12th June (H day +5)

How nice it was to be in my own bed. It is easier to get in and out of ,thank goodness. The boys are being ultra kind and helpful. All I need to say is “Can I have   helper please?” and one or both of them come running. I wonder how long that will last.

My friend Carolyn came to visit this afternoon – bringing lemon tart, cream and fresh raspberries…another perfect friend. Although I am worrying that if everyone brings delicious treats then I will be flamin’ enormous by the end of all this.

Mum arrived this evening too. She is staying until Thursday morning and will help me get the kids up and off to school, do the washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking and general dogs body tasks that I usually do. She is definitely part of the health and safety police and wont let me move . I keep telling her I have to get up and walk around on a regular basis to keep my circulation going but she comments every time I stand up that I am dong too much.

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11th June (Hday +4)

The sun hits my room in the early morning and streams in on me eating breakfast but I am quite happy to be inside. This room has become a bit of a cocoon and I have to admit that I am a little afraid of leaving it.

I have always been very content in my own company – in fact I love to be alone, but I also love it that I have amazing family and friends to spend time with when I come out of my solitary moods. I am a little concerned that between Mum, my husband, my kids and my friends it may be some time before I am truly alone in my own home. Don’t get me wrong I am excited to be going home, to sleep in my own bed at night with Jon beside me and my kids close by but I still need a little me time. I am looking forward to early afternoons when I will treat myself to an afternoon nap after my hectic morning sitting doing nothing!

After breakfast comes daytime TV. Groan

I am turning into my Dad(who is 83 next month!)- taking the TV guide and circling in pen the programmes I want to watch, out of an abysmal choice I ring Bargain Hunt, Escape to the country, EggHeads. Aggh what has happened to me have I had a taste-ectomy too!

Funny thing happened this morning – was fast asleep when “The Growler” touched me on the arm and softly called my name. I woke with a start and removed my ear plugs. She immediately turned to the refreshment lady standing behind her and said “It’s ok , she has ear plugs in”

The poor woman had thought I couldn’t wake up when I didn’t respond to her asking me if I wanted tea and she ran off to get a nurse. ha ha.

The consultant has been to see me and says I can go home today. He declared my wound good to go  and so  I am off.

The journey home is a little difficult, I had a cushion over my wound so that the seatbelt didn’t dig into me but it was the trying to hold myself in the seat going round corners and roundabouts that hurt.  Still the journey only took about half an hour.

Back to a lovely clean house – what a  fab husband I have 🙂

10th June (H day +3)

I thought I was invincible yesterday and I am paying the price for it today. My stomach feels tender and the muscles sore.I can walk a little further and feel a little better but I know there is a long way to go.

On the plus side Clare came to visit and bought Kathy ( a friend who just happens to be a physio) and we had a fabulous couple of hours chatting. Kathy came laden with books, cards, fruit and chocolate – perfect friend! Getting out of bed was a smidgen easier than it was yesterday and no doubt a smidge worse than it will be tomorrow – small steps girl.

I was thinking about  pain and my reaction to it. I had been getting tense just envisaging the drainage tube coming out, the epidural cannulae removal, dressing removal and finally stitch removal. It is ridiculous how much of a lather I can get myself into worrying about what might happen. In reality the removal of all ( with the exception of the stitches which happens later) has been a virtually pain-free experience.

I don’t really feel qualified to talk about pain. I think what I have endured over the last few days would be described as discomfort when compared to that of some women who have suffered excruciating pain for years and years from endometriosis. I am think I am very lucky- not to be losing all my “women’s equipment” and having to face an earlier menopause – but that my discomfort has been short-lived and temporary.  My emotional pain is small ( though may increase if it turns out to be cancer) and I have not had to make impossible decisions – a choice between having a family and my health ( Elizabeth you know  I think you are an amazing person for having the courage to accept this decision). I have my family and we had already agreed we didn’t want  to have anymore children. My menopause will be short compared with you girls who gave to have the operation in your 20’s and 30’s . I admire you all.

I was listening to a song the other day and it was about pain of a different kind.

