7 Drama queens and pigeons
Category : My Brain Tumour
Instalment 7 of my journey with Clusterfluff the brain tumour
Okay, I admit it. I’m human. Today I was a drama queen.
We (Chris and I) attended my pre-op clinic appointment at Monash. We were told to allow 3-4 hours. It took 2.5 hrs. Pretty good, huh?
I’ve lost a little faith in the admin system.
I hand over my referral letter. The admin woman reads it, checks her list for today. Nope. They’re not expecting me. Not today. I tell her I’ve spoken to her department three times this week. I’ve confirmed twice. ‘Oh hang on.’ She checks my letter again. Checks her list. ‘Oh yes. Okay. They didn’t write “neurology” on your letter.’
Uh huh. We sit and wait.
Some poor guy sitting in the waiting room says he’s been waiting seven months for his neuro surgery, and is due to have it tomorrow morning. He’s received seven phone calls over the past week, rescheduling his operation time, and he’s been called in today to have three more tests done pre-op. The admin staff have no idea what tests he’s talking about. The doctor has no idea. They send him away.
His op is obviously not as urgent as mine, but it brings home how fortunate I am with my one-month wait. I can’t imagine how much stress would build up over seven months, or longer.
Then comes my turn. I’m sent for an ECG (to the wrong floor and wrong area, but the staff we bump into kindly redirect our lost souls). The test only takes five minutes.
THEN … drama! We shouldn’t, but we do – sneak a peek at the results before returning them to the pre-op clinic. Oops.
“Anterior infarction – abnormal ECG”
Dr Google is immediately consulted. It turns out an anterior infarction means muscle damage to the heart, usually caused by a heart attack.
‘I’m pretty sure I’d know if I’d had a heart attack,’ I say to Chris. Okay, there’s heart disease in my family – my dad’s had a triple bypass. But still … I’d know, wouldn’t I?
I text a friend who has had heart issues.
‘You may not know,’ is the response.
Back to Dr Google. Turns out there’s such a thing as a silent heart attack. What?
We get called in to see the doctor – a lovely smiley doctor. He tells us I need another brain scan – the Stealth Guided one. ‘And you’ll have one of these during the operation too, for guidance.’
I smile back. We’re all smiles in here. ‘Yes, thank you. I’m aware. That’s today, yes?’
‘No. I doubt it will be today.’
Uhuh. Admin at work again?
‘And you’ll need to have a blood test the day prior to your operation. Just in case there’s any bleeding and you need a blood transfusion.’
‘Umm … I’m having a blood test today.’
‘You’ll need another one, the day prior.’
‘Okay.’ Take my blood. I have plenty. Smiley face.
‘Any other questions?’
‘Umm … the ECG results?’
I look at Chris. Shit! Why is it I feel perfectly okay asking Dr Google, but here’s a real-life doctor and I’m feeling like a guilty school kid, because … we peeked. But last time I peeked at test results – the MRI – well … we all know what happened then. So, do we tell the doctor, we know it’s NOT normal?
Chris steps up. ‘It’s says abnormal.’
The doc smiles again – so cheery – pulls out the results. ‘It’s fine. I’ve checked the graphs. The machines can be overly sensitive. You’re perfectly healthy.’
Phew! There’s a good reason they put these things in envelopes. Tch!
So I had the blood test – fabulous nurse, pain free.
Then down to the café for – you guessed it – CHEESECAKE! Which I share with this fearless, cute little pigeon who sits right next to my foot, waiting for crumbs – when Chris isn’t looking. (Chris is right; Chris is ALWAYS right: she invites her friends to lunch shortly after).
And when I get home, this beautiful gift of hand-blended essential oils is waiting for me, with a heartfelt note. Thank you Caz. Mwah! Forgive the shameless promotion here, but please visit Caz’s Facebook page, if you’d like some healthy, gorgeous products to spoil yourself or family and friends with. Christmas is coming! https://www.facebook.com/HomeHeartHaven/?ref=br_rs
Until the Stealth scan.