As Liz has her operation booked in for next Thursday, we had a pre-op discussion planed for today.

Or so we thought.

When we originally spoke to David Ward in the Royal Surrey a month or more back he said that they do the PFO closure operations in ‘batches’. Presumably this make sense not only economically, as the overheads with having the right equipment and staff available are less, but the risk aspects are also minimised by carrying out repetitive procedures which staff will be familiar with. He also said that they carry them out on a Thursday towards the end of the month and that Liz would be booked in for either April or May.

St Georges, London

A few weeks back, as the end of April was approaching and we still had no date for the procedure, Liz phone to discuss with the admission people at St George’s, at which point they confirmed, as we had begun to suspect, that the end of May was a more likely candidate. The gent she spoke to said she was on the system and booked in for the procedure on the 24 May and that the pre-op would be the 18 May, to do ECG and blood pressure, and discuss the finer detail of the procedure with the consultant. He said he would follow up with paperwork

Some weeks after the call, Liz had searched for the paperwork, but couldn’t find it and we assumed we had lost it.

So this morning we duly travelled up to just past Wimbledon, leaving at around 8:30 as our friend Natasha was kindly taking the children to school. The journey was on the whole quite simple, but I took a wrong turn at one point, or rather I didn’t turn off the A3 soon enough. Still, on this occasion there was no stress as we had plenty of time, so the dress rehearsal, was not to be entirely wasted.

We found our way to the hospital, and the right annex, in plenty of time and even afforded ourselves the luxury of a coffee before going to the appointment.

When we arrived at reception though, we were met with blank faces.

There was a predictable rushing around of staff trying to determine what had happened to our 10:00am appointment booking, and we suddenly found ourselves not in a pre-op clinic, but the administration room where the booking should originally have been registered.

I have to say, and I’m sure Liz would agree, they were very helpful, apologetic and caring all at the same time; Liz’s worst case expectation was that she would have to wait for another month, but they explained that would not be the case as she was still booked in for the 24th May.

In the end they said they would carry out the checks on the morning of the procedure, so the journey ended up being predominantly to find the place and see what the traffic was like.

Not a very auspicious start to the whole process, but a start, nonetheless.

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