When kids get planned surgery, they usually have something called
Pre-tests. These tests are done days ahead of actually going to the hospital.
There are several kinds of tests done and they depend upon what kind of surgery is
planned. There are heart tests to see how your heart is working and chest x-rays
that tell doctors all kinds of things about how your lungs are doing.
urinalysis is where the doctor or nurse asks you to urinate in a cup or container.
They will check this for all kinds of things and it sounds gross but
it is really necessary.
It's easy and private. Doctors and nurses care about how you feel and will show you
where to go so that you can do this by yourself.
We left the blood test till last because it can be the most
important test and the hardest one, too. The nurse will insert a needle
-- usually in your arm -- to take out some blood. You will not miss the
blood and will make more to replace it.
You will be asked to ball up your hand into a hard
fist. This is so that they can see your veins better because
they come closer to the top of your skin when you do this. The
nurse might tap on your wrist before he/she inserts the needle.
The needle will hurt just a little bit and it feels very much like
when you accidentally stick yourself with a safety pin. This
stops hurting as soon as the needle is in. They may take out a
few tubes of blood. Sometimes people feel better if they don't
watch the nurse and sometimes they feel better if they do
watch. Do what is best for you.
We saw one hospital pre-test area that had a bunch
of make-believe, blood-sucking, paper vampire bats for
decoration. This made us laugh. Look around and see if you
can find something funny, too.
Pre-tests take about a half hour. The waiting around time until you can get into
the test areas is usually boring. Take a magazine or something to read.