All Is Done -Well The Op Anyway

Tuesday was one big waiting game. Patients get woken up here at 6 am to have meds given and vitals done. I was greeted by an absolutely beautiful sunrise, the orange disc slowly making its way high above London’s skyline. There was a short period of time when the sun rays just touched the capsules of the London Eye, making them glisten and sparkle like diamonds. It was an absolutely beautiful sight to see.

Even though I knew I wouldn’t be called until late afternoon I was still made to get ready by means of washing/showering and dressing in the lovely haute couture comprising of a gown and green anti-thrombosis-socks. Someone should have called Anna Wintour, the combination is certainly worthy of going onto the cover of Vogue. Naturally I opted for a (rather tepid) shower because god knows when I would be able to have one again.

So I was sitting, or better said lying there watching the minutes ticking away. Around lunchtime I had two lovely visitors, one of which who stayed with me until it was time for me to go to theatre. But more on her later.

The other visitor was a lady from Australia, who had set up the support group ‘Living with Idiopathic Subglottic Stenosis‘. She was here to discuss possible options of treatment with my consultant. Apparently the surgeons aren’t as advanced down under as here and she did not feel comfortable with the various options given to her back home. It was lovely to meet her, especially as I was still able to speak when she stopped by. I can only mention it again how wonderful it is meeting more and more with women going through the same thing. It makes you feel less alone and exotic and most importantly, understood.

My friend from work came by to keep me company until it was time to go under the knife. Oh and what fun we had. She took a liking to taking picutre after picture and posting them on facebook – of me in my gown, having vitals done, lying in bed frustrated and finally under the influence of drugs. Isn’t it wonderful having friends that love you?? ;). And not just that, she found it amusing pressing the buttons of my bed, making it go into all sorts of positions – with me in it. But if I am honest, I also had my fun, especially after having some Diazepam – great stuff!!

I was shocked beyond belief on Tuesday as well. Trodding towards the bathroom I heard my name being called out. One of the nurses came by and said the theatre staff were calling for me. The colour drained from my face and I did actully feel physically sick considering I wasn’t due to be called until late afternoon. It turned out however that they had mistaken the beds and the lovely lady opposite me was due to be called first. I was happy for her but personally felt very pissed off in that moment. Making my adrenalin peak like that only to hear ‘oh, sorry we got you mixed up‘. Well I guess in a way good that they noticed, otherwise it would have been a totally different procedure for me all together. I mean one does hear of these things happening……

My consultant was kind enough to drop into the anaesthetic room before slicing and dicing away and I ended up having a bit of a banter with the staff whilst they were getting me ready. For one, it was the first time have ever I heard music blaring out of an operating theatre. And I have to say, my consultant has an excellent taste in music. It went from Massive Attack to Eric Clapton’s unplugged version of Layla… one of my pesonal favourites. I pointed out the music taste to the anaesthetist (who by the way did an excellent job in putting in the IV line as my veins have the tendency to collaps in an instant) to which he responded ‘Please don’t tell him that, he is big-headed enough as it is‘. It’s good to see the humour these guys have amongst each other.

Going under was the usual experience of ‘Gin&Tonic with a Pina Colada chaser‘ though this time the Propofol stung so much in my veins. I had never experienced it to that extent before. But alas, the drugs took affect very quickly and the next thing I know was waking up in recovery.

I was so terrified of that moment however it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated or remembered. I was sick briefly but the staff there were excellent and gave me anti-sickness drugs and that settled it. I also had my first aspiration and thankfully even that wasn’t nearly as bad as I remember it. I did gesture to the nurse to not go deep and thankfully he refrained from doing so. I was taken up to the ward around 10 pm and remember drifting in and out of sleep the whole night.

The nursing staff I have had so far have been great, with the very odd exception. I was on my feet the morning after surgery, basically because I could not face the thought of a bed pan. I had that during my three days on ICU last year where I couldn’t get out of bed due to a chest drain. It wasn’t the most pleasant of things to doso my stubbornness got the better of me and I went walkies – very successfully I might add. It has taken a while but yesterday night I was finally shown how to change and clean the inner tubing of my trach myself. 

Another good sign I guess is that I am starting to regain a feeling of appetite. Being drip-fed isn’t the most pleasant of things but at least that way I am able to get some calories inside and avoid swallowing which is something I have been needing to build up slowly. Having a tracheal stent in place certainly screws up that normal bodily function.

And so, still drifting in and out of sleep, I now lay here, waiting to heal, hoping I won’t get too bored and just trying my best to concentrate on nothing but myself during the next two weeks. Let’s see if I can actually manage the latter…

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