Last Entry for a Few Days

Last modified on May 13th, 2007

I don’t really have much to say, but I thought I’d write one last entry before my big surgery day. I spent most of the weekend putting in some hours for work, since I had a few meetings last week that took up too much time. Except for the party down at Bryght on Friday night, I didn’t really accomplish too much. Well, that’s not entirely true — today I went into my room and finally sat down to do my taxes.. I think I’m technically a few weeks late, but since I don’t owe any money, I don’t think anybody will kick up a big fuss (in fact, those sneaky bastards owe me $1100).

About two months ago, somebody suggested I check out a gourmet grocery store in Yaletown called The Urban Fare. It’s pretty pricey, but everything there is really tasty. They have a really amazing meat section, complete with seafood, marinated steaks, and even lamb and buffalo. Some of their breads get flown in a few times a week from Europe, and they have one of the nicest assortments of cheese I’ve seen.

Last week, I went down and picked up a wide variety of meats to hold me and my BBQ over for a while. I had steak tonight, and last night even roasted some cheese-filled lamb. Add a simple salad, and it’s almost a complete meal. I’m going to make one more trip down there before Wednesday, so I’ll have enough food here to keep myself full, and to entertain whoever stops by for moral support (so if you’re stopping by, speak now since I’m taking requests).

Which leads me to the final thing I want to say — as most of you know, I’ll be heading into surgery on Wednesday, most likely down at Vancouver General Hospital. To be honest, I’m starting to get a bit anxious and worried about it all. The first time was far easier since I had no idea what to expect. Now I know full well what the procedure and the recovery involves, and I’d by lying if I said it wasn’t bothering me at all. That being said, I’m looking forward to having it all over.

For those of you who want to see what it currently looks like, here it is, in all its glory.

The main things to notice are that my left eye is slightly lower than my right eye, and there’s a slight line under my eye (where the last incision was made, and where the next one will be as well). Hopefully everything will be symmetric after. I’ve been told that the scar under my eye should be approximately the same afterwards, something I hope is true.

As everyone who has followed the whole saga knows, I have been completely frustrated with the whole experience of dealing with doctors and medical students. I had another run in with the system last week that completely pissed me off. After I left UBC on Thursday, I was asked to come down to the surgeon’s office downtown and complete about 30 minutes of paperwork for the surgery. The forms basically gave my consent to have surgery, to have transfusions should I require them, and also to get a detailed breakdown of past procedures, health problems, medications etc. After filling this all out, I signed on the dotted line, picked up the document they gave me entitled “How to get ready for your surgery,” and went back to work.

On Friday, I get a call on my cell asking when a good time would be for a nurse to spend a half hour going over everything with me on the phone. Here’s the basic flow of that conversation:

Me: “What is there to go over? I’ve talked about this surgery with two surgeons now, and this is the same procedure I had done in November.”
Nurse: “We need to discuss the things you should do and don’t do before the surgery on Wednesday”
Me: “Isn’t that all in this fancy document I have here entitled ‘How to get ready for your surgery?'”
Nurse: “Well, it’s the same material, we just want to make sure you understand it all.”
Me: “I understand it all. ”
Nurse: “Sorry, it’s standard procedure.”
Me: “Fine. Is that all?”
Nurse: “No, we need to go over your detailed medical records, things like your height, weight, past medications, etc.”
Me: “Oh, you’re in luck — I just filled out that paperwork out and signed it at my Dr’s office. I’ll get them to forward it to you.”
Nurse: “No, we have all that paperwork here now. We just need to go over it line by line to make sure it’s right.”
Me: “I took time off work on Thursday to go down and fill all this out, and then signed it — it’s not going to change”
Nurse: “Sorry, it’s just the way this works.”
Me: “It didn’t work like this last time”
Nurse: “So does Monday work for you?”
Me: “Yup, Monday works fine. I’ll be there with bells on.”

In the back of my mind, I heard my dad’s voice telling me to just keep my mouth shut and put up with it, which I basically gave into at the end. But this is all of our tax dollars hard at work, and it’s so disappointing. So tomorrow I get to sit on the phone for 30 minutes and bash my head against my desk, over, and over, and over.

Anyways, back to the actual surgery. The person performing my surgery is apparently one of the best at doing this, so let’s hope he comes through and manages to put everything in there back where it should be. The current plan is for me to cab down there myself in the morning, and probably be picked up afterwards by my friend Cisco. It’s really difficult to bring anything into the hospital, so I’m hoping to give Cisco my Digital Elph before hand so he can bring it into me before I leave — I’d really like to capture some of the atmosphere in the OR, and what it’s like to be hooked up to tubes. Plus, it will give me something to do for the four hours or so where you just sit around in pain waiting to go home. My dad will be coming in later that day to relieve Cisco, and spend the night at my place. After that, I’m going to just relax in Vancouver with a few books, or if I feel up to it, maybe venture out of my house for a few days.

I just want to thank everyone for the support I’ve had through all of this. Hopefully these blog entries that relate to this whole ordeal will stop in a week or so, and I can finally put it all behind me. I’m sure I’ll see some of you over the next week or so, and will try and post an entry or two when the surgery is over and I’m back home.

15 responses to “Last Entry for a Few Days”

  1. Liz says:

    Good luck, get lots of friends to give you backup while you’re getting over the surgery!

  2. John says:

    All the best Duane! I’m sure everything will go as expected.

    It was great to meet and collaborate with you on that hangover at the SHDH on Friday. Hopefully we can ‘work’ together again in the near future!

  3. Hey Duane,

    Good Luck Duane! Holy cow my friend, I’ve been following your blog since NV and still (I’m embarrassed to say) know what happened to make all this necessary … however … I also think you said Hi to me on friday in the Bryght Office and I didn’t click it was you – sorry! So I’ll be thinking of you this week and hoping everything goes really really well!

    Sincerely, Stewart.

  4. Damn, I meant to say I DIDN’T know, not that I did …

  5. Ok – I found your blog about the incident that started this – that really sucks. Not sure what else to say other than I hope Wednesday really works out. Seriously.

  6. tiffany says:

    best of luck, duaner!!! 🙂

  7. Clay says:

    Best of luck with the surgery Duane! I’m sure everything will work out fine…I’d offer to give u a lift to the hospital but…well…i’ll be in Texas…heck of a commute…

  8. Beth says:

    A friend and I went to Urban Fare at Christmas time and I too was impressed with the selection of cheeses (I think we spent $40 on cheese for two people!). I was also amused to see that they sell Cheez Whiz there… seriously.

    Best of luck for your surgery!!

  9. Rosie says:

    Good luck!

  10. Gregg says:

    Don’t worry about the taxes, you aren’t late, the deadline only applies to people that owe them money. They are quite happy to have no deadline if they owe you; in fact you don’t even have to file!

    Best of luck on the surgery… hope you have a speedy recovery!

  11. tracy says:

    Hey Duane,

    All the best – I’ll be thinking of you on wednesday. Hope it all goes smoothly.


  12. tracy says:

    wow…the posting actually worked this time…cool

  13. col says:

    good luck to you !

  14. brennen says:

    everyone else is doing it so why not me huh? Good luck buddy buddy buddy. Me Chunk, you Sloth. Baby, baby, ruth, ruth.

  15. Jana says:

    The very BEST of luck Duane with the surgery. They better get it damn right this time, or they’d have to deal with some Eastern European mobs .. k/d.. 🙂 I am not THAT connected.. Anyways, I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way on Wednesday…hummm hummm….

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