I arrive in sunny Como on monday – this is prep day, lots of exams are taken, but nothing really happens.
In the morning I shave completely for the first time in about 15 years if not more – the effect is rather disturbing, especially when coupled with a drastic crew-cut I did in preparation of not knowing how long I will have to wait for a shower. You do sign a suspicious number of authorizations and get interviewed at least ten times: have you got allergies, are you under treatment, the polyarthritis story. My lovely wife Mirella is with me at all times, but truly unnecessarily, I am even able to do quite a bit of work: the 3G connectivity works beautifully and the new Nokia N95 performs flawlessly as expected.
During one of these interviews I meet a thin, slender man, the chief anesthesiologist, who interviews me together with a broncoscopist, an unassuming blonde woman in her forties with a soothing voice. They explain that due to my jaw conformation they will have to “tube me” awake – no big deal they explain, only a minor tickling down the throat as they insert a fiber optic from a nostril, to control that the tube gets positioned correctly. Then on with gas, and I can call it a day. They even offer to run a test, which we do and in all honesty does not strike me as a major ordeal if, as they suggest, I remain calm and breathe deeply opening my airways.
After dinner however, something else happens.
During another one of the endless interviews one of the nice doctors actually describes the operation is more detail: the jaw repositioning, it turns out, will have to be done both on the upper and lower jaw, a procedure called BiMaxillary Repositioning (or BiMax): the most recent CAT scans done in the morning revealed that this is a much safer bet to make sure that bite matching will be flawless after the operation. The unfortunate consequence of this decision is the instant upgrade of the operation from 2.5 to 4-4.5 hours which, as I discover even later in the evening, means catheterization.
Not really much I can do at this stage: the male nurse who announces that he will perform the operation the next morning is very sympathetic to my worried face and does his best to tell me his “just stay relaxed and it will go smoothly” story, but for the first time I go to bed worried.
UPDATE: finally I got hold of the pics they have taken of me “BEFORE the fact” – I actually look like I am a hundred year old, so ANY change will be for the better !