 a.m. and breezed through registration, heading up to pre-surgery on the second floor. I had several pages of paperwork to review and fill out before meeting with a physiotherapist just after 8 a.m. The dude was great, answering all questions and explaining the important dos and don’ts for after surgery – don’t cross your legs for eight weeks, don’t bend past 90 degrees at the hip and don’t twist at the waist.

Next up, back into the waiting room to wait for a person from the pharmacy to go over my medicine. I learned I’m not to take my multivitamin between now and surgery next month. They could impact bleeding and might affect the meds I’ll need day of surgery, such as anesthetic. Hey, they’re slicing open my leg and sawing off bone. I want to be OUT for that!

Back to the waiting room for a bit. This wait was the longest, about 40 minutes (which isn’t long in hospital-speak).

After that, a nurse got my height and weight, went over the forms I filled out, and took at least five tubes of blood.

Then came the probing.

She said it was to test for the superbug MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. Not a good thing to have circulating through a hospital. So, she pulled out one of those CSI swabs – the Q-tip that’s about five inches long – and told me she was going to swab my nose. She just put the tip in and swirled it around. Naturally, I started sneezing shortly thereafter.

And then she told me there’s a second swab needed – my tailpipe – and that’s something she doesn’t do. So I wandered off to the washroom to take care of that element myself, putting the swab in a plastic cylinder, which in turn went inside a plastic bag marked “biohazard” (no kidding), and returned it to the nurse.

She informed me I needed to pick up some bandages and swabs at the pharmacy and still required an EKG and X-rays. I figured I’d be there for another couple of hours, looking at the clock, which was showing about 10:15 a.m.

Instead, a volunteer helped pick up the pace. She escorted me to the pharmacy to get what I needed, and then took me to the EKG lab.

I sat down to wait in the hallway outside, only to be called in about two minutes later.

Next up, X-ray. I barely sat down before a tech came and took me to the change area.

Out of the blue, the tech asks me what I use as fuel for my Big Green Egg. Maple Leaf Charcoal is my lump fuel of choice. Turns out the gentleman likes to read my column.

Even after we were done with the X-rays, we chatted about the barbecue (anyone who knows me will tell you I can talk about that forever).

I walked out of the hospital, the clock had yet to strike 11. I was told to expect it to be a three-hour visit, and it went long, but when I looked back on what it encompassed, I was impressed it was all done so quickly.

Next up, a visit with the anesthesiologist and internist this week.


Bedroom makeover


Here’s a great present for someone: pay someone else to paint a room for them. This is something one of my sister-in-laws got for my wife for her birthday.

We cashed in on the deal recently, and our daughter now has a wonderful blue room. She’d outgrown the princess pink room she’d had for many years.

I don’t mind painting one bit, even doing the brush work. But with my hip and back, getting down to do the trim at floor level is just a pain (or two). Ditto for all the taping.

And cleaning the brushes and rollers is no fun. Laundry tubs are just built too short for me. My back yells at me when I do such things.

So this was a great present for my wife (and me, and, of, course, our daughter). It was win-win-win.




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