Last Wednesday was my final appointment before surgery. I was scheduled to meet the surgeon at his office for a 2:00pm appointment. I arrived super early (as I normally do) and ended up waiting well over an hour to see him. Whilst in the waiting room, I was entertained by a man who fell asleep and was snoring loudly. Once the nurse came to fetch the sleeping guy he awoke with an exceptionally loud snore and the nurse laughed and asked him if he was taking a cat nap. Since the doctor was running so far behind, I can see why that dude fell asleep.
This was the one appointment that I had no idea what to expect. Would he be doing a physical? Did they need a blood or urine sample? Would he be marking me up with a sharpie to show me where the scars would be? Turns out it was just a chat. Dr. Arnold looks like he came straight off the set of Grey's Anatomy. He is younger and cooler than I was expecting. (Sorry to all the surgeons out there that I wrongly stereotyped as being old and frumpy) He even has a cool guy haircut.
Dr. Arnold explained to me what would take place during surgery. A new bit of information I learned is that this will be a robotic laparoscopy. Meaning that instead of Dr. Arnold controlling the laparoscope arm things, he will be controlling a robot and the robot will be controlling the laparoscope arm things. In my mind I was immediately imagining an 80s sci-fi silver boxy robot with a scalpel but I'm fairly certain it's a bit more advanced than that.
The surgery portion will only take about an hour and a half to two hours. I was surprised by this because I was told it would be more like 3-4 hours. He said that time window also accounts for getting me anesthetized (I had to look up the correct spelling of anestheized) as well as getting me "positioned on the table". I will be lying on my back when the anesthesia is administered but according to Dr. Arnold, they will then take 10 to 15 minutes to position me for surgery and I'll end up laying on my right side bent all funny on the table. Nobody wants to think about themselves being flopped around on a table while unconscious and nudey but oh well.
Dr. Arnold was super helpful and answered all of my questions. My appointment with him lasted about 20 minutes and then I was on my way back home. The one question I forgot to ask was what kinds of patients will be on the floor where I am recovering? Since there are only 1 or 2 kidney transplants a week, it's not like it will be a floor full of kidney donors. I know nurses are all superheroes and can do anything but I was curious about what types of patients they were used to treating on the 14th floor. I asked the donor coordinator and was happy to hear that the 14th floor is for transplant patients and that it houses liver and kidney donors and recipients.
With only 2 days to go until surgery I am still feeling great about this whole thing. I have been blessed with friends and family that are all very supportive and encouraging. I even received a call this week from a friend who is being tested to donate a kidney to someone they know. Their decision has nothing to do with me but it was nice to have a buddy who might soon be going through this whole process too.
I am off of work tomorrow and planning to spend the day packing, doing laundry, cleaning the house and drinking a lot of water. My plan is to document as much of my time in the hospital as possible but it may happen a few days after the fact depending on how I am feeling.