Had my op on Wednesday. As usual, you're not allowed to eat or drink anything for hours beforehand. My last sip of water was at 10 am and I wasn't sent down to theatre till a quarter to four. By that time, I was so dehydrated that I had a banging headache.
I have been anaesthetised nine times in the past - once for over three hours - and have never thrown up afterwards. This time was different. One minute I was feeling fine, and the next was a case of 'hasten, hasten, find a basin'! So they gave me an anti-nausea drug and I could feel it burn its way down my arm and within minutes, my mouth went paralysed and I couldn't speak. Mr G had just turned up to drive me home, and there I was pointing at my mouth, with a hand that was rapidly going floppy and weak, and trying to tell him I couldn't talk. Then I started shaking convulsively, they thought I was going into anaphylactic shock and the upshot was that they had to keep me in overnight.
I had a six bed ward all to myself. With a couple of hours, the symptoms had worn off and I was looking forward to a peaceful night's sleep, but it was not to be. The next door ward was a men's one, one of whom was determined to bellow to the nurses in a very loud voice all night. Toilet doors kept banging, trolleys kept rattling and finally, at 1.40 am I asked for a painkiller. I dozed off around 2.30, then was awoken at 5 am by a nurse snapping on the lights and taking my blasted blood pressure and temperature. It was the first time I had had a thermometer stuck in my ear, but what an improvement over the Dettol-flavoured one they used to stick in your mouth!
At 6 am the tea trolley came round. Then I was sick again and forced to turn down breakfast. In the meantime, Mr G had been told he could come at 7 am to take me home. Someone had misinformed him though, for he wasn't allowed to come in and had to drive all the way home again. This was his 5th journey there or back, at a minimum of 45 mins each time. I had to wait for the doctors to do their rounds and sign me off, which took till 1.3o pm as it had snowed heavily and everyone was late getting in. So... no breakfast, no lunch and no tea since 5 am. I was suffering.
I hadn't brought in my phone as the letter said you shouldn't bring phones or valuables in. Everyone else had their phones, though, and a nice lady who had arrived at 8 am to have a knee operation lent me hers. I got home at around 2.3o, made some soup and was just about to dig in my spoon when the phone started ringing and wearily I had to assure several friends that I was OK, with rumbling tummy and cooling soup.
I'm feeling better today, though it does hurt down below. To add insult to injury, I found out that the surgeon had only tackled one of my piles. He banded it (look it up). So I still have two and no way am I going to go through this again. It was really awful. Though I must say the nursing staff were all very kind and very helpful. I was given a form to fill in before I left, rating various aspects of my care, and I gave them top marks.
If I had had a category about how much information I had been given, I would have given it a zero score. Nobody had told me about banding. Nobody had told me they only tackled one at a time. I thought I was going to go through a certain amount of pain and emerge with brand new butt! Now I feel disappointed, let down and sore. But I shall see how it goes. Maybe, in a week or two, I shall rate my op as a vast improvement. Who knows?
5 days ago