If you are regular reader round here you will know a month ago I headed for major surgery to have my internal organs put back into place after a major tear in my tummy muscles and a tear in my Caesarean section wound.
I had lived for many many months with my bowels and other lower inner organs living on the wrong side of my core muscles and it had made living day-to-day a really painful experience.
The surgery was planned for the 15th February and I was taken onto a ward at 7am to wait in the morning. Initially I was told I was second on the list but was then told my surgery would be afternoon, until a theatre staff member came up and shocked us all asking for me to go down with him as I was now first!
From then on it was all systems go and my booking in obs and information was taken while the member of staff from theatre was waiting and then I walked down to theatre with the staff member and Ollie.
Once down in theatres Ollie had to go home and I was taken into see the Consultant anaesthetist and his colleague where I was fitted with a epidural to help mange the pain once I came round, although my composure didn’t last as the first attempt left me in pain and I began to panic.
Thankfully the second attempt worked and then had an IV fitted and then the general anaesthetic took hold and around 5 hours and open surgery later I woke up in recovery feeling very woozy, and immensely sick!
After throwing up several times I was transferred to a ward in bay 6 bed 1 where I remained for the next 5 days.
The first 2 days I reacted to the meds and spent so much of my time being sick or feeling sick and being bed bound with an epidural in and 2 drains either side of my incision was awful. I spent the days practically asleep for most of it and when not sleeping I half watched lots Netflix downloads.
However disaster struck when I accidentally caught my epidural line and pulled it out meaning the pain block that was keeping the pain across my abdominal muscles at bay was back in waves and I needed to up the pain meds that were making me sick. For the whole of the next 24hrs the sickness came back but having no epidural meant I could have one drain taken out and the catheter so I could finally get onto my feet!
It was painful but it was amazing to finally get a shower after 3 days of sitting in hospital gowns I finally got to put on my own nightie and even pants as with a catheter in they don’t bother with them.
I was hoping that by day 4 I could come home but the amount of fluid in the drains was too high and my consultant decided to keep me for at least another day, which to be fair I was more than happy with as initially I was supposed to be in at least 7 days so escaping after 5 was good with me!
That last day I saw the physio and made sure I could climb stairs (slowly but it’s not the speed that counted) I got in and out of bed as much as possible and hobbled up and down the ward to make sure I was happy and the hospital was happy with allowing me home.
The following morning my consultant came in and said he was happy to have the final drain removed and I could go home. I honestly could have cried, being on a ward in a bay with 3 other people is noise and chaotic even at 3am and getting to sleep in my own bed is priceless.
Even being noisy and busy, the ward had the best staff I could have asked for. Nothing was too much trouble and they never ever made me feel like I was being a pain, which makes a massive difference when your already feeling bad at not being able to do the most basic of things, including washing and teeth brushing!
The operation was the first part on my road to recovery and I have many many weeks or recovery ahead, even now a month on I have a steady plan to get back to being fit and healthy.
I am immensely grateful for the NHS, their staff and training. I know this operation is going to give me a new lease on my life that means I can parent how I want to not just how I physically can…. I may never want to kick a football with the kids but I may just be able to climb a tree!