Monday, 15 February 2010

Wee Small Hours

Even by my standards the last post was a bit of a ramble - way too interrupted and drug-fuelled! Here we have a rare moment of quiet and lucidity - it is 2am, the drugs have worn off - the small top up allowed has not yet kicked in - and there's not a lot on tv. I've had a lovely cup of tea (not sure drinking tea in the middle of the night is a good habit to have acquired...) and will probably snuggle up with my book and one of my teddy bears soon.

Rather than read for a bit - though I'll do that soon. Or knit - because to be honest that does make my arm ache rather (sob) . Or watch yet more inane tv ("watch" in this context meaning having it on in the background - generally muted - whilst I surf the internet for somewhat belated advice on coping with scoliosis surgery...). Rather than do any of these I'm gong to write a bit about what it is like in hospital. Apologies for any repetition - that can be edited out if this ever makes it to publication....

Hard to believe I was admitted less than two weeks ago. I look back on that day and smile, recalling everything that was said with the benefits of hindsight and with things in better focus. Everyone was SO lovely to me - from the guy on the front desk to the admissions officer, the concierge (did I mention the porters are concierge and wear sharp suits...? Except in theatre of course!) and receptionist, then all the clinical staff - doctor, sister, clinical nurse specialist, catering staff - I could go on. I am sure they are equally lovely to everyone but at the moment it is hard not to think "they didn't tell me the truth". Which of course is nonsense - them being so lovely to me and calming me down (you'll be fine, well yes of course there will be some discomfort...) does NOT mean they were lying to me. It means they are incredibly skilled professionals who managed to instil confidence - they just happened to know what I was about to undergo and sensibly told me what I needed to know rather than unecessary detail which would have sent me running home...

That evening was so lovely. The children joined us for dinner at a nearby restaurant and a glass of Rose (mmmmm.....) definitely took the edge off. Wished Rachie could have been there but waiting till she is back in October was never an option - by that time my breathng could have been severely compromised and this way by then it will be a dim and distant memory!

After saying goodbye to them all Ian stayed overnight with me. His admission that if it were him then he would be petrified was surprisingly touching and reassuring - there have been times when for all the good wishes, compliments on my bravery and "you'll be fines" I have just wanted someone to say "you must be fu**ing terrified." I passed on the hospital bed and instead we snuggled up on the sofa bed - surprising the nurse with the early morning tea! Grateful for the diazepam which transformed my sobs of fear into gentle breaths and helped me slip into a surprisingly peaceful sleep.

The next morning I remember posting on here - amidst the rituals of taking a shower and having the electrodes stuck to my head for the spinal cord monitoring. The pain when they passed 11 volts/amps/ohms/somethings through my legs (correct me please Ian/Dave/Paul!) and the fear when they told me that would be increased to 20 during the surgery was intense, but also reassuring as this was to be quite literally a lifeline. During his visit the night before, Dr Kofi (oh how I love that man!) had explained how this would alert he and Mr Tucker to any potential problems during surgery ...

I read and signed the consent forms then thankfully swallowed the three little blue pills after which all becomes a happy blur. I do believe I smiled as I swapped my new M and S nightie for that fetching blue gown. I quite happily boarded the trolley to the lower ground floor, and I remember finding it amusing that when we got to the bit just outside theatre where they supposedly ask you to count backwards (that never happened to me) Dr Kofi asked where Ian was. The nurse replied that of course he was outside and Kofi told them to go get him as he was to hold my hand till I fell asleep :-) (How was that for you Ian?!)

Next thing of course I woke up. I'm starting to flag again here tonight but cannot resist commenting on the confusion I felt that night. The number of times I asked if I had had the operation is going to go down in the annals of operating history I reckon! That and the number of monitors and tubes - in fact I will leave that till tomorrow as it really is time to zzz and the Teddies are calling me.

Oh - in case I didn't say so - Happy Valentine's Day everyone


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