Day 131 – Operation day

Alarm set for 0430 but neither of us slept that well. I didn’t feel worried but just one of those nights where I couldn’t switch the brain off!

Although we weren’t leaving until 0630 I wanted to give Cecil a chance to do his thing before we left. 

We arrived at the hospital at the allotted time and went straight to the ward as per the telephone call I had from the hospital. We were then sent back to the admissions lounge as there were no beds on the ward and nowhere for us to wait. 

I hoped this was not a sign of what was to come!

Once at the admissions lounge I was checked in (I knew we should have booked a different holiday!) and the usual questionnaire etc to go through. No complaints though as these things have got be correct and checked. 

First job after that was to get into the very fetching stockings which in the ideal world you need Britain’s strongest man to help you get on. Boy, they are tight! But they wouldn’t do the job if they weren’t. These are to hopefully stop any blood clots in the legs whilst you are immobile. 

Then a visit from one of the doctors that will be in theatre, one of the fourteen different staff that will be present. He explained what I was having done but I felt comfortable that I knew anyway.

Next a visit from the anaesthetist, not the one I’ve had before but a nice guy. I asked about post operative pain relief, will I have a PCA (patient controlled analgesia)? I was told I can have whatever I want! I said that I would leave it up to him, given that he is slightly better qualified than me!

He said that he may give me a spinal block. This is an epidural and will last about six hours. 

Final visitor was my consultant.  Just checking that I was ok and knew what was going to happen. I said as long as he knows then it will all work out ok! He had some students with him and they asked if it would be ok for them to ask me some questions. No problem, always happy to help if I can, we all have to learn. After about half an hour there was a knock on the door.  It was the ward sister looking for the notes for another patient. One of the students had them! To say the sister was not very happy would be an understatement, as she had spent 20 minutes looking for them. Oops!

The really good news is that I am first on the list. This is good for me as it gets it out of the way early in the day and means I will have more time to recover from the anaesthetic and for Paula it means that she hasn’t got to spend too much time hanging around at the hospital. I told her not to wait at the hospital but to go home. Luckily she had some admin to get done so will keep her mind on something other than me. 

At approx 0915 I was called for and walked down to theatre, Paula told me how much she loves me and me her, it was time to go.

I was settled onto a bed in the anaesthetic room to have the two cannulas inserted that will be used to give me the drugs I will need.  Next was the spinal block. Not had one of these before but it was fine, a really good way to warm up cold feet!

I then had to shuffle up the bed a bit, not that easy when you can’t feel the bottom half of your body, let me tell you. 

Next was the oxygen mask and I thought to myself, “next thing I will know will be waking in recovery” and then I was!

First thing to check after the pre assessment ‘debacle’ was that I still had all of the arms and legs I had on the way in and all of the other accruements that a man requires!

All present and correct, phew 😳

Obviously I felt groggy and very sleepy but no pain whatsoever. I seemed to come round quite quickly and then just had to wait for a porter to take me to the ward. 

Back on a ward with seven beds and mostly older gentlemen. We’ve all had bowel type procedures. 

Hourly observations for the first few hours and the switched to four hourly. I slept on and off as you would expect. The gentleman in the bed opposite me had a hellish night, being violently sick and then having to have a GI tube inserted in his nose.  He didn’t cope very well with it and it makes me feel very lucky not to have to have one, let’s hope that continues to be the case.

All obs so far have been fine and I generally feel well. I just need Cecil to start working and I will be happy, but this won’t be the case until I start to eat again, which will be tomorrow.  

So, all things considered it’s gone well so far, how lucky are we that when we need them, there are people waiting for us to help. In my case, fourteen staff in the operating theatre, all there to do the best for me and care for me. 

The NHS is often is criticised but so far, they have been there when I’ve needed them. 

They do a great job under extraordinary pressure and I for one, am very thankful for what they do. 

I cannot sign off without thanking people for the messages of support that both Paula and I have received. I keep saying it but they really are appreciated and they are not taken for granted. 

That’s it for today folks, let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Pat.  

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