Well it is just a matter of days now until the op and I'm feeling pretty good about it in general. Every so often I do get a few "pre-match nerves" but I suppose this is only to be expected. I've been really touched by the number of people who have written to me with their kind messages of support, thank-you.
Earlier this week my wife and I attended my pre-admissions appointment and also met with the stoma nurse. The former being to basically fill out a questionnaire to ascertain if there's any reason not to go ahead with surgery and the latter mainly to "get sited" for my stoma.
Thankfully both appointments went very well and I will have surgery on the planned date, Wed 20th Feb, and there are a couple of bonuses that I wasn't expecting 1) I won't have to do any bowel prep (yippee!) and 2) the procedure is around 3 hours rather than 6-8 hours as I'd read. I will have to check-in to hospital on Tues afternoon where, because of my previous medical problems, they'll dose me up with heparin (a blood thinner). I was told this would not normally be the case, most people just turn up on the day. I'm scheduled for the first appointment of the day at around 08:30 although this is pending any emergency cases which may need to take priority.
Various things were explained to me such as the risks associated with anaesthesia and other potential but unlikely complications. The thing I latched onto most though was that I will be the proud owner of my own machine to self-administer morphine for a day or two to provide pain relief after surgery. This should be great fun, so look out for the blog post I write that day! Last time I was on morphine I, completely out of the blue and of character, asked my wife "did you know Beyoncé is having a baby?". It was true, she was.
I also mentioned being sited for my stoma; well I was expecting a little mark to be made on my abdomen, but it is not so little, it looks more like a butchered part of a Picasso sketch or something (picture below). But I suppose it is fit for purpose and it marks a location which avoids any folds when I sit down and lean forward, this should minimise the possibility of leaks. As I anticipated, though, I may have to invest in braces for wearing formal trousers due to the higher belt-line.
So folks, that's probably it from me for the next few days, I'll see you "on the other side".