Friday, July 8, 2011


Hello!  - I haven't been on Blogger for a while so when I just logged on I'm thinking, 'Holy Carumba! What on earth happened here ??? But, you know today is perfect timing for getting to grips with a new stylee Blogger.

It's totally raining outside, and I mean just bucketing down with the stuff, which I know the garden will love. I, meanwhile am also loving it, but only because I am curled up in bed, in my post-operative state.

Well, I don't need to be in bed, but it's only 0827, so I can rest a while. I have to say if you need breast calcifications removed, then don't worry. Yesterday was not too bad at all..

In case you do over need this - here's a run down of the day: I should mention that this was at a private hospital in South London - Although, I imagine most hospitals would have a similar run-through...

0730  - Arrived in radiology - the network had crashed (my IT brain, says 'Typical!!) so we pick up some magazines and BB drinks coffee. I am of course, 'nil by mouth' (for once-Ha!)

0815 - Time for wire incision. I am told to remove my upper garments and put on a 'gown'. Lovely, I hate this bit, then it's into the x-ray room. I lie down on the bed, and they 'maneouver' me to the right angle in the mammogram machine thingy to get a good image of the area with the calcification. So, as mine was near my right arm pit, I am on my left side, with my left arm tucked right out of the way and they take some images..

When they have enough photos, I can stand up ready for the wire to be placed. The mammogram machine that they use has a window in it, through which they can administer a local anaesthetic before the wire is put in. So, I am manouevered and squashed between the plates, during which more x-rays are taken, each time I have to stand mega-still and hold my breath.

So, I am in position - and it's time for the wire.. The doctor cannot 'poke' the wire through, so she says to her assistant those 2 lovely words 'Scalpel please'. OMG I am thinking, and then swiftly remembering I am going to be cut there later anyway. Duh. So, the wire's in but the tissue is rather dense so the doctor cannot push it quite all the way in, she takes notes and draws amazing pictures for the consultant to follows during surgery later.

Then it's off for a quick ultrasound, just to double-check the wire is in place. It was. Back to BB and off to the main hospital to 'check in'.

0915 - All checked in and in the room. I am told that my surgery is booked in for 11am. The lovely nurses bring me a gown to change into pressure socks to wear, and tell me where to hang my clothes etc. For the next couple of hours we chill out... and occasionally a nurse pops in to ask me the same questions I have already been asked, but it's amazing how much more you remember every time you are asked, so it's probably just as well they keep asking...

1105 - The anaesthetist pops along for a 'chat'. I say I am worried about the anaesthetic and he just tells me that everyone is... makes me feel a little silly.. which I probably am. I had taken a very pragmatic approach to this whole procedure and just kept telling myself that it was going to happen whether I panicked and worried or not, so probably best not to panic. And I didn't, I was quite impressed with myself.

1120 - The consultant arrives and tells me he has spoken with the Doctor Radiographer lady and all is on track, he thinks I should be going down to theatre within the next hour ...

1125 - Consultant pops his head back in and tells me I am next on the theatre list so not long to wait now...

1140 - A nurse comes to get me and BB walks me to the lift and down to the Basement area. BB is told he cannot come into this area, so we kiss goodbye (sob) and I tell him I will see him later (and other mushy stuff  - Bless). Then it's into the pre-op room where there's a nice comfy bed waiting for me.. (eek!, I'm now thinking - this is really going to happen..)

The lady who is asking me the same questions again is really nice, I had completely forgotten up until this point that I now have a steel pin in my toe (from my bunion op), so I told her about that and it was noted. She told me not to worry and that the assortment of drugs I was about to receive  was the closest I could get to Class A drugs - legally, which I found funny.

The anaesthetist was fiddling with my hand while she chatted, locating a vein I think, and the next thing I knew the little tap was in place. I mentioned how last time I felt the anaesthetic move up my arm, and he said that sometimes your lips tingle just before you're under, and I said I didn't feel that last time. I asked if I had already been given something (like a pre-med) and yes, they had already given me something to relax me. I think that was when she said about the drugs part and I said 'Really, but I feel fine... '. Although, looking back now I think I did feel what can only be described as 'tipsy'. The anaesthetist told me he was going to put the anaesthetic in and I did indeed feel my lips tingle, and I remember saying 'Oh yeh, I can feel my lips...' and that was it, I was out.

1300-I am woken up and told I am 'all done'. I drowse back off to sleep. Oddly my hips are shaking, I think this is because I was so scared, in my post-operative state I try and tell myself to relax, and eventually I do.

1400- I am taken back to my room and change beds. I drowse back off to a lighter sleep, with no shaky hips.

1400-1500 - I'm awake and feeling OK. Nurses come and take my temperature and blood pressure. My Bp is low and they say they will keep an eye on it. I tell them that a lowish blood pressure is normal for me - all that running you see. :o)

1500 - 1600 - I am brought a sandwich and tea and told that as long as I can keep that down and 'pass water' I can go home imminently. BB has arrived back by now and I am getting dressed and packing away my things.

1645 - My consultant comes to see me and tells me the bits have certainly been removed, that they were x-rayed and the chunk that was removed contains the calcifications. Good. He tells me to rest up the next day (today) and to take paracetamol and ibuprofen. I took 2 last night, and 2 this morning).

1730 - Arrive home, BB goes and gets my little CC, she looks at where the plaster is and says 'Eugh'. Charming. Typical ten year old. Incidentally, I am told that I need to do nothing with the wound, there is a waterproof plaster so I can shower as usual. I am told that I must return next Thursday for a follow-up appointment and the results of the pathology on the sample...

Today I am resting, writing this blog, catching up on my foodbuzz email that I haven't looked at for the longest time. I have various friends that will be passing by during this morning to check on me, which will be nice. The first is my neighbour who is due round in an hour !!

As you can see if you do decide to have this procedure it is quite straightforward and nothing to worry about at all, and that, coming from me, is saying something.

PS> I have been told that I cannot run for two-three weeks, eek!!! I'm supposed to be doing a marathon in October! Instead, I will be walking and also getting myself on the turbo trainer, which is all set up and ready to go.. but not today...

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