Friday, 15 July 2011
Day 1 After Surgery
I woke up and in my very groggy state asked what time it was. I hate not knowing what time it is. Where is my hisband was the second question. Ben had come back up to hospital to see me and was there for about 5 seconds before I told him to go home! Poor bugger. 2 x 110km round trips for the day, plus worrying about me and he was exhausted!
Due to a problem with my ticker (nothing major, just a leaky valve) I was put into HDU (High Dependency Unit, similiar to ICU) for the first night following my surgery. I was attached to a ridiculous number of machines: a machine that automatically takes your heart rate and blood pressure every hour, oxygen up the nose, a drip, the same circulation things on my legs inflating and deflating and my attractive drain protruding from my stomach. There were 3 people in there plus me. All night I heard "nurse, I need to use the bathroom..." to which the nurse replied "you have a cathedar in, just relax..." 10 minutes later the same request from one of the other patients. I thought to myself, do I have a catheter in too? When the nurse came in a while later I asked her what do I do if I need to go to the bathroom? "You get up and walk." she told me. Oh good. Major surgery just hours ago, but up you get! Actually, I was quite pleased with that, I didn't want to use a bed pan and I'm pleased that I got to use the loo!
After a solid night sleep (when you are still groggy from anesthetic and are being monitored every hour, the sleep is broken, but still good!) I was awake. Still a bit groggy, but awake. And I felt good! The nurse asked me if I thought I was able to go and have a shower... seriously, she may as well have told me that I had won a million dollars. I jumped up and went for a shower. H.E.A.V.E.N. I felt fabulous. My shoulders were aching and I still had a pain in my sternum (from being filled with air for the surgery I'm told) but otherwise I was good!
On return from my shower I was hooked back up to all the machines and had a jab in the stomach to prevent clotting. I was asked if I would like a Voltaren suppository. Umm. I wasn't sure I wanted anything up the bum, but she assured me it would make the pain in my shoulders go. I agreed. Anything to get rid of that pain. Man that stuff is good! Within 20 minutes all pain and discomfort was gone. That suppository would be my friend for the next 72 hours. I might even go so far as to say that I miss it, especially today (5 days later) with nothing but panadol, I'm a little fragile.
Dr V and Dr R both came to see how I was doing and both commented on how chipper I was and that I looked great considering I'd just had surgery. I honestly think the juices and arnica made the world of difference to my recovery.
I was eventually moved to the ward, thank goodness. Being someone who swears a fair bit I kept having to chastise myself for dropping the odd bomb now and then. Get me to my own room where I can close the door and be myself.
I was only allowed to drink small amounts of water that day. I hae never had such a dry mouth in all my life, and the piss weak teaspoons of water weren't helping at all. I was only allowed to have 60ml of water an hour. The equivalent of 2 shots an hour. It sounds like nothing, but it was more than enough to try and handle. The sensation of water going down into my new stomach felt like an hour glass. It got so far and then stopped and slowly ran into the new stomach while bubbling and causing me to burp constantly. I assume that this is the inflamation in the area. It kind of like when you drink too much, too quickly and you get a pain in your sternum that feels like a blockage, then it let's go and you're fine again. It bloody hurts. But by taking smaller sips it makes it easier to run through. I asked the nurse when I would be allowed to have apple juice. She told me that I had to have a swallow test tomorrow and that if that came back all clear with no leaks that I would be allowed to have apple juice. I couldn't wait for it to be tomorrow!