So having travelled up to St Thomas's today for my AVR (hopefully) tomorrow here, if it helps for anyone who has been (like me) waiting with growing nervousness and trepidation, is how the process is panning out for me. Obviously everyone will different, but this is me.
In my case, travel up to London to meet children back from uni and go for a nice "farewell" lunch (this I appreciate is optional).
Get progressively more anxious and scared as lunch progresses.
See off girls at hospital and "check in". The efficiency, cheerfulness and friendliness of the nurses immediately put you at ease. You are now in "the process" and suddenly it's easier. Room of four people, all friendly enough. Various patients doing their post-op circuits with electro boombox things to monitor their circuitry. Positive to see how mobile patients seem to be.
X-ray, bloods, swabs taken. Members of surgical team come in (I missed the surgeon as was waiting for x-ray). Various admin and paperwork. Have "the valve" discussion - I'm going for tissue. Also discussion about the possibility still of it all being cancelled at the last minute tomorrow for 2-3 weeks. Which would be devastating but is out of my control and would only happen for the best reasons (someone needing this desperately more than me).
Blood pressure, weight, height, temperature etc taken.
Anaesthesist turns up to discusd what will happen tomorrow. All reassuring.
Schedule is second on the list so probably midday. Unless it doesn't happen. In which case let-down also by midday! So it'll be a tense morning! But apparently I am the only one of the list. But it all comes down to intensive care bed availability.
Take calls from various relatives. Wi fi here is good, so check on the collapsing government (which you can see from the window here).
Sent down to shave. Full chest. Arms below elbow, inside leg. So now smooth as a baby's bottom.
Then settle down to see what unfurls tomorrow. Will be nil by mouth from midnight, but allowed sips of water if need be. So Eliza my wife nipped down to the M&S in reception before she left to grab me a late-night sandwich snack!
Finally, on that, she is staying in the family accommodation. Room is small and a bit spartan. But clean. Has a telly. And there are I think some communal facilities. Plus it is right on site. And all very secure. They charge you for the time you stay, for eg if you're discharged earlier than you've booked for it'll be less. Not sure how it works the othe way round and hope not to find out! Just in case that's helpful for anyone else thinking of/needing to use the same.
So that's it for now. I guess next time will be out the other side (hopefully not on the other side). So may not be for a few days. But hope this is useful for people. Nic