Friday, 19 July 2013

!9th July 2013 Home at Last.

I am back home today. On Monday morning I was up early to shower and wash my hair pre-op. I made my bed, made sure I had everything I needed clothes and medication wise. Got a few things together that Mum had forgotten to take with her and was just putting my boots on as my brother arrived to take me to the hospital. He was a little early and Ormiston Hospital was still all locked up (it's a private hospital and they don't do weekends). The wind was cold so we sat in the car until 6.29 am  and watched the staff and supply trucks arrive.

 At 6.30am we rang the bell and were let in. Up to 3rd floor reception where we sat for a few minutes while the last of the paperwork was printed out. A nurse came through for me and took me into a small cubicle. More checks on who I was , change into a hospital gown, a lovely blue paper hat that covered my hair and then an ECG was done. The anaesthetist popped in to check how I was, what might be needed drug wise during the op and after. I was then taken though to Recovery to have a nebuliser before the op. I have had a problem with how I breathe after an operation once so to lessen the risk I have nebulizers beforehand since then. I have controlled asthma but anaesthetics can play havoc with asthma sometimes.

On to a bed, off to theatre, something into my vein , breathe into the mask and after a short spin I was out to it. No problems occurred during the operation. I blearily surfaced in recovery  and was soon taken to my room. The first day they gave me IV Panadol - not something I was aware they had- and something I thought they only had in oral or rectal forms. I remained very sleepy for the rest of the day. My Mum and brother stopped in for a short visit late in the afternoon but I could not keep my eyes open. They brought a lovely bunches of flowers; stargazer lilies, peace lilies, and alestreomas. They kept the room sweetly scented.

I had been fitted with elastic stocking and non-slip green slippers before the operation. After the operation they put on wraps around my calves that help pump blood around your body. The physio came in with a contraption that has 3 balls inside it: you have to suck the tube and hold the balls up for 2 seconds at the top. This is used to make sure you deep breathe well after an operation. It works too as you concentrate on the balls and forget the operation site while you do it.  I was up to the en suite toilet in the afternoon. I needed the nurses to undo all equipment and lines each time I went so could not leave it till the last minute. I had ice to suck or chew the first day. I had a drain from the abdominal area and a naso-gastric tube in for the first twenty four hours. Not a huge amount of drainage in either, thank goodness. I had some shoulder tip pain on movement for the first few days but only 1 full-blown bout of nausea.

Up for a shower on Tuesday, did a supervised walk around the ward and then was encouraged to do them on a regular basis. I was started on water at a rate of 15ml in 15 minutes. A shot glass is 60ml so every half hour you had to finish one of those. Late that afternoon I was given a choice of Greek yoghurt, stewed apple, clear consommé and a Fortify drink. I ate as I could (3-4 teaspoons) then stopped. The nurses were good about keeping up the anti-emetics both orally and IV.  Same with the pain relief. They made it a good experience.

As I tolerated the water and small amounts of fluids they took both drains out on Wednesday morning. They also removed the operation dressing and put waterproof Op-site dressings over the entry points. They are to stay on for 2 weeks.

The anaesthetist visited the first morning to say how it went with him and to check on what meds I would need in the coming days. He did his script then and I received it on discharge. Dr Stephanie Ulmer, my surgeon, popped in both days and was happy with my progress. I see her again on the 5th August at her rooms for the three week post-op check-up. about 10 am on Wednesday my brother picked me up and we went back to his place for a couple of days.

I am finding how much I can eat or drink at a time -miniscule- and am trying a number of pureed items suggested in the nutrition booklet to see how I tolerate them. You do get a twinge of pain if it is a little too much.

My brother brought us home today. After dropping off my gear he and I went to the shops. He went and put our rent money in while I did the food shop. He was back in time to take it from the trolley to the counter. I had a slow and painful walk back to the car but was glad I had done it. I took Panadol when I got home and it settled. Pills a little bit difficult to get down as the water needed can sometimes be too much.

I did manage to get the hair dye done before I went in so my hair is a bright copper colour at the moment. This morning's weight was 123kgs. I swear I lost most of that into the toilet last night as the bowels had been on a slow-down. Lactulose helped. Walking around and some fibre in what you have is needed too.