pre-operation checks

Saturday 10 September

Before my colostomy operation, I had to visit Kingston hospital for various medical checks. This wasn’t specific to me – every patient undergoing surgery at Kingston (and probably every other) hospital is subject to the same checks to ensure surgery, aftercare and the hospital environment are preserved.

The checks started with a chat with a nice nurse who had been summoned in on her day off (which was only fair as I was missing ‘Football Focus’).

The nurse was Polish and having made a full recovery from a brain tumour with the last 12 months – a fairly interesting and inspirational character herself.

The checks consisted of:

  • Temperature
  • Pulse
  • Blood pressure
  • Height (185cm)
  • Weight (129 kilos) – yeah yeah I know – carrying that excess weight was probably a factor in me standing on those scales. Bit late for me but not for you.
  • ECG – diagnostics on heart rate and strength
  • MRSA – hospitals really don’t want an MRSA outbreak. Swabs from mouth, armpit and groin (she politely passed me the cotton wool bud for the last location)
  • Blood tests – once again, despite a tourniquet and much fist pumping, a lengthy struggle to locate a decent vein on either arm. My wife was leaning over desperately wanting to have a go and stick a needle into my elbow but once again was denied her opportunity. Instead she chatted with the nurse about mutual friends while I stood at the sink running hot water over my arm to bring some veins to the surface.
  • Urine test – despite supping water for the preceding 45 minutes, this proved problematic but eventually I managed to produce a dribble which then turned into a torrent which then threatened to overflow the provided container.

All pre-flight checks now complete. Next fixture – Colostomy, Tuesday pm, Kingston Hospital.