Ok all done, both wings clipped, am home in bed strapped up, drugged up and contemplating resting…I say contemplating – I’m not very good at doing nothing even when I have perfectly valid excuse!
So how did it all go? This time round it was all a bit different – last time I was scheduled for an early op so I had to check in at 6am, I was all dressed up in my surgery finery by 7 then got wheeled in to the op prep area by 9 and it was all done by 11:30, at which point I got wheeled into my room and was checked on for blood pressure and the like almost every hour. My brother smuggled in some chicken because I wasn’t scheduled to eat until 6pm….they didn’t want to make me ill by feeding me too soon…I was feeling more ill from LACK of food!
By 6pm I was pretty exhausted so I ate my dinner and tried to catch few zzz’s between the blood pressure tests, Aiden visited and brought me some cherries at about 7:30 and after he left I pretty much slept…in between the blood pressure checks
Unfortunately the nerve deadening drugs totally wore off about 3am and I woke up in excruciating pain – thank goodness for the big red button that summoned the nurses for another shot of morphine and then it all settled down and I was able to sleep.
This time however I was scheduled for an afternoon op which meant I could have an early breakfast but nothing to eat or drink after 7:30am. my last drink was a big casein shake – I figured that it would last me at least 8 hours, by which time I was hoping the op would be done and I’d be back in my room where I would have my supplies…
I checked in at 11:30 and went to my room to get comfortable – well as comfortable as you can be in tea bag material bloomers, open backed gown and compression suspenders!
So I watched some tv, had a snooze, did my emails, facebooked, played angry birds, read the paper, read some of my book, had a snooze, watched another film…
it was about 3:30 by this time and I was getting rather impatient as i hadn’t had so much as a look in from any of the nurses, I was hungry and very thirsty – air conditioning! Even on comp day I had stuff to eat and was drinking some water so this was worse than comp day – nothing at all allowed! You may have noticed I tend to get a bit cranky when I don’t eat! :-p
So I went and found the nurses to see if there was an eta…there was still one other person before me!!
at least the nurses gave me a crap womens mag to read
finally about 4:30 they came and wheeled me up to pre op where a succession of people came and asked me the same questions but then didn’t seem to do anything. The whole system struck me as terribly inefficient and very prone to errors – in total in the whole stay I must have had 12 different people introduce themselves to me, ask me the same questions – height, weight, allergies and take my blood pressure then disappear! Don’t they talk to each other? They all had my file and they all had to look at a different section of the file – the check in receptionist went through 2 A4 sheets of printed sticky labels for all the bits of paper just to make my file up in the first place!
Having said that, although the system appears to be clunky, it seems to work – I’m still here, they sliced up the correct body part, I mostly got the correct food and the correct drugs and to my knowledge there aren’t any surgical instruments left inside me.
I was in pre op for what seemed like an eternity – in reality it was probably only about 30 mins before I went to sleep, then I came to at 6:40pm ish. I felt better on waking up this time – last time I thought they must have had tubes stuck down my throat or anaethetised my throat because I couldn’t swallow or talk – when I tried to sip water I just ended up breathing it and having a coughing fit! This time there was none of that so I didn’t have too long to wait before they took me back down to my room at about 7:30pm.
Long day with no food or drink! the first thing I asked the nurse when he came in to check on me was when was I going to get some food!
I finally had some sandwiches at about 8pm followed by at least 1 litre of water and fortunately I’d taken a sports bottle with me so I skulled that as well, then I got stuck into the kangaroo meatballs I’d brought with me, a fruit and nut bar and some apricots!
much better! so now all there was to do really was to settle in and watch tv – fortunately they had a movie channel so I watched what might have been the last of the Harry Potter films – I don’t know, not having seen all of the previous ones, then there was the lord of the rings which kept me occupied until about 1am.
For some reason I wasn’t sleepy and they also seemed to appear a lot less interested in my blood pressure! after taking it at 8 when my food came, I didn’t see anyone until midnight when I was given some panadol. After that I was totally left alone until 6am this morning for my next lot of drugs, very hands off!
I didn’t sleep at all well though – I think I kept expecting to wake up at 3am in agony as the nerve deadening drugs wore off, but they didn’t so I finally got to sleep after 3am.
At 6am it was drug time – 3 lots of painkillers and I was starving again – I guess I could have got out of bed and got some of the food I’d brought, but it was all a bit of a hassle – inching along the bed to the end of the barriers on my bum because i can’t use my arms takes a surprisingly long time and a lot of effort – so I didn’t bother, I just plugged in to my meditations to try and get some more sleep. By 8 I was really hungry and was very glad to see the breakfast lady! So I wolfed down my yoghurt, bowl of fruit, 2 slices of toast with butter and jam and a cup of tea – then I went and got 3 of the boiled eggs I brought, ate the rest of the apricots and had 2 fruit and nut bars as well!
I was just polishing brekky off, when the surgeon arrived to update me on how it all went.
Now my surgeon is not a man of many words, so yesterday our discussion about what he was supposed to be doing went something like this:
Surgeon: ‘So what are we doing?’
me: ‘right shoulder same as the left. it shouldn’t be as messy because I wasn’t getting as much pain from it, but the pain was in exactly the same location as the left’
and then he drew an arrow on my right arm pointing to my right shoulder
Although the surgeon knew how he would approach the surgery he was essentially doing this op ‘blind’ – I didn’t get any MRI on my right shoulder to confirm what the issue was because I was getting exactly the same pain, but it did cross my mind that I might be having an operation and there might not actually be anything wrong!
I guess it was a bit of a relief when he said that it was all messed up and not only that, apparently it was more of a mess than my left shoulder! bit of a surprise to both of us I think.
It’ll be interesting to see the pictures to compare…
So now I’ve got physio to do 4 times a day along with ice packs to reduce the swelling and then its up to my body to do its work, but its going to be a slow process.