This is the first chance I've had to update since I had my pre-op assessment on Friday. Sadly, since it was the NHS, I didn't get to ask my questions as it was clear that the person I was seeing had absolutely no knowledge of my procedure at all.
The assessment block at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) is actually a Portacabin in one of its car parks. So far so very NHS. To be fair, once the staff had stopped arranging their Christmas night out and actually paid me some attention, I did only have to wait 20 minutes to be seen, which is surely some kind of NHS record.
And the people I saw were very nice. And obtained the information from me that THEY need. It's just that I didn't get the information that I need. Which was more than disappointing.
I did manage to get a leaflet out of them once I'd a) asked for one and b) insisted that they really ought to find one as telling me 'we don't have one, sorry' wasn't cutting it.
But I have learned far more on the internet than I did from the hospital and that's a poor state of affairs.
I was hoping to get a lot more detail about my expected recovery and to discuss the anticoagulants I will need post-op because of my Factor V Leiden inherited clotting disorder.
But the nurse simply assured me that I will be walking within days (er, really? Not according to the many blogs I've read from people who have actually had this done. Not to mention that for nearly two weeks I'm supposed to keep both feet elevated above my pelvis level for 90 per cent of the time. If you know a way of walking around like that, let me know.) And assured me that, I quote, "If you need drugs then they will give them to you."
Yes, I would hope that would be the case, but actually, I KNOW I will need them, my consultant at St Mary's tells me so, my common sense tells me so, and so, ya know, I'd really like to discuss them with someone BEFORE the day of surgery. Not least because as a breastfeeding mama I need to make sure anything I take is not going to adversely affect the Little Lady. Although a quick look at the excellent resource that is the Breastfeeding Network tells me it should be OK. See here.
Sigh. It's obvious the nurse had NO knowledge of a bilateral scarf osteotomy which is really annoying although not surprising, sadly.
So now I'll have to try and contact my surgeon and get a chat with him before the operation, which I can't imagine is going to be easy.
But I don't want to leave these conversations until the day itself, especially if I need heparin afterwards and will have to inject myself as I will need to learn how to do that when I am not groggy from anaesthetic and in pain from major surgery!
I do sometimes wonder when the NHS is going to finally implode from its arrogance and incompetence combined, but I guess there are just enough decent staff to keep its head above water at the moment. Let's hope I encounter lots of them over the next few weeks.