Despite my constant efforts to focus on things other than the fact that I’d be going under the knife that summer, the day finally arrived.
It was a Wednesday Morning; that much I do remember. Because the hospital that I’d be staying at was a long way from home, I’d been admitted the night before. Mum was allowed to sleep at my bedside for the duration of my stay. While would make the 60 mile journey from our house with my little sister every day. I don’t really remember much before I went down to theatre the next day, other than the fact that I kept trying to read a Nicci French book but I couldn’t concentrate. So I’ll just skip ahead to when I woke up after the surgery was over.
When I woke up in recovery I was greeted by a nice and smiley nurse who told me that everything had gone well and that she’d tell my parents they could see me now. In they came and dad told me that they’d managed to get lost on their way from the ward, even though someone had shown them where to go beforehand. I managed to mumble some kind of playful insult that I had to repeat twice because I was too groggy from him to understand first time. Then mum told me not to be embarrassed about crying because lots of people do that after anaesthetic.
I hadn’t realised I’d been in tears until then but I was too woozy to care.
More nurses came and told me that I’d got an epidural in my spine so that I wouldn’t feel the pain that would be in for two days so I wouldn’t be getting out of bed. Oh good, I thought , I’m way too tired for all that anyway.
That was when the other nurse held up a bag of urine at the end of the bed.
Is that mine? Surely not…Nobody said there’d be one of those…
“Oh, don’t worry” said Nurse Number One, still cheerful, “I emptied it half an hour ago,”
Woah, woah, woooaah That lady was holding up a half-full bag of my wee and the other one had already had to get rid of some?! Whaaaat?
After saying sorry that they’d had to do that over and over, they reminded me that they’d done it all before so I didn’t have to worry. After a bit I was transferred onto another bed and taken back up to the ward.
This is the part where things get a bit blurry, I suppose from painkillers, the passage of time and the fact that I was trying to process so much all at once. I remember that I tried to east a few biscuits to line my stomach for all the pills, but the decided that that they didn’t really like being in my stomach so much, so I gave up on the idea of food until the next day.
I couldn’t lie flat on my back or on either side (for obvious reasons) so I had to try sleep half-propped up. I’d been looking forward to bed time so much, but sleep just didn’t want to happen. Nurses had to do my observations every half an hour for the first couple of days which didn’t help.
The next morning more and more things began to hit home. I knew that I had to tackle breakfast even though I wasn’t hungry. It was then that I realised that the friends who had tried to warn me that I wouldn’t be able to sit up at first were right. It hurt. That meant that I couldn’t reach the table to get to my toast though, so mum had to feed it to me (something else I hadn’t realised – the list was getting quite long by now). I had to drink loads to help me get it down because I wasn’t in fully upright position. So I got really full really fast, even though I hadn’t really had much of it.
Great I thought again I have a feeling it’s going to be a looong day.