So this will be a longish blog to take me through from Saturday morning to Monday morning – have some catching up to do.
Had to check in at the hospital at 10.30 am on Saturday. Fill out yet more paperwork and double check the previous paperwork we did at pre-admission – yawn, yawn. Up to my room and a little disappointed that I was a late addition to the operating list and therefore had to have a room at the back of the building overlooking a building site. Still, I knew I was going to be asleep for the majority of the day and when I came round it would probably be dark so for day one I wouldn’t make a fuss – that makes a change I hear you all say. Margaret Marigold (yes, that’s her real name) was my nurse. A beautiful Irish lady who was obviously born to be a nurse – she was fantastic. She went to check the operating list and told me it would be around 2.30 pm that I would go to theatre. Imagine my surprise when the porter turned up at 1.20 pm and said he had come to take me to theatre – OK, so now the nerves set in with gusto!
I was wheeled down to the operating room and introduced to loads of people – assistant surgeon, anethestist, assistant anethetist etc etc and finally my surgeon came in. They gave me the lovely medical wine as they fondly refer to it to put me to sleep after explaining they would give me an injection in my spine as well – now that really sounded scary and then they assured me it would be ……….. gone ….. all hazy, somfifin aaabutwin I woz unda genereeeeal – sweating subsided, in heaven!
The next thing I know, I am back in my room waking up to David. Then the brain kicks in and you look for or rather feel for the pain – hmmm odd, can’t feel a thing. So discretely reach a hand down to my leg to make sure it’s still there.
Feel pretty groggy and my blood pressure was low so although I had ordered a chicken dinner, the surgeon had changed it to liquids only – broth and jelly – and considering how much I usually eat and had nothing since 5 am that morning I was pretty hacked off I can tell you. Anyhow, as I said earlier, I’ll do as I’m told. (David edit .. thats a first!)
Sleep was hard to come by that night as they were checking blood pressure every 30 minutes by a very sweet young contract nurse from the north of England who spent the best part of 10 minutes trying to take my blood pressure – tried both arms, couldn’t hear a thing. That didn’t fill me with much confidence I can tell you.
Morning finally came and so did the Physio – a lovely young lady named Gabby who was to get me to sit up and do some leg exercises in bed. So, we did a few knee raises and I promptly felt dizzy with all the exertion. I laid down and looked so awful that Gabby decided to call the nurse – my blood pressure had dropped to just below 70 / 40 with my heart rate being 46 beats per minute. WOW, it was scary coz it felt like I was in the emergency room in Grey’s Anatomy of one of those other hospital programs. So, eventually got back up to 80 and panic over but still needed to get higher for their satisfaction. It was decided that although day one should be exercise and sitting on the edge of the bed, for me it would be a rest day. As those of you who know me would realise, rest day is an alien term for me but I was told to rest, eat and sleep – OMG how was I going to manage that. Well I had a surrogate nurse in my training partner Lexi who turned up to make sure that I did follow protocol and she say vigil by my side all day and into the evening – great friends and training partners are very hard to come by and I am so lucky to have her in my life. I spoke to the official nurse to ask if I could be moved to a room on the other side of the building with views of the back of Paddington – she said there was a waiting list but they would see what they could do.
Spent the evening have a very awkward bed bath, a very new experience which I hated. Then I watched My Kitchen Rules (MKR), an episode of Scandal on my phone and fell asleep only to be woken about 2 hours later when they came to check on my blood pressure and empty that dreadful catheta – makes me feel so old and decrepit having one of those but gee – it’s so convenient. Was happy to doze off again and woken in another two hours for yet more checks and injections – so much stuff goes on in hospital, you appear to be busy all the time – cortisol by injection, pain relief by injection, check blood pressure, check oxygen levels and heartbeat, check fluids and so on…. Dozed off again to be woken two hours later by my vampire anaesthetist checking on me and to have more blood taken.
So, my morning visitor, Lexi, arrived ... I think she camped out in the hospital lobby … to check on me and make me jealous by recounting her work out for the morning – huh if only I could be there too. Breakfast came – was gluten free cornflakes, banana, scrambled eggs, tomato and toast. The coffee is a disaster so David has to bring that when he comes. I tell you, this fussing over me is very alien but I think I am coping quite well.
And now to physio again and everyone is nervous after yesterday’s episode. However, blood pressure holding at 96 / 67 and of course I’ve eaten so feeling better. Did a few stretches in bed and then up with the huge walking frame but only about 5 steps forward and 5 steps backwards for four sets (ha ha just had to get a training reference in there somewhere) and then back to bed and he said he would be back in the afternoon.
This last lot of blood confirmed that although your adrenal glands produce your own cortisol my were not working and this was a contributing factor to my low blood pressure. A professor came to see me this morning and explained all this, but then said we need an endocrinologist to sort it out for me and meantime we would still be taking it via injection every 8 hours. The cause for this issue – not clear!
They have also asked me to go to residential rehab after hospital as results are quicker and it’s good to be coached in this type of thing. So, I will be going to Waratah private in Hurstville when discharged from here.
Oh what joy, they have come to move me to a different room on the other side as requested. Not sure what happened to the long waiting list but who cares when I am now in a sunny room looking at Paddington terraces and trees – makes a whole lot of difference.
David’s here – hip hip (pun) hooray and he has coffee – big celebration.
Martin, the porter has turned up at my door – says he’s here to take me to x-ray and could I get on the trolley. I explain that I am hooked up to a drip and a catheta and have only been out of bed once since the op. So, off he trundles to find a walking frame. Not so hard, make my way to the trolley and off we go to x-ray. He advises I’ll be gone for about 45 minutes so David goes off to Paddington for lunch and I’ll text him when I’m back.
You may know that they are building a new section of St Vincent’s and when they take you from the hospital to the clinic for x-rays you have to be wheeled through these temporary corridors in three different sets of lifts and past the kitchen – or perhaps they will throw me in the stock pot!! Same thing happens in x-ray – can you get yourself off the trolley and onto the x-ray machine? Raising my eyes heavenward I again explain the situation and they agree to transfer me from one to the other by sliding me across. Not the easiest thing to do, lie on the side where you have just had an operation to have an x-ray taken but with a little grunting we managed.
Back in my room, Lunch arrives (eating all the time) and David is back with fresh coffee. Then the physio is here again and wants me to walk a whole lap of the floor. Nervous to put weight on that leg because of the pain I had before the op but with encouragement it all went well and I was almost trotting round the floor – a bit of an exaggeration but it felt good. Has really lifted my spirits. Arriving back in the room I have to do some heel raises, leg abduction and adduction and some mini squats – how good that feels.
I have had the most amazing flowers from Peter and Sharon Ivany – bright room, bright flowers and bright friends – what more could a girl want.
The afternoon nurse – Bethany has come to remove my drips and catheta – yay for freedom from tubes.
So now we are up to date as of mid afternoon Monday 19 March – that’s all for now folks and I’ll try and write up my progress daily so you don’t have to trawl through the long diatribe every time.
Appreciate everything in your life – it’s amazing how much we take for granted when it’s taken away – such as what we believe is the simple art of walking!
Hippy Times … 🏋🏻♀️