Rob Thomas’ (lead singer of Matchbox twenty and solo artist very popular in America) wife suffers from Lupus. The song (Her diamonds) tells of Rob’s frustration of not being able to help her when she was in the midst of crippling pain, watching his wife and feeling helpless. I think it may well strike a chord with the  partners of many women who suffer. I don’t have permission to reproduce these lyrics so may have to remove them later.

“She sits down and stares into the distance

and it takes all night

and I know I could break her concentration

but it don’t feel right

By the light of the moon

she rubs her eyes

sits down on the bed and starts to cry

and there is something less about her

well I don’t know what I’m supposed to do

So I sit down and I cry too

but I don’t let her see.”

On that happy note…..

9th June (H day +2)

Had a bit of a hoo ha yesterday which I didn’t mention. The physio got me out of bed and somehow my epidural line disconnected so I spent several hours without spinal pain relief. They had started to reduce the dosage and I was doing ok so they decided not to reconnect it and let me continue with paracetamol drip.

They have also removed my catheter now and I have to get up and go to the loo . Getting out of bed is a complete trauma for me. I feel so heavy and have no stamina to pull my own weight over to one side. I  have to rev myself up to even make a move towards the edge of the bed, and the whole process is taking me about 20 mins. I need to have someone there to cajole me in to doing it. Or snap at me, lose their patience and make me feel like shit as one nurse (forever now to be known as “The Growler”) did last night.

I think my problem is that I have a terrible fear of pain – sometimes that is worse than the pain itself. I get very up tight and emotional and it takes so long to psych myself up to do things and this is corroding my self-confidence. Pull yourself together girl – it will get better.

Just remembered that I watched Mock the Week and that was definitely a BAD idea – it was so funny and every time I laughed I was in pain. ” I went on a ballooning holiday….. I put on 4 stone”

What you are not likely to hear in a school assembly…” Boys and girls, a word about registers…..most of your teachers are on one!” Well it made me chuckle.

My huge swollen belly is going down a bit – since the wonderful Mary suggested I drank sparkling water and that did a much better job than the disgusting peppermint stuff. The down side of the less bloating is that my belly feels like it is dragging on the floor and needs supporting the whole time.

Coughing is a challenge. I need to cough to bring up the phlegm accumulating on my chest from lack of movement, otherwise I coud be susceptible to a chest infection so as much as I hate doing my deep breathing exercises which make me cough I know I have to do them. Holding a pillow or towel over my wound helps .

I have taken a few short walks up and down the corridors today – drainage bag hanging from my dressing gown belt – not a catwalk look believe me.

In spite of the whole getting in and out of bed crisis today I feel positive and well.

8th June ( H day +1)

A very sleepy day, can’t concentrate, in fact can hardly keep my eyes open. I am attached to so many different things I can hardly move;-

1. Oxygen mask – which gets changed to nasal tubes as my mouth is so dry I can hardly speak

2. Catheter – nice not to have to worry about my bladder

3. Wound drainage bag – currently full of gunk – yeuch

4. Epidural drip into spine, via various tubes taped to my back

5. Saline drip  to rehydrate me, I think, going into one of two Venflon cannulas in my left wrist.

6. Moon Boots! – these are huge padded and gel filled boots to protect my heels from pressure sores

7. Leg massager things – have no idea what they are called but they are like blankets wrapped round my calves and plugged into cables. Every few seconds my calves are squeezed to keep the circulation going.

This hospital seems to be taking huge measures to protect against thrombosis. I will have anti coagulants injected into my leg muscles each day for 5 days and keep the boots and leg wraps on for 3 days- not forgetting the trusty compressions stocking of course  and exercises given to me by the physio.

I think of the ladies who I chat with on Hysterectomy forums who say they were “released” after 2 days and I wonder if it is just this hospital, or maybe only my consultant who insists on all these precautions.

Half way through the morning I am visited by Tina and Natalie who are Healthcare assistants. They crash into the room in full gossip mode.

“She’s only gone and booked herself on the same flight as us!” Tina squawks.

“NO way” replies Natalie.

