Monday, March 3, 2014

X marks the spot

Well here we are 1 week away from my much anticipated surgery.  Last Thursday mom, dad, and I went to go meet with my surgeon, Dr. Macklemore (no not Thrift Shop Macklemore) down at UCSD La Jolla.  She is an amazing and very confident woman who puts you at ease instantly when she talks about the surgery.  The game plan is my first surgery on March 11th, second on May 6th and then the final the end of August or beginning of September.  We did find out though that she will only be doing the first two surgeries.  She was offered a position at a another hospital and I am lucky that she will be there for the 2 major surgeries.  Granted they are all major surgeries, but the third is the easiest surgery of the 3.  It is just the reversal and closing up the whole in the intestine and skin.

Next we met with my case manager, Maureen.  She is a HOOT! I mean all she does is talk to the doctors patients about the surgery and what all needs to be done prior to the surgery (forms, lab work, questions, and a ton of laughs).  I mean of course we were all tense about the meetings, but Maureen came in and just lit up the room.  She was cracking jokes left and right.  I think the 2nd sentence out of her mouth was, "Dang it!  I forgot my colon pin.I normally wear one so people know which doctor I belong to."  She late then told us about her last name Cavanngh.  She proceeded to tell us about her and her friends trip over to Ireland and they were looking up their names and what they mean.  She could not find the spelling of her name anywhere and as they were walking from shop to shop, one friend started laughing and told her to look on the ground.  There on the sewer cover was her family name!  Quite fitting for the type of nurse she is.  45 minutes later she then tells us about my Ostomy nurse, Cheryl, and how she can talk up a storm.

Cheryl came in to mark me and to go over what I can and can't eat with the bag, what I can and can't lift (just a whole bunch of do's and dont's).  She then looked at my dad and told him he looked familiar, and my dad told her the same.  We then asked if she goes to the Stater Brothers in Encinitas and she started laughing.  "That's where I know you from!"  It never seems to fail, where ever we go, it seems like one person always recongizes my dad.  Later that night I told him, "Well if you ever get lost, we can rest assure someone will know who you are."  Cheryl and I spent a few minutes finding the correct place where the stoma will be placed.  Then she brought out the surgical marker and officially marked me!

We needed to find a place where it wouldn't be on a fold and that I could easily see it and take care of it.  We then attached a bag on me and honestly, I could not feel it or even see it under my clothes.  That was the biggest "worry" I had.  The relief of knowing that if I couldn't see it and I was LOOKING for it then others won't be able to see it either!  The vanity of everything has vanished, for now.  I mean I am sure I will be super conscious about it once I know I can't take it off, but I am at peace with all of this.

So with that said, I am planning on stuffing my face with all of the foods I will have to put off eating until I have my last surgery in August, mainly popcorn!  I love it and I can't eat it, stupid kernels!  I will be able to eat pretty much everything except any fruit or veggies with skin on them (apples, potatoes, grapes, etc) unless I skin them.  I will also have to be careful of nuts.  If I cannot fully chew them, then chances of them getting stuck is pretty high and that would result in a trip to the emergency room, no thank you.  And then on Sunday I am having my family over and we are going to stuff our faces with yummy Mexican food.  That is the one last meal I want before I have to prep and wait to eat again after surgery :)

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