So here I am again, I should now be in hospital re-cooperating from some hefty surgery with new shiny metalwork holding me together. Unfortunately this is not the case. I have a cold, and this coupled with my (very mild) asthma means I have a 10-20% chance of getting pneumonia post surgery. Both the anesthetist and surgeon decided that it’s not worth the risk and I am to have surgery later this year – probably around June time.
I’m pleased that the experts are looking after me and are not willing to risk my health any more than necessary. However I am not looking forward to facing reality again. Over the last few months, I’ve become used to the idea of surgery, and talking about it and living with the idea has become second nature. What I haven’t really done is let it hit home too often. Yesterday I had a bit of a reality check – this isn’t something I can just talk about, it’s something that really will happen, twice. It’s real and it’s happening to me. Now I realise there’s plenty of other people in the same situation, there’s others that have come out the other side and are happy and pain free, and there’s plenty of people with far more serious problems in their lives. My head hasn’t quite accepted any of this though. The anesthetist I saw yesterday was straight down the line and very matter of fact about everything. This is where I had to do everything possible to not cry like a baby and run the hell outta there never looking back. For those of you who would rather not know skip the next paragraph. It’s probably not so traumatic for those of you who have faced the reality better than me, but this is what I was told yesterday that made me want to run for the hills;
I will (as expected) need to have an epidural which will be left in for 3 days, this is to manage the pain after surgery which I was reminded is pretty horrid. The anesthetist said that sedation is possible before the epidural but he doesn’t usually do this as it increases the risk of nerve damage, (only a 1 in 10,000 chance without sedation). He was telling me this whilst having the epidural needle on the desk in front of him. Next he said that all the needles for drugs and IV etc will be on the left hand side of my body as the right hip is being done. I’ll have a needle inserted into my hand for the general anesthetic (administered after the epidural), then while I’m under they’ll attach the catheter and a few more bits and bobs including a needle in my neck! I have no idea what this one is for, but I really didn’t need to hear that… so far I have a big arse needle in my spine, one in my hand, one in my neck, I’m weeing into a bag, and there’ll be a drain somewhere too. I’ve previously been told the surgery should be around 3 hours, apparently the one they did last week lasted 8 hours. HOLY CRAP! mind you I guess I’ll be asleep so the length of time shouldn’t be a problem. Anyway when I wake up the needle in my neck will still be there for a while AARRRGGHHH!
So that lot freaked me out a bit, only a couple of things I didn’t expect, but these were enough to send me to the edge! That and the hunger of course – I hadn’t eaten since 8 the previous evening – I’m not a happy bunny when I’m hungry at the best of times!
On a lighter note, you have to do a pregnancy test before surgery, so I had done my duty, peed in a pot and handed it to the nurse. Well after I’d seen the anesthetist and surgeon and they’d cancelled the op one of the nurses called me over; “it’s about your pregnancy test, it’s not shown up as urine”….. Urm right then. Which beggars the question “what the hell has it shown up as then – cos it sure as hell came outta me in the way that urine should!” I will never understand the mystery of the urine, having cancelled my op I guess they just chucked away the mystery sample! I aim to confuse them next time too – lots of jasmine tea the night before may have been the problem, I’ll try it again and see what happens!