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On to Surgery

Al Zagofsky publisher






Boy was I lucky to be in a wheelchair. My plane had just landed in Miami as I was returning from a Slow Paced Road Scholar trip to Costa Rica, slow paced because I was days away from an operation on the inguinal hernia that had frustrated me for a year and a half.

I already had one operation — after waiting the better part of a year, an unsuccessful procedure, and then waiting several more months for a second surgery. So, I was heading home and I didn't want anything to go wrong this time. I didn't lift my suitcase or strain myself on long distance walks through the airport — I even wore a mask to avoid exposure to any airborne disease.

When we landed, I checked my cell pone and found that I had a message from the surgery scheduler. It probably came while I was in Costa Rica and I didn't have any cell service there. By now, it was late at night and for security's sake, the message was assigned to the provider's app which I had buggered up trying to log on in Costa Rica.

The next morning, Thursday morning, safely ensconced in Sacramento with my internet, computer, cell phone and my comfy desk chair at the ready, I opened the e-mail, text and app to find a voice mail the surgery scheduler had left. Just a vague message, so I called her.

Seems that an opening had developed in the surgeon's schedule and could I be open to surgery on Monday — two weeks ahead of my previously scheduled surgery date. I agreed.

Maybe I should have thought twice about it. On my first surgery, I was offered an earlier date when they had a cancellation. I was good to go when I got notified by the chief of surgery that I needed the blessing of a cardiologist before I could continue, and by the time I took the test and got blessed, the time slot could be gone. And it was.

But I did take a treadmill stress test, passed with flying colors, and had the surgery several weeks later. The surgery went well except two months later, I still had the hernia. I contacted the surgeon and had it checked out and tested, and by golly, it was popping out again. So, back to surgery scheduling. This time I was able to argue for high priority — for a wait of four months instead of eight.



So, I'm talking to the pre-op doc and find out that I need blood work and again, blessing from a cardiologist — which this doc figures will not happen in time. I plead that I need to get this done and she says that she'll see what she can do.

So, doubting that a cardiologist will come through in time, I figure that I might as well make the best of the day: get the blood work, go to the chiropractor for my backache, to the gym for some exercise and to my favorite Chinese restaurant for some takeout.

So, about a mile from my home, on the way to the blood work, chiropractor, gym and Chinese restaurant, I get a call in my car. It's the pre-op doc and she's telling me that she was able to get a cardiologist appointment this afternoon in Roseville — about 40 minutes from my home in Sacramento.

I agreed, cancelled my chiropractor appointment and headed for the local hospital for the blood work. Once there, the waiting area was filled and I neither wanted to wait wearing a mask and exposing myself to a respiratory disease, so I figured I might as well get the blood work done this afternoon at the Roseville hospital where I'm scheduled for my cardiologist appointment.

This worked well. After spending an inordinate amount of time locating a parking spot, I took all the tests and I believe that I passed with flying colors — or at least that was my interpretation of the various test reports. And since the surgery is still on, I must be reasonably OK.

So, on to surgery. Thanks to all who are wishing me well.

Just returned from the slice and dice and I 'm feeling in good spirits — excepting for local discomfort.

Looking forward to music, dancing, pickleball and all kinds of physical activity.

~ Al Zagofsky

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