It felt quite odd when it was only few days left till the operation. I started having a lot of flash backs from my last hospital visit, which had been a life changing experience.
To briefly give you an idea,
I was involved in a traffic accident in 2013. It left me with multiple fractures in my pelvis and internal bleeding. I was imminently sent to the Queens Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham and thanks to their care, I was discharged 10 days after the accident.
I remembered having felt very unwell in the QMC, due to staying in bed without mobility and energy to even eat and having to take drugs so often. And of course, the pain… the very sharp memory of unbelievable pain sprung up in my head; which bothered me in my sleep a couple of nights before the operation.
However, the experience also gave me a helping hand in a number of aspects, which all pointed to positivity. Having been through one major surgery before, I felt pretty comfortable with the mastectomy and reconstruction operation. Also being mobile soon after the surgery made me feel more independent, able and confident than I had been in 2013.
At 9 O’Clock in the morning,
I was at the Medical Physics department to get an injection with this radio-active fluid, to track this one lymph node that cancer might have reached before everything else. My surgeon planned to take that lymph node for the biopsy, in order to see if cancer spread beyond my breast. It was not the most pleasant experience, but something that you would just want to get over with as quick as possible.
With my lovely parents in law joining me and Dan few hours later, it was time for me to head to the ward and get ready for the operation. Changing into the hospital gown and pulling up the white compression stockings up my calves, I tried to get myself mentally ready too.
It’s almost there, it will be done before I know, it will be all ok.
I think it’s a rule,
that you need a tag around your wrist before going in to the theatre. Unfortunately though, one of the nurses forgot to give me the tag. So when the Anaesthetist was confirming all the information about my op, including my identification, he found out I was on loose.
So the tag hunt began.
The poor student nurse lady had to go everywhere to print my tag while I was having a nice chat about dogs with the Anaesthetist in the waiting room. She came back with one after a good few minutes, but it was a wrong one. Hence she had to go out again to print the right one. After another good few minutes she came back with great frustration on her face. With despair and desperation, she said…
“All the printing machines broke… can I please do hand write the tag?”
The Anaesthetist agreed, as she really tried her best for the last half an hour to get me this identity tag.
So she was back with the hand written tag- but on the wrong side of the wrist band! I could not put the wrist band together without making it so loose that it would fall through my hand. I felt so sorry for the lady. After some banter, the Anaesthetist decided to go with it as the op had been delayed quite a bit already. He told me not to drop the tag as we were walking to the theatre. I think we really had a good laugh there, which helped me relax.
After the op,
I remember waking up in the recovery room. I was still half unconscious, but started talking to the nurse looking after me. I asked her questions like her name and made silly jokes as if I was drunk… embarrassing!!!!
Having my family waiting for me in the ward was my highlight of that day. It was so good to see everyone there.
There are few things I struggled with over night, after the op.
First. Sore throat
I couldn’t speak very well for the rest of the evening and had irritation in my throat. I was coughing a bit as well. It lasted about a week which was very annoying. Though, a pack of Ricola from the breast unit was very helpful.
Second. Bladder problem
It was so funny but also frustrating when I really needed to go to the loo, but had no results. Apparently it’s just feeling. It got better overnight as I tried multiple times, I think my body just needed time to wake up a little bit to function properly.
Everytime I got up to go to the loo I felt instantly sick and needed the sick bowl by my side. One time it was so bad, I sat by a window to have some fresh air. Then my whole body started to shake. I felt absolutely terrible. The nurses kept giving me anti-sickness injection every few hours over night so I could sleep.
I think they were all due to the anaesthesia and were only temporary. PHEW!
If you get to go through general anaesthetics I hope this gives you a rough idea of what to expect. Mind you, it may be dependent on individual physicality.
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I will see you in my next blog.
Bless you all!