Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
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Friday, 12 August 2005
Well, I'm Glad That's Over!
Topic: Health Issues
Came home from hospital this afternoon - I must say, it's good to be back in familiar surroundings although I was looked after very well by the doctors and nurses! I feel a little uncomfortable, bruised and swollen; it pulls if I bend down and I haven't been able to turn over in bed but I'm not in any real pain at the moment. Everyone who noticed the purple mess on my right arm commented,'you bruise easily', but earlier today I had some more blood taken from the left arm and not a sign of a bruise there.

The night before the operation I went to bed after our evening meal (hubby washed up) feeling absolutely whacked out after dusting, hoovering, and flying about all day but, four and half-hours later, I felt totally refreshed and renewed. Amazing what a short sleep can do. My first job was sewing up the trouser bottoms of my new pyjamas, which were much too long! The rest of the night passed very quickly; I had a shower and washed my hair, cleaned the shelves in the bathroom, programmed the video recorder, washed the kitchen floor and sent an email to my sister in Spain. Rang the hospital as per my instructions to check that a bed was still available - it was, but in a different ward. Left a note of the new extension number. At twenty past six, I was ready to leave.   [Ughhh! Just found a small fly in my drink of Horlicks!]

Got into the car and found a small 'Good Luck' teddy bear sitting on the steering wheel. Hubby, dear man, standing there in his pyjamas like a lost soul waving goodbye and surreptitiously wiping his eyes! It's at times like these that he wishes he had learnt to drive a car. I arrived at Worthing Hospital just after seven, got my bag out of the boot and realised that the button and zip of my jeans were undone! I thought only men forgot to do their zips up! Joined another couple in the lift going to the same ward.

After being checked in and changing into the horrible hospital gown, I had to wait quite a while before another lady and myself were chaperoned down to the Breast Care Centre for more mammograms. Hers was very quick then it was my turn for the 'left needle localisation'. One mammogram to check they were in the right area. Then, OUCH! It felt as I imagine it would feel to be stabbed with a fine knitting needle! Another mammogram - then, to my enormous relief, I heard the doctor say, "Amazing, I have got it in exactly the right place first go!" Someone must have been watching over me. Back to the ward for some more waiting before 'Sam' came to wheel my bed down the corridor to the lift and up to the second floor, where there was a minor traffic jam, my bed coming out of the lift and another bed going in!

Canula in, injections and then the big one - the large clock on the wall said 10.25 am. I remember going through the double doors into a large room with several beds and feeling surprised that it wasn't the operating theatre. Two men in pale blue gowns and blue caps reading their notes. "Good Morning", one said, smiling at me. The next thing I remember was being woken up and offered some water via a straw. Before long, I had woken up enough to have some lunch. Someone gave me a pain-killing tablet in the afternoon. A couple of hours later, I closed my eyes. Woke with a start to find hubby, daughter and grandchildren all round my bed around 7 pm. They had spent several minutes trying to wake me! So pleased to see them all.

It was around 1.20 pm today before I was discharged and then I waited in the discharge lounge for my daughter to collect me. The nurses were very firm, 'You mustn't drive for 48 hours after a general anaesthetic and also your insurance is invalid for that time!' Sister was obviously displeased that I had been advised differently - 'I will tell them in the Breast Care Centre'. The charge for the hospital car park from just after 7 am yesterday to just before 3 pm today was £12.20 - much cheaper than a taxi would have been.

Took one of the Co-Codamol tablets, (paracetamol with codein), I was prescribed around six this evening. About two hours later, (they seem to take about two hours to kick in), I was feeling very woozy - they are pretty strong! Hubby cooked our supper and washed up. He is being very solicitous, bless him. I can remove my foam padding dressing to shower after which I must replace it - haven't looked yet to see the damage - and I have to wear a bra 24 hours until I go back to see the Consultant in two weeks' time.

Many thanks to all my kind cyber friends for all their good wishes, which were greatly appreciated! Off to bed now. Goodnight!

P.S. Woke up this morning and realised that it wasn't lunch I had on the day of my operation, it was supper! Spaghetti Bolognese served up at 5 pm. I've had better and missed my salt! Had a very good hospital lunch on Friday - fish and chips with tiny peas, diced carrots, a slice of lemon and some sauce.

    [Updated, Saturday, 13 August 2005 at 08:52 BST]

Posted by Noviomagus at 23:51 BST Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Saturday, 13 August 2005 - 12:36 BST

Name: Joanna

I think that you have an amazing memory, particularly considering that you were sedated quite a bit of the time. For a lot of people, a hospital stay is, in retrospect, a blur of sounds and feelings...a drugged haze.

Saturday, 13 August 2005 - 16:16 BST

Name: Tessa

In the past, they used to give a pre-operation sedative before you went up to the operating theatre. Now they don't because you recover much quicker from the general anaesthetic. I was obviously out of it all afternoon although I do remember someone telling me that they were moving my bed from where I was originally to another room on the same ward.

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