Saturday, 28 March 2009

50. My week in hospital - Day -1 and Day 1

Arriving at hospital - Sunday 15th March 2009

Arriving at Derriford Hospital was freaky - this was it, my operation. Chris was cool and calm as usual. We made our way to Primrose Ward and booked in with reception and was shown my room. A nice but small room with an en-suite toilet. Very private and with a view of Dartmoor! Bonus!

We sat and talked for a while and then my consultant/surgeon arrived to go through the surgery one last time and to mark my body the areas where tissue would be removed and to be moved. Chris was tired by 9pm and so he left me..the complete me. I told him I would see him in the morning and settled into my room and bed.

At 10pm I was offered a hot drink and I welcomed it with open arms..I hadn't eaten anything since the morning when Chris cooked a large full English breakfast! I played Nintendo DS games til I couldn't stay awake anymore and tried to sleep on the air mattress as best I could.

Surgery - Monday 16th March 2009

I woke really early and watched the sun rise over the moor from my room. It looked like a beautiful day and I waited for Chris to arrive. 6.30am he left home and arrived with me about 6.50am. We had a good 2 hours together before the hustle and bustle started outside my room. We'd met the anaesthetist who was lovely and ran through some paperwork and questions. She was gentle and made Chris feel good about who was dealing with me whilst I was asleep. Mr Drabble arrived (my surgeon) and lots of nurses with theatre gowns and head scarves on. I became one of those people you pass when visiting, the people in the beds being wheeled around. Chris came with me as far as he could and then we said goodbye. I told him to have a great surf and prayed for myself and for perfect surf for Chris, he would feel better about me if he was having a perfect session. The trolley was wheeled by a man and woman nurse, they were calm and negotiated me through the hospital with ease. The woman and I talked a little and she talked about how she lived in the city but had 2 ducks. It helped pass the emptyness between room and theatre. When we got to the waiting bay I started to shake, almost like shock and the lack of food and sleep had kicked in. A lovely nurse called Karen arrived, rubbed my feet kindly, joked about some things and then broke the news that there were no theatre beds to wheel me in.. I had to walk into the place you only see on tv. MAD! I said it was cool and that I would be fine but I needed to cover my bum because of the split gown. They wrapped me in a sheet and I joked about looking like a ghost wandering the corridors as they opened the anaesthetist doors and we passed through the little room that is normally the last thing you see before you wake up again, into the vast theatre.

It was light and very big. There were people almost hiding in the side wings, waiting for me to get settled. I wonder if they had all been told to hide away so as not to frighten me. Apparently there would be about 10-12 people in the theatre with me but I only saw about 4 and some hiding as I jumped up onto the high stainless steel slab of the theatre table. I led down. The anaesthetist came in and identified herself in case I didn't recognise her all dressed in green gowns and head scarf. She gave me the G 'n' T drugs that make you woozy before they add the knock out juice but I don't remember another moment, I must have passed out with the first stuff.

I was gone..I was in their hands and I would wake up any second. Everyone else would be waiting another 12 hours before they saw me awake again.

I went in at 9.45am and I came out of recovery at 10.10pm over 12 hours later.

Recovery Room

I woke up feeling sleepy but good. A man and a woman were there in green gowns but no other patients. I remember asking if the room was normally so empty and the man explained that there were normally a few people at a time there. The next thing I knew I was almost at my room again with Chris smiling but looking apprehensive. He gave me flowers and kissed me. He was relieved and so was I. I woke up. Chris told me everything had gone really well and that the surgeon was pleased and so was he. I don't know how long he stayed, I barely remember a thing from there. I complained about the hot blanket (bear hugger) apparently but I do not remember doing so. Later that night I remember a nurse in white who asked about my catheter and told me she had to change it as it wasn't draining. I told her I felt full and then I passed out. Apparently my catheter was not draining my bladder and I had another fitted whilst I was out of it.

The hard part starts here, the heat endurance, the nausea, the morphine itches.