What Happened Next….

Well, it’s been a while since I posted anything. Mostly because I really wasn’t up to writing anything.

During the night my cannula stopped working and they had to move the drip from the back of my left hand into my right arm. Even then, at first, it was a bit temperamental and I had to lay with my arm out straight (not exactly the most comfortable position) so the alarm wouldn’t go off, until I worked out how to move my arm very slowly into a more comfortable position, that didn’t stop the drip from working.

I was woken early in the morning on the day of my surgery to get ready. I had been nil by mouth since 10pm the night before. A little after 7am they came to take me down for the operation. I was in the anesthetic bay and there was a bit of a delay. I wasn’t sure how long I was there (not wearing a watch, of course). Then they came in to tell me that there had been some sort of miscommunication. I had been scheduled for the 7:30am slot. But then the night before, they had word that an emergency patient was to be admitted and they were given the 7:30am slot, and I was to be pushed back to the 1:30pm slot later in the day. But then the emergency case was cancelled, so I was put back onto the 7:30am slot. One small problem. No one told my surgeon or anesthetist that my surgery had been put back onto the early slot! So I was sent back up to the ward, still nil by mouth. I wasn’t actually operated on until 3:30pm.

It was just as well that it was delayed, because one of the brethren from Church was able to come to visit me before the surgery. He arrived after the morning visiting hours had finished, but they allowed him to stay with me until I was taken down to surgery. He was able to give me a priesthood blessing before I was taken downstairs (again).

The next thing I knew it was dark and I was in the ICU ward. The bed I was in, had a direct line of sight to the clock at the Nurses’ Station. Even in the dark, I could see the clock clearly and knew what time it was. I would wake up and then go back to sleep for an hour or two. I was in a fair amount of pain, but I wouldn’t press the button for the pain relief as often as I should have done. I would make myself wait an hour. In pain the whole time. I got told off for that by the physio in the morning. The physio got me out of bed in the morning and made me walk around the ICU ward. Just once. She was pleased with the speed at which I was walking. I used the IV stand just to steady me as I walked, but not to lean on. They put me into a standard bed when I came back to my bay, ready to go back up to the ward. The difference between the two beds is that the ICU beds move. The bed would sort of move in a wave motion every so often. I also had these cuffs on my lower legs, that massaged my legs in a particular rhythm. They put the cuffs back on when they put me into the regular bed. We also worked out that the regular bed could bend at the knees…. This was great because the night before my operation, I kept feeling like I was sliding down the bed and if it hadn’t been for the sturdy foot at the bottom of the bed, I would have slid right off. By bending the bed at the knees, It stopped me feeling like I was sliding down the bed. Getting in and out of the bed was really painful. The stomach muscles hurt. A lot. The walking wasn’t too bad, although I couldn’t stand up straight. I was taken back up to the ward about 11am. I slept on and off most of the next day or so. I did get up and walk a few times, but it was a bit difficult to just get up and go because I was not only tethered to the IV, but to other things. I also had to stay in a hospital gown until Sunday. This meant I needed to have an extra gown, put on in reverse, to cover me when I went for my walks. Once I was released from everything except the IV, I was able to shower and put on my own clothes and felt a lot better. Even able to go for a walk without needing to ask anyone for help.

I was kept as nil by mouth until lunchtime on Saturday. I had a wave of nausea on Friday evening and thought I would be sick. I wasn’t, thankfully. I had another one on Saturday evening. Again, it passed without being actually sick. Thankfully. Once I was permitted food, I was given a wide bowl of clear broth, a pineapple jelly (jello), a apple juice and a cup for either coffee or tea. For the first meal, I had maybe 4 spoons of the broth, and maybe 6 spoons of the jelly. It took me hours to slowly sip the juice. This was my menu for each meal. I started to stockpile the juice and brought three of four of the home with me because I was taking so long to actually finish just one. On the last day I was in the hospital, on the Monday, for lunch instead of jelly I was given a very nice lemon sorbet.

All up, I was in hospital for 5 nights. The reason I was kept in for so long was the surgeon was wanting to make sure that my kidneys were working properly and the levels were returning to normal. He had been concerned because I had been so dehydrated leading into the surgery. I have to say the Prince of Wales Private Hospital was wonderful. Nice room, with just two of us in the room. We each had our own TV, with a remote control that also had a speaker, so we can listen without disturbing our roommates. Although, both of us in my room decided to wake early to watch the Wallabies in the RWC. We made sure the door to our room was closed, so that we didn’t disturb anyone else when we started cheering them on. The nurses were great, all of them. Each bed had a big board on the wall opposite the bed. On it, the nurses would write their names as they came on duty and introduced themselves, so we always knew who our nurses were. They organised for a Porter to help me get my things down to a taxi when I was released from the hospital. I decided that I would enter and leave my house through the back door for a while. At the front door, there are three or four steps to get into the house. At the back door, there is a ramp and only one step into the house. Luckily, once inside the house everything is all on one level. Much easier to get around that way. I had tried some steps at the hospital with the physio and with a hand rail, it was quite painful to manage. I don’t have handrails on the steps to my front door, but the walls are close enough to use them, but I decided the ramp at the back would be the better option at the start.

Well, I think that’s enough for now. More of a recap later.

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