Tina turns to me – “Feel free to join in this conversation – but my husband’s ex wife has decided to reschedule her holiday and has booked herself on to the same flight as ours. I’ll probably end up killing her mid-flight”

There then followed the most hysterically entertaining bed bath of my life. The pair of them cackled and flapped throughout the whole procedure . Thank goodness I couldn’t feel any pain or I think the  ensuing laughter would have felt like I was having my stitches  ripped out.

” They don’t put us together very often,cos we are always like this. Sorry if it was a bit mad” They apologised

“Don’t worry, I like mad – it makes me feel at home”.

The rest of the day passed with visits from the physiotherapist, the phlebotamist, numerous nurses, assistants, cleaners, refreshment deliverers, meals and finally my lovely husband. What  busy day – I was exhausted. I also have a very numb bum, caused by just lying in one position, with all my weight on the base of my spine. Keep trying to wriggle round but it ain’t helping.

The worst pain is trapped wind. I tried peppermint tea and peppermint cordial but I hate both and I am not sure how effective it is. I was in agony in the night. Unfortunately I had a quite ferocious nurse on duty tonight and she wasnt very sympathetic or forthcoming with pain relief – a very uncomfortable night indeed.

H day continued

Arrived at BMI Droitwich Spa hospital bang on  time ( 3pm).  I am so lucky to be going private (thanks to Jon’s work related policy) and am really impressed by the place. I was shown to room 16 and quickly made myself at home, unpacking  my bag and making it like home (i.e slightly messy). Clare kept me calm and we had a gossip and a giggle.Was feeling very thirsty and feeling a bit peckish as I hadn’t eaten since before 11pm

Over the next 2 hours I met my anaesthetist, my nurses, had by blood pressure checked etc,was squeezed in some hideous compressions stockings ( which I am told will be my constant companion for the next 6 weeks), met my consultant again and moved rooms! They wanted me nearer the nurses station as I would be requiring more care than most of the other patients on that corridor that night. Clare repacked all my stuff, moved it and unpacked it again in room 20 whilst I walked ( looking hugely attractive in my hospital gown, aqua dressing gown and teal coloured support stockings) to the theatre. I was to have an epidural which I was ok about as I had had one for the birth of both my boys and wasn’t really fazed by it – until it actually came to having it.

I was very scared, very tense and shaking like a leaf. It took a few attempts to get the amount of local anesthetic right before inserting the epidural and I think they had about 3 goes at it – by which time I was completely panic-stricken. My hands were clasped together so tightly and I was so tense that the nurse had to unclench them for me. She informed me I had gone a funny colour. I felt sick but she calmed me down quickly. I noticed the clock on the wall above me 5.55pm and that’s the last I remember.

Coming round is a horrible feeling and I was intensely aware of the hustle and bustle around me and had an overwhelming desire to go to the loo. And in true, just -coming-out-of-anaesthetic style I was apparently saying “I need a poo” over and over. I remember seeing Jon’s face came into focus a few times but I certainly wasn’t rational or really awake and slipped in   of sleep all night.

H day

I didn’t think I would sleep at all last night but I i did get some -not sure of the quality though. I think I was scared to go to bed because of my brain doing overtime and because I didn’t want nightmares about leaving the boys again. I stayed up til midnight (late for me) and still lay awake for an hour, my mind was whirring but I don’t think I dwelt too much on the operation. I woke at 4 and was awake for a bit but then must have fallen asleep again because then it was 6.40 and I dozed til the alarm went off at 7.10.

The school run was  a bit emotional, big hugs and kisses for the boys (even though it is dead uncool for your mother to hug the living daylights out of you and then start crying in front of your mates…sorry xx). Then more hugs from friends and even 2 offers to do my ironing for me (why did they never offer before!!?).

Not long now til Clare picks me up to take me to the hospital. The butterflies are building. I have had a lazy morning, a lovely bath and a bit of a pamper – cut my toe nails – don’t know when the next time I will be able to reach them!

Will post when i can as I am not taking my lap top with me – may experience withdrawal symptoms and be begging Jon to bring it with him when he comes to visit.