Going to have an EUA at a different hospital. Quite weird. Like going to a different supermarket or hairdressers. The general process is the same but of course it’s all slightly different. No familiar faces this time.
Taunton has a day surgery unit where I’m guessing is where the day surgery patients go! The waiting room is nicer than Bath, far smaller, far more homely, windows (I don’t remember Bath any) But you don’t stay in this room for long. Soon you are taken through to what to all intents and purposes is a ward, with chairs instead of beds in your cubicle to sit on. (Obviously you will be delivered back in your bed after) The usual chats with various nurses, anaesthetists, consultants etc. as only a curtain separates you from the person next to you are able to hear everything. At Bath you are taken off into a private room off the main waiting room for these chats. No one had anyone waiting with them, maybe as it was day surgery most people don’t feel the need to have someone with them, but I wonder if i’d wanted someone with me it would of been allowed. You did already feel like a ‘patient’ before your op, sat in a ward. Maybe that’s just me. I don’t like being a patient. I’d rather of waited in the nice homely first room and get called to have chats.
The staff were lovely. The first comment made me laugh as the nurse sat down with my very thin set of medical records and said ‘Oh you’ve been a very well lady’ Soon relayed that no I hadn’t been but I was new to this trust. Anaesthetist came and saw me, very nice. Changed into gown, regretted not being arsed to shave my legs. Sat on my chair, in my cubicle, and waited. Consultant came to see me. Don’t know what to call him. I’m so used to calling my others by their first names it seems odd to call this guy who is probably at least 10 years my junior Mr….. Anyway, he comes and tells me that the CT scan shows the swelling on the base of my tongue. That the radiologist hasn’t read it yet so there is no detailed report. My interpretation of what he says is that yes there is a problem there but it is ‘not extensive’ My interpretation of that is that it is an early cancer. His demeanour and tone is that the CT has certainly not ruled out cancer. I ask him of it’s not cancer what could it be. He says a cyst or inflammation. He doesn’t say what he thinks it is one way or the other. My instinct tells me that it’s not looking as good as it could.
He then goes to the patient next door and I hear him say. Blah blah blah ‘looks totally benign’ which leaves me thinking….well….mine is clearly not looking totally benign.
Then this really irritating nurse comes over. She reminds me of two different people. One is the midwife who I had with Max, the other was a HCA at Bath. I didn’t like either. She, despite the other two nurses who were assigned to our bay not having an issue with it at all, told me to put something on my feet. She then, and this really annoyed me grabbed by bag and started to look for my shoes. I told her It was fine, I could find them, and off she went. That’s what I hate about hospitals. I’m not incapable of finding my own bloody shoes.
Anyway, two of us were called through the intercom to go along to theatres at the same time, so the nice nurse took some other guy and shoe woman took me. It was a really short walk, and she asked me how I was feeling about the op. In a way that suggested she didn’t really care but thought she had to ask anyway. Now this is a silly question for many reasons. 1. The walk was less than 5 minutes. What meaningful conversation can you have? 2. What is anyone going to say? Fucking marvellous, can’t wait. 3. What would she of done it I’d said ‘No, not having it’ Maybe it is the last chance to back out, maybe it’s just really irritating small talk. But to me what a silly time to ask it.
You’ve probably guessed that this woman was pissing me off. I go into the anaesthetic room and there is the anaesthetist and two ODP’s. Even when you’ve done it as many times as I have it’s still a daunting prospect knowing you’re going to get knocked out. They welcome me, introduce themselves, and ask me to lay on the trolley. This bloody awful woman, who has been standing behind me, pulls undone the ties on my gown, without a word. I just turned around and said. ‘What are you doing? Can you please just get out of my face?’ I was perfectly capable of undoing my own ties thank you very much. I’m not a piece of meat that needs unwrapping. In that situation there is very little you can control, you can control the undoing of your own gown ties if in fact they even needed undoing at all. Anyway she left and I apologised to the others but explained she was had been really getting on my tits. Did all the usual, cannulas and whatever. All slick, always amazed at how slick this part of the process is. Got first dose of whatever it was, looked at clock 10.20, felt something else go in and said ‘Oh is this the one that sends me off’ last thing I remember is the reply ‘Not yet’
Recovery. All rather uneventful, remember being told to take lots of deep breaths. Got transferred to where I sat and waited. Mr …….. comes to see me. Says that he ‘ would not be surprised if it wasn’t serious’ I repeat back to him what he has said with a ‘what the fuck do you mean quizzical look’ and he says ‘oh sorry double negative’ He seems happier than before. I’m left with the feeling that he does not think it is now as serious as he thought it might of been pre EUA. What do I know? I’m going on gut instinct. My gut instinct is that he still doesn’t know one way or the other but he’s veering more towards ‘non sinister’ I still have no definitive answers one way or another.
My discharge summary is odd. I’m learning a lot about the anatomy of my tongue but clearly I’m no expert. My reason for admission was ‘left tongue base swelling’ my main diagnosis is ‘ lingual tonsil asymmetry’ So basically, the lingual tonsils which are right at the base of my tongue are swollen on one side. Don’t those two things kind of mean the same? A lot of people who have base of tongue cancer have asymmetrical swelling, but a lot of people who have asymmetrical swelling don’t have cancer. So none the wiser than when I went in.
Go in on 11th July for results.