Sunday, 16 March 2008

step 10: straight after surgery

That afternoon:
Opened my eyes and the clock said 4.20pm. So I must’ve been under for about 1 and a half hours, a bit more? First good thing: Renninson had said that the op could take anything up to 4 hours – so if it was quicker it had to be less complex right? I don’t know if that’s true, but in my mind it was, so I felt better straight away.

Because I am obviously a drama queen, I went into anaesthetic shock; I felt very cold, had severe shaking, shivering and chattering teeth. Horrible! This went on for about an hour, so I had an oxygen facemask instead of the two pronged affair that fits to your nose. Even more horrible! Apparently this shivering happens due to loss of body heat that occurs in a cold operating room, and the resetting of the body’s thermostat which happens during anaesthesia. Not sure about that. Whatever, it gives you bruised ribs to add to your other aches and pains…I was not impressed. Felt like a mad jelly. Plus I was totally disoriented.

Second good thing: no tubes in my nose! Relief. I noticed that even in the midst of all the drama, as that meant they hadn’t needed to remove lots of bowel – yay! Shiver, shiver. Shake, shake. Nurses being their usual calm and lovely selves, telling me how to breathe and not to worry as this is normal and I’ll be ok soon. Ok, could soon hurry up please? I’ll have no teeth left soon... At last saw Aj’s face – more relief.

The other problem was my blood pressure had dropped to idiotically low levels. All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but I had the pressure cuff on my arm, bleeping away like Pacman all the time. They took my blood pressure every hour [or more often – it’s a bit of a blur] until the next day when it went back to my usual low pressure rate.

So, onward and upward – turned out I was in quite a lot of pain which I shouldn’t have been, as I had the epidural for morphine. Alas, the blasted thing only worked on the right hand side, as it seems the anaesthetist had put it too low [this according to the ‘Pain’ nurse, who arrived forthwith to resolve the situation, so might not be the reason]. They left the epidural in as it was doing half it’s job [you can’t feel it at all or even know it’s there], but did give me more pain relief. This is a good time to mention that before you go in, you will be asked if they may give you pain relief by suppository. Say yes! They had to do that to me, as I still couldn’t drink, and undignified as it may sound, you DO NOT CARE about dignity when you are in pain. They could have pushed it up my nose for all I cared, so long as it worked. And it did.

Then I had an injection for thinning the blood [this is to prevent deep vein thrombosis] I think it’s called Fragmin. You have one every day and it hurts quite a bit. Plus you get to wear nice thick white knee high tights for the same thing. Being in hospital is such fun.

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