Mortality. We don’t want to think about it but it’s right there in front of us all the time.
This week, just seven days before my surgery, I got a call.
‘About your surgery,’ the surgeon’s receptionist Tran said. My heart sank. Was there something wrong with me? Was it going to be delayed?
Well yes on both counts.
Apparently my BMI was too high for the anaesthetist and the hospital to risk.
Your body mass index (BMI) is a long held figure of how healthy you are depending on your weight and height. It can indicate that you are overweight, but if you’re a pro athlete, it can indicate this falsely, because it doesn’t measure the fat itself. Read more on this site. According to the updated Smart BMI on that site, mine is 36 – at the top of the moderate (obese) range.
What did this mean for my surgery? Well the hospital we had chosen is not a full hospital so they were unwilling to take the risk – without me signing a waiver – of my post operative care. I’d need to go to a different hospital that was more, well, hospital like. And the surgery would be delayed, but only by one day (relief was palpable).
I spoke to the lovely. She said it was my decision but one of the reasons (the main one) we’d chosen that hospital was for the ability for her to stay overnight with me. This would now be unlikely. Although I want her there, I also don’t want her to be responsible for something should it happen. This was a major factor, along with my own thoughts on safety, that I elected to change.
What does it mean in practical terms? My surgery is now about $1000 more expensive, I’ve got a different anaesthetist and it has been delayed for a day. In the scheme of things, not anything too major (although the money thing is a bummer). For me, the rest is the same – recovering from the surgery with pain meds and hourly checks all night.
For the lovely, it’s now a decision on whether she takes the drive home, when she does that, if she does that (she can stay in town) and how she will manage the anxiety around what’s happening with me if she isn’t there. We are still to talk about what she has decided but now I’m worried about her safety – driving home for an hour and being tired.
It’s five days to go.
Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,