Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pre-Op Scheduling

Now that I have a surgery date, I have had to schedule all my pre-operative appointments. Before surgery I need a complete physical with blood panel, kidney function and liver function tests; autologous blood donations (giving my own blood for use during/after my surgery); and pre-operative appointments at the hospital.

The challenge is not only in coordinating schedules, but in planning dates that allow for proper hemoglobin replacement between blood draws and prior to surgery. My first blood donation cannot be earlier than six weeks before the surgery (February 2) and my last donation cannot be later than two weeks before the surgery (March 2). Moreover, one must allow seven to ten days between blood donations to allow the body to replace the missing pint of blood each time.

Two of my blood donations will be in New York at the New York Blood Center, which will ship my blood up to Boston. One of my donations must be on-site in Boston, as they need a very fresh on-site sample to separate into plasma and platelets for concentrated infusions during surgery. A shot of platelets in various areas can boost clotting during a bloody surgery (which any surgery involving bone-sawing necessarily is).

The schedule I have finalized is as follows:

February 3, 2009 -- Complete physical, including blood/liver/kidney levels, just to check everything and know my baselines. I'm getting this from a regular internist here in Manhattan and having the records sent up to Dr. Millis' office.

February 9, 2009 -- First autologous blood donation, at the New York Blood Center. After this appointment I am to ensure my diet has iron-rich foods and am to take iron supplements for five days.

February 19, 2009 -- Pre-operative appointments at Children's Hospital. During this full day in Boston I will meet with Dr. Millis, the anaesthesiology team, and admitting. I will also have my second autologous blood donation while I am there.

March 2, 2009 -- My third autologous donation, at the New York Blood Center, with the blood subsequently shipped up to Boston.

March 16, 2009 -- Surgery date.

Meanwhile, I have a more general goal of getting myself as strong and healthy as possible prior to the surgery. I have read that other women have experienced faster recoveries when they have gone into the surgery strong and fit. I also must try to eat a nutritious, iron-rich diet during this period of blood donations, as well as keep myself generally free of colds and other sickness. If one is sick one cannot donate blood; if one is sick in the days approaching surgery, the surgery will be postponed.

I've arranged my absence with work. I plan to be completely off the grid for two weeks after the surgery: one week in the hospital in Boston and one week sleeping and healing at my parents' house in Connecticut. During the third week (week of April 6), I plan to begin working remotely from Connecticut, although start day and hours per day are going to be contingent on how my recovery is progressing at that point.

I plan to stay in Connecticut for at least five weeks after returning from Boston, so I can have the help and supervision I would not have if I returned alone to my apartment in the city. Manhattan is NOT a friendly place for people on crutches, so ideally I would like to be almost off them before I leave Connecticut. Right now I anticipate physically returning to the office the week of April 27, but again that is contingent on my recovery speed.

1 comment:

  1. I know everyone's surgery and recovery is totally subjective, depending on the person and everything, but I'm just telling you that I started going back to school full time roughly three or four weeks, possibly a little after, my surgery. I stick to a wheelchair during school, but I'm not really in any pain or anything. Just letting you know. :)