I was asked to arrive at Dolan Park hospital for 7am. We got up and my husband drove. It was a weird journey, there was thick fog nearly the whole way. We found it just fine, thanks to satnav.
We went into reception and I was checked in and asked to take a seat. I needed the toilet and the receptionist gave me a little white bag that contained a cup and a sample bottle, which I duely provided. At that point we decided Jimmy could go home, as I knew I’d be fine and the dogs might be wondering what was going on. Other people were checking in, the TV was on, I was comfortable. In due course I was called into a room where a man in scrubs took my urine sample off me, my blood and went through my medical history. He was really lovely and had a lovely calming manner. I then went back to my seat.
I wasn’t waiting long before a nurse came to take me to my room. I was upstairs but we went in the lift. I was then shown to my room, and told I could put on the gown ready or have a shower first, and that she’s be back in a little while to go through admission paperwork.
My room had a hospital bed, a TV mounted on the wall, a chair, a wall mounted fan, a cupboard with a safe in it, and en suite wetroom. It was clean and had a welcome to Dolan Park pack, that’s where I noticed the wifi code! I logged in on my iPhone and tablet immediately. It worked just fine -phew, I need the internet. I then had a quick shower, put the gown on and my dressing gown and slippers, and waited.
My nurse came in and I had some paperwork to complete, then my OBS were done and she told me the anaesthetist and surgeon would come in later and that I was first on the list due to my diabetes. She said they’d be starting about 11am. She told me to pull cord or push the button on the bed if I needed anything. I was also measured for and provided with compression socks, which I was asked to put on.
I then waited around, I was glad I had my tablet and a couple of magazines. I was comfortable enough, and managed to entertain myself. My nerves were steadily kicking in though. The anaesthetist arrived at approx 10.30am, and we filled a form in and went through my medical history. He then left to get ready, saying he see me very soon. The surgeon. Mr James Halstead, then came in. He went through my consent form, told me about the risks, told me about the band he was going to use and answered my questions. He then said he’d see me shortly in theatre. Suddenly the nerves kicked in!
I texted Jimmy and said Ioved him, just in case something went wrong. I didn’t do the same with my daughter in case it worried her, I said I’d text or call her as soon as I could.
Someone from the theatre staff fetched me and we walked in to theatre. My memory is a little flaky here though. I was asked to get on the operating table, which was weird. Then I was asked to get in a specific position and strapped down. Everyone in there was being really lovely which definitely helped me to feel calmer again.
The anaesthetist then inserted a canula in my hand, gave me an oxygen mask and explained I would be asleep very soon, in about 20 seconds. I remember thinking that this moment was the start of the rest of my life, it was going to support me to fight the constant hunger, the bad choices, and give me that bit of strength that I needed to see this through. Suddenly I felt myself drifting away. Then, nothing!
I heard someone calling my name from very far away. The voice got closer and closer and I fought to open my eyes. I asked “is it in?” And someone said
Don’t worry everything went fine, its in
I felt huge relief and a lovely sense of calmness, then woke up in my room. I believe I may have had further conversations in recovery, but like I said, my memory is flaky lol.
The next firm memory I have after that was waking in bed in my room, and feeling a breath taking pain in my tummy. It totally took me by surprise. I then thought about what I’d had done, and remembered there would be pain. I drifted in and out of sleep, and remember a nurse coming frequently and taking my blood pressure and oxygen levels, and asking me to score my pain. I never scored above 8.
A little later I woke up and realised I needed a wee. I started moving my legs and ankles, and bending and unbending my knees. I knew it was going to hurt when I stood up lol so I mentally prepared myself. When the nurse came in again and I asked him to wait while I stood up. To be honest I think I’d have given up it he hadn’t been there to help me. He held my hand as I stood up and then supported me for a minute or so till I got my breath back lol! I was fine after that minute and with a firm hold of my belly off I went to the toilet. I quickly discovered it hurts most if my belly jiggled or I tried to twist position. So I held my belly when I was walking and got into position while standing and sat down with bended knees, rather than bending my tummy. It helps a lot. Oh, and I peed just fine lol!
Over the following hours I felt better and better, and I was walking around a lot! It seemed to help with the pain. I was drinking loads, first water, then tea! At 4pm I asked the nurse if there was any chance I could home. The nurse told me if I was sure I felt OK she would check with the surgeon once he was free. I rang Jimmy and told him and he took a risk and set off for the hospital. About half an hour later the surgeon popped in, asked me afew questions, shook my hand and said I could home. I was elated!
Jimmy arrived at about 5.15pm and shortly after the nurse came and did my discharge paperwork and we went through everything from pain management, diet, using the toilet, wind pain..pretty much everything I needed to know. I then said my goodbyes and we set off for home!
Just a couple of bits of advice here.
Dolan Park is very lovely, but its in the countryside. I don’t know how close the chickens are, but from my room it sounded like they were in my room! They were cock a dooodle dooing all day. Literally. It nearly drove me over the edge. If I ever need to go back in there I will be taking earplugs!
Expect pain. I’ve found it manageable but I have Tramadol for a different pain problem, I know I have a high pain threshold too. If you need more pain relief at the hospital let them know, and stay in longer than I decided to. I knew I’d be OK to deal with it, but I also know for some people they would need more medicene.
Keep moving! I know I keep saying it but it helps so much! Hurts when you first stand but by the time you sit down again it’ll be worth it.
Take stuff to the hospital to entertain yourself. I took my tablet, iPhone, headphones, a trashy magazine full of puzzles, pens, a decent magazine and I had an eBook on my tablet. I still got bored though, but that’s me!
Keep drinking! Water, squash, shakes, coffee or tea, just not fizzy pop. You’ll be having a lot of wind and the fluids help keep it all moving.