Monday, 15 February 2010

Wires - take care if you are squeamish

Last Summer Dave and I saw Athlete at the Greenbelt Festival. I was converted - what a fantastic live set! But even prior to that gig I was aware of them - mainly due to their single "Wires" which is apparently about life in an Intensive Care Unit....

One of the things I feel the need to document here - for my own benefit if no one else's - is the fantastic array of wires, tubes and monitors that kept me safe and sound during and after my surgery.

I've already mentioned the spinal cord monitoring - the electrodes stuck to my scalp and feet. Then there was the ECG monitoring with pads all over the place! As for tubes - IV lines for fluid, morphine, antibiotics, blood (I needed a transfusion) and through which various other drugs were administered as required. Anti nausea for example - though to be honest my preference might have been to be sick :-(

There was a chest drain filling up with serum from where my rib was removed and of course the terribly trendy catheter (when is someone going to design a more attractive range of bags...?) Tubes for oxygen up my nose (which I kept fighting off) and the PCA morphine pump completed the picture - you will have to imagine it as no photos were allowed.

As each wire or drip was removed I would have expected to feel relived. Instead I panicked a little each time. How would I cope without the PCA morphine? (a lot better as the hallucinations stopped!) How would I drink enough without the IV fluid? (you get very thirsty on morphine!) How would I ever get out of bed to use the loo? (If it's that or a wet bed you manage somehow!)

Even the wound dressings are off now. If you can bear to look here are the scars. If not shut your eyes or turn away quickly before scrolling down...

More to follow

Linda xxx

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