Following my listing for a TURP I got a letter asking me to go for a Pre-Op Assessment. Where I had to go was not entirely clear – it mentioned a Pre-Op Assessment and it mentioned Urology so I headed to the Urology wards. “No we don’t do Pre-Op Assessments here, you need to go the old building. My colleague will show you the way“. So off down a series of corridors across a bridge between building, down more corridors and eventually into a small waiting room.
Firstly I saw a HCA (Health Care Assistant) who did the usual observations – pulse, blood pressure, oxygen levels, height (I always thought I was five foot eight and a half inches but I have shrunk half an inch) and weight. I was also wired up for an ecg. Swabs were taken (checking for MRSA) and a urine sample was taken by sticking a needle in to the catheter valve and withdrawing the sample into a syringe. Then back to the waiting room until I was called by a nurse who went through a questionnaire ticking various boxes. I didn’t ask any questions about the TURP procedure since these were Pre-Op nurses not Urology nurses. Finally I went down to phlebotomy for a blood test. Now for a wait – will the procedure be during the week that our sons have their birthdays or will it be half term week or what? Fortunately the answer is neither of these.
In other news, as is often the case at the weekend, there were a few people collecting for charity outside our local supermarket. This time it was for Medical Detection Dogs. An organisation I was aware of and the last dog I saw was helping a person with diabetes by warning her of an impending hypo when her blood sugar levels crash. What was interesting this time was that they now have funding for trials to identify Prostate Cancer (with the dogs sniffing the patient’s urine). In trials their dogs had a 93 per cent reliability rate at detecting prostate cancer in urine samples. I am always intrigued by how my dog knows things that she can’t see or hear – obviously it is by smell. It is estimated that the percentage of a dog’s brain devoted to analysing odours is 40 times larger than that of a human and it has up to 300,000,000 olfactory receptors compared to a mere 5,000,000 for us humans. No wonder they have such a great sense of smell and are able to detect minute amounts of specific substances. It will be interesting to see where this research goes.