Ok, so since I last spoke about my "journey", I've visited George Eliot Hospital (in Nuneaton) and had to revisit Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. With a result of still not being sure of my exact operation date (though, it's predicted sometime late-October / early-November ... I should put a tenner down that it'll likely be on my 22nd birthday - he he).
On 21st July 2009 at 5pm, I ended up going to the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton for my CT Thoracic (Pron: four-ass-sick) scan which was something I've not had before. I've had an ultrasound before and a normal XRay, but having a CT scan wasn't ticked off in my list of hospital machinery that I've experienced personally. So off I plodded into the hospital - hungry may I add, as I had to be nil-by-mouth for hours (I didn't even smoke during that period! Good me.) - along with a digital camcorder (cheers Peter) and headed around the few corridors to the XRay department - obviously I had a little play with the hand washing things (oh so childish!), then proceeded to the reception desk and told them I was booked in for ??.??pm. They told me to take a seat and as I did I noticed the sign on the wall "estimated XRay waiting time: 1hr 30min" - I thought "Oh wonderful!" ... so I'm sitting there thinking an hour and a half with no puzzle book with me to pass the time and only a bunch of elderly people in front of me nattering about something prehistoric (VHS, German's or something).
Though within sitting there for less than 5 minutes, I got called in - the nurse didn't say my name loud enough, so when I got to her I did ask her "You did just call Dale Hay, yeah?", just to make sure. Anyways, she guided me through more corridors and finally I was in the small area with about 5 seats for the next lot of people to go into the rooms. She told me to put a gown on my top half of my body then come back out. At this time I told her that I'm basically following along my journey by filming it and also asked if it was possible to allow a camera in the room with me, because I was originally afraid that the radiation from the scanner would malfunction the camera. She wasn't sure, so to be safe she asked her boss and (s)he said that it was fine - as long as no footage of any staff was present. So with that in mind, I got my gown on and sat in this small area. Had a cannula placed into my arm (short sharp shock that was!) - I'm fine with needles, but I felt a bit whoosy with this one, though after speaking to the nurse about Coors Light beer, it was in.
Then came the call for me to enter the room. As I entered I saw a bit of clutter from boxes at one end of the room and this big doughnut shaped thing with a bed on it, quite pleasant looking to be honest. I set up the camera and put myself on the bed. The nurse told me that she'll be speaking instructions through the glass and I have to basically take a deep breath and hold until told. Oh and she also said that I will have Iodine flushed through my veins, so the other nurse that was there connected my cannula upto the Iodine machine and they left the room, with the nurse pressing record on the camera. The scan started, the bed rose up and started going in and out of this doughnut and I could see in the bit by a laser that said "Do not look at this laser", that the machinery inside the doughtnut was spinning ... it was mad. Anyways, they told me to hold my breath a couple of times during the scan and took scans of that - along with scans when I was normal. Then came the most bizarre moment... the Iodine flush! Now if you've had Iodine flushed through your body, you'd know what it feels like... well for those that don't know, it's te most weird/relaxing/niggly feeling. Basically you get a warm sensation flood through your body, but you actually feel it gaining around your body - mine went left arm, left hand, right arm, right hand, underneath the testicles, left leg, right leg, left foot and finally right foot. When this stuff reaches your feet you want to itch them, but you can't. The sensation is like getting into a lovely warm bath, but without your skin touching any water - that's the best way I can describe it.
After a couple of minutes, the scan was finished. Though there was one minor complication - which was when they were supposed to fill me with Iodine, the machine didn't seem to want to give any away, though they came in and tilted the machine a bit more and then continued with it, then once the results were sorted, they'd be sent off to my surgeon over at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, then I just had to stay on site for 30 minutes - just incase if my body went manky due to the Iodine, though it didn't so I was allowed to go home.
Once Birmingham Heartlands Hospital received these results they contacted me by post and had an appointment ready for me to see my surgeon. I attended and after finding my way around the millions of floors and corridors (this time though, without the guided instructions from the receptionist) I was there and got weighed (not sure why). I got called in, but this time it was a different surgeon (along with a student nurse/doctor). He showed me the book of photos that my surgeon was supposed to have had shown me last time I was there and some of them are horrific! (One was really bad... the persons spine was poking out like a sharp mountain because of how his dent in his chest was!!) Then he was speaking about the procedures and I said "Nuss Procedure" straight away, with him asking if I knew about the different ones and I told him my surgeon explained them all on my previous visit and I also know some from research and personal stories from people online. That kinda hurried him up, however he kept wanting me to go with the Ravitch Procedure - and no offence to Dr. Ravitch (if he's still alive), but mate, your procedure may have been a break through in its time, but now-a-days I'd rather call it "The Bludgening Procedure" ... the amount of crap that's done to your pectal area is awful, not to mention the huge band of scars left afterwards, I'll just prefer to have the 2 small scars on the sides of my body when I have the Nuss Procedure.
So once he knew I wasn't going to be budging about what procedure I want, he and the student went off for about 20 minutes - leaving me in the room ... I think he went to speak to another surgeon about it. When he came back he said that I'd need to come in again and see the surgeon and then more-than-likely I'd be placed on the waiting list. So I was told to wait a couple of weeks to hear from the surgeons secretary and if I don't hear anything then phone up. So today (2nd September 2009) I phoned up and got told there'll be something sent out in the post soon. So now if nothing comes within the next 7 days, then it'll be another phone call. SO judging by it all, my operation might be as soon as late-October / early November.
Right, I believe that's me all rattled out. Speak soon! :-)