I got a call from Vancouver General Hospital yesterday. They were doing a follow-up call to see how I was managing after my surgery. I have now reached the seven week mark. Initially I thought how sweet this was. They were taking the time to do a fast check in. A few questions in, however, I realized this was more of a poll of sorts. And I suppose it’s still rather considerate even if the hospital had an ulterior motive.
Now I have a rather strange sense of humour and has we progressed through the questions I began to have a series of visuals stream into my consciousness.
First up, I was trying to recall if she had said ‘This call is being recorded for quality assurance.’ Then I began thinking of legalities. I suddenly envisioned myself suing the hospital because a few days after the call…surprise! A scalpel fell out of my tummy.
And there I was in the courtroom listening to myself sing the praises of the hospital.
‘But your Honour, I didn’t know at that time they’d left a scalpel in me!’
The next thought to pop into my head was an infomercial for the hospital promoting their surgeries. I saw myself with a plastic smile and crazed look in my eye as I gazed into camera stating ‘This was the best surgical experience I have ever had. They gave me lots of drugs. I slept through the whole thing! The Jello was the best I’ve every tasted!’
As stated, strange what pops into this head of mine.
“How do you feel your surgeon performed?” she asked politely.
“Good?” I replied. Yes, there was a question mark in my response. After all I am still alive.
I commented on the quality and care the nurses provided. Jake, Rowena and Hailey were all fabulous! I offered that I had healed up quite nicely, thank you very much.
Her final question. “On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, how would you rate your surgical experience?”
I wanted to laugh. The smile on my face broadened as I anticipated some rather cheeky answers. Below are some of the rebuttals that sprang to mind.
‘It’s my understanding that some body parts were removed. I’d like them back please.’
‘Do you offer vacation packages?’
‘Why it was soooooooooo good I think I’ll come back next year.’
‘I really can’t say as they made me sleep through the whole thing.’
I know, I know. Weird. But rather than put the poor girl through my twisted imaginings I rated the surgery a 5. After all I am alive and had very little pain with only a couple of red puckers marking where the surgery was done. And they will fade. Scars always do.
After hanging up I wondered what they do with this information. Again an infomercial popped into my head.
‘Ninety-five out of one hundred patients were thrilled with their surgical experience here at VGH….the other five? (cough, cough) They died..(cough, cough)’
Surgery isn’t something I ever thought I would rate, however, I suppose with budgets being slashed and trying to run a clean and efficient medical facility it could be a challenge. I have been to other hospitals in the lower mainland that were not has appealing as VGH.
In any case this was certainly not a bad experience for me. Yes, the reason that I was there wasn’t so great and I don’t want to become too familiar with the operating table. I had no real pain, definitely some tenderness but that’s a given.
And here I am seven weeks later. I went for my first run in two months last night. It felt fabulous. My daughter and I ran for about 4 km. We marked certain spots to walk it out for about a minute, no more. Just enough to have a quick recovery. I didn’t want to cool down too much. It can make it a little difficult to begin again I have found.
I was much stronger than I thought I would be. I definitely felt that sense of freedom and joy that comes with running. Yes, I am going to do the Turkey Trot on October 14th, 2013 down at Granville Island. I have run this route before. We ran it during our training for the 1/2 Marathon earlier this year. It is a great run. And even if I am going through chemo, I know I will be okay. By the time the race comes along I will have had my last session two weeks prior.
I was at the gym this morning. Slowly I am getting back to it. Once again I am feeling a great deal of gratitude that I can still run and move. It is a beautiful thing really.
So here I am once again chasing my goal of optimum health. I will reach this pinnacle. It’s time.
Enjoy your day and thanks again for stopping by.