Days 1 - 4 in The Big Doctor House
Due to my surgery taking ages, it would seem I lost a lot of blood and had a lot of anesthetic, which caused even more annoyances than expected....
One of my key requests was not to end up with a catheter as I had heard that it was pretty uncomfortable and generally unpleasant. Plus, my surgeon said that at my age it is pretty unlikely I would need it. However, my bladder apparently had a different plan and simply refused to wake up! After 8 hours of bladder scans, bed pans being shoved under me (literally the most hideous part of this whole experience!) and nurses tutting, my bladder muscles finally kicked in! Woohoo! Catheter avoided :)
Anyway, so the first night was pretty mental - obs every hour (blood pressure, pulse, temperature), loads of morphine, very little feeling in my legs and other patients equally moaning and groaning in the beds around me. If I hadn't been so high I would have thought I was going insane!
The next few days were pretty mad, and I was pretty off my face on a mixture of prescription drugs, so here is a summary:
Day 1 of recovery: Crazy leg pump things fitted - reasonably enjoyable (kinda like a leg massage) but also rather irritating as it keeps you tied to the bed and makes rather annoying wheezing sounds!
Attempted to get out of bed in the morning so the nurses could wheel me to the toilet - nearly feinted in the nurse's arms so was forced to lay down again with my feet above my head. Due to this, physio wouldn't let me start walking properly so focused on doing exercises in bed. Blood tests then revealed my Hemoglobin was incredibly low so a transfusion was ordered. Rest of the night was spent in a haze of fresh blood, drugs and hospital food.
Day 2: Blood definitely helped, felt less woozy and some colour returned to my face. Managed to get out of bed with the physio and do some basic, and very slow, walking around the ward. Painful, yes, but a great relief to be moving! Still very high on drugs - lost all ability to send legible text messages or hold sensible conversations! (Leading to some rather entertaining visits/phone calls with family!)
Day 3: A bit of a lost day. Still very hazy. Made small progress in physio - able to walk with 2 crutches (which also meant I could take myself to the toilet when needed - hallelujah!!) but not quite ready to try stairs. Consumed all the hospital food available to me. Watched endless episodes of Friends on my phone as brain still couldn't process written words, and shared life stories with the other inmates. Sorry...patients! Haha!
Day 4: Much brighter today and head actually felt clear. Well, ish... Physio got me up and taught me how to walk up stairs using my crutches - not too tricky once you get the hang of it! Ward doctor was pretty happy with everything so finally agreed to discharge me! Woop woop! This was at 10am. Over the next 8 hours, I saw my surgeon (who let me photograph my X Ray - see below!!), had my dressing changed (wound looked crazy but healing well), had coffee with my sister (her wheelchair driving skills leave a lot to be desired...hehe only joking!) and waited aaaaages for some tasty drugs to be dispensed. But we got there in the end and I was finally allowed home (after a quick pit stop at the chip shop, of course!). :)
A crazy week, but I honestly can't thank the amazing NHS staff enough - they were kind and professional and always understood what I needed, even when I was pretty unclear myself! And of course, a massive thank you to my family who stayed with me (either in body or spirit) at all times and allowed me to be a completely lunatic when my brain was fuzzy!!
Keep smiling folks :)