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Today was my day for what Martin so amusingly terms my "spelunking procedure" or in other words, the hospital visit to have my IUD retrieved and replaced. I got a call from the nurse on Wednesday to tell me my operation time was at 10:00 a.m. and that I was not to eat anything after midnight the night before, and that I could only drink water or "clear liquids" up to 2 hours beforehand. Does vodka count as a clear liquid? Inquiring mind wanna know.

Last night I was kind of freaking out about the whole thing and I couldn't get to sleep and my shoulders hurt and I had bad dreams about it all night long, but this morning, everything was fine, and I got to sleep in a bit, since Anders took Karin to school (she's still on crutches) and Martin took the bus. Anders came back and napped on the couch while I was getting ready...he had taken the day off in order to be able to drive me to Landskrona, wait for me, and drive me home again. Since they were putting me under anesthesia I was not allowed to drive myself (or presumably operate heavy machinery).

Landskrona is about 45 minutes away, and I accepted the offer to have the procedure done there instead of in Lund because they told me if I wanted to have it done in Lund it would be 6 months or more before they could get me a date. We got there a few minutes early and I went in to get registered while Anders parked the car. The hospital buildings were not very well marked and despite the map I had been sent, I couldn't find the right entrance and ended up walking around the entire building, back to the main entrance before I got oriented and found my way.

Once in the Operation Department, I signed in and handed over my ID card, and while I was doing so, I popped a Tic-Tac into my mouth. "Oh!" said the nurse, "You can't do that, that's FOOD."

"Sorry!" I exclaimed and I spat it out. "How can that count as FOOD? I had one earlier this morning, around 8 a.m., that's not a problem, is it??"

She looked pessimistic and said she would tell the anesthesiologist and she would have to make a decision. "Over a TIC-TAC?" I said. Apparently so. She led me to a dressing room and gave me a rolling locker and a set of clothes to change into and told me the doctor and the anesthesiologist would be in to talk to me.

Anders was there with me for a bit when the doctor who was actually going to perform the procedure came in. He told us it was a simple event, would only take a few minutes, and the recovery time would take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The nurse said she would give me an IV through which I'd get the anesthesia, painkillers and fluids. Anders went on out to the cafeteria to wait, so I could get ready.

The pile of clothes consisted of a white button-front short bathrobe gown, a pair of very thin underpants, 2 long white stockings, 2 blue plastic shoe covers, and a hair net. Stylish!

I changed and put all my stuff away into the locker and added the rubber-banded key to my wrist along with my hospital wristband. Two doctors in scrubs came in and asked me a bunch of questions: no, I hadn't smoked or used chewing tobacco; no, I hadn't had anything to drink, but I HAD had a Tic-Tac earlier at which they hummed and hawed a bit, then continued. I gave them a list of what I'm allergic to and answered some other general questions. They left and the first nurse came in to tell me the anesthesiologist would be back to talk to me again.

After sitting there for several minutes, staring at that foot-long IUD box, a different woman in scrubs came in, with a very stern look on her face, shaking her head. Sorry, but because you had a Tic-Tac, we can't proceed, she told me. "What?" I said, "Are you serious?? How does that count as FOOD!?"

She explained all the health risks and said that because I was overweight, etc. the risks were increased and even just a Tic-Tac was enough for them to refuse to go ahead, especially since it was just for an IUD replacement and nothing serious.


My persuasive abilities were useless, she was adamant and told me I had to get another date to come back later. I changed back into my clothing, gathered my stuff and got directions from the first nurse as to where I was to go to get a new date. Then I had to go out to the cafeteria and tell my husband.

"Because of a Tic-Tac. You're joking," he said. I shook my head and tried not to burst into tears.

We walked around the other side of the building and found the OB-GYN entrance and eventually an older woman in scrubs came to help us. She turned out to be the nice woman who had called me on Wednesday to give me my time. She couldn't believe it either, when I told her why I was there, but she pulled out her appointment book and gave me a new early March.

"And between you and me," she said, smiling, as we were gathering our stuff to go, "if you happen to accidentally have a Tic-Tac next time, you don't have to be so honest."
mood: cranky
music: Marie Digby—Home


AAARRRGGGHHH!!! You really shouldn't have said anything. That is so ridiculous. I always thought the reasoning behind the food thing was because they are afraid you might throw up while you're under so they want your stomach empty. I fail to see how you could possibly barf up a tic-tac in the 5 minutes you are under considering that it had already been absorbed by your body at that point.

That's really, well, fucked.

She said it didn't have to do with what was in your stomach, but the fact that swallowing any kind of food substance causes increased production of (swedish word I didn't understand) and that combined with being put under, AND laying down can cause stomach acids to rise in your throat and come down into your lungs, which is a potentially life-threatening situation.

I understood the issue and I wasn't blaming them, really, but if I was allowed to drink liquids up to 2 hours before which actually included saft, tea and COFFEE, then how could ONE TIC-TAC make a difference??

The practice of anesthesiology have gotten incredibly precise over the years, in terms of length and strength of effect, time under and how precisely you come out of it, different specialized medications sometimes - I say this having experienced a laprascopic nephrectomy, and brain surgery (biopsy) - so for them it actually can be a big thing.

That said, you might not need to be absolutely honest about forgetting one Tic-Tac :-)

Edited at 2014-01-10 09:43 pm (UTC)

This is the dumbest thing ever. Tic Tacs are not food products. On the other hand, if your doctor feels that a tic-tac would compromise his or her skills to the point of putting you in a life-threatening position, perhaps you dodged a bullet there anyway. :)

Yeah, that's what Anders said :)

How awful for you...getting all anxious and then ready for this, only to have them cite TicTac non-compliance and not move forward.

I know. It totally sucked. Ah well, now I know.


Yeah, that really sucks. My guess is that since Tic-Tacs are basically sugar, and you're allowed to have sugary drinks, it's not so much about an actual risk as it is about CYA. Since Tic-Tacs aren't on their official list of approved foods, if something had gone wrong, it'd be something to point a finger at whether it really caused the problem or not. But it still sucks.


Yep, that's what it boiled down to. They didn't want to lower their standards or take ANY risks whatsoever. Fair enough. Still: SUCK.

From Megsie

Wow. Just Wow. I am so sorry you had to go through that. It sucks. A Tic-Tac? Crazy.

Re: From Megsie

The mind boggles, truly.

And yet they wonder why the health care system isn't cost-effective. I mean their own preparations cost money too. What I really don't get is how they could cancel over a tic tac, how is that they can put a woman in labour under in 2 minutes flat for an emergency c-section regardless of what she has been eating?

I hope you guys found something nice to do with the rest of your day off, at least.

I expect we'll get a bill for this fiasco any day at which point I'll probably go ballistic.

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